APS November Meeting 2013

APS Christmas Slide Show 2013 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The last meeting of the year for the Austin Pond society was held on November 18 at the Zilker Gardens Clubhouse. Being the last and so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas, what better excuse was needed than to turn this into a party.

All attending members were asked to bring a pot luck of some kind and were assigned one of three categories based on the first letter of the last name. Being an A, I had to bring some sort of vegetable and as I am no Julia Childs, I opted for a quick stop at HEB and grabbed a pre-prepared item that fitted the occasion.

More than 50 people showed up almost doubling the normal attendance for regular meetings. Not sure if it was the food, the party or the spirit of the season or maybe all of them but it was really nice to see all of these members. There were several first time members in the group.

Sonja, the Austin Pond Society official chef really outdid herself with the main roast meat course which was all gone by the end of the evening. That along with the assorted dishes provided by the more competent cooks among the group gave us plenty to feast on. The deserts were very tempting coming in all shapes and varieties with something to please everyone.


Jeannie presenting Linda with flowers

Jeannie presenting Linda with flowers

Following the meal, there was some business with Jeanne Ferrier, the incoming President presenting Linda Tinsley, the outgoing President with a bouquet of flowers and some kind words which we as members. all heartily condone. Thank you Linda for the past years efforts. Nice to know that you will still be on the Board in your new role as Special Events Coordinator. .

B.J. Jenkins was next up as the head chief of entertainment. She had designed the Austin Pond Societies own form of Survivor adapted to defend against the intricacies of puzzles and jumbled words, building blocks formed like the Eiffel Tower and ending by assisting three poor and helpless Koi that needed to be returned to their ponds. The last three survivors would each receive a gift certificate for $25 from Emerald Gardens with the overall winner, receiving a check for a million dollars.

Survivor winners and the $1,000,000 check

Survivor winners and the $1,000,000 check

I can hear you now saying that can’t be true but I swear to you that it is and there is a picture of it above.

The members split into three groups of about 15 players each. The game was in three segments with the preliminary game consisting of assembling four picture puzzles followed by choices of jumbled words of things that you don’t want in your pond. The final game for the teams was to identify the different breeds of Japanese Koi.

The winning group proceeded to the next part of their ordeal which was to match the building blocks each containing one letter, with the name on their sheet and to stack them one on the other with the resulting tower having to stand for three seconds. Needless to say, this was not an easy task and resulted in a lot of laughter from all who were watching especially if the tower lasted two seconds before collapsing.

Finally, three members emerged each to play in the Survivor Finals, Joanna, Barb and Tom with Joanna ending as the eventual winner. The final game consisted of tossing three rubber Koi into a “pond” from a distance of about ten feet with various hazards along the way.

The entire game from start to finish was a lot of fun and the members all joined in very enthusiastically to come up with the winner. Thinking about it as I worked on this blog, there was an awful lot of work and preparation that went in to physically making the different parts of the game not once but three times. I can only assume that B.J. was the responsible party and I personally want to thank and recognize the effort that she put into it.

Thank you B.J.

With the Koi safely in their ponds and the winner declared, it was time for the last two actions of the evening. The first would be the prize drawing which every member present’s name would be drawn out of the hat and they could come up and select any one of the myriad of prizes, that is unless you were on the tail end and then the pickins got a little slim.

The final act of the evening was the drawing for the Pond-o-Vac  that Gail O’Connor had given to the Society. With much fanfare and drum roles from the members in the audience, Linda drew the name out of the hat and came up with John O’Sullivan.  John respectfully “declined the nomination” a reference to his role as the APS Parliamentarian and asked that it be drawn again stating that his pond was so small, he could not do it justice. The next name out of the hat belonged to Glen Hubenthal who does have a large pond. Glen gratefully accepted as most of us would have done. Thank you Gail for your wonderful gift to the Pond Society that we were able to pass along to a very grateful (and lucky) member.

This brought the proceedings to a close and also ended the year as far as the Austin Pond Society meetings go as we don’t hold one in December due to our meeting date only a week before Christmas. Next up for APS will be the first meeting in 2014 due to be held at Zilker Gardens Clubhouse on January 19, 2014 starting at 6:30. All are welcome whether  you have a pond or not.

More to follow on that.