Duke VIII Recap:  Myrtle Beach Swan Song a Hit!

The 8th Duke Memorial Golf Invitational was billed as the final classmate gathering in Myrtle Beach, so all the Dukesters who attended made the most of it. In spite of a rough start with Steve and John getting stuck in the elevator, one of two Jacuzzi spas out for the count, and the Black Bear Country Club closing down, we managed to play hard, eat our fill, and drink enough to forget both Donald and Hillary. 

 Court & Denise joined us for the first time, Tom and Linda Pisarri, and Howie Wahl returned this year, but we missed Robin who stayed home to nurse her back after surgery, Carmine who got lost somewhere in India, Jeff & Dabney who were traveling the world, Angela who had to work, Bette who had a charity conflict, Bob & Ana who continue to deal with Bear’s aching back, and Gerry who decided it best not to destroy the fairways. Attending classmates and partners were: Steve & Joan, John, Geerd, Kathy, Beth, Linda C, Bruce & Karen, Toni & Mike, Bill L, Bill H, Randy, George & Leslie, Judy & Russ, newbies Court & Denise, and as noted Tom & Linda + Howie….29 in all when including the Getlers.

Half the group arrived on Wed 9/21, including Getler clan members Kathy & friend Bonnie, Tom & Kirsten, and Don & Candy, who came especially to help place the granite engraved Memorial Stone for Duke at the 11th hole at Black Bear. After a fun Wednesday dinner together the remaining Dukesters rolled in on Thursday to secure their rooms in the Big House, so finally all were ready to party hardy!! Of course the centerpiece of every Duke is the competition between River Vale, Hillsdale and lately the Dukette team, to win the tourney and get their team’s name added as victors to the Pisarri Cup!
 Miraculously in 7 years no 911 call was ever made from the Big House, but that streak was broken this year! A rogue wave tumbled Beth who suffered a mild concussion and sore neck, but as we’ve learned, nothing can keep that girl down! There has just got to be an easier way to get attention Beth! 
 With the Black Bear Golf Course closed, Steve & Bruce scrambled to fine another course, while others ruminated about where to place Duke’s Memorial Stone. That place was finally left up to the Getler siblings who decided to bring the Stone back to NJ and place it in Dan Weck’s back yard…..but that’s another story! Some team members practiced on the links Thursday & Friday to prepare for the Saturday scramble tourney. Dukettes Linda P, Leslie, and Toni got caught in a downpour but remained determined to bring their team to victory in spite of missing Bette, Angela, and Ana. Competition on Saturday was intense, but a weakened Hillsdale squad couldn’t match the play of Tom, Bruce and the Bill’s. Tom P gave the Dukette’s enough golf strokes to tie the River Vale squad, earning them the honor of also drinking champagne (courtesy of Bill L) from the Pisarri Cup in victorious celebration. Of course there is the unresolved 7stroke hole that was mysteriously missing from the Dukette’s scorecard, but hey it’s only a game and who really cares who won? Not! While it was suggested the “Dukettes” name be engraved in lower case letters, as we know Tom is no dummy, after all he sees us a couple times a year but lives with Mrs. P everyday (although some say he should wear a skirt at the 50th Reunion golf tourney).
 Dukester’s also had fun playing indoor games in the Big House, including corn hole toss, billiards and bar shuffle board. Showing particular talent at corn hole was Bonnie, Kathy, Tom P. and Moi. The Bar shuffleboard competition belonged to the determined team of Leslie & Geerd. Of course a fun Saturday night is always anticipated and none were disappointed, yet we missed our usual toastmaster Carmine! First Tom P thanked Beth, Kathy & Linda for all the good food, Judy for her breakfast delights, then announced the tourney winners: RV and the Dukette squads, who then both drank from the Cup as everyone cheered or jeered. John read the Duke Appreciation Plaque and sang the Duke Anthem: “Take Me Out to the Black Bear.” Beth and John filled-in for Carmine and passed out appreciation awards to Tom, John, Steve, and the absent Carmine, for all their work organizing the Dukes. Prizes (both naughty & nice) were also awarded to everyone for no special reason other than fun. The audience thanked Beth & John by shooting cans of party string at their emcees. A final toast to Billy “Duke” Getler & Ken “Big Man” Jones capped the night.
