free web maker

The Eglin Yacht Club

1962 - 1981


The history of the Eglin Yacht Club was developed primarily from the minutes of membership, bridge, and advisory board meetings. There were many gaps in the information available for writing this history. Some members of the Eglin Yacht Club from the early formative days are still members and others are still available in the area. These longtime members have contributed to this history. In trying to make it a readable story, emphasis was placed on people, with the thought that organizations are best defined by the people that contributed to their success. Where known, credit is given to the individual or group that made changes that had major impact on the club. Membership varied over the years from about 70 to 170. Such a large and changing membership prohibits listing individual names each month or even each year.

I want to thank the recording secretaries who originally captured this history. Thanks to the commodores, bridges, and advisory groups that saved the minutes. Special thanks to Past Commodore Neil Schaible for providing the great preponderance of the records. Photographs were provided by Joe Eken, Alex Ginzburg provided information on the early development of the club house and the background on the Biebers Farm, while David Vachon and Jim Rheam assisted with editorial comments. Fred Westfall put this history on the Eglin Yacht Club website. (The preface will be completed with the submission of the next 20 years of "The Story".)

The Story of the Eglin Yacht Club

Nineteen Hundred Sixty Two

The Eglin Yacht Club was established in 1962. The club charter, with a listing of the 110 charter members, is prominently displayed at the Eglin Yacht Club, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The charter that activated the Eglin Yacht Club reads as follows:

Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

Know All Men By These Presents,
That the Military and U.S. Civil Service personnel
Of this area having banded together to form the Club,
Established under regulations promulgated under the
Authority of the Secretary of the Air Force, do agree
To abide by all the rules and regulations as set forth
In the Constitution and By-Laws, this the fifteenth
Day of February 1962.

Ronald F. Fallows
Colonel, USAF
Base Commander

Following Colonel Fallows’ signature the 110 charter members all signed their names. Thus, the Eglin Yacht Club was activated. There was little history of the activities in 1962. There were two commodores, C. L. Thomas, who was there part of the year then had a permanent change of station, and Joseph A. O’Connor who finished out the year. During 1962, the current yacht club site was selected and work was begun to cut the cane that grows along the shore and clear out the brush. The club members conducted work parties and were assisted by work details from Eglin AFB Federal Prison.

The Eglin Yacht Club building originally was an Army Air Corps warehouse. As Eglin Air Force Base was expanding and new warehouses were being built, this building became surplus and the Eglin Yacht Club founders acquired it. It was cut into two halves hauled to the current site and reassembled as one building. Thus, the club house building started out as a bare bones building without electricity, rest rooms, plumbing, inside walls, or windows and had a very unsafe floor.

During 1962 and 1963 many hours of self-help modifications and construction was conducted after normal work hours and on weekends. Rex Young and Joseph Bowers were the main architects and Pete Elvin, Alex Ginzburg, Dave Vachon, and Joe Angelini along with several other members accomplished the major portion of the carpentry work. Fred Mulkey was the electrician for the club and everyone pitched in constructing the restrooms. A contractor built the large fireplace and chimney.

The kitchen area and bar were added later. During the early planning there were discussions about whether to leave the interior with the rough wood, with beams exposed and the open "cathedral type" ceiling. Finally a large amount of imperfect (seconds) plywood was purchased and installed on the walls. This reconstruction of the old warehouse building has continued to the present time, but by mid 1963 the membership had the beginning of a rustic Club House and started to enjoy the purpose for which the club was organized — safe and happy social boating.

Nineteen Hundred Sixty Three

By March 1963 the Eglin Yacht Club was taking shape. Under the leadership of the Commodore, Colonel Burton A. Davis, by June 1963 the wood frame building had matured to a proud clubhouse for the Eglin Yacht Club. Civil engineers installed power, water and sewer systems. Work crews were planned for a couple of afternoons each week to continue to refurbish the clubhouse. Colonel Davis outlined the biggest tasks to be improving the building, building a dock, and raising a yardarm. The Finance Committee planned ways to collect $1000 to $1500 to begin work on the inside of the building. Two hundred dollars was raised by a boat race with strong support from Walt Murphy, a local radio announcer. Dues were set in March at $8.00 for the remainder of the year. The Eglin Yacht Club was invited to participate in the Billy Bowlegs boat parade on Saturday June 15, 1963. Rendezvous for the Billy Bowlegs boat parade was at the Elks Lodge on the island.

Colonel Davis announced that the commodore elected to replace himself must be active duty military.

While the Eglin Yacht Club was under work, the club conducted meetings at people’s homes and at the "Ratskellar" Club, an on-base club. The club membership was around 100, but some of the more active members were Colonel Davis - Commodore, Major Heykens – Treasurer, Captain Carl Panzer and Marian E. Panzer – Secretary, Val Kreher – Chairman House Committee, Walt Murphy – Radio Announcer, Colonel John Barnett, Rex Young, Mr. Miller, Carl and Virginia Von Wegern, Ed and Sue Brown, Major Henderson and Mr. Gilbert.

Nineteen Hundred Sixty Four

The Commodore for 1964 was Rex Young. In February 1964 a sailing regatta was planned and conducted on February 22. Sue Brown, Publicity Chairman, placed notices in the "Playground Daily News", and the "Eglin Eagle". The sailing regatta was titled the "Eglin Yacht Club Charter Regatta". The Fort Walton Yacht Club, Pensacola Navy Yacht Club, and Penguin Club were invited to participate. Prizes were presented by the commodore immediately after the race to the first, second, and third place winners. A dinner meeting was held to show appreciation to the members who had helped with the race. The dinner meeting was at "Bacons By The Sea", a popular dinner, bar, and meeting place. Cost per person for dinner was $1.50. The Eglin Yacht Club Charter Regatta became a custom each February, and on occasions was called the Valentine Regatta.

The Eglin Yacht Club Executive Board met in the new Eglin Yacht Club (EYC) building for the first time on June 10, 1964. In celebration, a dinner was planned at the "Tradewinds", with cost per member of $1.50, which included the tip.

