It’s been a few years now since we last met in Knoxville so it’s time to come home for our 22nd Sultana reunion! As you might know, our association met here for the first fourteen years before we first ventured out of town to Vicksburg, MS.
Friday Evening: 7:00 p.m. - at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 2500 Maryville Pike, Knoxville, TN, 37920
(The easiest way to get to the church is turn right onto Maloney Road off Alcoa Highway, as you are driving north, toward Knoxville. This turn is exactly 7 miles from the hotel and right next to a large church called Sevier Heights Baptist Church. Then, go one mile and Maloney dead ends at Maryville Pike. Mt. Olive is immediately across the road. Enter the hall through the back of the building. I will put up a Sultana sign on the corner of Alcoa Highway and Maloney Road.)
Many of you will remember the great room we used in the past in the church’s fellowship hall. Plenty of space for 100 people plus a small stage we can use. Also, once again I want to encourage folks to bring display items to tell their ancestor’s story or some aspect of the Sultana tragedy. There will be tables available and an area set aside for this important part of our activities.
The theme for Friday night will be “Civil War Music.” Several talented musicians from Kentucky have offered to play at no cost but will have tapes and CDs for sale. Also, my wife’s group, the Appalachian Harmonizers, will sing a few songs as in prior meetings. I might come up with some other ideas, too.
Saturday Bus Tour–9:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. (load up at the Courtyard hotel)
Something we have never done before is have a tour of Civil War sites in Knoxville, following the route that our local Civil War Roundtable put together some time ago. I will be one tour guide, and I will find another for the second bus. The last stop will be our unique Sultana monument in the cemetery of Mt. Olive Baptist Church. I believe I can find a way during the tour to have a couple of wreaths tossed off one of our bridges into the Tenn. River like some of our Sultana men once did.
Two 48 passenger school buses are reserved for the tour. The cost will only be $10.00 each person which needs to be prepaid by mailing a check made out to me, Norman Shaw, to P. O. Box 30372, Knoxville, TN, 37930.
Lunch will be at one of the downtown restaurants. I hope there we will be able to eat at a favorite place called Calhoun’s on the River. Everyone will order off the menu.
Saturday Evening Banquet–7:00 p.m.
Our hotel will serve us a buffet meal at the reasonable cost of $18.34 per person (which includes tax and gratuity). We will have a choice of two meats, three vegetables, salad, rolls, dessert, and drink. This meal must be prepaid by mailing a check to me at P. O. Box 30372, Knoxville, TN, 37930. I will give the hotel a final number and pay for the reserved meals at least 72 hours prior to Sat., April 25th. Naturally, those not staying at the hotel can dine with everyone else by prepaying, as explained above.
That’s the details as of this writing. Expect some updates in the next newsletter which will come out near the reunion date. If you need to contact me, send an e-mail to shawclan4(at)bellsouth.net.
I look forward to seeing many familiar faces in April and, hopefully, several new ones. We always have a grand time!
- Norman Shaw