The 2017 MOGSouth Holiday Party was held in Athens, Georgia while it was empty!
The entire town was away, in Atlanta, for the big Georgia – Auburn football game. It was nice to have the town to ourselves! And, we made the most of it! We had 4 Morgans, a 4/4, a Plus 4, a Plus 8 and an Aeromax. Well represented I would have to say, as Morgans are not all that common at our Holiday Parties. The weather was fine, not hot and sunny but mild, mid 60s and, for the most part, dry. Much better than the biting cold of the north. The cold is hard for us Florida types. We never have the right clothes, etc.
This year we arrived at the hotel around dinner time on Friday. We were parched and looking for something to eat. We opted for the Foundry, the hotel’s captive dining spot. It was also the music stage and concert hall so we had entertainment while we ate. Actually we had three musical groups. The first was merely a guitar and singer. The guitar was better than the singer. The second group was a bit of a country rock sort of band. Loud but reasonable (at least to my taste). The third, almost a blue grass band, had the best singer of the bunch. Perhaps they just got better as the beer took hold . . . Once we had eaten, we found a large contingent of the MOGSouth revelers in the bar. Back from wherever and as is the norm for MOGSouth . . . tales were told. All good stuff.
We made the trek to the Holiday Party via car this time. Athens is almost impossible to get to by air. Certainly for us coming up from Florida. We normally fly but we just couldn’t make that work this time. Too many things to fight. Took too long, cost too much, too much hassle, required the big airport (not one of the smaller regional airports), etc. Ian and Barbara Shelmerdine traveled with us, and they concurred.
We chose to come up from Florida through Macon, GA and visit the US Air Force’s Museum of Aviation at Warner Robins Air Force Base. I had worked in Marietta, GA for years. Marietta, GA is just north of Atlanta and is where Lockheed Martin builds the C-130 Hercules cargo airplane. Warner Robins Air Force Base is where the US Air Force’s C-130 Hercules headquarters is located. So my job necessitated quite a few business trips to Warner Robins Air Force Base, but I never stopped however to visit the museum. Too busy, no time . . . you know the drill. So now that I am retired and live out of state, I decide to go. I guess I’m a bit slow. Well, at least that’s what Andrea says.
It was great! Lots of wonderful planes and well thought out vignettes. We certainly didn’t have enough time to see it all. They had several buildings with hundreds of displays. I only worry about the planes displayed outside.
The weather must take its toll? Regardless, I will have to come back. What we did see was quite impressive from the very large and very well known to the smaller and lesser known aircraft. A building was dedicated to World War II and another for Viet Nam, while other displays highlighted more modern aircraft. A recommended stop should you venture nearby.
The MOGSouth Holiday party was held at the Graduate hotel, a property that we had visited years ago. It has changed names since. The Holiday Party was nicely done and a big thanks go to Stacey Schepens who was our lovely host. She had the traditional hospitality suite set up and it was a happening place Friday and Saturday evening, and again after the Saturday formalities. The hospitality suite seems to be a MOGSouth necessity, a signature of our events. It is different things to different people, and has changed over time, but it remains the ‘go to’ spot at a MOGSouth event.
Most notable this year was the football game on the big TV. The conference championship game between Georgian and Auburn. And, for those of you that haven’t heard, Georgia won.
The evening’s festivities were held in private banquet room at the hotel and everything was well organized and the meal was lovely. They even had options for those with dietary restrictions. It turned out that the only Georgia graduates in our group were Jim and Colette Clark. And, Jim had the headphones on during the dinner to make sure we didn’t miss a significant moment.
A few minutes of remarks and then the Mother Courage Award ceremony. This year was a bit of a challenge for MOGSouth. Lots of Good Times and some not so Good.
The Good Times . . .
- In March we had the MOGSouth Noggin at Cars in Coffee in Amelia and it was a huge success with nearly 50 attendees at the Friday Night MOGSouth Noggin and then there was the actual Cars and Coffee event on the golf course on Saturday.
- In April we had a great Spring Meet in Greenville SC (Thanks to the Buckleys and Leos.)
- In May we held the first ever US based Morgan Three Wheeler Convention in May in Augusta and; although it was not really a MOGSouth event, it felt like one with all the MOGSouth participation.
- And, in September, a wonderful Fall Meet in Clayton GA (Thanks to Richard and Janet Ihns.)
The Not So Good Times . . . It seems time caught up with us this year and that in itself has been a challenge.
- We lost a few amazing members with Norris Haynes and Graeme Addie. They were more than just members, they were friends and they were family. Jenny Addie attended the Holiday Party and it was wonderful to see her. And, of course the dogs were in the van.
- Some other MOGSouth members are dealing with life changing events and couldn’t be with us, but they too are family and always welcome.