Some of the most active members in 1964 were: Commodore Rex R. Young, Jim Spercer – Vice Commodore, Mary A. Kossow - Secretary, Sgt Ray Turner – Custodian, Henry Powell – Safety, Major Ralph and Libby Ruyle, Sgt Smith, Sue Brown, Colonel Harry B. Wright, Colonel Jerry Derosier, Colonel Barnett, Colonel Cannon, Colonel Gaff, Carl Von Wegern, Allen Kossow, Captain Watkins, W. E. Naylor, Joseph E. Bowers, F. Kabele, F. Radke, General Roberts (honorary member), Colonel Grumbles (honorary member), Glenn Smith, Sgt Scarston, Wanda L. Laffert, Ray Turner, Joe Bowers, Major A. Mike and Mrs. Gray, Alex Ginzburg, Eugene Fluharty, Ray Setzke, Ken Gilbert, Artie Adkins, Billy Heasley, Carl Laffert, and Colonel Woodward E. Davis.

Nineteen Hundred Sixty Five

Major Rex Young started his second year as commodore. Vice Commodore - Mike Gray and Rear Commodore - Ted Schacker rounded out the bridge. Board members were Jerry Derosier, Val Krehar, and Ralph Ruyle. Mr. Andrew J. Erickson of Vitro Services became an Associate Member.

The EYC agreed to manage the sailboat portion of the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce Regatta. This regatta was very successful.

Membership dues were set to become due in February and to be prorated at $.50 a month until February. New members would pay an initiation fee of $5.00.

Commodore Rex Young and Joe Eken put on the first fish fry for the new Eglin Yacht Club. In the picture below, left to right, Joe Eken and Commodore – Rex Young.






Non-payment of dues became a concern. 145 members were notified to pay their dues or they would be dropped from membership.

The docking facility at the Club was constructed for programmed club activities and daytime visits to the Club. Because the number of club members with boats far exceeds the available docking space, all docking privileges became subject to the prior approval of the Commodore, Vice Commodore or Rear Commodore. Owners of boats docked at the club were notified and their boats had to be moved within one week.

Colonel Harry Wright chaired the Nominating Committee for the 1966 Bridge. Other members of the committee were Joseph Angelini, Kenneth Gilbert, Norman Mueller, and William Naylor.

As the year ended, the club building was functional, the yardarm was installed with flags, and the docking facility was up and running.

Nineteen Hundred Sixty Six

The 1966 bridge and board was:

Commodore A. M. (Mike) Gray
Vice Commodore Joseph Angelini
Rear Commodore Bob Henshaw
Custodian James Clendenen
Board Members – Alex Ginzburg, Alan Johnson, and Henry Powell

Committee members included:
House – Rex Young, Joe Bowers, Bob Henshaw, Val Kreher, Fred Mulkey, Jim Murphy
Entertainment – Jim Toomey, Bill and Myra Naylor, Libby Ruyle
Publicity – Gwen Campbell
Membership – Joe Eken, Ed Brown, J. Via, Carter Shanklin
Safety – Gene Weiss, Artie Adkins, Al Ginzburg, Henry Powell, Fred Waters
Race – Harry Wright, Leon Fiddler, Carl Von Wegern
Secretary – Lee K. Bowers

Winner of the annual sailboat Charter Regatta was C. Walter Ruckel. Harry Wright was appointed as the new Club Storekeeper. Rex Young was Chairman of the Annual Power Boat Regatta. Jim Clendenen transfer overseas and MSgt Arthur E. Johnson was appointed as Custodian. Joint U.S. Power Squadron and EYC cruises were begun. Jack O. Kirby was approved for associate membership. MSgt. Johnson shipped overseas and Alex Ginzburg was appointed as Custodian.

The U.S. Coast Guard requested that the club furnish a schedule of club events so they will know when, where, and what "on the water" activities are planned.

A favorite gathering place for club member’s boats was an area, which no longer exists due to hurricanes and property development. Just inside of the Destin East jetty there was a protected lake with a narrow entrance that was large enough to allow anchoring of about twenty large boats and houseboats. This lake had no name on the nautical charts and since many of the boaters had dogs on board, several of which were poodles, the pond was named and referred "Poodle Pond". The boaters would arrive early Saturday morning and boat-camp until late Sunday evening and then go home and get ready for the Monday workday.

Nineteen Hundred Sixty Seven

The bridge for 1967 was:

Commodore – Joseph Angelini
Vice Commodore – Colonel Nicholas Cox
Rear Commodore – Lt. Colonel David Henderson
Board Members – Mr. Alex Ginzburg, Captain Paul Graybill, Captain Alan Johnson, Mr. Rex Young

Committee Chairmen were:
Secretary – Lee K. Bowers
House – Rex Young
Entertainment – Barry Harriss
Race – Ralph Green
Safety – Paul Graybill
Membership – Joseph Eken
Publicity – Andrew Cobb
Telephone – Betty Gent

During the January meeting, the club decided to change meeting night from the third Thursday to the third Friday monthly. Harry Wright, the Communication Network Chairman received a license for a Club base station. Alex Ginzburg was able to purchase a system for $135.00. Plans for four races for the year were reported to the Coast Guard, starting with the February Charter Regatta. The Coast Guard came to the Club on April 8th and 9th to inspect boats. The monthly dinner meeting was held at the Colonial Inn with choice of steak or seafood platter for $2.75 per person.

Paul Graybill resigned as Chairman of the Safety committee and was replaced by Gene Weiss.

At the February meeting Joe Eken, Membership Chairman, announce that 52 members had paid dues for 1967.

Vice Commodore Cox chaired a committee to update EYC Club Constitution and By-Laws. Alex Ginzburg and Alan Johnson served on the committee.

Commodore Angelini submitted a letter to Gibson’s Discount Center requesting the EYC be considered for the leasing of Chrysler Sailboats at $1.00 per year. Later that month four sailboats were leased. Commodore Angelini directed that the Club Fleet Captain be responsible for the leased sailboats and establish a plan of operations and management. Four anchors, with lines, were donated by club members for the leased boats.

The Eglin Yacht Club property was fenced in May 1967. A 14,800 BTU air conditioner was purchased for the club for $175.00. Also in May the general membership approved the new Constitution. This 1967 Constitution was surprising similar to the year 2001 Constitution.

