Minutes of the February 16, 2008 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


President Bell called the meeting to order at 12:00. Luke Lloyd offered the invocation. Jack Bolen led the pledge to the flag and the president led the pledge to the SAR.


Members present: DeVaux McLean, Luke Lloyd, Cy Gamber, John Sessums, Allen Bell, Marty Miller, Walter Lane, Jack Bolen, Robert Yarnell, and Kevin Yarnell.

Welcome guests:  Jeanne Lloyd, June Bolen, Gerald Sessums and his wife, Darlene and Tom Schoepsk. Tom and Gerald are prospective members.


The guests were introduced by various members.


The minutes of the January meeting were approved.


The secretary reported that the chapter membership stood at 35. He has received emails from members as a result of the meeting notices now being sent. This month Chuck Grant, Bill Floyd, and Ed Neugaard sent greetings to the members. The Chapter Challenge contest form was submitted to the Regional Vice President. Chapter Challenge is a yearly contest between local chapters. Points are awarded for various activities completed by the chapter. For 2007 Tampa accumulated 429 points compared to 435 in 2006. Many of these points come from the chapter’s efforts with ROTC and new members.


Marty Miller reported on his audit of the chapter treasury records. Everything was in order. The Treasurer reported a checking balance of $2,267.91 and a petty cash amount of $102.99.


Jack Bolen asked if brochures were available to give to prospective members. Luke Lloyd had some pamphlets but the secretary was asked to order some brochures suitable for recruitment.


Under new business the secretary asked the membership if they’d be willing to sponsor a local contest for the Americanism Elementary School Poster Contest. He has several contacts at local Catholic elementary schools and thought they might be receptive to the contest. Luke Lloyd also has a contact at a local Christian school in his area. The membership agreed to have both men float the idea with these schools. If there is interest the chapter may be willing to offer prize money for the winners.


The meeting recessed for lunch.


Following lunch President Bell introduce the Vice President, Robert Yarnell who provided the program for the meeting. 


In honor of Washington’s birthday this month, Compatriot Yarnell sought to answer the question, “Why did it succeed?” Too often we tend to end our thinking regarding the Revolution with the surrender at Yorktown. We think the war ended and a nation was founded. Compatriot Yarnell pointed out that during the early years of the country it was not at all obvious that the nation would succeed. Many thought that the country would breakup in some manner with in its first 20 years.


Focusing on the founders and particularly Washington’s years as president, Compatriot Yarnell offered three reasons for the country’s success.


1. They knew each other personally and they knew how to disagree without being disagreeable. During this time, Washington was willing and able to delegate much of the necessary tasks to men like Hamilton and Jefferson. He stepped in only when he thought his influence was needed and then, generally, only behind the scenes. For example, at one point Washington took Hamilton and Jefferson fishing and used the time on the boat to talk through some difference.


2. They had a sense that they were making history and that they were actors in what they understood as a drama. This prevented them from being radical in their approach to starting the government under the constitution. Each man, in his own way, realized what was at stake and very much wanted the government to work more than they wanted personal power and glory. Washington illustrated this as he set the tone and precedence for the presidency.


3. Washington was the central figure and the linchpin. Hamilton once said that being in the presence of Washington was like being in the presence of your father, your maker, and your creditor all at the same time. We don’t know much about Washington as president because he did so much behind the scenes. But it is clear he did a masterful job. Ask yourself who else could have done it and you likely come up with a blank answer. At the end of his first term Hamilton and Jefferson urged Washington to run for reelection when he expressed his desire to quit. They argued that if he didn’t run one of them would win and that would pull the country apart. It seems likely this would have been the case and so again we see the significance of Washington’s influence.


So why did it work? It had to work to avoid someone becoming King or having the country carved up by European nations. This fact was clearly on the minds of the founders and they never lost sight of it.


A time for questions followed.


The secretary won the 50/50 drawing and donated the full proceeds to the chapter. The treasury was thus enriched by $13.00


President Bell led the recessional. Chaplain Lloyd gave the benediction. The meeting adjourned at 1:35 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary