2000 - 2005
On New Years Day the party moved on to a reception at Lois May Moody's home and to the Union League Open House.
The anticipated Y2K computer glitch that was expected to create chaos didn't happen. The DOW closed at ll,500 and the NASDAQ at 4000, record levels for both indexes.
The fifteenth annual Club Table Ball on February 5, 2000 featured a circus theme "Under the Big Top"-- a festive evening.
The Lincoln Table contingent consisted of four tables and we won the coveted Champagne prize for the best member turnout. President Trendler deserves credit for the resurgence of Lincoln Table prominence of members' interest in Union League activities. At the Trendlers' table members included the Stocks, Ashers and Byards, At the table with the Arnolds were the Vockels, Phelans, new member Ziss and prospective member Reverend Joseph Laird and his wife Shirley, Two additional tables included the Brad Mills, the Suplees, the Manthorpes, Shepards, Larkins and several more couples. Lincoln Table members wore their top hats with distinction and everyone enjoyed the evening of dancing and fine dining.
On Friday, February ll, 2000 the Union League Lincoln Day celebration featured Marvin Fitzwater as speaker. Eighteen Lincoln Table members joined an audience of three hundred to hear Marvin Fitzwater regale stories of Presidents Reagan and Bush who he served as Press Secretary. Lincoln Table members attending included the Manthorpes, Trendlers, Hahns, Johnstons, Stewart Vockel, Ralph Collier, Patrick Kennedy and James Moran among others. After the luncheon program several hardy Table Members marched to the statue beyond the Art Museum to lay a wreath in honor of our Patron President Abraham Lincoln.
On May 20, 2000 the Table hosted a tour of historic Bartram Gardens with cocktails and catered hors d'oeuvers. The weather was cold and overcast but everyone had a good time. A guide conducted a tour of Barthram's house, barn and gardens. Among those attending included the Hills, Gleesons, Trendlers, Manthorpes, Mills, Sweeneys, and new members
Lairds, Prims and Ziss. Chris Gleeson unveiled our handsome brand new Lincoln Table flag at the Barthram Garden outing. The flag now stands proudly in the corner next to the Lincoln Table in the North Marble Dining Room. We are the only Table displaying a flag recording the date the Lincoln Table was founded in blue letters on a white background with the Union League seal and slogan Love of Country Leads in the center.. The flag is a handsome sight to behold and we congratulate Chris for this addition to Lincoln Table memorabilia. In addition to perpetual display at the Table it will be featured in future Lincoln Birthday and other Union League celebrations.
On June 10 the Union League Yacht Club hosted an all day event at St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland featuring sail and power boat cruises, a sumptuous sea food feast at the Crab Claw restaurant and a dinner cruise aboard the M.V. Patriot. The weather was perfect and a great weekend was enjoyed by Lincoln Table members, the Arnolds, Manthorpes and Vockels. Eighty Union League members attended the event during which we recruited Paul and Mary Holl for the Lincoln Table.
Other Table events in 2000 included a Flag Day Celebration on June 14 in the Marble dining rooms featuring patriotic music by the League Glee Club and a large birthday cake in honor of the Army's 225th Birthday. A sizable contingent of Army brass was in attendance with the Lincoln Table represented by Spencer Manthorpe, Jeffrey Pettit,
Walter Gallagher, Charlie Case and Roger Arnold.
During the Republican Convention July 30 through August 4, 2000 the Union League
was a beehive of activity. Many state delegations held breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings at our historic Club. The Inn at the League was sold out with distinguished guests including Henry Kissenger. The Arnolds enjoyed the hospitality of the Inn during the Convention and attended several of the VIP parties. Other Lincoln Table members in for lunch enjoying the brass band on the veranda at the Broad Street entrance and the activity included the Manthorpes, Stocks, Trendlers and Stewart Vockel. Table members serving as Volunters in the success of the Convention included Fran Trendler as hostess at Political Fest and Brad Mills as usher and security guard at the First Union Convention site. Sandy and Spencer Manthorpe were greeters at the Union League for the many distinguished Senators and guests at Senator Santorums' Salute to the Senate dinner at the League. The 2000 Republican Convention was a once in a lifetime celebration and Philadelphia sparkled and received unanimous praise from delegates and guests from across the USA for a job well done. The Philadelphia police did a commendable job managing protester demonstrations and the several thousand local citizen. Volunteers made our out of town visitors most welcome. Police Director Timoney managed the police activity riding his bicycle to any altercation by protesters in the city.