The Power Regatta was a 50-mile marathon, with the winner being the first boat to cross the finish line. Coast Guard Station Mobile assigned Lt. Potter to lead the safety group and was assisted by four Coast Guard Auxiliary boats. Many local businesses donated prizes for the Regatta. Stools for the "social parlor" were procured in June.

A patio was being planned as well as a walkway down to the dock. A boathouse with showers was planned.

Sailboat races were set for November with three classes of boats and nine trophies.

Year 1967 was a busy year with many property improvements. Light fixtures had been installed in the club building. Overhead work was ongoing to install a ceiling and a patio had been built. In the first five years the EYC programs and activities had become a great asset to Eglin AFB.

Nineteen Hundred Sixty Eight

The bridge for 1968 was:

Commodore – Nicholas Cox
Vice Commodore – Joseph Eken
Rear Commodore – Pete Elvin
Board Members - Andy Cobb, Dick Long, Beryl Nelson, Fred Mulkey

Committees Chairmen were:
Fleet Captain – Andy Cobb
Public Relations – Beryl Nelson
Membership – Dick Long
Entertainment – Jackie Wright
House – Fred Mulkey
Custodian – Joe Cherniga
Stores – Harry Wright
Historian – Alex Ginzburg
Secretary – Woodie Mulkey

The Elgin Yacht Club was enjoying success in 1968. In February the EYC decided to end the association with American Power Boat Association and not sponsor outboard powerboat races. The club would use the Portsmouth System for sailboat races. The Charter Regatta was conducted in February and the eight trophies cost $75.00. EYC had 106 members at the start of 1968. The Commissary agreed to sell snacks and refreshment items to the Club for resale. Civil Engineers determined the Club needed a new roof, and the dock was unsafe because of poor construction and lack of repairs. The Coast Guard conducted a boat inspection at the Club’s dock on 20-21 April and at the "Seagull", a popular water front restaurant and bar, the following weekend. Colonel Nelson relayed that everyone wanted a newsletter, but no one had stepped forward to take the job. SMSgt. Jim Rheam’s name was suggested for this task. TV cable service for the year was $44.00. Joe Cherniga received permission to buy stamped envelopes that match the Club letterhead stationary.

Custodian Joe Cherniga submitted work orders for a new roof or necessary repairs, work on the shoreline, inspection of the dock, and grading and beautification of the grounds.

About 30 members of the Redstone Yacht Club trailered their boats down for a visit with Eglin Yacht Club in late May. The Club had a great fish fry in conjunction with the visit from the Redstone Yacht Club. Virginia von Wegern made flags for the buoys. Outdoor picnic tables and bench seats were purchased.

The Lloyd’s of London Registration Book was received and included the Eglin Yacht Club. The Langley AFB Yacht Club invited the EYC membership to visit and use their facilities.

By mid-1968 there were plans for putting a new roof over the patio. Dock repair was ongoing. EYC was sponsoring a Sea Explorer Scout troop. The club had gotten rid of the leased sailboats. Captain Roger and Linda Strosnider were active in the club and Sea Explorers. Joe Eken put on a fish fry with all proceeds going to the Sea Scouts. A Fall Pig Roast was planned, which continued through the years. Year 1968 ended with the club enjoying 154 members.

Nineteen Hundred Sixty Nine

The bridge for 1969 was:

Commodore – R. E. Long
Vice Commodore – A. C. Cobb
Rear Commodore – John A. Trask
Board Members – Joe J. Berkow, Alex D. Ginsburg, Fred M. Mulkey, Roger K. Strosnider, and B. E. Nelson

Committee Chairmen were:
Communications – Harry Wright
Custodian – Jim Rheam
Entertainment – Mrs. Rheam and Sally Daubert
Recording Secretary – Shirley Ginsburg
Harbor Master – Ramon Colon
Sail – Roger Strosnider
Liaison for Sea Explorers – Joe Eken

In early January 1969 the membership meeting was changed to be on the third Friday each month. Joe Cherniga, both a club member and a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, ran the annual boat inspection.

The Charter Regatta was again a great success. This year a celebrity was hosted. The star of television series "The High Chaparral", Leif Erickson was a guest of the club at the regatta. Leif Erickson (real name John Cannon) was presented a Club Burgee by Commodore Dick Long.

The EYC dock was again reported as a safety hazard. It was falling down. The EYC had been pushing a work order with Civil Engineers for over a year. Al Ginzburg recommended finger docks be included in the dock repair. Finger docks were installed but as designed would not service most of the boats. Proper finger docks were finally completed in 1998. Stan Reither volunteered to build a cold-water shower on the dock. He also built the lockers that still serve, as this history is written, as a buffet table and hold member’s liquor bottles. In May board member Strosnider was transferring PCS to Vietnam and L. D. Miller replaced him. Lynn Miller was Cruise Master for the EYC participation in the Billy Bowlegs boat parade. Harry Wright was cruise master for the Ward Cove overnighter. Ward Cove was later incorporated into the Bluewater Bay complex and became the Bluewater Bay harbor.

Social activities were many and varied. On Fridays many members gathered at the club to discuss boating activities and the weekend and spend a little social time together. Lasting friendships were established during these gatherings with members and spouses supplying their own libation for happy hour and frequently going to dinner together as a group following the happy hour.

The fall pig roast had become a big event.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy

The bridge for 1970 was:

Commodore - Joseph Eken
Vice Commodore – Jim Rheam later John A. Trask
Rear Commodore – D. C. Higgins
Board members: Alex Ginzburg, L. E. Miller, R. Farley, J. J. Berkow, Fred M. Mulkey, W. E. Spindler

Committee Chairmen were:
Entertainment – Sally Daubert later Rosemary Smith
Fleet Captain – A. C. Kossow
Recording Secretary – Mary Kossow
Custodian – Nicholas H. Cox

It was suggested that EYC takeover the operation of the Eglin AFB Marina. It was a $60,000 per year operation. The membership was evenly divided on the merits of accepting this obligation. It was finally voted down by the membership.

The EYC facility was considered too small to handle the club membership and activities. Moving another building to the EYC site was considered, but found to be too expensive. A committee was formed to evaluate ways to increase the size of the current building. The cost of adding a 24 by 30 foot addition to the clubhouse was estimated by Stan Reither to be about $2300. This plan was tabled. Bill Smith investigated acquiring a small building that was available but it proved to be inadequate.