 No Duke gathering is planned for 2017 due to our 50th Reunion in NJ. Whether Duke IX will resume in 2018 at some other location, is yet to be determined, but the organization baton is up for grabs! It was a great run in Myrtle Beach and all are left with fond and funny memories that will last as long as we do. 
 Au Revoir Myrtle Beach!

(Photos compliments of Ana Myers)


                THE 2011 "DUKE_IV”_PHOTO_ALBUM

Before I recap the golf let me take some time to comment on our 4th Duke. We had 19 Dukesters this year (not counting Bear's Doberman, Max). We missed Judy and Lynne, Bruce and Karen, Rose Petal and Dabney, The Monk, Geerd and Jim and Sandra Post. Hopefully, they will all be able to attend The Duke V in 2013. Those who attended are proud to say that despite an almost 1/3 drop in attendees the total alcohol consumption barely dipped and the spirit of cooperation and competition were never higher.
Despite missing a bunch of attendees from last year we did have two new Dukesters.  I do not want to talk out of school but having newbie Judy P in attendance with her always close at hand bottle of  Kentucky bourbon was very Dukesque. Judy was a great addition, even though we never found out why she would want to live in Ohio. Judy set the bar high for all future newbies by preparing French toast ( and I mean real French toast with .apples) for our Saturday breakfast. As a result, we did not make our annual trip to the local IHOP. The only person disappointed that we did not make that trip was Carmine. As you may remember from previous emails each year we would go to IHOP  for breakfast just so Carmine could say hello to his Gdansk born and bred Svetlana. Maybe the disappointment of not seeing his Rusky pancake plater was the reason for his rather "cold warish" behavior when it came to the golf.  I will get to that later.
We had one other newbie and that was Gerald Meyers. Although Gerry reminded us once or ten times about his wrestling prowess at PV it is clear he could not wrestle at 167 any more. Duke suggested that the new super heavyweight class might just fit Gerry. Gerry's attendance at the next Duke is questionable since he was placed on probation.  Gerry needs some serious training to keep up with some of the well oiled Dukesters since his Friday performance left a lot to be desired. After golf, Gerry took a nap, then came down for dinner and after dining on skirt steak and Frogmore stew retired to finish his nap. That nap ended about 10:00 the next morning. Carmine commented on Saturday that all of his players must be prepared to follow the late night, pool playing/hot tub soaking/wine imbibing/dishwashing(yes, that's right) leadership of veteran Dukester, King George or be suspended from the following Duke. Carmine was a bit disappointed with Gerry, at one point pronouncing, "Hell, I even got the Monk to slug down some Heineken and this guy can not even make it through dinner! If any player can not hack it, he will be suspended." All seriousness aside, Gerry was a great addition and promises to work on his absolutely horrid golf stroke.
Everyone who attended put more into The Duke than they took out and that is the simple formula for The Duke's success. Several examples; Steve and Maureen spending a ton of time preparing and marinating the skirt steak in Duck sauce for our Friday night dinner. It was terrific and next year there will be a vote - flank or skirt?. Then there was Beth, Linda and Kathy, preparing the beer battered the gator dumplings and fried shrimp. Although disappointment went viral thru the house when it was learned there would be no Armadillo burgers this  year, there was mild but palpable undercurrent of relief. Beth said it was the economy that caused the absence of this rodent delicacy. She explained that since  tourism and road traffic are down on I-95 those armor plated varmints are able to cross the 6 lanes of travel with a greater success rate -  hence there were fewer opportunities for Beth to use her newly purchased titanium plated, Teflon coated carcass scraper just purchased  from "Believe it or not - you can eat that", magazine. Following the skirt steak Frogmore Stew was served. Thank God there was no frog in it!! Kathy did a terrific job preparing and cooking this southern dish. Not to be forgotten are the efforts of Bear and George who attempted not only to buy up most of the wine within a 10 mile radius but then go about drinking it in 2 1/2 days, of course, with a little help from their friends.
Of course, I must mention Duke. It was his idea that has spawned this yearly ritual and his efforts that have made it a tremendous success.  He checked in with the realtor to make sure that everything in The Big House was working as promised.  He made arrangements with the caterer for our Thursday and Saturday dinners.   We played golf at his club and got the benefit of super rates. And, it was Duke who had to take the heat for some of the antics of the Hillsdale team that are now believed to have been deliberately planned.
