Saturday, February 12, 2011

3. Previous NPIC Reunions


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NPIC/Building 213 Reunion # 8 – Fall Fling 2014
11 October 2014

Another great Reunion has come and gone!  We heard many comments that this was the best yet.  We’d have to agree that it certainly does rank at the top or, at least close to the top.  Conversations seemed more animated than usual and the noise level of the 235 attendees was pretty high.  We were once again blessed with lovely weather, something that has been quite consistent for most of the Reunions.  Yes, we remember the “monsoon” during Reunion #2, when we were supposed to be on the patio at the Elks Lodge.

For this Reunion, we added hors d’oeuvres to the normal cheeseburger and hot dog menu.  The mini eggrolls, barbecued meatballs, spinach and artichoke dip, and cheese platters were a welcome addition and very well received.  Prior to the Reunion, Bob Mihalik had made available bricks from the demolition of Building 213.  For a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, anyone could obtain a brick.  Fred Winter brought more bricks and other Building 213 memorabilia to the Reunion.  Once again, a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project was good for a brick.  Fred’s bricks each had a little metal plaque with “WNY 213” on it.  Quite nice!  Thanks to the efforts these two enterprising gentlemen, a generous donation was made to the Wounded Warrior Project.  And finally, Ben Crew was once again selling the NPIC Commemorative Coin, a lovely remembrance of our old stomping grounds.

We still had some photo albums from Reunion #5.  It was decided that we should give them to those people who had travelled the greatest distance to attend the Reunion.  Number 1 was a no-brainer as someone had come from out-of-country!  The farthest in-country award went to an attendee who resides in Nevada.  Additional albums were distributed for lesser distances.

The current coordinating committee of ten people/five couples is “retiring”.  We’ve been doing this for approximately 12 years.  It has been very rewarding.  We’ve had great satisfaction participating in eight Reunions which seemed to be greatly enjoyed by all who attended.  Such a project does, however, take a tremendous amount of time and effort, so we decided that it was time to pass the reins to someone else.  The Show Will Go On!!  You will hear more about that in the not-too-distant future. 

Now, can you help us solve a mystery?  Some kind person or persons gave each of the five couples a Certificate of Appreciation for our efforts in bringing the Reunions to fruition.  We have absolutely no idea who was responsible for this; the Certificates just kind of appeared at the Reunion.  Whoever you are, we all thank you for your kind gift!!

The Coordinating Committee

NPIC/Building 213 Reunion #7 – Spring Fling 2013

20 April 2013

What a wonderful group of people on a wonderful day!! We were blessed with lovely weather once again.  It was 20 April 2013 and two hundred thirty-seven NPICers gathered for another four-hour talking marathon.  It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces once again.  The only “down” side is that we really missed seeing those who are no longer with us.  The “up” side is that, although we are an aging population, we certainly have our fair share of “spry old geezers”. Then there are those who still look the same after 30 years.

This is truly a unique group of people from a unique period of history.  The NPIC experience consisted of the blazing of new trails and elevated imagery intelligence to before unknown levels.  We should be justifiably proud to have been a part of it.

For this Reunion, Ben Crew and Dave Delia had commissioned the Northwest Territorial Mint to create an NPIC Commemorative Coin – called a Challenge Coin.  Ben was selling the Coins at the Reunion and they are truly beautiful.  On the front of the Coin is the unique NPIC seal; on the back is Building 213 with the dates of NPIC’s existence around the outer rim.  All this for a mere $10.00!  Ben sold his supply quickly and took orders for additional Coins.  Incidentally, this is a not-for-profit venture.  Any excess goes to SOME -- So Others Might Eat – 213’s neighborhood charity.

At this Reunion, we actually had door prizes!!  That was certainly a bit different.  The door prizes were the lovely Reunion #5 photo albums created by Bonnie and Bill Mugford.  Since we no longer include photos on the NPIC Reunions web site, these albums are truly a trip down memory lane.  Nine of the prizes were claimed.

You may have noticed the addition of “Building 213” in the heading.  There had been some confusion as to who was entitled to attend the Reunions.  We thought we had made it clear, but apparently not.  Anyone who worked in Building 213, regardless of parent organization, is welcome.  We will, however,  draw the line at USGS.

