Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

September 2015



          Meeting announcement

          Revolution education note

          Program Schedule

          Color Guard Activity

          Veterans & Active Duty Military Recognition

          Kevin Yarnell Update

          Misc. reminders and information


The Sept. meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will be on Sept. 19th at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, located at 11810 Dale Mabry Highway North, Tampa, Florida (813-963-1660).   Prospective members and other guests are always welcome.  Our own Compatriot Terrel Sessums will make a Revolutionary War related presentation.   


Pres. Dick Young will be reporting on the Aug. Board of Governors meeting as well as giving the membership a brief report from the National Congress held this past summer.   


Revolution Note:

Since this is constitution month, I thought I’d do a quick review of three books on the Constitution—two of which have been very influential over the years and a third that deserves greater attention.

          Catherine Bowen’s Miracle in Philadelphia, as the name implies, is the iconic “the demigods came down from Mt. Olympus and created a miracle.”  While she does include some discussion of the nastiness behind the scenes as well as marvel at how it all turned out so well, it is, by and large very favorable to most all involved and most everyone comes out as having put country first etc.

          Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution is a Marxist interpretation of the Constitution.  I include it here to be fair and also because of its tremendous influence on university campuses especially in the 60’s and 70’s.  Essentially Beard argues that a bunch of rich white guys got together in Philadelphia to create a system that allowed them to keep being rich white guys. There are lots of problems with it and his thesis is easily debunked, but, as mentioned above it was taught on many university campuses for several decades.  And, I might add, after falling out of favor in the late 80’sand 90’s, it is experiencing a bit of a rebirth.

          I saved my favorite and what I think is the best book on the Philadelphia convention for last.  It is Constitutional Journal by Jeffrey St. John.  He writes the book as a series of newspaper articles as if he were a reporter covering the convention.  He relies heavily on Madison’s notes (as does Bowen) but also includes citations for other letters and diaries.  He does get into the debates, personalities and some of the detailed points, but he writes in a way that makes it easy to understand some of the little things that caused so much difficulty that summer...or rather things that today might be viewed as insignificant but in 1787 were very hotly contested points.  He later added a sequel, A Child of Fortune, written in the same manner about the ratification of the Constitution.

          There are, obviously, many other books on the constitutional convention as well as chapters about the convention in good biographies of the participants, but these three—the first two because of their influence and the last because it is very easy to read and understand, represent a good cross section for those interested in reading a book on the convention.



Below is the tentative program schedule for the remainder of 2015.


October – TBA

November - CAR Joint Meeting plus Law Enforcement and Fire Fighter recognition

December - Officer Installation


As always pass along any program suggestions to VP Charles Klug or Pres. D. Young


Color Guard Activity

Even though the Chapter as not met since May 16, your Color Guard has been active.

          May 19 - Members of the Tampa and Withlacoochee Chapters' Color Guards combined to represent the SAR at the Honor Flight return flight reception at the St. Pete/Clearwater airport.

          May 25 - Your President joined the Withlacoochee Color Guard in presenting the colors and participation in a Memorial Day Service in Citrus County

          June 28 - Your President participated in the NSSAR Memorial Service at the 125th National Congress as part of the National Color Guard

          August 8 - The Tampa and Withlacoochee Chapters Color Guards again combined to form a Florida Society Color Guard to present the Colors for the Commander-In-Chiefs' banquet at the National Convention of              the Military Order of World Wars held in Tampa.



Upcoming Events

          October 31 - Presentation of the Colors at the DAR 125th Anniversary Luncheon in Tampa

          December 12 - Presentation of the Colors at the Wreaths Across America Ceremony at the American Legion Post #5 Veterans Cemetery in Tampa


We need more members in the Tampa Chapter - Hillsborough River Camp color Guard.  Please consider participation. 


Veterans & Active Duty Military Recognition

The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs is recognizing any legal Florida resident who is either now serving honorably as a member of the US Armed Forces or has been honorably discharged or retired from active duty.  Proof must be provided.  More information, including the request form and the Governor's Proclamation can be found on the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs website at www.Floridavets.org/gvsa.



Kevin Yarnell Update

For those of you that do not know Kevin, he is Past President long time Past Secretary/Treasurer of the Tampa Chapter and long time Past Secretary of the Florida Society.  In 2011 and already in his 50's Kevin chose to enter the priesthood.  For the past four years he has been attending Seminary just outside Boston.  He has one more year to go.  Upon completion he will serve somewhere within the Diocese of St. Petersburg.  This past April he was ordained as a Deacon.  He looks forward to being ordained as a priest next May.  Each summer Kevin is assigned to work at a local area Parish.  This summer he spent most of  his time at Incarnation Parish in Tampa and spent the last week or two at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in New Port Richey.  Kevin looks forward to his returning to the Tampa area on a full time basis, assuming his duties as an ordained priest in the Catholic Church and renewing his active participation in SAR.  He hopes to be able to join us at our December meeting.  The Florida Society recently awarded Kevin with the Silver Roger Sherman Medal with oak leaf cluster for his years of service at that level.




Misc. Reminders and notes:


Chapter Website— Remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website.  Http\\:www.tampasar.org


Florida Society SAR - Board of Management

The Fall FLSSAR Board of Management meeting will be October 23-24 at the Florida Hotel & Conference Center in Orlando.  All members are invited to attend.  All Officers are encouraged to attend.  BOM registration and Hotel reservation information is available on the FLSSAR website www.flssar.org.


Ed. Note:

I have a few books on early America I no longer need.  If anyone wants any of them let me know and I’ll bring it to the meeting for you.   Otherwise, I’m going to donate them to the Better World Books people.  Here’s the list:


Six Frigates by Ian Toll—about the early American Navy—including the USS Constitution

Benedict Arnold by Willard Randall

His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph Ellis

Passionate Sage: Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph Ellis