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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Location: Ames, IA
Recap of Born Free 2013 Jekyll Island, Ga., Rally, April 9 to 13 hosted by Judy and Bruce Gregory

Judy and Bruce Gregory are winter guests every February and march at Jekyll Island Campground, Jekyll Island, Ga.. This special island has a landscape with no rival-live oak trees hung with Spanish moss. quiet paved bike paths that circle and crisscross the island, sandy beaches that offer shells and beautiful sunsets, a special place called Driftwood Beach-to most, this is Paradise.

The festivities started with a wine and cheese Meet and Greet gathering which was followed by a pot luck dinner. John Hunter, a local historian, gave an informal presentation about Jekyll Island which was first occupied by the Guale Indians, then by plantation owners. In 1886, it was sold to northern millionaires who formed what was considered the most exclusive social club in the United States. Astors, Cornings, Morgans, Pulitizers, Rockeffelers and Vanderbilts were among the members who came from New York on their large yachts to
enjoy hunting, fishing, golf and swimming. They had commissioned the construction of a large hunting lodge, and when the membership outgrew the accommodations, gracious but unpretentious cottages were built to house families and staffs. When the club members were at the table in the club house, one-sixth of the world's wealth was seated at the table. In 1942, with the threat of enemy submarines just off the coast, the United States government ordered the island evacuated. The state of Georgia purchased the island in 1947 and it became a state park. Many of the cottages have been preserved and are open to the public.

Following doughnuts, juice and coffee, the first day was a full one. At 9:00 AM, we all boarded the tram that took us around Jekyll Island's historical district which is a National Historic Landmark. The tram ride guide elaborated on what John Hunter had told us the night before, pointing out, among other things, the replica of the telephone tat was used to make the first transcontinental call in 1915. The tram tour included a tour of one of the cottages as well as Faith Chapel. The non-denominational chapel was built in 18904 for club members and has one of four Tiffany windows in existence that was signed by the designer.

The next tour was in the Georgia Turtle Center, a 5,250 square foot brick Greek Revival structure built in 1903. It was origionally the Power Plant that supplied electricity millionaires' lodge and cottages. Now it contains exhibit space, a hospital, classroom, office and gift shop. The mission of the center is to provide care for sick and injured sea turtles and help them thrive, the ultimate goal being to return turtles to their native habitat.

Having been on tours all morning, it was time for lunch and what a lunch it was! We entered the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, walking on heart pine floors, through columned corridors, saw the grand wooden staircase, carved wood and terra-cotta fireplace, leaded glass windows and immense mirrors. Our private dining room was the Federal Reserve Aldrich Room, named after Senator Nelson Aldrich(R-RI), Chairman of the National Monetary Commission, who organized the Federal Reserve while he was on the island. Seated at beautifully appointed tables, our quiet and efficient waiters served us a delicious meal. Following lunch, it was nap time for some, bike riding and
exploring the island for others. At night we had a campfire during which time regaled the events of the day with new friends new and old.

After breakfast the next day, we were on our own to do some sightseeing, play golf, spend time on the beach or any other activities.
At 5:00 PM we car and coach pooled to the nearby town of Brunswick where we were treated at Bruce's favorite eatery, The Indigo Restaurant where, after a plantain appetizer, we had a choice of jerk chicken or shrimp and grits.

Full of delicious doughnuts, juice and coffee, we had another day to explore the island and all it has to offer. In the evening, we had a pizza party and delightful entertainment by Leo Dean who performed island music with his guitar and "pan," a steel drum.

Our last round of doughnuts, juice and coffee were followed by farewells to all, with wishes for safe travels and hopes to see everyone again very soon.

Click on this link for a series of photos from this rally by Eric Sandstrom: https://picasaweb.google.com/esandstrom99/JekyllIslandRallyApril2013?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMj5ubyaosv9Yg&feat=directlink

Submitted by Mary & Jerry Breu

NOTE! This recap was posted for the authors by the Website Administrator (bfadmin-2).


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