All of the above was taking place at 1517 South Ocean Boulevard, North Myrtle Beach - The Big House. 14 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, 6 refrigerators, 2 pool tables, umpteen TVs, 2 hot tubs, a pool, 2 game rooms, and much more. Some complained of the inability to find their  bedrooms at night, allegedly due to the size of the house. Now, I do not suggest any inappropriate behavior but only state this as illustrative of the enormity of The Big House. (It is odd though how the same people  kept getting lost). Everyone enjoyed being "cooped up" together especially the really late night revelers who were hell bent on slamming their pool cues on the floor to remind all others - yes it is 2:00AM and we are still up. (For those who might want to come next year but may not trust sleeping in The Big House where they might run into one of the Big House wanderers at 4 in the morning, there is a Westin hotel right next door).
The weather was the big reason why we chose to move The Duke from July to September. Although the average temp in September is about 80, early morning temps for The Duke IV were in the high 50s and but for Thursday the sun did not make an appearance. Even though the cool temps sent everyone scrambling for long sleeve wear it did not dent the enthusiasm of any.
The Golf, The Teams, The Strokes, The Rules, The Controversy
Now let's get to the golf- the raison d'etre, for The Duke. Before I get into the men's tournament let me acknowledge our lady golfers - Leslie Lambos, Ana Myers and Linda Pisarri. They wanted to and did compete in the Duke. They shot  a 79 in the scramble format. a terrific score, on Friday and an 83 on Saturday when just Leslie and Linda played. Unfortunately, the issue of whether they were to get shots and/or how many strokes they would get was not officially resolved  before The Duke started. Now that we know what kind of score they can shoot, next year the stroke issue will be resolved before we tee off and they will compete for the Cup. They will hopefully have either 4 or 6+ golfers next year.
For 3 years the Hillsdale team has been comprised of those who grew up in Hillsdale and the River Vale team has been comprised solely of  those who grew up in River Vale. This year the RV team was to be Duke, me, Wild Bill, Bill L and John M. Hillsdale was to be Bear, Carmine, Steve, Howie, Gerry and George. 5 vs 6, but fair.
The rules were simple. The teams were to play even with no team getting strokes despite Kevin's recollection of one of my emails. No strokes are given in a scramble and this year was no different.  Golfers were to arrive prior to tee off time to go over the rules and set out the order of play. Photos have always  been taken on the first tee and Duke was ready and waiting on the first tee, camera in hand on Friday and Saturday to capture the effects that alcohol and no sleep would have  on some players. Golf would be continuous with no interruption for lunch, lest Duke gets heat from the Starter and Ranger.Of course, captains were to make sure to count all strokes and write  down the team score on every hole. Players were to observe other golf etiquette, including keeping voice levels to a normal conversational level (there would be no  need to announce to all other golfers, on the course, that you made a 3 foot putt - called the Carmine rule). Finally, golfers were  not to antagonize other non-Duke golfers on the course especially to the point where they might throw golf balls at Duke participants.
Simple rules?  Important rules? Easy to follow? A unequivocal YES from one team and a big "sorry we forgot the rules", from the other team.
River Vale started its preparation on Thursday with a practice round at Possum Trot. Duke and Bill L and I along with Linda, played a round and then discussed the 2 day golf tournament. We figured Wild Bill would rather be body surfing practicing for his competition with Carmine, so we decided to let him hit the waves and to worry him with how to change his swing. John was coming in late and would not be available to practice. No problem. We knew John would be there when the bell sounded. He was a solid, reliable guy, one of us, a blue collar guy from south RV. The fact that he has lived in southern California for many years  was a fact that worried Duke. The toughness that he developed on Oak Street was being replaced by the sun and laisez faire attitude of Orange County. I told Duke don't worry. The John from Oak Street would be a reliable player.
 Duke requested and received the weather forecast for Friday and Saturday. Because the humidity was to be about 60% Duke suggested we change our spikes to the new Spider 3XTech spikes. We would get better stability on the Bermuda fairways, We also decided that because the temperature would not get out of the low 70s with winds from 8 -16 mph we should change to a lower spin ball. Done. Finally, we decided on the new no friction tees that might get us another 2-3 yards off the tee. We were set.