Rear Commodore Higgins planned to depart the area, and John Hobaugh took his place.

In October the general membership agreed that the dues would be changed to $24.00 per year payable in February. A trip was made to the Appalachicola Seafood Festival in October and the annual Pig Roast was held in November.

The Christmas party was enjoyed by many and the New Year’s Eve party was also a success.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy One

The Bridge for 1971 was:

Commodore – David P. Vachon
Vice Commodore – Jay Heyboer
Rear Commodore – Orrie E. Donaldson
Board Members: Fred M. Mulkey, Todd MacArthur, Roy Penland, Donald Thomas

Committee Chairmen were:
Entertainment – Dianne MacArthur
Membership – Orrie Donaldson
Publicity Joan Cote
Race committee – Bill Jones
Cruise and Rendezvous – Jerry Cote assisted by Joe Eken
Custodian – Nick Cox later John Hobaugh
House Committee – Fred Mulkey assisted by Stan Reither
Recording Secretary – Woodie Mulkey

The Charter Regatta was coordinated with the Fort Walton Yacht Club and conducted in February.

In early March someone stole the EYC TV and Burgee. Later in the year, the picnic tables were stolen.

The year’s posted schedule had a free keg of beer scheduled for St. Patrick's Day, each monthly cruise, and the pig roast at Biebers Farm. Two pigs and a goat were purchased for the pig roast. Club-furnished daiquiris were made for the Destin Cruise. For the Oktoberfest the club provided dark beer. In June there was a progressive dinner. Membership was around 145.

The Bieber’s Farm became a very popular place for weekend barbeques. During the members many visits to "poodle pond" they befriended an older couple, Pauline and Bill Bieber who also camped overnight in this pond behind the East Jetty. The Biebers were retired and lived on a small farm in Ponce De Leon east of Defuniak Springs. Although older than the other boaters, they were young at heart and loved the water as much as the members. The Biebers had a cabin cruiser they kept at the Fort Walton Beach marina. As the acquaintance grew, they were invited to the club and in return invited the club members to use their farm as a place to hold a planned weekend barbeque of a goat and a pig. The first year many members pitched tents and spent the weekend with all night campfires, cooking, partying, playing games and cleaning up. For several years this became a very heavily attended annual affair and even privies were constructed with target cloth privacy walls.

In November 1971 a brick veneer was planned for the outside of the clubhouse so it would look like the new Officer’s Club.

The Eglin AFB facilities utilization board disapproved the brick veneer.

 As the year closed, House manager Mulkey was tracking the dock repair work order. The New Year’s Eve Party had live music and was enjoyed by a large number of members and guest. Food and drink were furnished by the club at a cost of $7.50 per couple.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy Two

The bridge for 1972 was:

Commodore – Jay Heyboer and later William T. (Bill) Smith
Vice Commodore – Bill Smith
Rear Commodore – Fred Mulkey
Board Members: Sy Wexler, Stan Reither, B.Knowlton, Charlie Briggs

Committee Chairmen were:
Manager – Fred Mulkey
Cruise – Dave Vachon
Sail committee – Ray de Arrigunaga
Entertainment – Sally Daubert
Custodian – John Hobaugh

Projects for early 1972 were to repair the dock and install outside electrical outlets.

The Base Office of Information advertised the Charter Regatta and invitations were sent to 31 yacht clubs between New Orleans and Tallahassee. The Charter Regatta was a total success, with wide radio and television coverage.

The club offered again to sponsor the Sea/Explorer Scouts. The Sea/Explore Scouts continued to prosper and their membership increased from 12 to 18.

There were discussions on having the Ben Lake’s entrance dredged at the same time Jack’s Creek was dredged.

The Eglin Yacht Club became a member of the North American Yacht Racing Association.

Club members in the picture below are: Left to Right standing, unknown, Joan Cote, Gene Weiss, Virgie Weiss, Dave Vachon, unknown, Joe Eken, Jerry Cote, Betty and Harry Wright, seated, Pat Vachon, Tillie Eken, Pam Cooke, unknown, and Fred Cook.

For outstanding performance, the 1971 Secretary, Woodie Mulkey and Entertainment chairperson, Dianna MacArthur were presented engraved trophy cups.

The Sympathy Committee was renamed the Sunshine Committee.

Fourteen boats and about 40 people participated in the July 4th cruise to Panama City. The cruisers enjoyed the Tyndall Yacht Club Pig Roast. Tyndall Yacht Club was a perfect host.

In July, Commodore Jay Heyboer departed PCS and Bill Smith became Commodore.

In August a parking lot was created for use with the launch ramp. This freed up space in the club parking lot, which had been used by people launching boats.

The bus trip to the Apalachicola Seafood festival and the Biebers Farm Pig Roast were by now strong traditions. One hundred twenty people attended the Pig Roast.

The dock repair was completed in November. The outside electrical outlets were not installed.

The year closed out with a festive Christmas Party and a thoroughly enjoyed New Year’s Eve dance.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy Three

The Bridge for 1973 was:

Commodore – John (Jack) Lindsay later Stan Reither
Vice Commodore – Stan Reither later Lee Bobbitt
Rear Commodore – Lee Bobbitt later Homer Charlton
Board Members: Robert Brooking, Alve Russell, Homer Charlton, Irene Shealy, added later, Willard Hudson and Medford Travers

Committee Chairmen were:
House – Fred Mulkey
Membership – Lee Bobbitt
Entertainment – Dianne McArthur
Cruise – Dave Vachon
Sail – Dick Sigman
Public relations – Joe Eken
Secretary – Lee Bowers
Parliamentarian – Del Donaldson
Custodian – Nick Cox

The club hours of operation continue to be Friday night – 1600 to 0100, Saturday 1200 to 2400, Sunday 1200 to 2400.

Air Force Regulations required the name of the "Eglin Yacht Club Board of Directors" be changed to "Eglin Yacht Club Advisory Council".

Commodore Lindsay was reassigned to Wright Patterson AFB and Stan Reither moved up to Commodore.

