2005 Reunion


The  exuberant call, in the 50s and 60s, of Eustace Conway accompanying reveille,
“It's a beautiful day at Sequoyah!”
could not have been more appropriate for this past weekend.

Breathtakingly clear and brisk weather greeted those making the pilgrimage back to Sequoyah. Overnight and day visitors reacquain-ted themselves with old friends, reminisced and made new friends, all with a shared love and fond remembrance of Sequoyah.


Crawdads for Supper!

Crawdads were one of the delicacies served up for Friday supper for campers Scott Rafshoon and his boys, Michael and Joseph. This followed an afternoon of fun for the early arrivals, beginning with a hearty lunch in the Main Camp Dining pavilion, followed by  hiking to Tsali, exploring, crawdad catching, rare plant identification by expert-for-the-day, Mason McNair  (Grover McNair’s son),

Saturday Dinner

Saturday's lunch started with  the old camp noontime prayer and blessings  with John Andrews ('69-72) , Ed ('44-47) and Barbara Eckelmeyer, Raymond ('74) and Lorie Ellsworth, Bill Embler ('55-66), David Glasgow ('61-65), Jerry ('62-64) and Elaine Gornto, Walter Graham ('56-62), Pete Landry ('72-78), Robert Leslie ('69-71), Chuck McGrady ('66-78), John McLeod ('64-60), Grover McNair ('66-69) and his son, Mason, Mike Miller  ('65-74), Tony Penland ('68-74), Seth Perkinson Jr ('43),  Scott Rafshoon ('75-78) and his sons, Michael and Joseph, Garrett Randolph ('68-'78), Jeter Walker ('66-68), James Wilson ('60), Steve Wilson ('69-71,')78, Baxter Young ('49-53), and friends, Robert and Rebecca Nicholas, Martin Doyle and Richard Crutchfield, all in attendance.  It ended with several letters being read  by Mike Miller from old Sequoyans wishing to be there and sending their good wishes to all (including one from Pop Hollandsworth, who turned 90 this year, but was unable to make it due a previously scheduled outdoor recreation conference in Mexico City) .

Chief's Legacy and the Future

After lunch, and before Saturday's fun began in earnest, a short primer discussion ensued, about ways being considered to preserve the camp property and new ideas of carrying the legacy of Chief Johnson's vision forward:  the bestowal of a sense of boundless optimism and possibility for a lifetime, through a motto of clean living, rock-rib honesty in all things, a sense of fun, a sense of one's own indispensable worth, a love for one's fellow man, a love for the outdoors, and more than a passing sense of sublime gratitude for our blessings, which can only be expressed in our deeds, not our words. These are among the most valuable precepts that inform me.  

It is “amazing!” as Mike Miller later remarked about the enthusiasm.

Sunday Sunrise at Inspiration Point

The next day, Sunday, some departures were met with more arrivals. Kenny Hunt ('68-78) showed up at sunrise the next morning from Atlanta, and the Chapel service, which David Glasgow prepared, was wonderful, with the Gorntos, the Rafshoons, the McNairs, John Andrews, John McCleod, Tony Penland ('68-74), Garrett Randolph and friends of Sequoyah John and Wanda Payne. It ended with Garrett singing an incredibly beautiful solo of “Sequoyah”. He can really sing! (We need a recording!) After that there was a moment of silence and everyone filtered out, very slowly, after more moments of silence.  It could not have been more beautiful as we gathered on the slope of the chapel and in front of Chief's resting place, in the golden sunlight and blue sky!  Then, we heard the sound of the future, of children coming up the path — Chief's great grandchildren, Crickett and Colton Conway, their mom and Dad, Judson and Eunice, and Uncle Walton in tow.

Later when we all got back to the Lodge, Bill Gregg ('78) and his two boys were there signing in and Will Smithwick ('69-72) showed up with his son and daughter and wife had just arrived. Evidently, he flew in just to be there.

Just to fill you in, somewhat . . . It was wonderful! And it didn't end there with more arrivals later in the week, including Raymond Shepley Jr ('57-64)  and his wife, Flo.

God bless you all.

Thank you for coming,

Barry Durand


I join in your comments concerning our wonderful weekend.

Before leaving on Monday, Ken, Barry and I worked to winterize Chief's home and the administrative office. We replaced windows in the dormers (toenailing them secure) and lining them with (improvised) plastic garbage bags, removed the vines from the east side of the roof, tore out Mrs. Chief's old stovepipe, sealed the hole, and replaced many of the shingles missing from that section of the roof. We also removed the dysfunctional old gutter there and placed plywood in the missing window next to the chimney on the administrative office, thereby sealing that room from the winter weather.

Cadillac Zack, Barry and I voted Ken as Camper of The Day. Then, we had a celebratory meal on the sunny lodge porch consisting of ALL the food that was left behind.

In general, we believe we secured those two buildings for the coming winter. Both buildings are in remarkably good shape as to structure and roof and the interiors are almost without injury. Moreover, the chestnut paneling is free of mars. All the buildings need is more "love" from alumni, including removing an aggressive bunch of ivy that is flourishing on the chimney of the adm. building.

We suggest another session, this one intended to do additional repair projects on the buildings important to the history of camp's infrastructure. Since winter is approaching, including the major holidays, we are aiming at a weekend after Easter. We suggested that Barry pick a weekend -maybe a long one - and get the word out as early as possible. Please be on the alert for his notice.

I'm assisting a friend with design of a cabin interior near Blowing Rock, which is promised for completion prior to Thanksgiving, thus I may be able to get by Sequoyah for a couple of days in November. If so, I'll post an email to the group. Additionally, if anyone wants to rally there this winter, count me in.

As for this weekend, I'm doing due diligence in preparation for Wilma.

 — Baxter Young



From the cameras of Mike Miller, John Andrews and Robert Leslie . . .


Ready for Camping!


Scott, Joseph, Michael Rafshoon


Scott Rafshoon, Steve Wilson, Chuck McGrady, Garrett Randolph, Mike Miller,
Pete Landry


Steve Wilson (front), David Glasgow, Raymond Elsworth, Seth Perkinson, James Wilson


The Swimming Pool


Ready, set . . .



Come 'n get it!




. . . and a great lunch it was!


Barry Durand, Tony Penland, John McLeod


Bax Young, Tony Penland


Bill Embler


Chuck McGrady, Walter Graham, David Glasgow



Chuck McGrady


David Glasgow and Baxter "Bax" Young


David Glasgow and Seth Perkinson


Dave Glasgow, Walter Graham, Bax Young, John Andrews, Barry Durand


Dining Hall, breakfast time


Mr. and Mrs. Ed Eckelmeyer, Dave Glasgow


Little camper observes big campers


John Andrews to Grover McNair and son Mason: "I swear, it was this big!"


Junior Camp cabin


Junior Camp playground


"Up the hill"


Mason McNair, Walter Graham, Grover McNair


Naiset Awi


Pete Landry, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Elsworth






More photos in
Robert Leslie's Gallery