We’ve signed a contract to secure the ballroom at the Elks Lodge for Saturday, 11 October 2014 – Reunion #8.  The place gets booked up far in advance, so we grabbed that date.  There weren’t a lot of options.  Yes, it’s Columbus Day again, but at least it’s not Yom Kippur. The coordinating committee is committed to NPIC/Building 213 Reunion #8. Seeing all the wonderful NPICers having such a great time makes the task well worth the effort.  But -- organizing a Reunion involves a lot of work, an inordinate expenditure of time, and the pay is lousy!!  Yes, that would, of course, equal zero.  Remember, we are counted -- in varying degrees – in that “aging” population mentioned above.  We’re not sure how many more of these we have in us.

Hope to see a great many of you on 11 October 2014!!

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NPIC Reunion #6 -- Fall Fling 2011
(8 October 2011)

Once again, we were blessed with lovely weather for our latest NPIC Reunion.  The day was warm and sunny, quite typical of a beautiful autumn day in the Washington area.  Our numbers were down somewhat this year.  Although we expected up to 206 people, we actually had 186 in attendance.  When we had locked in our reservation nearly 18 months prior to Reunion #6, we were unaware that that date presented some significant conflicts.  Not only was it Yom Kippur, it was also Columbus Day weekend.  These two factors undoubtedly contributed to our lower turnout.  The size of the crowd did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of those who did come.  It was a typical, joyous gathering of happy -- and hungry -- NPICers.

As you know, we no longer post Reunion photos on the NPIC Reunions web site.  Bonnie Mugford, through Shutterfly, made albums for four of the five previous Reunions.  And what a magnificent job she did!!  It was such fun to look through the books and reminisce.  We had ordered extra copies of the album for Reunion #5 and had them available for purchase.  Thank you, thank you, Bonnie, for your outstanding contribution!!  It truly was the highlight of the event.

"NPIC Reunions" continues to grow.  Every Reunion brings additional NPICers, each with his or her own unique stories and memories of "the good old days".  In June 2004, at the time of Reunion #1, we had 618 names in our data base.  We thought that was pretty good.  In October 2011 (Reunion #6), the data base had grown to 1,232!!  That's just shy of a 100% increase in 7+ years.  Impressive!!

Thank you for your continuing support.  We hope to see many of you at Reunion #7 on 20 April 2013.

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NPIC Reunion #5 – Spring Fling 2010
(17 April 2010)
Another NPIC Reunion has come and gone and we’re happy to say that Reunion #5 was another unqualified success. We were blessed with a beautiful April day and the Elks Lodge ballroom was nicely set up to accommodate our group. There were 253 happy, jovial attendees – our highest number thus far.

This year, Jim Richey headed up a display of hobbies. We had around a dozen exhibitors covering a wide range of pursuits. It was interesting to see the variety of things NPICers have become involved in.

Once again we had pictures taken which are available on this web site. Our photographers this year were Mel and Shirley Glynn and we thank them for doing an outstanding job. Most people were able to be identified by their name tags or through personal knowledge. There was, however, one couple that no one could put names to. Then Anne Allen realized they were the Elks Club bartenders. Nice to know that Anne still knows her bartenders!!!

We were joined by someone who, although not an NPICer, was a friend to many of the real oldtimers. Anne Allen, through Jim McGrath, was able to locate Sonny, owner of the Café St. James (commonly referred to simply as “Sonny’s”) at 5th and K Streets, NW -- quite an NPIC hangout many years ago. It was great to see Sonny after all these years. There’s Anne and a bartender again!! Do I sense a pattern here??!!
The organizers are very happy that all went well for Reunion #5, but this success did not come without a number of trials. There were waaay too many “late responders” – like the night before the Reunion!! In the future, we will have to be a little more hardnosed about firmly saying, “No, you’re too late!!” More about this later when Reunion #6 (8 October 2011) is approaching.

Our thanks to all of you for your continued support and participation.

