Saturday, April 20, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Spring Picnic at Confederate Memorial Park

The following account and photos of the Dragoons picnic was provided by Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley:

First we must thank all (and they were many) who contributed to making this what some think was our best picnic ever.  An enthusiastic group composed of Dragoons, wives, and children showed up well before 9 a.m. to set 300+ Confederate Battle Flags on graves in the two cemeteries at Confederate Memorial Park.  Well-practiced and coordinated by Adjutant Wayne Sutherland, this group always makes short work of the flag-setting and finishes in under an hour.  Before the flag-setting, Dragoons Louis Turner Sr. and Jr. made short work of laying and taping covers over the tables at Pavilion 2, before Carol Crowley and the other ladies got things set up to begin serving ourselves. 
Then there is Chaplain Tom Snowden, who is the spiritual leader of all our meetings.  Tom provided live music and song before our program got underway, and started and ended the event with a prayer.  Next, we thank everyone who provided any part of the delicious food we enjoyed at the picnic.  1Lt Cmdr Harold Grooms picked up our three Fatman’s BBQ butts (donated by Dragoons Skip Ward and Bill Hamner), pulled them apart, and brought them in crock pots to the picnic.  Along with Dragoon Karl Wade, he also provided two gallons of camp stew, also kept hot in crock pots for the enjoyment of all.  This main dish, along with fried chicken and a delightful variety of side dishes and desserts provided by the others attending, made for a memorable meal and day.
As to the program, it was varied and spirited.  As mentioned above, Chaplain Tom Snowden blessed us with a couple of his inspirational songs and fine voice.  Then we got the business out of the way by swearing in our new group of officers, using the change-of-command sword donated two years by 1Lt Cmdr Harold Grooms.  Our enthusiastic new commander, Stuart Waldo, offered remarks on his vision for our Camp, mentioning Vision 2016 which is currently being promoted by our National officers.  Second on the program was Dragoon Jeffrey Jones, dressed in a splendid Confederate uniform, who gave an inspired talk on one of his Confederate ancestors.  Dragoon Jeff Potts, before describing for us items that he had brought to exhibit at the picnic, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his long-time faithful service to the Dragoons, service that includes having been 2nd Lt Commander, Quartermaster, and Chaplain, in addition to offering our literature and information sheet to the public at many, many gun shows.  Finally, Chief Curator Bob Bradley of the Alabama Department of Archives and History spoke to us about his relation to the Confederate Memorial Park and how it came to be.  When Bob finished, Commander Waldo presented him with our annual $500 donation to the Archives fund to preserve Confederate Flags.

After a most pleasing meal of dishes too numerous to list here, Commander Waldo wrapped up be reminding everyone of events to come in this Confederate History and Heritage month and Chaplain Snowden sent us off with a closing prayer.  We ended on a rousing note by singing "Dixie".  As mentioned above, several people expressed the opinion that this was our best picnic ever.
Dragoons Flag Setting at Confederate Memorial Park

Mrs.Jones and grand-daughter

Chaplain Snowden Singing
Swearing-in of Dragoons Officers

Jeff Jones Presentation in Uniform

Ladies Leading the Picnic Charge

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