Forty-three boats participated in the Charter Regatta. Dick and Betty Sigman thanked all those who helped make it a success and singled out the Fort Walton Yacht Club for their superb support.

A Mid-Summer sailing regatta enjoyed success, yet participation was low; therefore the Mid-Summer regatta was discontinued. There were too many conflicts with other regattas and weekend cruises. The summer months were filled with cruises, dinners and parties. The picture below shows the three so-called "Harpies", L to R, Pat Vachon, Joan Cote, and Tillie Eken enjoying the beautiful weather.
The Sea/Explorer Scouts moved their meetings to Bear Creek.

Homer Charlton suggested the patio area be enclosed as part of the main building.

The Biebers Farm was again the location for the EYC Pig Roast, which was enjoyed by 148 club members. One uninvited large rattlesnake was dispatched by Dave Vachon, skinned by Nick Cox, fried and tasted by many of the braver members.

Picture below shows Nick skinning the snake.

Fran Cox and Rosemary Hobaugh planned a gala Christmas Party and a New Year’s bash. Joe Eken played Santa Claus for the children’s Christmas Party. Joe Eken as Santa Claus became a tradition. The picture below shows Santa Claus (Joe) arriving at the EYC dock with his bag of goodies.

The picture below shows the children of the Eglin Yacht Club enjoying the children’s Christmas Party.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy Four

The bridge for 1974 was:

Commodore – Medford "Buck" Travers
Vice Commodore – Homer Charlton
Rear Commodore – Alve Russell
Council Members: Lee Bobbitt, Willard Hudson, Joe Eken, Charles Jackson

Committee Chairman:
Fleet Captain – Alex Ginzburg
Sail – Dick Sigman
Publicity – Joe Eken
Communications – Harry Wright
Entertainment – Pat Jackson later Katie Martin
House – Charles Jackson
Custodian – Nick Cox
Recording Secretary – Lee Bowers
Sunshine – Katie Martin later Joyce Matthews

Senator Barry Goldwater visited Eglin AFB and was presented an Eglin Yacht Club burgee.

The Fort Walton Yacht Club and Eglin Yacht Club join in many activities. To increase join participation, the Fort Walton Yacht Club’s annual schedule was posted in the Eglin Yacht Club.

The Charter Regatta was a great success. Don Tapper was presented a plaque for his outstanding service during the regatta.

The Tyndall Yacht Club invited the Eglin Yacht Club to join them in celebrating the opening of their new facility on July 4th. This coincided with the annual Panama City cruise. The July cruise to Tyndall was a great success and the Tyndall Yacht Club members were perfect hosts. In returning their courtesies the Tyndall Yacht Club members were invited to the Eglin Yacht Club fish fry in August.

Charles Jackson, House Committee Chairman, advised that the club building’s "temporary" status could be changed to "permanent" status by installing brick veneer. Cost was to be about $1000,

Don Jaber was thanked for building and installing the port and starboard lamps.

Because of increases in operating cost, set-ups and beer prices were increased by five cents. Also, free pretzel, potato chips and canapés were discontinued at the bar. Further, the $3.00 for Friday night hors d’oeuvres paid by the bar would cease.

The pig roast was again held at Bieber’s farm. Cost for the Pig Roast increased from an estimate of $500 to about $900. Club members and guest always enjoyed the pig roast and participated fully. It usually went from Friday to Sunday. The story of the picture below was a spoof on publication chairman Joe Eken. It seems he had accidentally sunk two or more boats. The "Araminta IV", a previously swamped boat, was raised and presented to Joe. Club members in the foreground are Joe and Tillie Eken.

In the interest of fuel conservation, the Christmas Carol Cruise was cancelled. (Remember the gas lines of 1973 and 1974.)

Annual dues were increase from $24.00 to $36.00. Initiation fee was set at $15.00.

The work order for installing a brick veneer finish to the club building was approved. The funding will be by the club and the labor will be "self help".

The charge per person for the New Year’s party was $7.50. This has been a slow cost increase for what used to be $2.00 per person. The club furnished about $400.00 for drinks.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy Five

The bridge for 1975 was:

Commodore – Gene Weiss
Vice Commodore – Homer Russell
Rear Commodore – Joan Cote
Council members were: David Mumma later Richard Kidd, Don Pappas, John Hobaugh, James Whatley

Committee Chairmen were:
Custodian – Nick Cox
House – Stan Reither
Entertainment – Katie Martin
Fleet Captain – Dave Vachon

The Charter Regatta was cancelled because of the shallow water in Ben’s Lake channel.

Because of changes in Air Force Regulations, the Eglin Yacht Club was no longer under Sundry Funds classification, but was placed under a "Non-Appropriated Funds Instrumentality". As such, the EYC was then able to borrow funds for proposed renovation. This changed some of the things planned by the advisory council.

House Committee chairman Stan Reither presented charts showing the tasks, material, and labor to refurbish the club building. The cost had grown from an initial estimate of $1000.00 to about $3000.00. Using an Air Force loan at zero percent interest was under consideration.

In April 1975, the Membership reconfirm and re-ratify by vote their wish to brick veneer the club structure. It also authorized the council to negotiate for funds to make the club into a permanent facility. Actually getting the money for the club renovation from System Command Headquarters, and finding a bricklayer proved to be difficult. Colonel Gunnarson, the base commander, fully supported the building upgrade, and personally interceded with the Command Headquarters.

Entertainment Chairman Katie Martin planned a Luau, cruises were scheduled, By-Laws and the Constitution were being rewritten and the membership was very active.

A gift was purchased to present to the Tyndall Yacht Club because they continued to host the EYC for the July 4th cruise and celebration. The picture below shows the publicity chairman presenting a friendship painting to the Tyndall Yacht Club. Again the cruise to Tyndall was a highpoint in the yearly cruise schedule and TYC was again a perfect host.

At the end of August the funds for building update were still not available. It was in this same month that the Base Level "Reorganization, Program Action Directive" activated "Morale, Welfare and Recreation" under which EYC was placed.

The approval for the $3500 loan for the brick veneer was received in September. The digging for the foundation was completed and footing poured. A request for a bricklayer was in procurement and $1250 was set for this contract. The loan for building upgrade was received in November. The dock was again under need of repairs.