As is the norm for the MOGSouth Holiday Party, we presented the 2017 Mother Courage Award. The Mother Courage Award is our only perpetual award and is given in honor of Dan and Nancilee Kelly. This year’s award went to the aforementioned Jim and Colette Clark. Well deserved!!
After the official club business and other remarks it was back to the hospitality suite for more interaction and football games. Now I think we had Clemson and Miami. (Clemson won this one.)
Eventually, the masses scattered into the night. Early departures were in the plan. Everyone has lots to do this time of year.
Another wonderful MOGSouth Holiday party!! Again, thanks to all who made this year a memorable one for MOGSouth.
Now let’s see what we can do with 2018!!
The Holiday Party is nearly here! (Saturday 2 December in Athens GA)
If you haven’t already sent your check to Stacey, you need to do so now. She needs to finalize the head count. It is $35 a person with a gluten free/vegetarian option for our Italian buffet.
Send checks payable to “MOGSouth Car Club” to Stacey Schepens (Stacey Schepens, 2224 Street Deville NE, Atlanta, GA 30345).
The 2017 Mother Courage Award will also be presented during the Holiday Party. Nominations are now closed and the voting committee is determining the 2017 winner.
If you need to anything, please ask.
As has been previously communicated the designated hotel for the 2017 MOGSouth Holiday Party, the Graduate, in Athens, GA is full and there are no more rooms.
Never fear! There are still lots of hotels in the Athens area. Some suggestions below.
Here are hotels that are downtown:
Indigo, Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard by Marriott. The Hampton Inn and Country Inn and Suites are farther out but a $5 Uber ride or super short drive. A little further out are the Comfort Inn and Candlewood. You can also try Georgia Gameday which is downtown condos.
And while you’re at it please don’t forget to send in your Holiday dinner money. It is $35 a person with a gluten free/vegetarian option for our Italian buffet. Send checks payable to “MOGSouth Car Club” to Stacey Schepens (Stacey Schepens, 2224 Street Deville NE, Atlanta, GA 30345). We need to know who’s coming to ensure we have the right headcount for the dinner. We certainly don’t want anyone to go hungry!!
There will be an open bar and bartender, dedicated just to us, in a lovely courtyard off the dining room.
The MOGSouth Holiday Party is one of the club’s highlights each year and you don’t want to miss it!!
As is the norm, the club will also present the 2017 Mother Courage Award during the Holiday Party. If you haven’t already done so, get your 2017 Mother Courage Award nominees to Mark Braunstein, via email (email@example.com). The last three recipients of the award will select this years recipient from the list of nominees submitted.
If there are questions, please ask.
GatorMOG went south. South to West Palm Beach Florida. (For those of you that are geographically challenged, that is really southern Florida. Almost to Miami.) But, in reality, it wasn’t really all that far. . . And it was well worth it . . . As it was all good. Very good!
The GatorMOG fall gathering this year was held in West Palm Beach and was hosted by Bennett and Mary Shuldman. Bennett and Mary moved to West Palm Beach a few years ago from Connecticut and officially joined GatorMOG and MOGSouth. South Florida needs more Morgans. (Actually there are quite a few Morgans in South Florida but we rarely seem them out and about. I suspect they are kept in air conditioned garages and only come out occasionally, when their owners, northern snow birds, come south for the winter.)
Mary and Bennett are quite active in MOGSouth and have been for some time. Even when they lived in Connecticut. I suspect that fact (or would like to believe it) may have contributed to their decision to relocate to Florida a few years ago. And, their desire to have GatorMOG come visit.
Bennett and Mary were the most gracious hosts we could have imagined. They opened their wonderful home to the group for Friday night dinner.
Their house is a museum of sorts with Mary’s music memorabilia and Bennett’s New York Yankees baseball collectables. Amazing! Their house is right on the water and we sat outside enjoying a very pleasant Florida evening.
To feed the crowd, they had an actual food truck park in the driveway to cook and serve us from the list of delectables on their gourmet menu. Quite unique and great fun!
We enjoyed the Florida sunset and finally had to find our way back to our hotel. We had a great group of Morgans . . . Plus 8s, Plus 4s and Roadsters, but it would appear that navigation really isn’t our forte. What started as a simple convoy soon became a few cars here and a few cars there. Some went left while others went right and some lost their headlights. But in the end, no real drama and we were all soon back at the hotel. Again, no consensus as some went up and some went to the bar . . .
Saturday started with omelets and coffee. A visit to a private car collection, Larry’s collection, was the plan. The weather was iffy and the discussion mostly centered on taking the Morgans out and risking the impending rain. The weather pundits on the internet and on television all thought the rain would hold off but then start about the time we were supposed to be returning to the hotel. In the end all but one of the Morgans hit the road. A few SUVs also went.