Thursday Night
Thursday night dinner was catered by The Little River Deli with enough food to last us for the next several days.  After dinner, we hoped to have a short meeting before the blood alcohol content of all moved the needle north. 4 of us got together but John M could not be found. The house was big enough, maybe he got lost. About 11:00 Duke was ready to head out, stroke a couple of putts on his living room rug and get ready for a 9:00 tee time. Before he left he said he saw John in one of the hot tubs with King George, Bear, Kathy, Beth and others. Duke quipped maybe we should send someone from RV to take a dip and keep an eye on on him. Duke nervously took one last  puff from a well worked Maverick and headed out into the crisp North Myrtle air.
On Fridaymorning some arrived at Black Bear by 8:30, on time to the RV team, way too early for the Hillsdale team.  As  9:00 approached the RV team was present but not the entire Hillsdale team.. Duke said RV would have to tee off first. The previous year's winner always has  the option when to go off and traditionally would go off last. Not this year. In addition, since all were not present no picture was taken. Duke's BP spiked and he snapped off the cellophane from another pack of Mavericks  and muttered to himself. He stepped up to the tee and pull hooked his tee ball into the trees. Again he muttered to himself. John, volunteered to stay back and join up with the Hillsdale players ready to play.  Sounded pretty innocuous at the time.
RV went out in 1 under and finished 4 under. No putts of any length were made, nothing spectacular.Periodically, we were able to locate Carmine by just listening to his voice drown out the wind. Nothing unusual on the course occurred until the 13th fairway when a ranger came barreling down the fairway headed straight for Duke. With a chaw in his mouth an unmistakable southern drawl he recounted to Duke that several of his party stopped after 9 to have lunch!!! Groups behind them were backing up unless they moved quickly Duke was going to hear about it come Monday. After the ranger left Duke stepped up to his ball and chunked a 7 iron. He looked into the cart. Good thing for him he was out of Mavericks.
After the round we learned that Hillsdale played well. Carmine took the best score from the 6 Hillsdale players - and JOHN - and the score was 4 under. A flat footed tie. 7 golfers against 4  - still fair? Duke checked the rules about the John thing but decided not to make an issue of it.
Friday night was skirt steak and Frogmore stew night. Again, after dinner John was noticeably absent for awhile and was again tracked down in the hot tub with the usual suspects. The big topic amongst the tubbers was that the lights above the tub were  too bright and whether they could be disconnected. Someone bought a screw driver and there was discussion about how to disconnect the lights but the picture of Bear holding up George, dangling above the tub, with a screw driver in one hand and a drink in the other was not  pretty one and the lights stayed on. During  dinner and after discussion about some rules violations, (stopping for lunch, being late, yelling  during play, etc., etc.,) Carmine promised that his team would be on time for a 12:00 tee time on Saturday and would try to observe the rules and etiquette of golf. Great, we would take a picture and RV would go out last.
Our first group was to tee off at 12:00 with our last group off at about 12:30 There was a tournament for 9 year olds starting at 12:30. That meant we needed to all go off on time. Surprise!! At 12:00 the Hillsdale team was only partially present with the most noticeable absentee - Capitain Carmine. No team picture, RV does not go off last, no review of rules, no nuthin.
RV went out first and John again asked to play with Hillsdale. Duke looked stunned but acquiesced. He headed immediately for the cart and I noticed 2 packs of unopened Mavericks. It was going to be a long day. The wind was up and the putts did not drop. RV played the same as Friday. Bill L played very well and  lead us to another 4 under day. Bill H played well, outside of a club pounding hair pulling, near meltdown on 15. Duke and I played uninspired golf. The only difference between us was Duke's 2 packs of Mavericks. RV, -8 for 2 days.
Hillsdale + John apparently finished 5 under although the score card is somewhat confusing with some erasures and crossouts (no no's in golf).  John's score put them over the top. As bad a swing as Gerry has he helped out with a 45 foot putt for a birdie. After the last group finished we had had a quick beer, reviewed the cards and then went to the front of the club for a  picture  with The Black Bear statue in front of the club.
Hillsdale, -9 for 2 days.
Saturday night dinner started out as usual but eventually broke into a robust Hillsdale+John celebration. What was initially thought to be an impromptu wave was started by Carmine, and guess who joined with all the enthusiasm of a guy who knew he was going back into the hot tub with his new found teammates? John.  As if that was not enough, the Cup was passed around with the Hillsdale team members drinking from it. Guess who was the last to drink? John.
