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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:41 pm 
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Since I can't prop my eyes open any longer, I'm going to go post these photos so I can go to bed. I promise more comments in the morning.

I know you're tired of hearing the same old song and dance about these meet-ups, but it's just like meeting family and friends. Really.

Thanks to Dean for setting up this meet-up, and to Leo and Charlotte for driving all night in order to get here.

This is a wonderful group of people. I love you all. Now I've GOT to get some sleep! More tomorrow........

Cathy and Rich (Shirtman)
http://www.funbeaches.com/6-13-meet-up/Cathy-rich.jpg
Dean (Deano) and Patrish
http://www.funbeaches.com/6-13-meet-up/dean-patrish.jpg
L - Nich, Lorraine, Patrish, Wally, Iris
R - Zach, Jeff, Mike, Dean, Charlotte
http://www.funbeaches.com/6-13-meet-up/group.jpg
Jeff and Zach
http://www.funbeaches.com/6-13-meet-up/jeff-zach.jpg
Kathy, Ed, Leo, Charlotte
http://www.funbeaches.com/6-13-meet-up/ ... rlotte.jpg
Kathy, Ed
http://www.funbeaches.com/6-13-meet-up/kathy-ed.jpg
Leo, Charlotte
http://www.funbeaches.com/6-13-meet-up/ ... rlotte.jpg
The lovely Lorraine (Jeff's wife and mother of Zach and Nich)
http://www.funbeaches.com/6-13-meet-up/Lorraine.jpg

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Last edited by patrish on Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:08 am 
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When Wally got home from work last night he said that everyone would probably be late due to the rain, traffic tie-ups and a few scattered wrecks.

But when we arrived at Ryan's, Lorraine and Jeff (parrotheadjwb) were at already there with their two sons, Zach and Nich. I'm glad we had a chance to chat before everyone else arrived. Several of us have mentioned how well-behaved the Message Board members' children always are, and that was certainly true of Jeff and Lorraine's boys. It's obvious that this a closely knit family with their hopes, faith and plans for the future firmly in place.

We were happy to see Rich (Shirtman) and Cathy again! They were at the Creek Ratz meeting last summer, so it was it was like seeing old friends and catching up on their lives. That's the way it is at these Meet-Ups. We also enjoyed chatting with Rich's sister Carol who is fast becoming a true Myrtle Beach fan!

Although we see a lot of our friends Iris and Mike, they haven't been to a Meet-Up since Creek Ratz. I''m glad they were able make it to this one. Mike is one of our original members, and both he and Iris are extremely knowledgeable about the golf courses in our area. But it's hard to pull them away from their work to post on the board.

Dean is such a sweetheart, and I'll bet he knows more about the downtown Myrtle Beach area than any other message board member. Although he's young, he is very outgoing, personable and lots of fun to be around. Dean, thanks for getting the ball rolling for Ryan's!

After all this time, we finally got to meet Ed (Pap2-4) and his lovely wife Kathy. Ed has been a loyal member of the board for a long time and I have been wanting to meet him for years. They had to miss their trip here last year, but they are making up for it now. I'm sure you'll hear all about it in his trip report. With the big risk of sounding totally boring....Kathy and Ed are just like the good friends you haven't seen for awhile.

Leo and Charlotte were a surprise addition to our Meet-Up. (We took a quick vote and decided to let them stay.) Any of you who already know Leo, either in person or from his writing, will not be surprised to hear that they drove all night in order to be at Ryan's with the rest of us. I can't say enough good things about this couple and their loyalty to Myrtle Beach, our message board and its members.

Ryan's was a great choice! Thanks again, Dean! I think everyone found something to their liking. By the time we were long finished with dinner, I noticed some of the staff hovering nearby, no doubt with the hope that we were finished and would soon be moving on. Since we live only a couple blocks away, I invited everyone to the house where we could spend a little more time talking together. While we were scattered in chairs and on the floor, Colleen (beachxcape) called Leo's cell phone to tell everyone hello. Colleen, I'm sorry you couldn't be here, but it was so sweet of you to check in!

A very special thanks to all of you who gave up an evening of your vacation time to come to Ryan's last night.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:41 pm 
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[The text you are about to read is not fiction. This is a report of an actual event and in no way resembles a fictitious account, embellished storytelling, or a completely fabricated occurrence.]

It's just going to sound that way.

Okay, so it's exactly a year since the very first meet up of MB2 members, right? And we've heard the stories over and over again. It's getting to the point where we see a meet up scheduled for whenever, the day comes and goes, and the next day all the attendees are falling all over each other telling us how great everyone is. It's like clockwork. Or gas price increases. You know it's coming but you just gird your loins and take it like a man. That's the conventional wisdom. However . . .