Larry’s collection was beyond belief. Roughly 100 cars, all elegantly displayed on 4 post lifts with year appropriate license plates and die cast replicas of the full sized cars all in the appropriate colors. There were are a few works in progress with stories of component restorations in South American and assembly back here in Florida. Larry, it turns out, has a full time staff of about 10. (I have a staff but the dogs are really not much help!)
For the cars in work, there were shelves of waiting parts, nuts and bolts and other bits that would soon be added to the cars. A full library supported the restorations to ensure correctness and to assure proper assembly. An overhead loft with overstuffed chairs, a whiskey bar, and Persian rugs. This would be a hard place to leave.
The collection was housed in a facility with high ceilings allowing for country of origin or marque specific flags over each display and (just like all of our garages) several crystal chandeliers lighting each of the rooms. Really we were in awe, even those of the fairer sex.
Larry flew in, from California, to be with us and told of the history of each of the cars in the collection. He also was quite interested in the Morgans. He indicated his past ownership with Morgans but currently didn’t have any in the collection. Although he had a bit of everything, British, Italian, Scandinavian, even French, but the passion was obviously German and Porsche.
There was even a plan for lunch. Larry and staff had ordered Pizza. A log table had been set up down the middle of the display room and when the pizza arrived we all sat with down with Larry and his team and talked . . . what else? Cars.
Then it was time to leave and yes, the rain did come and it came down with a vengeance. The Morgans in the parking lot had their tops up and were fine . . . a bit wet, but fine. We again found the hotel, with the plan for an afternoon Morgan show and tell, cancelled. Ok, so we got a nap and chance to clean up before dinner.
Saturday dinner was arranged at Bennett and Mary’s neighborhood club house. Again, they had over achieved. We had a wonderful cocktail party telling tales and reminiscing about all things Morgan. Then we sat down to a semi formal dinner with a wondrous buffet.
Elegant party gifts of Morgan Logo cuff links were given to the men at the dinner. A lovely memento of a superb weekend in South Florida.
This event served to reiterate that geography and weather are nuisances that are easily overcome by the spirit, friendship and camaraderie of great people in MOGSouth and GatorMOG.
Bennett and Mary Shuldman are certainly part of this crowd and we are very lucky to have them in our midst.
See photos of the event under ‘Photo Galleries’
In the mountains of Clayton, Georgia September 15 – 17, 2017
The Fall Gathering of MogSouth was great. The winds of hurricane Irma traveled up to north Georgia causing downed trees and power lines, but the area recovered in time for the gathering. Richard and Janet did a wonderful job of planning and providing a fun filled weekend.
Many of us gathered at Kingwood Resort Friday night. After some “Noggin” time we headed to the Moon Pie Italian Restaurant for dinner. We had a private room for our group. After ordering we had plenty of time to meet new people and get caught up with old friends. A day of travel and an evening of good food and conversation made us ready for an early turn in.
Saturday morning everybody was recharged with a nice buffet breakfast. Gary Heck provided a demonstration of his new car trailer soon to be in production. A brief meeting prepared the drivers of 14 three and four wheel Morgans and a few tin tops for a 35 mile tour through the Georgia hills. Richard had checked the route and found the roads cleared for travel. We had a brief stop at a historic covered bridge before arriving at our destination, Folk Pottery Museum of North East Georgia.
Back on the road we traveled to the Ihn’s home in the mountains. They have a beautiful home and setting for lunch on the porch. There was a bountiful buffet of sandwiches, salads, chips, beverages and cupcakes that were yummy!
After lunch Richard gave us a tour of his garage where he has a few cars in the process of restoration. We had the remainder of the afternoon to explore Clayton’s antique shops and boutiques.
Late afternoon the Kingwood gathering room was open for noggin before dinner. The MogSouth group had the whole restaurant with the exception of a few small tables. Our dinner selections arrived in waves and were all very tasty. We had time for more conversation and noggin during the dinner. Jim Clark presented Janet and Richard with a beautiful pottery plate hand made by Colette, commemorating the event and thanking the Ihns for a great Fall Gathering.
Early Sunday morning people were through the breakfast buffet and on the road home. A few stragglers were left to say goodbyes and thanks to the Ihns for a well-planned weekend and wonderful time. We all expressed our best wishes for recovery to our friends in Florida and neighboring states affected by Irma. Hope to see everyone in Athens Georgia for the Christmas Holiday Gathering December 1-3.
Brian & Rosie Miller
MOGSouth members looking for adventure or have the need to check a cross country Morgan trip off your bucket list?
There are still some details to work out but the overall plan is as follows:
We already have interest from Morgan owners in Ohio, Morgan Club of DC, and the West so anyone interested needs to respond quickly to assure inclusion. Interested parties can contact me directly.