It was a tough night for RV. The rules were reviewed in detail and an appeal was contemplated but Duke decided to against it. He simply stated, "We will be ready for 2013".  
We all pitched in to clean the house as much as possible before going to bed. John indicated that he needed a ride to the airport and Bill L was going to take him. Duke asked Bill to speak with John to find out why?  Most of us went to bed by about 12:00 but there was a  group that partied till 3. Guess who was in that group? King George and Leslie, Beth, Kathy Carmine, Howie, Steve. - oh yeah - John.
Linda and I had a 7:30 AM flight on Sunday morning so we had to leave the house at 5:00 AM. As we were leaving we saw a handwritten note taped onto the wall by a band aid.  It was from John to Bill L. It basically said, "Bill, I stayed up til 3 partying with the Hillsdale team. Boy, are they a lot of fun. Don't need to hitch a ride from you. George and Carmine said they would send a limo for me and they just happened to have a first class ticket for me to go back to LAX."
Bottom line - Hillsdale* wins the Cup in 2011. Bottom, bottom line - The Duke IV was great fun.
(* Hillsdale residents plus John M) 
Duke tidbits
The Duke V will take place in September 2013 at the Big House, if it is available.
As much alcohol  as we drank, there were 3 cases in the frig on Sunday morning.
On Friday night there were 21 bottles of wine in the kitchen and I made a bet with the Hillsdale team that they would not (not that they could not) drink all of it by Saturday morning. I won but never collected.
To add to Duke's headaches, on Friday (or was it Saturdays?) the Hillsdale group with Howie, John and Gerry hit into a group of super senior ladies - twice. One of the ladies picked up the balls and ran after the group but John, not having the nerve to confront a super senior with a 6 iron in her hand, took off in the cart.
John M said he had so much fun playing in the group with Gerry that he will bring 2 pairs of Depends next year.
We did not get a chance to get into the non-golf competitive games until Saturday. Probably the most widely played game was, cork balancing. Basically you drop a wine cork from about 3 inches to see if you can get the cork to stand on one of its ends. I think the fun was amassing the corks.
Beth's  fried gator was actually pretty good. The secret in eating it is to be ravenously hungry, load it up with cocktail sauce and wash it down with alcohol (It did taste like chicken).
Duke decided against taking an appeal of the victory by Hillsdale by challenging the actions of John M. He decided  against it  saying it would sully the good reputation of blue collar south River Vale.
When Bruce heard of the results and what occurred he said just 2 words - "Alfred Dreyfuss".
Howie and Steve each brought dozens of golf balls for all to use. They were much needed. Thanks.
Ana Myers decided she had enough of the group on Saturday morning and decided to run 13 miles. She tried to recruit someone to run with her but guess what? No volunteers.
Carmine has graciously agreed to be hall monitor at the next Duke to help those lost at night to help them find the correct bedroom.
Several of the male Dukesters threatened to bring  their wives or significant others  to the Duke V including, Carmine, Bill L and Wild Bill.
I think that's it.
After reading the barrage of emails today I feel compelled to hunt, peck and hit the send button.
First, if RV wins -  AGAIN - , the Hillsdale team, must be tutored by Judy on some basic French. The first lesson will be to learn the difference between Madam (or Madame) and Mademoiselle. I note this as a result of the potentially scurrilous email posted by Il Capitain Carmine. There is of course a Madam Weiner, Karen. If there is a mademoiselle, as referred to in one of Carmine's emails, well, in the immortal words of Judy's last email - Zut alors! Part of this learning process for the Hillsdalers will be to put down the domestic beer and to snack on some Brie and a 2010 Beaujolais, that has a hint of structure and that is not flabby or chewy. To give a head all Hillsdalians a head start on learning to speak French and love France, here is the real time translation of Judy's email to Linda and Carmine sent today - with the Frenchy comments to Bruce, " I hope I did not make a huge mistake in deciding to use some valuable vacation time living for days with ex-classmates (she really should have put a "mon dieu" here). I don't really drink that much and I hate beer.  In addition, I think I am going to have to make French toast for guys who would not know a croissant from a crescent roll or a baguette from a bagel - zut alors - and what's with Robin being a veggie? If John M comes looking like Pauly D and Beth like Snooki I am leaving!!"