The pig roast again was held at Bieber farm and was a great success. The cost for the pig roast was $800.00.

The Christmas party was enjoyed by most members and cost $800.00.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy Six

The bridge for 1976 was:

Commodore – Willard Hudson
Vice Commodore – Elmer Beinkemper
Rear Commodore – Donald Jaber
Advisory Board: William Martin, George McClenahan, George Brewer, Joe Eken

Committee Chairmen were:
House – Stan Reither
Cruise – Alex Ginzburg
Membership – Donald Jaber
Entertainment – Sally Daubert; later – Dorothy Martin
Cleanup committee – Shirley Ginzburg
Recording Secretary – Pat Vachon
Club Manager – Nick Cox; assistant – William F. Martin

The Charter Regatta was a great success. In previous years there had been some problems conducting this regatta. Low water in Ben’s Lake and the fuel shortage had both contributed to some of the Charter Regattas being cancelled.

The lengthy hours of club operations caused stress. Procedures were changed so that any member seeking entry to the club during hours when it could be opened could ask any Advisory Board member to open the club. The person granted entry would then accept responsibility of insuring the club was properly locked upon their departure.

Minors were not permitted in the club on Friday nights, at Advisory Board meetings, or general membership meetings.

The brick veneer was completed and a contract was let for a new roof. The dock had been repaired and electricity installed.

To help with the numerous self-help projects all members were requested to do their fair share. Two lists were made, one with dates requiring bartenders and the other for work parties. All members would be placed on one list or the other. When a member’s name came up for a work party or for bartender, the member responded or got someone to substitute for him.

Members provided dinners at the club. As examples, there was a fish fry by Joe Eken, Bill Hudson put-on a chili supper, and Don Jaber a spaghetti dinner. These club functions were very popular. The club started presenting monthly plaques to members who made outstanding contributions to the club. The first one presented went to Joe Brewer and second to Stan Reither.

Ten boats and 35 people from the Tyndall Yacht Club participated in the Progressive Dinner. It was a huge success. The club hosted breakfast the next morning for the visitors.

John Henry Howell became the bartender supervisor.

Bill Martin suggested putting a roof over the patio with the thought of someday screening it in or enclosing completely.

As usual the Tyndall Yacht Club hosted the Eglin Yacht Club for the July 4th party. All had a wonderful time. The Tyndall Yacht Club in return was invited for a September chicken dinner.

Several cruises each year used "Mulkey’s Island" as a destination. Over the years, many navigational and boating contests were enjoyed. Many of the Eglin Yacht Club members were also US Power Squadron members who were involved with USPS piloting courses. Several contests were organized to promote proficiency in piloting and practical navigation. Elaborate time trials and magnetic directions were devised and handed to the captains before they left the dock. The captains and crew would solve the problems while maintaining a tight time schedule. Observers with stopwatches were positioned at turn points and destinations. To prevent "following the lead boat", different times and courses were assigned. Fun and serious boating education was enjoyed during these contests and trophies were awarded at the completion. Poker rallies required crews to solve word puzzles to find locations where cards were dealt and best poker hands were rewarded. Nautical treasure hunts were also fun. Lists of required items were given to groups who traveled by boats to find the items. A lot of fun and rivalry was enjoyed as boaters raced to bring in the items.

There was an unwritten policy that the winner of a contest was responsible for sponsoring the next activity, reducing the task on any one individual and allowing greater participation by all members.

The club was searching for a new place to hold the annual pig roast. The Bieber’s farm was no longer available. As an elderly couple, the Biebers had passed away. One of the senior members of the club gave the funeral eulogy. The Biebers willed their farm to a YMCA. The Hurlburt picnic area was subsequently selected for the pig roasts.

In the fall of 1976, a five year Capital Expenditure Budget was developed to help guide the Advisory Board and bridge. The five-year budget planned procurement of things such as Microwave, Color Television, Couches, Carpeting and Ice Machines. The finance committee consisted of the following members: Stan Reither, Dick Sluman, Bill Martin, Dottie Martin, Alex Ginzburg, and Nick Cox.

Canoe trips on the Blackwater River were very popular and scheduled twice a year. The Christmas party and the New Year’s Eve party were always high lights in closing out the year. Joe Eken would don a Santa Claus suit and hand out gifts to the children of the EYC members. The gifts were purchased by the parents.

Improvements during the year included: new roof, new dock, new ice machine, and new ceiling.

Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Seven

The bridge for 1977 was:

Commodore – Joe Eken
Vice Commodore – James Waugh
Rear Commodore – Joseph Cherniga
Advisory Committee: Dick Sigman, Charles McClenahan, Henry Howell, Lynn Miller, added later Sam Hester and Randy Cauldwell

Committee Chairmen were:
House – Stan Reither
Cruise – Mike Fitz
Sail Regatta – Dick Sigman
Entertainment – Pat Hudson
Recording Secretary – Pat Vachon
Membership – Joe Cherniga

In February Stan Reither, chairman of the house committed, announced that the project for the year would be enclosing the patio. The patio, as the years progressed became the dining room.

Theme parties for the year included a Mexican potluck, a Roman Orgy, Italian potluck, and a Polish party. The by-then standard activities, such as the Progressive Party, cruises, Pig Roast, Luau and etc., were well-practiced and always fun events. The July 4th cruise to Panama City and party with the Tyndall Yacht Club was again totally successful. Approximately twenty EYC boats made the trip. In August the EYC hosted the Tyndall Yacht Club for a fish fry.

The picture below shows members and friends enjoying the Roman Orgy. The four members in the center of the picture are: Shirley Howell, Harry Wright, Jim Waugh, and Nick Cox who was congratulated on his recent marriage.

In November the membership application for Colonel Troy Dent was approved.

The year was closed out with the Children’s Christmas Party, featuring Santa Claus Eken, the adult’s Christmas Party, and the New Year’s Eve Party, all of which were great successes.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy Eight

The bridge for 1978 was:

Commodore – Jim Waugh
Vice Commodore – Joe Cherniga
Rear Commodore – Bill Lassiter
Advisory Committee: Lee Massie, Randy Cauldwell, Mike Fitz later Charlie Martiin, Dick Sluman

Committee chairman were:
Custodian – Nick Cox later, Bill Hudson
House – Stan Reither
Entertainment – Pat Seip
Membership – Bill Lassiter
Sail – Richard Sluman
Fleet Captain – Ray Seip
Bar – Dottie Martin
Recording Secretary – Pat Vachon

In January the membership chairman presented Troy Dent with his burgee.

