BatteauHowardsvilleJRBF Meeting

JRBF 2012 Fall Meeting was a huge success!

JRBF Chairman Ralph Smith

The fall meeting of the James River Batteau Festival had a great turnout.

Many people came and enjoyed good food with their batteau friends. Chairman Ralph Smith had a good meeting and was re-elected Chairman for yet another year while giving ample opportunity for others to step up if they wanted the job. Kevin Ferrell was elected as Vice-Chairman. DJ Barnard gave the financial report and all is well, even being a little more left over funds than the previous year. The festival is in good shape.
DJ was re-elected Treasurer and Betsy Healy was re-elected Secretary. Festival dates for 2013 were confirmed to be the same as previous years; starting Father’s day weekend which makes the festival dates June 15 – 22, 2013.

The Lady’s Slipper batteau group gave Ralph a bottle of wine from Lyn Peble’s Grey Haven Winery with a Lady’s Slipper batteau label on the bottle! This was for all his hard work helping them fix their batteau this spring.

The BBQ from William Davis was very good and all the food people brought was too.
People sat around the fire and it was a surprise to me when Lisa Barbieri backed up with a truck load of old boards from my old batteau “James River” that the Neal’s had purchased a few years ago. They tore up a lot of old boards, saving some of the long boards. The boards lisa brought we burned in the fire which was way cool for me considering that the batteau had survived a flood years ago while tied up to a tree on the bank up-river from the Rockfish and was slammed against the bank upside down with many broken sidearm ribs. We had fixed the boat back up again and it made it all the way down the river again a few more times after that. A couple of boat nails were removed from a couple of boards and a toast to my departed batteau friend “Flipper” was made.

Long into the evening some of us sat around the fire listening to Dave the “paddling potter” and others tell tales and pass around the jug. I almost fell off my chair when I saw Ellen Neal turn up a bottle of adult beverage to her lips and give us a big smile.
A few sprinkles of rain came around 10 pm and the group broke up for the night. The rain was welcome to me since it didn’t get so cold as it had been the night before. (I came a day early for no good reason but to be in Howardsville and Sat. am was a huge frost and was a very cold night indeed!).

Sunday Morning was fun. I cooked up some bacon and eggs. We ate left over cake and made tea. Several people took a day trip down-river to Hatton’s Ferry in canoes and kayaks.

My dog Jake and I sat around the campfire a little while and he ran so fast in the field across from the campsite. While waiting for the tent to dry out some I was trying to work the coals of the fire down and that seemed to take forever and it was still hot. Even after soaking with water it still took a while before I covered it back up with dirt in the mid-afternoon. Roger Nelson and I walked down to the camp by the river where some folks stayed and made sure that fire was out good too.

I left Howardsville with many good memories and drove home to New London via Appomattox and took my time. My dog Jake slept in the back seat most of the way home.

Holt Messerly
VC&NS Trustee/Webmaster/Tiller Editor