Association 2016 National Reunion.....
The 2016 Patrol Gunboat Association Reunion was held in Tucson, AZ.
The 2016 Patrol Gunboat Association Reunion was held in Tucson, Arizona from Wednesday, August 10 through Sunday August 14, 2016. Our special group rate was $95.00 per night for single, double, triple quad. The rate included a hot buffet breakfast for up to two persons per room.
It's no accident that the Tucson region is home to more than a million residents and host to more than 7 million visitors a year. There's something magical about this place where the Santa Cruz and Rillito Rivers converge, where five mountain ranges form a protected valley, and where majestic saguaros stand guard on the desert floor while aspen and pine whisper high above them on the mountain peaks. Located in Southern Arizona, Tucson was founded on August 20, 1776, an event celebrated annually at Tucson's birthday party, La Fiesta de San Agustín. But people had long before felt something special here and made it their home. In fact, the area we call Tucson is one of the oldest continually inhabited areas in North America.
Hohokam Indians lived and farmed here for 4,000 years before Spanish missionaries and soldiers arrived in the late 1600s and eventually established the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson and the Mission San Xavier del Bac, the two most iconic and historic structures in the region. "The Old Pueblo," as the adobe-walled Presidio became known, remains Tucson's nickname to this day.
Then a part of Mexico, Tucson officially became part of the United States in 1854, just years before the start of the 1860 to 1880 "Old West" era of clashes among cattle ranchers, settlers, miners, and Apache Indians throughout the Southwest.
In 1877, the city was incorporated, making Tucson the oldest incorporated city in Arizona, and with the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880, Tucson's multicultural roots expanded and deepened as new residents adopted customs of the Tohono O'odham Indians and Mexicans living here.
The city is bordered on all sides by protected natural areas: Coronado National Forest, Catalina State Park, Ironwood Forest National Monument, and Saguaro National Parks East and West (among the best places to see the giant saguaro cactus native only to Southern Arizona and Native Mexico).
The second-largest city in Arizona and the county seat of Pima County, Tucson neighbors the towns of Marana, Oro Valley, Catalina, South Tucson (an independent municipality in the heart of the city), Sahuarita, Vail, and Green Valley.
Tucson is home to the University of Arizona—established as Arizona's first university in 1885 and now a campus of 50,000 students and staff from around the world—and a number of annual events drawing participants and spectators from around the world, including the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, La Fiesta de los Vaqueros (Tucson Rodeo), Tucson Festival of Books, Tucson International Mariachi Conference, the El Tour bike race, and the Tucson Classic. Tucson, Arizona, grew out of the dangers, opportunities and cultural crossings of the Old West. Today, that heritage shapes us without limiting who we are: a destination for nearly 7 million visitors a year; a place known for outstanding hiking and outdoor adventures, rich cultural traditions, a vibrant arts scene, world-class golf and great dining; and a thriving desert home to more than 1 million residents.
Every single person I talked to had nothing but good things to say about the hotel. The rooms were large, clean and comfortable. The Hotel staff was always friendly and helpful. Banquet personnel were quick to refresh the Hospitality room with ice and kept it clean on a daily basis. I can't think of a single reunion where we had better service from the hotel staff.
Those attending their first Patrol Gunboat Reunion quickly realize that the Hospitality Room is the place to be anytime there is free time during the reunion. This is where you check in with the group, where you receive your registration packages, receive a copy of the itinerary of events for the week and your meal and tour tickets for the events you signed up for when you registered. Attendees also received their free 2016 Patrol Gunboat Association Reunion coffee mug and a chance to purchase tickets for the Saturday night raffle table and 50-50 drawings. Those who purchased raffle table tickets also received a "Free" Ballcap. The hospitality room opened at noon on Wednesday and remained open until noon Sunday. As always, there were free snacks, soft drinks and beer available in the hospitality room throughout the reunion.
Pima Air and Space Museum
Thursday's tour was absolutely incredible. Each year I try to arrange one tour that is related to the military and one that I think the lady's will enjoy. I could go on for hours about how great the PIMA tour was, I think everyone really enjoyed the riding tour as well as the tour inside the museum. The pictures pretty much give you an idea of how big the PIMA Air and Space Museum is.
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Kartchner Caverns’ development spanned nearly 11 years, 1988–99, and cost almost $35 million. During that time, they designed innovative ways to allow public access while protecting the cave. For the full story on the development of Kartchner Caverns go to their website. While many people are not really into caves, those who attended the tour of Kartchner Caverns were not only impressed with the tour itself, but also with the passion of the staff when it comes to protecting the beauty of the Caverns while giving the public access and still keeping its natural beauty intact?
Returning to the hotel after our Friday tour, most of us headed to the hotel banquet room for our Friday evening Buffet Dinner. Following dinner we had an open mike session for those who wanted to make comments. Afterwards most of us headed back to the hospitality room to relax, chat and enjoy the company of shipmates.
Saturday morning we got together in one of the hotel meeting rooms to discuss the future of the Association. Topics included Association Finances and the location of the 2017 and 2018 Reunions. Following the business meeting, most just relaxed in the hospitality room while a few took off to see some of the local sights.
The bar opened at 6:00 PM. Everyone was seated in the banquet room in time for us to start the opening ceremony promptly at 7:00. While we enjoyed dinner we drew the winning tickets for the 50-50 drawing. Following dinner we will held the raffle table drawing for some really great prizes including free rooms at the 2017 reunion. After a short comment session and a special welcome to our new members and first time attendees, we spent a couple hours dancing to some great music from our DJ.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END
Sunday morning you could find many of our members relaxing in the hotel lobby, sharing hugs and promises to meet again at the next annual Patrol Gunboat Association reunion. The hospitality room closed at noon.
Updated by Terry W. McManuels
Copyright © 2017 PGRA. All rights reserved. Revised: 04/12/17.