Thursday, April 26, 2007

CAC Reunion review -Newest Board Member Wes Daniel

Wow! What a Reunion! It’s 2:11 PM on Sunday, April 22 and I’m home after a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas. I’m functioning on only about three hours of sleep (one of them being the time I was on the airplane on the way home), so I’m not sure how coherent this will be, but I’ll do my best. And I will try to keep it short and sweet (those of you who came to the banquet should appreciate that!).

First, I want to thank the Board of Directors for the confidence they have displayed in my abilities by electing me to the CAC Board. It is truly on honor to serve this Club and cause that I feel so strongly about. I hope that, in some way, my service on the Board will allow me to give something back to the guys (and girls) who gave me so much enjoyment when I was growing up. From what came out of the Board meeting on Saturday, it looks like the Club is in a stronger, healthier and more financially sound position than it has ever been before.

There was a lot of sad news this weekend. Probably most striking was the addition of the "In Memoriam" section of the Memorabilia Fair. It is hard to believe that there were 57 names on those boards. I say this every year, but, it bears repeating; we never know when any of our times will be up, so we need to take every opportunity to appreciate those we know and care about. What an honor for me to have had the opportunity to meet and talk to Ernie Ladd, Ray Stern, Tiger Conway Sr. and Bob Orton Sr. before they died. I regret that I didn’t start attending CAC earlier and thus never had the chance to meet Lou Thesz, Curt Hennig and so many others who attended in years past.

I think that the entire Board of Directors greeted the departure of Red Bastien from and election of Nick Bockwinkel to the post of President with mixed emotions. There weren’t very many dry eyes in the house when Red accepted his Award of Appreciation of Saturday and we will all surely miss Red’s convivial and jovial nature; however, with his departure comes the promise of new ideas, new direction and different points of view. We look forward to working with Nick to grow the Club more and ensure its continuation to the next generation.

(Hey! Didn’t I promise to keep this short and sweet? Eh, what the heck, you’re not a captive audience; you can stop reading and come back anytime you want to.)
We had several new vendors at the memorabilia fair this year and I hope that all had success. Charlie Smith, of course, manned his post behind the registration desk threatening to "disqualify" people if they didn’t buy T-shirts and I, along with many other members, was quite pleased with the great new design!

Friday night’s "Baloney Blowout" (if I had a dollar for every question that I have been asked about that name, I’d be almost as rich as Uncle Karl!) was great. Greg Oliver and Scott D’Amore did a GREAT job hosting the event by keeping it moving and keeping it entertaining. These two guys were well-prepared, had great timing and delivered one of our better Blowouts! It was great that so many of our Canadian members had a chance to speak. Don Leo, Pat Patterson, The Hitman, Mad Dog, Pepper Martin and so many others shared memories, told jokes (if I hear another Viagra joke, I’m going to start worrying about our members!) and swapped road stories with the attendees and everybody enjoyed hearing the legends tell their stories.

The banquet facility was great. The room was very well laid out and tastefully decorated with a great wait staff; the food was good, and the comedic and musical stylings of Pat Patterson and Pepper "The Godfather" Martin were enjoyed by everybody.

Were there things that could have been done differently? Of course there were. But, saying that, we need to remember that in any event of this scope (13+ people to be honored, 350+ attendees) there will be areas where improvements can be made.

Doing some work "behind the scenes" this year made me realize the level of effort that goes into these events is unbelievable. Everybody involved – Karl Lauer, Nick Bockwinkel, Dean Silverstone, Gloria Lovell, Scott Hosey and others put an incredible amount of effort into planning and coordinating the event while others work to contribute in their ways to get people active in the Club.

I’m looking forward to 2008, back at The Riviera!