There's a reason for this, people. It's because everything everyone writes is TRUE! We're not making this stuff up. Trust me. If I met someone who I thought was less than stellar, I'd tell you. Well, I might not come out and say, "Joe is a complete idiot who I think wears Chanel #5", but I think you might get the message just because I'd either be pretty silent on the issue of Joe or the best I could say about him would be that he picked out the best looking ribs at the buffet bar and left everyone else in the lurch.

So with all that said, let me say that this meet up was outstanding for the same reason that all of them have been outstanding -- everyone was GREAT! I've come to believe that the message board is some kind of cosmic tractor beam that locks on to certain personalities around the country and pulls them into its control. It's a weird tractor beam because it spends a lot of its time in Ohio, but other than that it's completely benign.

Nevertheless, Charlotte and I got there just a bit late and the first person we saw was Ed. Ed is one of the nicest, sweetest men you'll ever meet. He's courteous to a fault, and he recognized Charlotte immediately. "You must be Charlotte", to which Charlotte whispered to me, "A stranger is hitting on me. Good God, man, defend my honor!" Well, okay, she didn't say that but she was floored that anyone would recognize her. We ended up sitting next to Ed and his incredibly lovely wife, Kathy for dinner. I know you've heard it a thousand times before, but a thousand and one times won't kill you -- you meet these folks and you swear you've known them your whole life. Ed and Kathy represent the midwestern "I'll-give-you-the-shirt-off-my-back" ethos. The exude friendliness and you want to invite yourself to Evansville just to move in with them.

Ed and I have joked about being brothers, but you don't have to be blood-related to accomplish that. For those who read the message board everyday and plow through the posts, you need to realize that it's like an iceberg -- you only see 20% of the total. There's an unseen undercurrent of personal messages that fly around between individual members that no one else is aware of. Much of it is peppered with humorous comments and a busload of dancing bananas, but there's also a large portion of it that is meant to be encouraging, uplifting, supportive, and enlightening. Ed means the world to me because he's sent me messages at just the right time and with just the right tone that has encouraged me and refreshed me. You can't put a price tag on that. So who needs DNA? As far as I'm concerned, Ed IS my brother. He talks funny, but hey. Indiana.

I think Dean walked in next. Dean says he's 21 or so, but if he's a day over 13 he's lying. He looks 8. However, don't let the baby face fool you. Here's a guy who is enthusiastic, energetic, but more importantly, he's respectful, defferent and just loves people, especially his message board buds. He was a joy to be around.

Mike and Iris don't participate on the message board very much at all, but they should because they both fit the mold perfectly. Mike is from the backwoods of Arkansas but fakes a British accent. No, not really. He actually IS from England along with the lovely Iris. You hear these stories (all of them unfounded) about the stuffiness of the Brits, but if Mike and Iris were the true template of what the residents of Great Britain are like, there would be no "stories". Mike was completely charming and was a wealth of information about the golf courses in the area. He laughed, and contrary to the Brit stereotype, his face did NOT crack. Seriously, he needs to post on the board because the tractor beam does not lie. Mike, resistance is futile. Give in and start typing. I only got to speak to Iris for a very short time because Charlotte was hogging her, but I got the report back on the way home and Charlotte was as impressed with Iris as I was with Mike.

Rich (Shirtman) and Cathy sat across from us at Ryan's. We met both of them at Creek Ratz last year but I think I was only introduced to them and never had a chance to go back and chat. My loss, because they both turned out to be two of the most interesting people in a room crawling with interesting people. Rich is laid back but has that aura of fun and mischief rolled into one. What made the dynamic so fascinating was his wife, Cathy, who charmed the sandals off me. Cathy wants you to think she fears and frets over everything to the point of limiting all the fun she could have. "The glass is half empty", was her mantra all night. But honestly, she was doing it for comedic effect. She and I were going back and forth over the dangers or relative safety of parasailing, with Cathy swearing it off because a friend of hers, and I quote here, "had her head severed when one of the boat cables looped around her neck and snapped it right off, just like THIS" [Cathy cuts off top of broccoli spear]. Of course it wasn't true and Rich just rolled his eyes because this is something the poor man has to live with on a daily basis, but you just know there's never a dull moment in that household and he loves every minute of it. In truth, Cathy and Rich both thoroughly enjoy life and you can't help but be bowled over by their zest for fun.

As a side note, we all agreed that if the six of us (Ed, Kathy, Rich, Cathy, Charlotte, and I) were in town at the same time next year, we'd all go parasailing together and experience it for the first time. Cathy volunteered to bring the broccoli.

