My National Gathering 2006 Experience. I almost didnt go to the first national gathering of the Brotherhood of Catfisherman. It was too far, gas prices were up, it was the weekend after my anniversary, the kids were in school, I didnt want to leave my business, etc... Boy am I glad my wife said I should go. Well, next I got the bright idea that I should ride my motorcycle down there even though I had never ridden it for more than 2 hour out and 2 hours back in. Then, coming down from Ohio, I had map quested it (anyone ever read a map quest while riding a motorcycle?) anyhow, I knew I had to turn on some sort of outer belt and ended up, well, I knew I was in trouble when I crossed the Ohio river... for the second time. I finally made it after 10 hours. I was kind of trepidatious riding in because I only knew 2 people, Netman Jack (Thanks for carting my stuff) and Eric (Deer Hunter). Well, I went about setting up camp. The first person I met was Vic. We talked but a little and never did get to talk a lot, but I am glad we got to talk. Next I met Catgirl (Tanya). I got a hug from her and well that just made my day! After setting up I walked around and met a bunch of people. I am not going to name them all because I cant. But, I am much richer for the experience. I met and chatted with Jim and Judy Marshall, Gene Chambers, Oh heck a bunch of people, Tea, his wife and Madison, Dale and family, Richard Ward, the old car guy, etc... The experience was so huge that I can only share bits and impressions. I met with the Big Dog, Paul, and I dont care what anyone says about you, you are a mans man. Paul was approachable, personable and really let his hair down. It was a pure pleasure to be at your creation and to be a part of such an historic gathering. Eric, even though I already know you, I have to thank you, Pam, Ryan, Rachel, and Katie. You and yours were absolutely everywhere doing it all. Are you sure those kids are yours? They are all polite and beautiful. I have to assume they take after Pam. Thank you for making them come to Sunday Service. I met some of the best people in the world. I met a man that if I had seen him on the street, I would be frightened. He looks like Jeremiah Johnson, or a real Mountain man. However, when I heard him speak it was wondrous. Griz, you should be a story teller. He has such an easy way about him. He had told a family member that he wished he could fill that causeway at Energy Lake with BOC members. Well, I guess you got your wish... twice. As a matter of fact, I believe you were responsible for Vic catching his first flathead this year! Thank you for you southern hospitality and the vegetable soup. Another personality I met was JD Straka. Eric (DH) asked if I knew who this gentleman was. He looked alright but I had not a clue who he might be. Well this fella turned his back to me and I saw a catfish on his t-shirt. I thought to myself, thanks Eric, that really narrows it down! When he turned around, you couldve knocked me over with a feather! What a transformation ! I turned around on Saturday and this big fella... let me rephrase... this BIG fella grabbed my hand and shook it. I felt like Popeye (before the spinach) being shaken by Bluto, you know BAM BAM BAM! After threatening to use me as an anchor I knew I had met JW Dreadnaught! I think the nex time I saw him he had a little pie in the face! Way to go Rachel! I had the honor of slathering Eric Simcox with whipped creme pie alongside Pam. I also met a few of my conservative friends. Go Fish Tony, it was a pleasure to meet you (no I will NEVER convert)! I also met Uncle Jesse... I mean Jeb . Speaking of uncles, I also got to meet Aunt Sci Fi. Although I never met Uncle SciFi. I knew it was special that she made the trip with her son and I was honored to meet her. It was a pleasure as well to meet with KC Geoffs brother and friend (sorry guys, I am not good with that many new names) It was nice to share time with you as well. I had the pleasure of meeting Olefin. Dayton, even if your politics aint right, you are a good man! A fine man. Folks, I saw this man bid $111.00 for a carving of the inaugural BOC National Gathering, with the proceeds going to the BOC. Thank you for your generosity. To the gent that donated the winning proceeds from the 50/50 thanks to you too for your generosity. A huge thanks goes to Shilo Red and company for the grand dinner on Saturday. DH made turkey in a trash can and Shiloh brought absolutely anything you could ever need to the gathering. Another thing about Shiloh Red. I thought Bass fishermen spent crazy money on stuff. Shiloh has a $2000.00 fish finder! And a very nice rig to go with it. Thank you for your tireless dedication. To all the mods I met, thanks for being there and thanks for all the thankless tasks yall carry out on a daily basis. I am certain that I am leaving out much and many people and for that I apologize. White Rivercats, and Mrs White Rivercats, it was nice to meet you. Catfishforlife it was an absolute treasure to break bread with you. Guys, this young man has been a member for about two months, a grad student at Murray State and came down. Why? He said he belongs to many music sites, and it would never even occur to them to welcome a new member. Thanks for coming and good luck. Mark, I hate to admit it, but Shiner Bock isnt too awful bad... in fact I like it, thanks. You know, at such gatherings, there is an opportunity to make lifelong friends, special friends. Friday night we were standing around and the subject of music came up. Well, we hemmed and hawed around until we finally started to just sing. Well we kind of liked the sound, and them we started to sing a little gospel. Well, Gofish Tony said that I was a little complicated, after all I rode up on a Harley Davidson with gospel music blaring from its speakers, but by golly, at 2 am, myself, Catgirl (Tanya), Mike Holladay, and Netman Jack started on a journey. It was a most pleasant journey, one that none of us expected. Folks, we sang for 4 hours solid creating the first BOC Gospel Quartet. To the folks we awakened, you have my humblest apologies but so precious were those few hours that I dont think we could have stopped if we wanted to. Wolfman, Troy it was a pleasure ministering to you with music. You seemed touched and we appreciate your coming to the service on Sunday. Folks, I hated to leave this one. In fact, I can hardly wait for the next one.