On August ll, 2000 a hardy contingent of forty Lincoln Table members and guests boarded the Riverboat Queen at Penns Landing for a dinner cruise on the Delaware River. It was a showery afternoon and evening but no downpour. We cruised past the magnificent World War ll battleship New Jersey on the Camden waterfront and viewed the retired ocean liner United States on the Philadelphia side of the river. The view of the city skyline and the Ben Franklin Bridge all lit up was sensational. The usual party crowd from the Lincoln Table was on board the Riverboat Queen - the Stocks, Ashers, Manthorpes. Vockels, Arnolds, Trendlers plus the Pollards, Mills, Grafs and Prims with guests Richard Furia and Edwin Camiel, future Table members. Bill Supplee arranged the dinner cruise and received our applause for a job well done. The bar was excellent and the food more than adequate. Several party members went to Downeys on South Street for an after-dinner drink, music and dancing.
On October 7, 2000 a re-enactment of the Battle of Germantown was held and the Lincoln Table contingent was represented by Stu Vockel, Joe Prim and other Table members and their families. In the evening several Table couples met at Cedarbrook Country Club for a festive cocktail party and dinner. Glenn and Barbara Becker were the hosts and guests included the Arnolds, the Robert Ashers, John Ashers. the Stocks, the Gallaghers. Charlie Case, the Holls, and the Gleesons.
The election on November 3, 2000 was a close one with George W. Bush edging out former Vice President Gore by approximately 500 votes in Florida. The contested election dragged by for a month and was finally decided by the Supreme Court in a five/four decision in favor of G. W. Bush.
On December ll, 2000 the Table annual meeting and Christmas lunch was held in the Lincoln Memorial Room. Thirty-three members and one guest attended. Outgoing President Mike Trendler introduced incoming President Chris Gleeson. New management committee members include John Asher -one year, Brad Mills - three years and Stuart Vockel continuing for two more years, Pat Sweeney is new Secretary/Treasurer.
Members attending were Mike Trendler, Chris Gleeson, Stu Vockel, Brad Mills, Pat Sweeney, Roger Arnold, Art Broll, Dan Butler, Charlie Case, Ed Camiel, Doug Cook, Anne Donato, Arch Elias, Byard Graf, Bob Graves, Bill Hahn, Frank Iaquinto, Pat Kennedy, Reverend Joe Laird, Spencer Manthorpe, Jay Oberdorf, Joe Prim, Al Schwacke, Fred Tucker, Bill Supplee, Joe Ziss and Betty Friedman.
The handsome new Lincoln Table History authorized by President Mike Trendler and edited and published by Blaine Stock was introduced to members and autographed by historian Roger Arnold .Twenty two Table members purchased custom made Lincoln stove pipe hats for later use at Lincoln Table events.
On December 13, 2000 the annual Lincoln Table dinner was held in the Lincoln Memorial Room with 58 people in attendance. The cocktail hour was lively with guests enjoying delicious hors d'oeuvre served by our Table waitress Marge Wilson. The salad pleased the historian but the dinner menu of fish and beef was not up to Union League standards and the dessert wasn't worth eating. President Trendler asked Marion Arnold to propose the toast to our new President Elect George W. Bush which she preformed with relish. The historian departed at nine o'clock to hear the President Elect's speech but others reported the singing of Twelve Days of Christmas was innovative with verses depicting the departure of the Clinton regime. Mike Trendlers' two years as President were an unqualified success and we have high hopes for incoming President Chris Gleeson and his Management Committee of John Asher, Brad Mills and Stu Vockel with Secretary Pat Sweeney.
On January 1, 2001 a number of Lincoln Table members and their families enjoyed the traditional New Year's hospitality of the Union League. This was the first year Tables were reserved and the Lincoln Table held forth in our usual corner of the North Marble Room with Marge Wilson, our Table waitress tending her babies as she calls us. Various family members included the Ashers, Trendlers, Gleesons, Supplees , Charlie Case , Joe Prim and probably others I have overlooked. The historian was accompanied by his son Rob and grandson Augustus, age three, who enjoyed the chocolate dessert and the kids entertainment in the Gettysburg Room with the balloon man and other children's games. After the open house we walked over to city hall to view the Mummers entertainment, a Philadelphia tradition on New Years Day.