Last, but by no means least, were Jeff, Lorraine, Zach, and Nich Bennett. Okay. Repetitive Warning, Dr. Smith! Our 2006 nominee for Family of the Year goes to this quartet because they are nothing short of the All-American Family. I know. I say this about every family that shows up. But no lie! You can tell just by reading Jeff's posts what kind of family he has, but there's no substitute for meeting people in person just to convince yourself it's not faked. Like so many other families we've met at these meet ups, we were blown away by the maturity of the boys, the loveliness of Lorraine, and the blunt force trauma of the kindness of Jeff. They have it together and I mean that in every sense of the word. The only negative at all was that Lorraine has absolutely no idea how to properly attack an all-you-can-eat buffet, choosing to load up on SALAD instead of doing what all professionally-trained buffet eaters practice -- start with dessert and work your way backwards.

Zach and Nich were scary good kids. Zach is a year away from graduating from High School and wants to be a missionary or a preacher. You don't see THAT everyday. Nich is the kind of kid that has no problem talking to adults and, more amazingly, makes you WANT to talk to him. I'd kidnap them both tomorrow as my own if I could tolerate the risk of 60 years of prison.

Seriously, Jeff is every bit the teddy bear sweetheart he is on the board. He's smart, wise, incredibly outgoing, and another of the Message Board brothers that Ed is. He's also terrible with a camera because Lorraine, who looks really good in his avatar and linked pictures, was just stunning in person. At one point he said to me at Patrish's house, "I married up". Dude, no kidding. But that says less about Jeff and more about Lorraine, who sees the man that Jeff is and who knows that inward beauty is far more important that outward looks. Not that Jeff isn't a Brad Pitt knock-off, but hey, Lorraine makes Angelina Jolie look like Janet Reno. And by the way, 5 minutes with Lorraine will convince you that as good looking as she is on the outside, she's a raving, diva supermodel of a character on the inside. The entire family is All-Star MB2 members.

Then there's Patrish and Wally. What can you say about these people that hasn't already been said a hundred times? When the meeting at Ryan's was over, they opened their lovely home to all of us so we could continue the party there. This blew me away because if you know Patrish at all, she's got a bit of paranoia in her (as she likes to tell me, "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't really after me") and the mere thought of having perfect strangers she's never really met invade her home is anathema to her. Yet there she was, playing the perfect hostess with Wally, the other perfect hostess. :lol: So much has been said of them both as kind, generous souls. It's all true. It really is. You can't fake this stuff. She and Wally are worthy of every good thing said about them in the course of a year. Or a lifetime.

Much was made of our overnight drive to MB to make the meet up. Hey, I only did it because I was having terrible cramps on the ride down from something I ate at a golf event on Monday and I didn't trust any of the passing medical facilities to treat me without removing half my intestinal cavity to diagnose the problem. By the time we got to MB I was feeling better and we had nothing better to do, so off to Ryan's it was. This was not an act of selflessness. I love my colon too much to lose it to a first year medical student at Richmond University Hospital at 3:30 AM.

In closing, if you haven't been to a meet up, you're missing meeting your current and future fast friends. Except for Ron (Ichiban). Did I tell you about the time at the first meet up last year when he picked out the best looking ribs at the buffet bar and left everyone else in the lurch? :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:35 pm 
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Hi Everyone, We have been home a couple of hours. I think I have been glued to the board for over an hour trying to catch up.

The Meet-up was fantastic. Like Wally had predicted, we got caught in traffic and was just a bit late. As we drove in to Ryan's parking lot, I immediately thought I recognized Charlotte running to get out of the rain. I said to Kathy, I think thats Charlotte, then I saw leo and I knew they had made it to the meet-up :nanner: . I was already giddy with excitement and also a bit nervous about our first meeting of any of the MB2 members. I think I was probably visibly shaking with anticipation of what was yet to come.

Sure enough, as we walked in the door, there stood Charlotte and Leo. Leo with his back to me and Charlotte facing towards me. I said, You're Charlotte. Like leo had said in his post, I think she did whisper something to him about that old guy over there hitting on her :twisted:.Then I noticed Mike and Iris standing just behind Leo and Charlotte. Also about the same time Dean came in. After a brief greeting with each other while waiting in the cashier line, we all ended up together in the back room at Ryan's.

The first person I saw in the back room was our stunning Patrish. My heart was pounding as she made her way toward Kathy and I. We had a group hug, A moment of silence with tears flowing, I got a one on one hug and I think another group hug. I never felt more welcome anywhere since birth. All my anxieties immediately were gone. It was wonderful to finally get to meet her.

We also were priveleged to meet Wally. I only got to talk with him briefly but, get the feeling he is probably one of the nicest guy's you could ever hope to meet.

Cathy and Rich are a hoot! They sat across the table from Kathy and I during dinner. Turns out that Cathy and Kathy have something in common, they are both Medical Assistants. I know they are a fun couple and sincerely hope we can meet them again. Perhaps next year parasailing :cool: Carol, Rich's sister, seemed to be enjoying all the conversation.