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NPIC Reunion #4 -- Fall Fling 2008
(4 October 2008)
Like its three predecessors, NPIC Reunion #4 was a tremendous success!!! We were once again at the Elks Lodge in Arlington, VA which offers just what we need for our Reunions -- a central location that is easily accessible from the Beltway, a casual atmosphere, plenty of space, ample parking, adequate food, and protection from the elements -- all for a reasonable price.

Saturday, 4 October 2008, thankfully was a beautiful, sunny fall day. We expected 208 attendees and ended up with 180, down a bit from previous Reunions. We had representation from 14 states, plus the District of Columbia. Arizona took the prize as the westernmost state represented, Maine the farthest north, and Florida the southernmost. We had some people from America's heartland and a lot from the entire length of the eastern seaboard. There were a number of new faces at this gathering, which is always a plus. As the word spreads, more and more NPICers decide to "give it a try".

This year, Bonnie and Bill Mugford offered to take pictures at the affair -- and take pictures they did!!! When someone was photographed, he/she got a "smiley face" sticker on his/her name tag. Only a very small percentage of the people were not photographed. If you are among the "unimaged", we apologize. The Mugfords then spent untold hours organizing and captioning these photos for our web site. They also received some pictures that others had taken and incorporated these into the web site. Please go to the photo link on our Home Page and see for yourself that a good time was definitely had by all!! Too bad there's no audio with the pictures. Boy, can NPICers ever talk!!!

If we maintain our current scheduling, Reunion #5 should take place sometime in the spring of 2010. If you have any suggestions for the next one, please contact us.

Note: Of the 789 active (some not very!) people in our data base, approximately 375, plus spouses/guests, have attended one or more Reunion/s. Considering distance, health issues, and conflicting schedules, we feel that nearly 48% is pretty darned good!!!

Since this recap is being posted in December (actually Christmas Day), we -- the organizers -- would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours an exceptionally Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and a healthy, peaceful 2009.

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NPIC Reunion #3 -- Spring Fling 2007
(16 June 2007)
Since the Elks Lodge worked well for Reunion #2, the Coordinating Committee elected once again to reserve it for Reunion #3. This time, however, we chose the "Ballroom" which is on the main level. The room is quite large and allows for easy circulation of guests. A few colorful decorations created a very festive atmosphere. The menu remained the same and seemed to work well. Although not a major factor, the weather was beautiful for this reunion

Attendance was once again very good. We expected 281 people; 241 attended. Judging by the constant din of conversations, people were having a marvelous time. Many commented that this reunion was "the best one yet"!! We, of course, are delighted that so many had a terrific time.


NPIC Reunion #2 -- Fall Fling 2005
(8 October 2005)

After the unqualified success of our first Reunion at Carderock Recreation Area, the Coordinating Committee was willing to do it again, but with some modifications. We selected the Elks Lodge in Arlington, VA as the venue for Reunion #2 and chose a menu of "picnic" food -- burgers, hot dogs, and salads. There would also be an open bar. Two rooms on the lower level were reserved, PLUS access to a very pleasant patio area. Mother Nature chose not to cooperate on that particular day and sent us not just rain, but downpours. So much for the very appealing patio!!!

Inside, however, the atmosphere was indeed very congenial, albeit a little congested. We expected 265 attendees and got 216. Considering the absolutely awful weather, 49 "no-shows" wasn't bad at all. Dino Brugioni organized a slide show of former NPIC events and employees. Prominently featured, of course, was the late, great Art Lundahl, mentor and role model for many. What a nostalgia trip for all!!!


NPIC Reunion #1 -- Spring Fling 2004
(13 June 2004)
Reunion Day at Carderock Recreation Area began with showers. This, unfortunately, discouraged some who would be driving long distances to attend the picnic. Happily, the skies cleared and we had very pleasant weather. Once people began arriving, the pavilion and surrounding area were filled with constant chatter!! It was so nice to see old friends and to renew acquaintances. Although everyone brought food, many said they never got around to eating because they were so busy talking. Yes, the Reunion was a RESOUNDING SUCCESS and it appears that -- by popular demand -- we'll have to do it again.

Our sign-in procedure was far from flawless. :) We're sure that a number of people never signed in. However, we think that there were probably in the neighborhood of 200 to 250 people in attendance.

Pretty good for our maiden voyage!!


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