On January 20, 2001 our newly elected President George W. Bush was inaugurated in Washington, D.C. The Arnolds, Vockels and Sean Kenned braved the inclement weather and attended the ceremony. Roger and Marion Arnold enjoyed the four days of festivities and elected to view the swearing in ceremony and parade on a giant screen in the hotel theater. The Arnolds attended two Inaugural Balls and celebrated in grand style.
Back at the Union League on January 20, the 16th annual Club Table Ball titled Monopoly Madness was a smashing success attended by three tables of twelve Lincoln Tables members and guests Table members wore their brand new Lincoln stove pipe hats on this occasion. The Table contingent was headed by our current President Chris Gleeson.
The Lincoln Day ceremony on February 12, 2001 began with a ceremony in front of the League House. A line of soldiers dressed in Civil War uniforms fired a volley or two from their muskets, we saluted the flag and President Lincoln recited the Gettysburg address. Two Tables of Lincoln Table members and spouses joined a full house in Lincoln Hall to witness former Mayor Ed Rendell receiving the Lincoln award and to hear his remarks. Our new mayor John Street also made a few remarks. Attendees included President Chris Gleeson, organizer of the March Brad Mills and his wife Saundra, Joe Prim, Bill Suplee, Stu Vockel, Jay Oberdorf, Mike and Fran Trendler, Geof Shepard, By Graf, Bill and Helen Hahn, Frank Iaquinto and Roger Arnold. A hardy Table contingent marched to the Lincoln statue beyond the Art Museum accompied by a brass band and a contingent of Civil War soldiers. This Lincoln Day League ceremony has become an annual affair.
On Sunday, April 22, 2001 Glenn and Barbara Becker hosted an afternoon get together of Table members and spouses at their spacious home in Gwynedd Valley. Forty members enjoyed libation and delicious food on a lovely sunny afternoon.
The next Table function was hosted by Doctors Sean and Ann Kennedy on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, temperature about 85 degrees. The Kennedys' home is magnificent, 8500 feet of living space in the main mansion, a handsome carriage house connected to
the garage housing two shining Rolls Royce with antique car plates, a hobby of our host.
Forty-table members and guests attended the open house and gardens enjoying the great spread of hors d'oeuvres, ham and delicious salmon. Among the guests, the Stock's, Bauers, the John Ashers, Jay Oberdorf, who handled renovations on the mansion and the carriage house. Other guests included the Arnold's, the Graves, Stewart Vockel, Betsy Fineburg, Ann Donato, Suplees, Gleesons, Butlers, Furias, Dr Gill and Lois Moody, Brad Mills, Pat Kennedys, Trendlers and other guests..
President Gleeson initated the Lincoln Table Art Restoration Fund and a number of Table members celebrated the occasion in late May 2001 with Dave Autin, Foundation Chairman, and Jim Mundy, Curator. Just weeks after the announcement Table members had contributed $2,200 exceeding the first year goal. The fund will be used by the Art Foundation of the League to restore valuable paintings. The first painting restored was the nude in the Old Cafe.
On August 4, 2001 Jack and Carol Asher once again were hosts for a Lincoln Table shore party at their summer home in Avalon. More than forty members and spouses enjoyed the games, libations and delicious catered food served by our host and hostess. The activities were enlivened by the children joining the party this year.
On October 21 Bob and Joyce Byers invited us again to their elegant gallery in Bucks County where they manufacture and display the popular Christmas Caroler and other artistic figurines. The gallery had doubled in size since our last visit two years ago and it was a perfect setting for an elegant party. The bar was set up in the spacious lobby and a catered dinner by Francis of Chestnut Hill was served in the cafeteria. Forty-two members and guests enjoyed the evening wandering about the handsome gallery. The Arnold's were impressed by the art work including several paintings by John Vogel.
