And Just Like That, 2021… is Done

2021 group photo

Although we added a bonus day to this year’s reunion, it seemed to be the one that ended the fastest (at least for me). This 7th annual brought several new attendees including Jeremy Liggett, Paul Gauvin, Danny Doyle, Kevin “Doc” Maxwell, and a brief appearance by Shawn Scott while three of us still hold a perfect attendance award: Dave Ball, Rob Marrapode, and Petey Szanto.

Although rather uneventful as far as altercations go (physical and verbal), we started by commandeering the flag pole, replacing the Maryland flag with our beloved Marine Corps flag. Some other memorable moments include:

  • 7 corn-hole boards (most ever) and yet and unfinished cornhole tourney
  • Deck vs. Car… Deck 1, Car 0
  • A 5 minute fundraiser to purchase a $500 service dog named Rumor for Jeremy Liggett (congrats!)
  • A 2 hour bus tour of the Gettysburg battlefield, with a very passionate licensed tour guide that spent more time talking to the soldiers buried in the ground than to us
  • A 90 minute walking “ghost” tour of downtown Gettysburg. No ghosts found but excellent story telling by our guide
  • More flies in the main “party” house than we had in Egypt and Tunisia combined. Apparently nobody knows how to close doors
  • A “failure in leadership” while hot rodding up and down the road that split Caboose Farm in half, followed by an ass chewing by the owner and a “tap dance in front of the man”
  • Free t-shirts by a new start-up company called Jarheads Threads
  • Traveling bed tour performed by Chet “Goldilocks” Zebrowski or simply known as “Nutsack”

This year’s Farthest Traveled Award goes to Darren Taylor, coming from Round Rock, Texas.

Credits

Special thanks go out to Chad and Bonnie Dietz for hosting the 2021 reunion. You two now belong to the elite, yet growing list of members in the paddle club. Much respect to you two for all that you did to secure the biggest reunion to date. The only thing that would have made this 1 step above perfect would have been a catered rally point on the property.

We’d also like to thank the chefs for the week. Marrapode for his Jambalaya and the Farristers for their delicious haluski. Labarbera’s Italian sausage, peppers, and baked pasta. Bonnie and Chad Dietz for their pulled pork, best ever baked beans and Cole slaw, and everybody that helped cook breakfast including, but not limited to, Nidy, Marrapode, Pallotta, and Pinkley.

Additionally, those of you that took time out of your trip to help keep the place clean, take out trash, wash dishes, pick up butts, etc., thank you for all of your efforts!

Finally, we would probably all agree that each and every Marine needs a pat on the back for taking the time to attend. Without you, we would have no reason to give thanks.

If you have a memory that you would like to share, leave a reply below.

Custom Ink, their empty promises, and failed commitments!

custom stink logo spoof

I’ve been fielding several phone calls from our supporters of the 2021 fundraiser t-shirts that were supposed to be delivered by June 30, 2021 and wanted to pass along the latest information that I have.

In short, after speaking to them this morning, they have not yet shipped our shirts and cannot guarantee that we will have them in time for the reunion. One of you that I spoke with this morning said you requested your order be delivered to your home and that you are leaving on Friday which to me, means your shirts need to arrive by Thursday evening (2 days from now). I suppose worst case is they deliver them with the rest of the bulk shipment and refund your shipping.

I requested to speak with a member of their management team and was told they will ask, but cannot guarantee, that I will get a call back. I let her know I that I need to hear from a member of their management team by close of business today to see if we can get a resolution to Custom Ink’s lack of regard for commitments.

This is the 3rd time I’ve used Custom Ink for their services and EVERY time there was some issue keeping the process from running smoothly. I wrote something earlier about their process. Once this ordeal has been resolved, I’d like to post a timeline with the sequence of events, in detail, that got us to the finish line… might make for an interesting read.

In conclusion, I’m doing everything I can to get the shirts in time but it seems that our shirts are being held hostage and it is out of my control and in the hands of the worst company that I’ve ever had to work with… Custom Ink.


July 7 update…

9:00 A.M.:

The last few times I spoke with Custom Stink, they confirmed our event date of July 11. This was the conversation yesterday:

THEM: Oh, I see your event is on the 11TH
ME: Yes, that is correct
THEM: Oh, don’t worry, I’ll do everything I can to get them to you by then
ME: Some have them shipped to their house
THEM: I can’t say if they’ll get theirs in time
ME: Then bulk ship them all to me and refund everybody’s shipping
THEM: That’s a good idea, we can do that

I received a text message this morning from UPS with a tracking number for our shirts. They are scheduled to be delivered to my front door in Ohio on JULY 12 between 1:00 – 5:00!!

Custom Ink, if you have the date and you’re shipping today, why the the ever-loving f**k would you not ship them 2-day or overnight? You haven’t screwed us over hard enough yet? Oh, and I still haven’t heard back from your management team!

