2001 Annual Meeting and Reunion
Check out the web page dedicated to the 2001 PSA Trek by Richard Wertz.
From Warren Smith, PSA President:
I wanted to send you a very brief update of the events from the PSA Reunion this weekend at the Ranch. More to follow.
First, it was a fabulous event, with well over 200 PSA’ers and families attending the event, and as many as 30 to 50 current staff attending some of the events–especially the Saturday night campfire.
Approximately 34 people went on the week-long backcountry trek. Thanks to Steve Harmony for being the contingent leader for the trek.
Approximately 50 people attended the PSA Slide Show on Friday night. It was a fun way to kick off the weekend.
On Saturday morning, the business part of the weekend took place, from 8:30 until 11:30. There were many reports and recognitions–too many to fully recount here. Highlights for me were Philmont General Manager Keith Galloway’s moving presentation of stories from the summer. Also much appreciated was Ranch Director of Program Mark Anderson’s update of this year’s operations by the numbers.
Other highlights included recognition of Clarence Baldwin, who as a 1947 staffer, won the prize this weekend for being on the earliest Philmont staff (though we had others from the 40s, as well). And one particularly exciting event was recognizing former Chief Ranger Dave Caffey on the publication of his latest book. Dave graciously hung around after the meeting to sign copies for many of us.
Perhaps the most moving event of the weekend was a memorial service for Kelly Reese, held at Abreu. Kelly’s brother Casey flew in for the service, which was led by Jason Mascitti. Many of Kelly’s friends shared memories, and Doc Walker played one of Kelly’s favorite songs (“Night Rider’s Lament”) and a new song that he had written just for the occasion.
Dave Kenneke once again hosted the Saturday evening steak fry, which was a wonderful, relaxed time of fellowship. And immediately following the dinner, nearly 300 people gathered in the Rocky Mountain Scout Camp campfire bowl for songs, stories, and special recognitions. The PSA honored Carlos and Esther Arguello, and Steve Zimmer, on the occasion of their retirement. Doc Walker, Rod Taylor, Eric Voss, and Todd Conklin told stories and sang songs until late into the evening.
There’s much more to tell, but this will get things started, perhaps. I would love to hear from those who were at the reunion this weekend with their favorite memory–perhaps a long-lost friend found again, or hiking the trails of Philmont with a spouse or child who had never been to the Ranch.
OK. That’s my report. Now, talk amongst yourselves…
From Kathy Makela Beeman:
This was my first PSA reunion. I was NOT disappointed. I wrote a little note to Forky telling him that I WAS disappointed that he wasn’t there, but that I was having so much fun that I didn’t realize he wasn’t there until we were on our way home!
It was very special for me to see some people that I haven’t seen in 20 years or more. Namely, Sioux Roberts, Laura ‘the Lampe-Girl’, Rice Brewer, Doug White, ‘Mort’, George ‘Josh’ Michaels, Emory Corley, LeAnne MeBust, Jim Thomas, Todd Conklin, and so many others that I’m sure I’ve left someone out! And I met lots of new friends, Anna Rounds, Warren, Jim ‘Sam’ Vivian, Dawn Chandler, etc. But, the most special thing for me was that the people I love the most, my family, finally got to see what I’ve been talking about all of these years. On the way to the car on Sunday, my 9 year old son, Ryan, asked, “Do you think Daddy would ever be able to get a job in New Mexico so we could live here all the time?” I almost started crying! And my 6 year old daughter, Emily met a friend. We bought Emily a burgundy-colored Philmont bear at the Trading Post. She named it Bethany…so she would never forget her new friend’s name. (Of course, this is the same Emily that cried most of the way to Abreu saying, “But, Mommy, I REALLY don’t like to walk!” as I coaxed her up the trail with a battery-powered fan and the promise of rootbeer at the end of the road.)
Yes, it was a very special time for all of us. And I have a wonderful husband who understands how important it is for me to keep this link in my life and is already planning next summer’s trip to New Mexico! (It also was nice for him to get to meet Alan and Jane (Munch) Flurkey who rescued me in the middle of the night from a crazy man in New York this past December…but, THAT’S a different story!)
The campfire was especially wonderful! I have always loved to listen to Doc Walker sing (When I was a college sophomore I spent a semester in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the U of A. Tom ‘Anvil’ McKinney and I were in the same chemistry class…in fact, it was his tutoring that got me through chemistry…and Doc and the Rom brothers dropped in on Tom whenever in town for impromptu reunions.) and I think that Todd Conklin is one of the funniest men alive, but I was mostly impressed with Eric Voss. That man can blow! I must confess that I have a special weakness for blues and the mouth harp.
In fact, when I was a Ranger, I carried a 4-hole harmonica named “The Little Lady” and treated my crews to “Oh, Susanna”…because that was the only song I knew! OK, it really wasn’t much of a treat, but I still love to hear someone ELSE play!) Rod Taylor, Doc, Todd, Warren, and Eric did a great show. If someone didn’t enjoy themselves, it was their own darn fault because it was quite a treat!
When we arrived back in Oklahoma, we realized that we were short one CamelBak. Can you other Reunioners check your stuff to see if you came home with a red day-pack (I think it said “Lobo” on the label.) CamelBak brand water system. Inside was a yellow, size small, Performance brand rain jacket. I have a feeling that it was misplaced in the RMSC cabin where we stored our smellables.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this reunion such a wonderful experience for my family and me! I would love to play a part in making the next reunion just as special for someone else!
Kathy (Makela) Beeman