On Saturday, November 3, the fall ball "Viva Las Vegas" was attended by more than twelve couples from the Lincoln Table. At the Arnolds table, the Stocks, the Larkins father and son, the Ashers and Bill and Suzanne Fisher. At Chris Gleesons table the Prims, and new members, the Sharkeys. The Camiels were at a third table along with the Wortleys, the Kennedys and others . The food was excellent, the band too loud but great music excellent for dancing. It was an enjoyable evening and another Union League success thanks in large part to Lucy Atkins, the League's Activities Co-ordinator.
Lincoln Table events in December 2001 featured the annual business meeting and Christmas lunch on December 1. About forty members and guests attended in our favorite meeting place, the Lincoln Room under the statue of our patron saint. Table President, Chris Gleeson presided and announced the slate for 2002 including Patrick Sweeney, Treasurer and the Management Team of Stewart Vockel, Brad Mills and John Asher.
Our December 12, 2001 annual Christmas party was a smashing success with more than seventy attendees. This was the largest turnout for this event in our history. Membership proposals this past year have swelled Lincoln Table membership to more than one hundred. A new member, The Rector of Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge Park, Reverend James Larsen, gave the invocation and a tribute to the passing of Marjory Case. Charlie Case's wife, Charlie Case at age 90 is a long-time member of the League and the Table. The dinner was an elegant affair featuring the Trendler ensemble, a family choral group with a medley of beautiful Christmas music. The highlight of the evening was audience participation in the Twelve Days of Christmas led by Sandy Manthorpe and Jay Oberdorf.
The New Years' Eve Gala was another party enjoyed by several Lincoln Table Members including Chris and Bonnie Gleeson, their daughter and son-in-law, Carol and John Asher, Fran and Mike Trendler and Marion and Roger Arnold. The hors d oeuvres were fabulous but the steak and vegetables served in Lincoln Hall was not up to the high standards of the League. The excellent orchestra stayed throughout the evening and we danced the night away. The Open House the next day was attended by many Lincoln Table members including the Stocks, the Ashers, the Gleesons. the Arnolds. Charlie Case with his sister, the Trendlers , the Sweeneys, the Vockels, the Suplees, the Prim family and others. The League hosted more than one thousand attendees, another successful Open House.
The DOW closed down 7% @ 10021. September ll, 2001 the United States was attacked by terrorists with four commercial airplanes loaded with fuel deliberately crashing into the twin World Trade towers in New York City killing 2800 innocent people, another plane crashing into a section of the Pentagon killing approximately 200 and a fourth plane headed for the White House or the Congress crashing into a field in Pennsylvania when several of the passengers over powered the terrorists. On September 20th President Bush addressed the Nation from the podium of Congress and declared war on the terrorists followed by war a month later on Afganistan. This was the first time in this century where the USA was attacked on our own territory with such a great loss of
February 12, 2002 witnessed the Union League Lincoln Day celebration with a politically
balanced program of the Republican Governor Sweiker and Democratic Attorney Lynn Abraham with remarks from Democratic Mayor Street. The historian did not attend but was told that the Lincoln Table had several members attend wearing their signature top hats and some marching to the Lincoln statue in Fairmont Park to lay a wreath in honor of our patron saint.
On February 23, the annual Table Ball was held in Lincoln Hall with the pre-ball reception in the Library Lounge and Lincoln Memorial Room. The title this year was Super Heroes, and it was a great success as usual with the Lincoln Table represented by four tables with the usual Table crowd and many new members.
On May 4, 2002 the Table sponsored a party aboard the renowned battleship New Jersey berthed across the river in Camden. Seventy people, members, children and guests braved the chilly wind to tour and climb the five flights of decks through gun turrets, control rooms and the bridge. Older folks and ladies protecting their coeffieur stayed on the main deck and visited the bunk rooms below deck. The tour directors gave us an interesting account of the New Jersey's battle history. The bar was well supplied, the hors d'oeuvres ample and the catered dinner excellent. The yellow school bus took us back to the Union League at 9 PM and a great outing was enjoyed by all participants. Our thanks to Brad Mill and Chris Gleeson organizers of the event for a great party.
On June 29, thirty members and guest attended a Mozart Festival at the Kimmel center.