Because the Charter Regatta was always so successful, Fleet Captain Seip suggested having a mid-year regatta. Ray Seip also encouraged all members to take advantage of the free safety inspection offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The inspections this year were conducted at the "Seagull".

The Finance Committee started reviewing the budget quarterly. The committee members were John Hobaugh, John Howell, Rex Young, Ray Seip, Al Ginzburg, and Nick Cox.

Canoe trips were annual fun-events. There were usually two canoe trips.

Membership for the last two years had been slowly declining. In mid 1978 it had stabilized at about 60. This was causing some financial difficulties. Members were encouraged to bring friends to the club functions and help increase membership.

To help control cost of the progressive dinner, only members would be invited to the first two stops, slushies and salad, but other guests could come to the club for the steak cookout. In June several boats from the Tyndall Yacht Club visited with the purpose of inviting the EYC to Tyndall to help then celebrate their 10th anniversary.

Marshall Brown gave instructions on the importance of running a regatta properly. He gave detailed instructions on all the newest rules and procedures.

On September 15th there was an appreciation dinner for Nick Cox who had done so much for the Eglin Yacht Club.

By the end of the year membership had grown to around 70 members. The pig roast was again held at the Hurlburt picnic area. The Christmas Party and New Year’s Eve party were roaring successes.

Nineteen Hundred Seventy Nine

The bridge for 1979 was:

Commodore – Ray Seip
Vice Commodore - Sam Hester
Rear Commodore – Troy Dent
Advisory Board: John Hobaugh, Al Ginzburg, Charlie Martin later Wayne Winch, Jim Rheam

Committee Chairmen were:
House – Stan Reither
Membership – Troy Dent
Manager – Bill Hudson
Entertainment – Pat Hudson
Fleet – Dick Sluman
Regatta – Henry Howell
Safety – Joe Cherniga
Bar – Wayne Winch
Publicity – Millie Winch
Recording Secretary – Pat Vachon

Membership chairman Troy Dent made a motion that was seconded and passed that all membership dues be payable in February, with March as a grace month and dues delinquent on April 1st. This replaced the long standing twice a year dues payment schedule. An effort was initiated to speed the process from membership application to membership approval. The dues were $48.00 per year plus a $2.00 fee it you wanted one of the personal booze lockers.

John Hobaugh made a motion that was seconded and passed to let Air Force contractors become associate members.

The ice machines had again become very expensive to maintain. This was an ongoing and continuing problem leading to a discussion on buying new ice machines, which would have been very expensive, or continuing the expensive maintenance. This problem was never fully resolved.

The club was robbed of about $500 on March 29th and again two weeks later when two cases of beer were taken. This led to a discussion of putting security bars on the back windows, and ruin the view, or install a security system. The base civil engineers looked into the problem.

All soft drinks, beer, and set-ups prices increased five cents as of April 1st.

Throughout the year many enjoyed the various cruises. The progressive dinner, always a highlight, was another great success. The Charter Regatta and the mid-summer regatta went well. There was a joint EYC and United States Power Squadron cruise after the annual boat inspection by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The inspection was at the "Seagull". The canoe trips had good participation and almost everyone got dumped in the river at least once. Yet it was great fun. The cruises to Navarre were very popular. On Sunday morning the breakfast at the Navarre Holiday Inn was great.

By late summer, under the leadership and skill of Stan Reither, water was again available on the dock.

In October there was a fish fry and an Oktoberfest. In November another trip was made to the Seafood Festival in Apalachicola. The annual November pig roast was again at Hurlburt and enjoyed by a large number of the members.

The Children’s Christmas party and New Year’s Eve party, as always, were great successes.

Nineteen Hundred Eighty

The bridge for 1980 was:

Commodore – James S. Rheam
Vice Commodore – Wayne Winch
Rear Commodore – Henry Howell
Advisory Board: John Hobaugh, Charles McClenahan, James Waugh, Rex Young

Committee Chairmen were:
Cruise – Ray Seip
Membership – Henry Howell
Entertainment – Sally Rheam
House – Stan Reither
Manager – Ken Harris
Bar – "Buster" Truett
Publicity – Millie Winch
Secretary - Pat Vachon

The Coast Guard supported the annual Charter Regatta held in February. April 9th was announced to be the date for the Coast Guard annual boat inspections. The inspection was again at the "Seagull".

The fence on the boat-launch side of the club was replaced with a higher fence.

Past Entertainment Chairmen flags were presented to Jackie Wright, Rosemary Smith, Rosemary Hobaugh, Dottie Martin, Katie Martin, Pat Seip, Pat Hudson and Sally Rheam.

Publicity chairman Winch announced that the "Leisure Times" printed publicity for the Eglin Yacht Club each month.

The Spring Fling was attended and enjoyed by a large crowd. A garage sale was conducted at the club on June 1 with 10% of all proceeds going to the club. The club made $63.00.

The June meeting was followed by a potluck dinner. There were a large number of people involved that worked hard and contributed significantly to the success of the many activities of the club. Some of the outstanding helpers were: Sally Rheam, Shirley Howell, Karen Sluman, Lil Crane, Dottie Jaber, Dottie Martin, Phyllis McClennahan, Sandy Truett and Eleanor Southworth.

The progressive dinner consisted of slushies at Joe Eken’s, Vachon's for salad, and back to the Club for a steak dinner. The picture below shows a scene of slushies being enjoyed at Joe Eken’s during the progressive dinner.

Covering the club patio to create more space was again discussed.

Again, the ice machine was raided. That is the third time in so many weeks. On two occasions the locks were cut off. Between maintenance problems and raids, the ice machines are a problem.

The club manager, Ken Harris recommended the bar manager attend the advisory board meeting. The bar manager was needed because there had been questions about mixed-drink prices.

The Progressive Dinner was a success and actually made a profit of $60. The cruise to Destin was great, and all enjoyed the Luau.