I think I would have recognized everyone at the meet-up from pictures or their avatar if I had met them on the street except, for maybe Dean. If you have read any of Deans posts, that is who he is. His personality comes across in his posts. He is a very nice, polite, courteous and respectful young man. Dean, thanks for taking the lead and putting this meet-up together.

Jeff, Lorraine, Zach and Nich, what a great family and a pleasure to be around. We too, were so impressed with those two boy's. Very well mannered and intelligent. They are indeed the all american family.

Thanks to Leo and Charlotte for the incredible effort in making this meet-up. Again and again their love for this board and it's members are apparent.

Leo also is exactly like his posts, so sincere and genuine, yet full of humor. He is blessed with a natural talent that keeps us wanting more. In real life he is really quite soft spoken, direct and to the point and then out of nowhere something will come out about getting hit in the head with a saute pan and not ever knowing what could have been. I love the guy
and proud that he calls me brother.

Thanks to all of you for saying nice things about me. We are so blessed to have met all of you. Thanks for spending a few hours with us.

I hope to post a trip report soon. I am having serious computer issues. I am writing this in safe mode. Also, I have a ton of pictures I want to share.

Ed


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:57 pm 
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Another year later and a great time we had for the 2nd meet up, (after arriving a few minutes late due to the rain and a traffic accident.) I have been looking forward to this and it was the highlight of my trip. Jeff and his family were there and after speaking with Lorraine I realized Jeff and I are both worrying kinds of people-that's why I married someone I guess who is the complete opposite or my kids would have never survived living with 2 parents who worried about everything. Probably why Lorraine is more easy going. Jeff is a planner like me too I understand. They have 2 nice well behaved boys. What can I say though, someone has to plan, right Jeff, or we would just sit around looking at each other the whole week asking what people want to do for the day!!!

Patrish and Wally are wonderful and thanks for inviting us to your home (after we got sent away from the employees at Ryan's.) I told Rich (shirtman) we all must have looked and acted harmless to take us into their home. Thanks again Patrish!

Rich's sister Carol had a good time and really enjoyed talking with Iris. Mike and Iris, start posting (even if you are a slow typist like me.) It was nice seeing you both again after meeting you last year at Creek Ratz. I always enjoy hearing about England. As Leo is looking for 2 more victims for the sharks you maybe should think of going parasailing with us next year.

Ed and Kathy sat across from us and she does the same line of work as me,working for a bunch of doctors. Great talking with Ed too-of course Rich did more of that at Patrish's.

Deano, you have alot of interest in the board and it was nice meeting someone your age who wants to hang out with us old folks. Sorry guys, but most of us there that night are old!! (Older than him) It was great of him to help set this up.

And last but not least, Leo and Charlotte who I met briefly last year. Leo, for meeting me and talking with me for the 1st time he really seems to know me quite well about the glass being half empty. (i read his post)
I really did not say what he said I did about my friend severing her head .Ths happened in another country for those of you who don't know the story. Leo wants a group to go parasailing next year and a friend of mine did almost drown when the chute wentn,got tangled in the ropes, lost her camera but survived. A true story but I did not share this earlier with future parasailers-I won't ruin their expectations of what kind of shark might take a bite out of them. they'll see it swimming in the deep blue ocean where it will be waiting when you are dipped in the water.Leo, Rich is the one who's not really ready to go-that's why I never went. I am not afraid but he says I am for an excuse that he doesn't want to go alone. It was great fun talking to you and the time went too quickly. Until next year I'm going to find a hypnotist soon so I can be prepared to parasail next year. Can't start those sessions soon enough!!!!

For those of you unable to be with us you missed a great,fun,entertaining time.

By the way I took some great pictures at the meet up. But none of you will ever see them unfortunately, not because anyone's not good looking or anything, but I don't have them anymore. I accidentally deleted them. I was going to cry but thought about it and there are worse things than losing pictures!! Now I know how not to delete ALL of them!!! It was a learning experience and I can view Patrish's. Rich had his camera too but not there so I have some from this vacation and the rest are in my head.

Will post trip report soon just arrived home at 4 pm back to the gray skies of PA. Have to relax awhile.


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 Post subject: More photos!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:56 am 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
Jeff and Lorraine will be posting all their vacation photos with their trip report, but since I didn't take any pictures at our house after dinner at Ryan's, they wanted to share these.

Thanks! We've looking forward to your trip report and the rest of your photos!

1. Wally, Cathy, Dean
http://www.funbeaches.com/Bennett/1.jpg
2. Jeff, Leo, Rich, Patrish, Ed, Cathy, Wally, Dean
http://www.funbeaches.com/Bennett/3.jpg
3. Wally, Dean, Charlotte, Leo, Jeff, Kathy
http://www.funbeaches.com/Bennett/4.jpg

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