Patroon History

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Giving History a Little Help

Hello Patroonies, old and new. While we were gathering in the windy parking lot before embarking upon our trip up the Northway for our annual Flyers’ Club brunch, I found myself trying to explain the traditions and history of this event to Flyers’ Club newbies. While I was able to say that I believed Flyers’ Club was the first “Drive and Dine”, and one of the few social gatherings of the club “back in the day,” I wasn’t there, so I really don’t know.
Maybe it was the mimosas. Maybe it was nostalgia for the first Flyers’ Club Scott and I ever attended. Maybe it was because all the perfectly crispy bacon, yummy home fries, and melted ham and cheese omelets raised my cholesterol and clogged my brain. For whatever the reason, by the time brunch was over, I had appointed myself Madame Historian of the Patroon Chapter.

As our members age, our history is being erased. If we don’t gather our memories and try and document them somehow, they will be lost. When Howie Kohn was our president and I was a relatively new chapter secretary, he gave me a file box full of “stuff” that looks to be a time capsule from the Bill Kane/Verne Frasier era. So, I have physical custody of some old Half Moons from the mid 80’s, the insurance forms for when we hosted Oktoberfest in 1982, and a dash plaque from a rally we hosted to benefit the Arthritis Foundation in 1994. Everything I have just raises more questions about our club activities and makes me wonder what I can do to preserve and share our club’s legacy with our current and future members. I know that with so many things being done on the computer and the current HGTV and TLC craze for living “clutter free” and not because I believe that if it isn’t on the web, it doesn’t exist.

I will ask officers about what happened to our club during their times in office, photos of old t-shirts from early driving schools, stories from Oktoberfest ’82… and many things that haven’t occurred to me yet all available for vieweing with the click of a mouse at some point in the future.

I don’t want to wait until we forget everything. One of the first items I am personally going to attempt to document is the history of our popular ice cream social at Guptills, as I was in charge of the first one several years ago.
Obviously, I need your help. Do you have a story for me? Do you have memorabilia that I can photograph or scan and return? Were you an officer or a committee chair? Did you attend the first Concours? What is the real story behind the first Flyers’ Club? Why was the 39th chapter of the BMW CCA named after the Dutch Patroons? Were any other names considered? Where is the rumored cocktail napkin that was supposedly used to sketch our original logo? Where were our earliest meetings held?

Postal mail me, e-mail me or call me. I’m looking forward to starting to compile and record our chapter’s history.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Madame Historian (and Madame Secretary)

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