Publicity chairman Wayne Winch advertised the hospitality cruise in the Playground Daily News and WFTW, the local radio station. The building committee included Jim Waugh, Stan Reither, Bill Hudson and Bill Nelson.

Membership chairman Henry Howell reported there were 72 members. Entertainment Chairman Sally Rheams conducted an enjoyable Christmas in July. The canoe trip was also in July and the participants departed the Mall at 10:00 under the leadership of Joe Eken. Tyndall Yacht Club had four canoes as they participated in this canoe trip. The Destin overnight cruise was in August. The U.S. Power Squadron joined EYC in the annual cruise to Navarre. These activities had wide participation and were enjoyed by all. In September, the U.S. Power Squadron and EYC enjoyed a joint fish fry at Joe Eken’s.

Orrie Donaldson suggested there be nametags for all. It would help new members and be useful when EYC had joint activities with other organizations.

Some examples of expenditures include: game night - $150, fishing tournament - $25, membership nights - $60, OktoberFest - $325, Dinner in October another $125, and $61 for canopies, New Years party - $800, Christmas party $75, and Christmas decorations $75.

Ken Harris reported the club had $350 in checking, $3826 in certificates, and $250 in petty cash. Ken requested someone else serve as Club Manager of finance in 1981.

A $20,000 grant was requested for a proposed 20 by 40 building addition. The grant had been forwarded to AFSC Headquarters for approval.

The election of the new bridge and advisory board members of 1981 was conducted November 21. Membership at the end of the year was 82.

Nineteen Hundred Eighty One

The bridge for 1981 was:

Commodore - Charlie Martin
Vice Commodore - Henry Howell
Rear Commodore - Buster Truett
Advisor Board: Ed Lussier, John Hobaugh, Wayne Winch, Ray Seip

The Committee Chairmen were:
Entertainment Chairwoman – Katie Martin
Manager - Dave Porter, later, Bob Empson
Regatta – Don Gresko
Bar – Bill and Dottie Martin
Secretary – Carlean Butler, later Sandy Truett
Fleet Captain – Doug Kirby
Telephone and Sunshine – Sally Rheam
Publicity – Art Sherman
House – Stan Reither
Safety – Joe Cherniga

At the January general membership meeting, outgoing Commodore Jim Rheam thanked everyone for making his year as commodore painless and enjoyable. He presented gifts of appreciation to his board and committee members for their support and a special gift to Shirley Howell for her many contributions and to Sally Rheam for her outstanding work as Entertainment Chairman.

The first boating activity was the Charter Day regatta on February 14th and 15th. Trophy cost was approved at $200, and food and a keg of beer were furnished by the club for $270. Seventeen boats participated in the Regatta, and 74 people were at the steak cookout. Major contributors to this successful regatta were Doug Kirby, Ray Seip, Joe Eken, Don Dodson, Hud Huddleson and numerous other volunteers.

The Coast Guard courtesy inspection was in April.

The request for a grant to pay for an addition to the club was rejected. But an offer was made to get an interest free loan to be repaid in ten years at $165 per month. Commodore Martin appointed a committee to study this issue. It was noted that the club is extremely crowded and requested all members be courteous by not saving seats and by leaving the dining area when finished with dinner.

Five hundred dollars was approved for the Spring Fling. There were discussions about the price of wine and beer. It was decided that the price of beer remain the same and wine furnished by the club for dinner was a tradition that would be maintained.

Commodore Martin appointed Jim Waugh as club expansion committee chairman, with Larry Ankeney, Dave Porter, and Ivan Crane serving on this committee.

A membership drive with wine and cheese was one of the first entertainment activities of the year. March dinner was a fish fry. The spring fling was western style. The commodore’s cruise was in April and went to the "Seagull" for dinner and dancing, then returned to the club. The old ice machine failed again and was unrepairable. A new machine was purchased and installed for $1,260. Bring your own steak dinners were popular. The club would furnish the salad, baked potato, bread, and wine for $1.50 per person. Ward’s Cove, now Bluewater Bay marina, and the Destin harbor were popular cruise destinations. The Navy Yacht Club from Pensacola visited EYC on occasions, and had 13 boats at EYC on Memorial weekend. This year’s progressive dinner, as usual, started at Eken’s for drinks, then to Charlie Martin’s for salad, then to the club for BYOS. One hundred and four people participated in the progressive dinner. The July 4th trip to Tyndall Yacht Club had eight boats in the flotilla. In September Tyndall was hosted by EYC with a fish fry. Also, in September the Eglin Yacht Club and the Power Squadron had a joint cruise to Navarre. Christmas in July was funded at $250 and was actually held in August. The September Luau was funded at $325. The final quarter featured an oysters-on-the-dock party, a Halloween party and a Membership night with German food. The Mullet Festival EYC booth sold corn-on-the-cob, corndogs, shish kebabs, and cokes. Shirley Howell was the key person again in making this happen. It brought in $1,483 in sales. Erby Massie was the point man for the Pig Roast. Cost of setting up the event was $400. This included three kegs of beer. The Christmas party was planned, including Santa Claus Eken. Kay Dent helped set-up the Children’s Christmas Party. The New Year’s Eve party was funded at $850; later increased to $1,000, then increased to $1,200. These parties and events had high participation and everyone had a really wonderful time. Dozens of members worked long hours to insure all the social functions were enjoyed by the membership. Some of the people receiving special mention were: Dottie Jabor, Dottie Martin, Katie Martin, Shirley Howell, Louise Banochowicz, Charlcie Baggett, Sally Rheam, and Jerry Cote.

Manager Dave Porter received a PCS and had to be replaced. The new club Manager was Bob Empson.

In August, Jim Waugh presented the membership with the blueprint of the club addition. If the members do the work it was believed about $11,000 would cover the cost. Also in August the Advisory Board tackled the job of updating the By Laws and Constitution. Later updates on the cost of the building addition went as high as $17,000. The difference in cost is based on architectural design changes and how much work the individual club members are willing to provide. A turnkey plan was estimated to cost around $20,000.

Membership was up to 87. Jim Rheam was selected to be chairman of the nominating committee for the 1982 slate of officers.