I called and spoke with someone at Custom Ink already this morning to see if they can change the shipping speed or change the address to have them delivered directly to Caboose. I know UPS can handle an address change so if they have shipped already, I’ll will need to spend a few bucks with UPS to change the delivery address.

The other thing the guy mentioned is that some of the non-bulk orders are not being delivered until the middle of next week. Again, I’m hoping the packages are still on the dock and they can bulk ship everything so we get them in time. The last thing he said was that he will call me back as soon as he can find out what they can do with the shipment and have someone from their management team follow up with me.

1:00 P.M.:

With no callback yet, I called them. Spoke with a gal that said the guy I spoke with this morning passed it off to a lead. The leads are trying to figure out a solution and that they’ll call me back. I asked her when I should expect the call, to which she answered “maybe today or tomorrow morning”.

I lost it and told her (yelled actually) not good enough. I’ve been promised callbacks for weeks and NOBODY calls back! Again, like everybody else did, she said she WILL have them call me back by COB today.

4:00 P.M.:

I received a call from a member of Custom Ink’s management team. The solution she came up with was to create a new rush order for our shirts and have them all bulk shipped to Caboose Farm. The delivery date is scheduled for 2 days from now on Friday July 9.

Additionally, the shirts that have already shipped to my house in Ohio, scheduled to be delivered Monday July 12, is also ours to keep. I logged into my UPS account and paid $37 to have the shipping address changed to Caboose Farm which should arrive while we are there. It was cheaper for me to do this than to ship them to everybody when I return home after the reunion.

Conclusion

What was supposed to be an easy process turned out to be a stressful, time consuming endeavor. My timeline had a built in buffer of 2 weeks for any contingencies and they managed to spend 2 weeks +1 day. I will not allow Custom Ink to manage another fundraiser campaign for The Magnificent Bastards again!

What to Bring?

bread hand notes eggs

This was last updated July 7, 2021 10:49 EST

As always, everybody is assigned something to bring, with the exception of those that fly in. After everybody arrives, we will take inventory to make sure we have everything. Once that’s done, a couple of us may need to make a run to the store to pick up anything that may have been overlooked… probably on Monday. Since those of you that fly in don’t get assigned anything, we may or may not ask you to pitch in some money after our trip to the grocery store.

Please compare what you have been assigned against the menu to make sure you bring enough. If you have any questions or not sure how much to bring, please ask.

It needs to be mentioned that if you plan on bringing anything extra, especially anything that needs to be refrigerated, and we have not yet accounted for it, please mention it to Rob or Petey since refrigerator space is usually limited. In all the years that we’ve been doing these reunions, we have NEVER had a shortage of food.

Everybody should bring the following

  • Your own drinks… water, beer, liquor etc.
  • Cooler with ice to store your drinks. Refrigerators are reserved for food while freezers store our ice
  • Your own camping chairs to sit on
  • Snacks to share

Specific assignments

MarineItems to bringTravel Method
Monty BurkhalterCoffee, filters, creamer, & sugarDriving
John MooneyPlastic utensils, plates, paper towels, napkins, shit paper, & coffee cupsDriving
Tony FarristerHaluskiDriving
Brent WalkerBagels, cream cheese, & 1 set of cornhole boardsDriving
Jeremy LiggettFlying
Paul GauvinLarge size garbage bags and kitchen size garbage bagsDriving
Shawn BarganierFlying
Shawn ScottBratsDriving
Darren TaylorFlying
Sal LabarberaItalian sausage, onions and peppers, baked pastaDriving
Tim HaleyBreakfast sausage (patties and links)Driving
Randy LemasterFlying
Daniel DoyleMaple syrup and butterDriving
Darrin JohnsonDriving
Gerry PinkleyFirewoodDriving
Dave NidyBring the cheese and meat you talk aboutDriving
Travis TurnerFlying
James BushtaBuns for the pulled pork. At least 50Driving
Jerry Cerpa2-liter bottles of Coke, Pepsi, Ginger Ale, etc.Driving
Ben ThomasEggsDriving
Clinton WilliamsFlying
Kevin MaxwellWest-by-God Virginian MOONSHINEDriving
Petey Szanto30 lbs. bacon & 1 set of corn hole boards. Free kuuzies for everyone! Challenge coins for sale. Photo scanner & 10 thumb drivesDriving
Bob MarrapodeJambalaya & 2 sets of corn hole boardsDriving
Chad LawrenceHot dog bunsDriving
Jeff YutzyHot dogsDriving
David BallFlying
Chad DietzPulled pork, biscuits, sausage gravy, eggs, & 1 set of corn hole boardsDriving
Jeffrey DufourBread for toastDriving
Stephen LicquiaFlying
Shag LavariereOur red Solo cup guyDriving
Tommy GrimesKetchup, mustard, relish, mayo, hot sauce, salsa (hot and mild)Driving
Chet ZebrowskiPancake mixDriving
Timothy ElyeaFlying
Marty PallottaEnglish muffinsDriving