Everything is going well with the Society. I’m happy to say we welcomed in 13 new senior members since our last meeting, five of which were advancements from junior member. We also welcomed seven new junior members. It is always nice to bring in new members. It shows that the Society is growing and, of course, new junior members means more future Bell Tappers.
This year’s Fourth of July meeting turned into quite an adventure for all who attended. For those of us who arrived on July 3, we were treated to a tour of the Museum of the American Revolution, where the highlight was seeing the exhibit of General George Washington’s tent. While in the museum, a thunderstorm rolled through Philadelphia and, as we were to find out, a lightning strike took out the load center for the Wyndham Hotel. Most of our members staying at the hotel decided to tough it out and stay for the night. It took until 7:30 a.m. for emergency crews to restore power to the hotel. I do think the staff of the Wyndham went out of their way to accommodate us and tried to make the best of a bad situation. I cannot speak for all but, even though there was no power, my room remained comfortably cool all night long. I am glad that the power came on in time for the hotel to be able to prepare our Fourth of July brunch, and we were able to enjoy our meal in a nice air-conditioned room. We are a tough bunch of folks to put up with conditions not expected in our modern world. Just think of how our ancestors lived in the summer heat!
The rest of the activities on the Fourth went on as planned. This is my first time being able to observe the Bell Tapping from behind the podium. I not only got the chance to see our tappers up close, but I got to watch the faces of the proud parents and grandparents of our junior members. Some were moved to tears of pride and joy at this unique opportunity of tapping the Liberty Bell. Another high point of the day was the naturalization of two new citizens, Azli Ipek Diker and Nazli Cicek Diker, from Turkey. It was interesting that when the INS agent presented them with their certificates of citizenship, she asked all of us to repeat the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. I am sure it made this moment more meaningful for all of us.
Moving forward, I hope to see a lot of you at our next meeting in Litchfield CT, the weekend of September 28-30, 2018.
R. Bruce W. Laubach