SMWC's Annual Picnic Bash
June 2nd, 2001
SMWC's annual picnic was held June 2nd at the Gabrielson's home in Chesapeake Beach. The Gabrielson's live on 28 wooded acres near the Chesapeake Bay with parking the only hindrance to having a huge blast. There was parking across the street, but 3 partygoers still managed to slip their cars off the road and get stuck. Not to worry though as Jason G and company were ready to lend a hand (actually about 40 hands) to put cars back on track. Sandy Nelson was the worst stuck but it didn't bother the younger crew.
The picnic was typical of SMWC's parties except that we were lucky like last year with great weather again. Lots of wrestlers, their parents and their families, coaches, several of the old members, plenty of great food, music, conversation, etc. Early arrivers included SMWC Hall-of-Fame Member Jim Howard (first one there), Walt Hoffman, Erik and big Walt. Walt started everyone off right with some bottled lemonade that really wasn't. We finally bought a case and really went to towni, but not after he took his van home and exchanged it for his Harley Hog. Actually, the Hog stayed in the driveway until Walt went home and brought the van back. He figured by then it was time for little Walt to do the driving.
It wasn't long until other arrivers started rolling in and it was lemonade, teekillyou, and daiquiris time. It was a surprise to discover that Rick also likes the lemonade punch.
Members showed up early, late, and in between. Many had other graduation parties to attend during the day. Some of the surprise folks who showed included DeMatha Coach Dick Messier and his wife, SMWC Hall-of-Fame Member John Allman, and Ryan Green and his girlfriend. Ryan at a SMWC party, unbelievable. Next he'll show up at a practice. Ron McAdoo and his wife Nancy were also there. Ron looked healthy and relaxed despite his recent string of health problems. It was interesting that SMWC has developed a regular crew that manages to have a great time at our annual once-a-year event, and most of the same crew show up regardless of if they are still active in the club or not.
The regular crew showed up early and stayed late, except for those like Jason Kiessling and Ryan Herwig who planned to wrestle the next day at Blair. The Rowe's came making a fashion statement. They wore matching his and her SMWC jackets. Joe Sargent was there early but had to leave because of an early double header the next morning, but Steve and his mom came a little later and stayed through much of the party. William McKinney even came up from his Marine Corps duty in North Carolina for a visit.
The Gabrielson's have a new patio bar on their covered deck that acted as a perfect centerpiece for the partygoers. It also provided a home for Rudy and the Margarita blender (left). Rudy would blend a pitcher, fill everyone's glass, complain about Rudy not getting into the Hall of Fame this year, tell stories, and by then blend another pitcher. At the same time Mrs. G would be blending strawberry daiquiris in the house, then make the rounds and blend again. This was unusual for Kim as she usually runs around taking pictures. Not to worry, Mary Woody was up to the task and did an excellent job taking pictures of regulars and even those who we haven't seen in a long time like Mike Rock and John Allman. Mike (below left) came with his sister. He also didn't have anything broken for a change.
When the club last held its picnic at the Gabrielson's in 1998, Coach G provided a large Rockfish for the party goers. This year he didn't have a 32" specimen (or crabs for that matter), but a good size Rockfish was still on the barbecue for the occasion (shown at right with Bruce's son-in-law (and former wrestler) Jeremy Remage and grandson Mason. Coach G didn't catch it himself this time around but it tasted great just the same. Jim Howard and Coach G did much of the cooking. Really Jim did most of the cooking once Coach G got into the party swing and gave up trying to keep the fire down. Jim did a great job with the barbecued chicken as well as letting us know when the fish was done. The early shows got much of the fish but there was still plenty to go around for the late arrivers.
There were a couple of events taking place during the picnic. SMWC Hall-of Fame members present gave out the 2001 Hall of Fame Awards to Brent Jones, Luke Palumbo and Scott McAdoo. Brent and Luke were present early but Luke had to go to another graduation party so they were given their awards with much fanfare. Scott had another event first and had to show up at the picnic late. Notice we don't have a full group picture for Scott's award (right). Fortunately, the earlier awards were given out before Ryan Herwig got carried away with the party. He managed to put a pie in Coach G's face just before the group picture. Notice him sneaking up on Coach. All in good fun though.
Additionally, since most of the same people were invited, this year we combined the club picnic with a graduation party for Kevin Gabrielson. One room at the Gabrielson's was decorated with paper, balloons, a large cake, and two large interesting collages with pictures made by his sister Tarin of Kevin growing up. Many member wrestlers were in the group pictures from various events he had attended since he was young. He also had a large card for everyone to sign. Kevin got a couple of very interesting presents including a crazy rooster clock (pictured) so he would wake up on time. Kevin was on a roll all day long.
The party lasted until the wee hours with several stay-overs. Actually, several members left early so they could wrestle in a tournament Sunday morning. Towards the end of the evening, big Walt and Coach G were seen partying with the younger crowd out in the parking area. The younger crowd was using the Gabrielson's patio, located below their deck, as their exclusive party area. There were a lot of people down there all night. Jason and Kevin finally coerced Coach to go to bed.