Second, Judy does not know this group if she thinks there is any potential that a scrabble game will break out after first pour - at least under the established rules of the game. Under modified rules, possibly. Here are some suggested modified rules.  1) You get points for words, defined as the association of any 2 letters, if you just try to pronounce them.  2) You get double the points if you spell a word in French - this rule does not apply to Judy. She seems to have played this game before and will have to spell all her words in Tai-Kadai 3) The French words "Zut" and "alors" can not be used. 4) Words without vowels get a triple point score if you can find one person who agrees it is a word that they learned in HS, or anyplace else. 5) Golf terms get a quadruple score. 6)  Anyone who puts a real word on the board and can pronounce it so all can reasonably understand him or her and who has a blood alcohol reading of more than .10, wins.
Third, There is at least one person who will be very happy to learn that there are pool tables in The Big House. This is an inside joke and I will never give up a confidence - unless I am asked nicely.
Fourth,  It looks like a very completive game of shuffleboard will determine who has kitchen cleanup.
Fifth, It is too bad that Robin will not make the trip and miss out in tasting that extra ordinary culinary concoction, the armadillo burger. Not to fret, Beth says they are better tasting when you cook them ( or don't) and then just put them in a drawer or some other place at room temperature and leave them there until you get a hankering. Beth thinks that has something to do with the "seal" applied on the "filet of dillo" (the French term) like when a big truck tire hits the rodent and squashes it on the roadway. The polyrubber sealing on one side and the asphalt surface on the other coupled with the searing heat of a couple days exposure on Route 95 just breaks down the enzymes in the meat and tenderizes and preserves it for - well - basically, forever. So, we'll be sure to stick some of those tasty burgers under a couch or someplace where they will not be found for a couple of years and in 2013 when we make our appearance for The Duke V - voila! (Sorry had to get in one more of those Frenchy terms).
On the serious side, it appears there will be tenants in the house who will leave in the AM on the 15th. We may not be able to get into the house until about 2 or 3. I need to know who will be around to pick up the keys from the realtor. Duke and I will be playing golf and will not be finished until about 6. I have to authorize the realtor to release the keys to one person so I need someone reliable, who will not be inebriated.
I assume you will all be there at 7:00 for dinner. The caterer will be setting up by then.
The first match on Friday has a 9:00 tee time.
More to come.
   On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 2:06 PM, Thomas Pisarri <> wrote:
John M has inquired about how we can get some adrenalin pumping at The Duke. Although the golf will generate its usual competitive spirit, we might try some non-golf competition involving everyone. Since the Big House is divided into 2 bedroom units it has been suggested we pit one unit vs the other. In what? Beach volleyball? (Who knows CPR?) The house has some indoor games. Thoughts?
As to “what to do” other than golf?  Several thoughts:
From Dan Weck: Wheel chair basketball, or X games fun?
From Bill Holler: "Billy" <> wrote:> I would suggest body surfing; however, I will beat all comers. Carmine tries, but never quite measures up.
From Steve Katzman: For what it's worth the official winner of last year's body surfing championship was Carmine. Any points should be deducted from RV and added to Hillsdale.  This comes from the official judge appointed by all participants. According to her it was hands down Carmine all the way.
From Carmine Iadarola: Finally, somebody has got it right.  RV has been claiming victories that have not existed for the last three years.  Thank you Lucky Day and I owe you dinner and several cocktails!
(Editor’s note: We are talking Football here when we talk about Carmine – not (“French football”) /soccer – and Carmine is all hands on deck…and everyone knows you can’t use your hands in French “football” anyway…unless you are the goalie—goalies (and concierges) are a different story entirely)
From Linda Mockel (Case): Hey Carmine, I think we ALL agree that you are the champ, so does that mean dinner and cocktails for us too?
From Steve Katzman cont’d: Dinner goes to your distinguished judge Maureen Papalexis ( who should be added to this email list and will gladly judge this year's competition as well with a better fitting bathing suit.
(Editor’s note 2: please send ALL PHOTOS—and, as a suggestion, make the beach volleyball games all topless –oops, sans top?)
From Carmine Iadarola cont’d: Absolutely.  What a wonderful way to spend an evening.  
Further, I will take pictures of this years competition to provide a record of my nearly half century of dominance in this competition.  Now to bring home the Pissarri Cup to its rightful place.  
