On an early spring evening, Saturday 26 February, Music City Power Squadron visited the Black Pearl Restaurant at Blackjack Cove Marina. As winter-weary members arrived at the entrance canopy over the walkway to the dock, not a heavy winter coat on any shoulder, the near life-sized statue of a buccaneer held his hands out to greet us.
It was the first day at a new job for Josh the bartender, and he did a fine job exchanging drink tickets for beer and wine, bourbon and martinis, Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke. Ray Alley had set up the U.S. and USPS ensigns on their staffs behind the head table, where pennants for the Bridge officers hung over the tablecloths. After extensive socializing, the covers were removed from the buffet line serving dishes, and we heaped our plates with mixed greens and white beans, fried catfish and baked chicken, French fries, sweet potato fries and hush puppies.
Commander Robby Gilreath led us in pledging our allegiance to the flag, said a few words, and dismissed the old Bridge before taking his seat, now a Past Commander. Margaret Sherrod, the District 17 Education Officer, next raised our enthusiasm for a new year of classes and seminars, vessel safety checks, and the District Spring Conference here in Nashville at the end of March. She related her own experience joining the Atlanta Squadron, and challenged us to enjoy even more fun Squadron activities than last year. She also noted that Music City now boasted more Certified Inland Boaters than any other Squadron in the District (three to date, with a number of others nearing their requirements for certification). D/Lt/C Sherrod then installed the new Bridge - there were a few in their old, familiar seats, a few more swapping seats, and a couple of fresh faces at the head table now. Our new Commander, Candyce Corcoran, then gave her own address, raising our excitement to a near-fever pitch with her thoughts on the coming season, the future of the Squadron and the opportunities before us. Mike Majka presented Past Commander Gilreath with a gift from his Bridge, a beautiful log book, and Gilreath presented his gifts to his Bridge, cockpit blankets emblazoned with the Squadron logo.
For the record, your officers for 2011 are:
• Commander - Candyce Corcoran
• Administrative Officer - Ray Alley
• Squadron Education Officer - Elizabeth Stengacu-Nelson
• Treasurer - Mike Majka
• Secretary - Tom Hudson
• Information Technology Officer - Mac McBurney
• Flag Lieutenant - David Corcoran
• Members-at-Large - Terry Fitzpatrick and Drew Nord
After adjournment, Lili Hudson reminded Lori Gilreath that while Robby was now a P/C, his involvement with the club was not over by a long shot. Everyone agreed that the Black Pearl was a great venue, and that we should have future Squadron meetings there. As we departed, Josh said he looked forward to serving us again.