Decent weather and excellent camaraderie were most prevalent at the DGW Annual Reunion in Denver, Colorado, September 27-30, 2018
Members and guests were registered by our friendly greeters, Joni Baird, Marlyn Dvoracek, Francis Steele, Margaret Powell, and Edi Reid. Since the check-in table was directly in front of the hospitality room, attendees were motivated to quickly stow their luggage and find complimentary beverages and snacks to help them recover from the trek to Denver.
By 6pm everyone had migrated to the Colorado Room for a cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner. This Welcome Dinner provided a warm atmosphere for all to reacquaint and meet new members and guests. Following the dinner, the hospitality room again was open for attendees to continue to socialize and hydrate. (A must in Denver’s dry climate)
The next morning, most attended the complimentary breakfast buffet before boarding the bus for a city tour. The State Capital Building was our first stop where on-site tour guides provided us with a comprehensive tour of the historic building. Factoids about the design and construction of the building plus information about how the state government functions were facilitated by these tour guides. Many also paused to have their picture taken at the official, “Mile High,” Marker on the Capital steps. Then it was back on the bus to tour Millionaires’ Row, Maggie (aka Molly) Brown’s house and the downtown area. We were then dropped off on the well known Sixteenth Street Mall for lunch of our choosing. The rest of the tour consisted of LoDo (Lower Downtown) Coors Field, and a drive by of the Denver Nuggets Arena, the Denver Bronco’s Stadium and other landmarks such as the Brown Hotel and the Ghost Church. When the tour ended the hospitality room was the natural place to gather before dinner. The convenient location of the hospitality room made it impossible to get on the elevator without hearing the laughter and energetic conversation emanating from the room. It also made it more peaceful for our officers since it wasn’t in their living room.
Day 2 of touring almost required a hearty breakfast as we were headed for the Rocky Mountains. On our way we were educated on the difference between hills and mountains, flora and fauna to expect, etc, by our tour guide. We did a brief tour of the Colorado University in Boulder before passing through Lyons on our way to Estes Park. There we made a rest stop and picked up our box lunches. We settled back into our seats to eat our lunches and continue into Rocky Mountain National Park. In our drive up to Trail Ridge we were blessed with good weather and visibility making it possible to take full advantage of the breath taking overlooks and vistas. Wildlife, including elk and moose, were also spotted by our steely-eyed retired pilots and their companions. The highest elevation obtained by the group was about 11,960 feet, but some decided to walk a path that put them above 12,000 feet. The end game of the drive back was the hospitality room and it was all down hill. Almost all attendees stopped for some refreshments before heading out to dinner, but there are rumors that some never made it out of the hospitality room until it closed later that evening. (Is it just me or do the stories get more exaggerated each year. Who can remember?)
There was plenty of down time on our final day for people to do as they wished before the annual business meeting. The meeting was fairly short and succinct. In addition to the usual business the By-Laws were amended (copy of the new By-Laws attached), the annual dues was reduced from $40 to $20 ($10 for surviving spouses), and President, Al Dvoracek; Vice President, Joe Reid; Treasurer, Jim Baird; and Membership Chairman Julian Black were all re-elected for another term. In addition the board reported that they have committed DGW to sponsor an annual scholarship for the youth aviation program at Peach State Airport. This program helps young aviation enthusiasts peruse their passion for aviation by working on and around airplanes at Peach State. The program was the vision of the late retired Delta Pilot, Ron Alexander. DGW’s commitment to this program will help continue the program and insure our access to Peach State for our Annual Fly-in/Drive-in.
The meeting was followed by a cocktail party and plated dinner of choice in the Skyline Ballroom. There we all enjoyed drink, food, fellowship, some of Al Dvoracek’s favorite music, panoramic views of the city, and a beautiful sunset on the Rocky Mountains.
As the festivities ended, attendees reluctantly said goodbye to each other with wishes of safe travel. A good time was had by all!
All DGW members are hereby summoned to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, next fall for our next annual reunion and business meeting!