(Editor’s note 3: we’re counting on you, Carmine…but be sure to loan your camera to Linda Mockel, too, from time to time…she is very camera-friendly)
From Carmine Iadarola: Johnny -- Bocci, Volleyball, and/or croquet would be fun.  Anybody like to fly kites?    Indoor games could be a poker tournament. (Editor’s note 3: Poker_Game_Format_Suggestion?)  I'll give it more thought. PV Concierge, Carmine
From Kathy Galloway (Wrenn): I don't play....but I'll be cheerleader captain for a Wii team. If I have a squad.
From Bruce Weiner: I'm very much enjoying the chatter in anticipation to the Duke, and though being in Rouen has its benefits I'm really going to miss being there.  Someone has to bring back the brie for team RV.  I'll look forward to the reports of the results.  Best wishes to everyone. Bruce Weiner
From Carmine Iadarola: We will miss you also and also be thinking about all the laughs we could have had in French between you and Judy Price.  How long will you be in Rouen? 
Hope you are enjoying the University, picturesque countryside, Giverny, and of course the wine and cheese.  It is appropriate that as co captain of the RV team that you are in Rouen.  Wasn't Joan of Arc burned there?  Best to you and your lovely Mademoiselle.  (reply from Bruce: I'll be here until mid-January; if anyone is passing by be sure to contact me.  Bruce
From Judy Preis (Mielbrecht): being the official spaz of the group, how ‘bout scrabble?  and does the Hillsdale team need some brie?  happy to oblige.  bruce, sorry we can’t parler ensemble—une autre fois, peut-etre.  J’espere que je puisse te rendre visite!!!!!!  quel domage.  and robin--- no meat? zut alors!!  looking forward to seeing you all.  this is gonna be a kick!!  tell the weather to cooperate.  lee has been raining here all week and it’s in the 50’s!!  brrrrrrr.  safe trip to all!!  judy 
From Steve Katzman: It took me 4 years to learn practically no French and then 15 minutes to forget what I did learn.  But I did get "no meat" which brings me to the question of how many non carnivorous people are among us.  Please let me know how many of you will not be eating response will assume you are...and yes Judy...bring on the Brie. Steve K
From (host) Bill “Duke” Getler: Hey all. I have just returned from checking on the Big House. I managed to get the keys, and everything looks good to go. The place is even bigger than I remembered it. They were cleaning the pool and the hot tubs when I arrived. Yes I said tubs. There's two of them. I'm sure some classic pictures will come out of this. Our catering menu will have some vegi selections for Thursday and Sat. The weather has been great. Sunny and 80's. Lets hope it keeps up. See you all soon!
From Carmine Iadarola: Thanks Duke, I am looking forward to cocktails and hot tub.  
From Carmine Iadarola: I am sorry to have so easily offended the sensibilities of the RV team; however, I did mean Mademoiselle.  I thought Karen was his young bride (that's Italian).  Your disparaging remarks regarding good ol’ American food will be avenged during dinner when I am sure Beth has a surprise for you.    
From Carmine Iadarola: Robin, congrats to you, nothing wrong with being a vegetarian as long as we don't include brussel(s) sprouts (another european dish?) or french fries.  Look how well it has served the Monk who will be sorely missed this year and an important asset to the Hillsdale team.  
From Judy Preis Mielbrecht: tommy- your translation was impeccable—truly remarkable that you remember that much from the mlle cangialosi days.  by the way, it’s madamE.  and that you can still spell mademoiselle is even more impressive.  took me yrs to get current high schoolers to the same level.  must take exception to the beaujolais.  I think the french came up with it just for those americans who can’t handle a nice, dry, full bodied french red.  re: kitchen clean up--  it would seem we girls will be the culinary artists in residence.  the men shall do the dishes.  shuffleboard is totally unnecessary.  monsieur katzman is excused, by the way, due to his steakmanship. I would offer to get the keys, but I’m not sure how long a drive I’ll have.  am coming from pinehurst and planned to leave there after lunch. would that work?  Judy
From Beth Fenton: I do have a couple of tasty foods that I will be bringing with me. Not sure about the armadillo yet----still cruising the highways for a fresh one !! Will leave the rattlesnake meat home this year. Sorry ! Anyone want seconds on the gator tail ???? Yum !!
Guess we’ll leave it at that…stay tuned…