Gathering of Glen-L Boatbuilders 2019
Posted by Gayle Brantuk on Oct 18th 2019
This year was the 13th Gathering of Glen-L Boatbuilders. A little background on this annual event may be in order. The idea of getting together started on the Glen-L Boatbuilder Forum around 2005. There are quite a few builders in the Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee area, so two of our Forum members, Dave Grason and Bill Edmundson decided to scout out a potential area to hold a get together.
Eventually, they ended up with Guntersville Lake in Alabama which had nice little cabins on the lake and a covered area for meals and fellowship. It was a nice venue, but the boats were launched from an area down the road, so the parking lot near the launch ramp was where all the boats stayed.
This was the location for several years until there were some issues with that venue that made it necessary to find another one. That's when Dave and Bill once again found another location, Hales Bar Marina in Guild, Tennessee. This new place has floating cabins that are hitched to a long dock that the boats can tie up to throughout the weekend. It's super convenient to have them right there and many folks are able to stay on their boats and still be right in the center of the action. Plus, there are land cabins and a campground too.
So, once things were set for that first Gathering, I told my brother Barry, that we should go. Dad (Glen), Barry and I discussed it and of course, there was no way my dad would go because he's just not a social person. Neither is Barry and he said he didn't want to go either. Now, don't take offense to this, my dad and brother, though both very friendly, don't like social gatherings where they don't know anyone. That's probably why they both married women who were the exact opposite!
I was disappointed for sure, but I was low man on the totem pole, so to speak. Then, about a week later, Barry announces that Anke (his wife) wants to go so they're in! Apparently, I'm chopped liver. So, that was it--Barry, Anke and John and I went to the first Gathering and quite a few after. Of course, Barry retired in 2008, so John and I continued going for quite a while. Circumstances have only allowed us to attend sporadically the past few years.
I'll never forget when we arrived at that very first Gathering. We all went to our cabins to get our stuff settled in and we saw a bunch of guys out in the meeting area and wondered if those were "our guys". I was nervous to meet them because even after almost 20 years at Glen-L, most all of my contact with our builders was by phone. There were only about 6 or 7 folks there at the time as it was still early, but wow, what a reception! These guys treated us like we were rock stars! It was a very humbling experience.
Through the years, these folks have become a family that we've chosen. And, I think of them frequently because they all have a special place in my heart. In fact, I feel that way about all of our builders whether we meet by phone, email or in person. So, that's the background of these special Gatherings.
Following are some comments of a couple attendees of G13, the 2019 Gathering of Glen-L Boatbuilders. You can find photos of the event in our Gallery. Oh yes, next year's Gathering (G14) is scheduled for September 17-20, 2020 at the same place!
"I wanted to take a second to thank all of those involved in a very fun weekend! This was Kathy and my first Gathering of Glen-L Boatbuilders, so we didn't really know what to expect, but assumed it would be fairly casual and that's perfect for us!! What we found was exactly that. A fun time involving many people of similar interests with lots of stories, laughter, camaraderie, and even though it was our first trip, open arms that made us feel welcome before we even got out of the truck in the Hales Bar parking lot!!"
"No one ever went hungry, the days were all full, the weather was great (I'm sure Craig will claim he arranged that!) and all of this pulled off without a hard-core schedule or plan. My kind of event!"
Since I would fail any test to remember peoples names after only a couple of days, I will simply say GREAT WORK to all who worked so hard to pull this off whether it was events, food, parking, greeting newbies, etc! All the hard work was certainly noticed and contributed to a wonderful weekend!!!"
"To all of our new friends, we wish you the best from Texas and can't wait to see you (yawl..!) again soon! You made us feel proud to present "Spirit of Jessica" (the Glen-L Minuet) and we loved seeing the beautiful boats you have handcrafted as well!"
Joel & Kathy
"Spirit of Jessica"
Glen-L Minuet launched May 13, 2013
Builders Blog: www.mtnpirate.blogspot.com
"I just wanted to post a quick note saying that Marta and I had a great time at the Gathering. If we could have scheduled our vacation one more day later or longer it would have been even better. We had to leave Saturday afternoon because both Marta and Myself had to work on Sunday, so we missed the Taco bar and all the shenanigans that happened on Saturday night. Going to the gathering made Marta really excited about building our boat."
"We both have been swamped with work since we got back, and have only done a little actual wood cutting on our boat, However the loft space in the shop where I am going to assemble the frame is done enough that I can start using it. This week I am using the "new space" to build a stand up paddleboards with off cuts of wood from the frames of the Calypso, and I am excited to have a space to work."
"Marta took plenty of pictures, and we will probably post some pictures of the gathering here and on a blog soon, now that we have a tiny bit of free time."
Ryan "Rip" Lash
"It was a great weekend of fun and camaraderie. This is a family reunion for me and Rich. Lunch run was awesome with great water conditions and Scotties on the River was yummy. Hugged old friends and made new ones. Can't wait for G14. It will be AWESOME. Too busy visiting and having fun for picture taking. See you next year," Roberta
"Boating, cooking, singing, etc....Heather and I had lots of fun with our Glen-L friends, it’s such as nice quiet get away. Boating on this section of the Tennessee River is beautiful." - Matt B
See many more photos of the 2019 Gathering of Glen-L Boatbuilders!