We enjoyed a reception and dinner in the McMichael room at the Union League and walked the three blocks to the Kimmel. Our seating was unique as we sat in the balcony behind the orchestra facing the Verizon Hall audience and the conductor and looking down on the heads and instruments of the performers. The seats were covered by cushions but they were hard and uncomfortable and the music a bit too classical for our enjoyment but it was an interesting evening.
On July 27, 2002, we attended a picnic in Chester County at the lovely country home of Sandy and Spencer Manthorpe. Approximately seventy Lincoln Table members, spouses, guests and children turned our for the Manthorpes party. Each family contributed a dish and the food selection was terrific. The kids enjoyed the swimming pool and the adults the comraderie. The Manthorpe home is a great party house with three levels facing a lovely meadow of twenty some acres. As I spent much of the afternoon and evening on the second level, I didn't observe everyone who attended the party and didn't get beyond the first and main level. The party was a smashing success with Table members turning out that we hadn't seen in some time.
A Champagne Brunch and tour of the Barnes Foundation was featured on Sunday October 6, 2002. About twenty five Table members and guests attended the event and a good time was had by all. The historian did not attend but the timing of the tour was newsworthy as the papers carried an account of the proposal for moving the Barnes art from Marion on the Main Line to Museum row in Philadelphia.
On December 9, 2002 the annual meeting and Christmas party for members and prospective member guests was held in the Lincoln Memorial room. About fifty members were present with President Chris Gleeson presiding. The new slate for 2003 was presented and elected consisting of Stewart Vockel, President, Patrick Sweeney continuing as Secretary\Treasurer and Joe Prim as the latest addition to the Management Committee along with hold overs Jack Asher and Brad Mills.
On December 12 the Annual Christmas Party was held in Lincoln Memorial room with the largest attendance ever of eighty members and guests. It was an enjoyable evening with many new members attending now that the Table roster exceeds the hundred mark. The Keystone Boy's choir entertained the group and were good but the high light of the evening was the sing-a-long featuring the Twelve Days of Christmas led by Sandy Manthorpe and Jay Oberdorf.
2002 was a bad year for the Economy with several corporate scandals, many employee lay offs and a stock market with the DOW closing at 8131 down 17%. President George W. Bush's popularity continued high in the sixties with a successful military campaign in Afghanistan and effective leadership on all fronts.
January l, 2003 was a dreary day with a temperature about 40 and a steady rain. As a result the Mummers didn't march and your historian didn't attend the annual Open House.
A national tragedy occurred on February 1 when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry over Texas killing seven astronauts aboard.
On February 12, the Lincoln birthday celebration at the Union League featured Democratic Attorney Lynn Abraham. The Lincoln Table was represented by two tables of our stalwart members with the traditional parade to lay the wreath at the Lincoln Statue in Fairmount Park with the temperature in the 20's.
On March 8, the Lincoln Table celebrated the annual Table Ball with a record 65 members and guests. A Brazilian Carnival was the theme with appropriate fedoras for the men and beads for the ladies. President Stewart Vockel accepted the Lincoln Table Art Restoration Award for the Table giving the most money annually for refurbishing paintings and sculpture in the League House The trophy now rests on a pedestal next to our Table flag.
On March 19 the first shots were fired in Iraq War II with our troops accompanied by embedded reporters advancing on Baghdad. The advance was swift and the Iraqi army folded in the record time of 18 days. On May 1 President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln returning to its homeport in Seattle. The President spoke to the nation with a huge banner Mission Accomplished in the background. This became a rallying cry for the Democrats who maintained the Iraq war wasn't over as more troops died in the continuing guerilla action after the fall of Baghdad.
Spencer Manthorpe suggested that we honor our namesake carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln. After much research and discussion, the Management Committee has decided to provide scholarships of $250 to each of three Sailors of the Year designated by the ships Captain. With this act the Lincoln Table is officially adopting the USS Abraham Lincoln.
On May 17 36 members of the Lincoln Table had a memorable afternoon and evening in lovely Bucks County. We started with cocktails at Phil and Mary Russo's spectacular new home (with a wine cellar stocked better than most gourmet restaurants) and then proceeded to the "Cock and Bull" murder mystery theater in Peddler's Village. We quickly found out that the Play involved full audience participation. Never having been known as a shy group, Lincoln Table members took advantage of the situation and basically stole the show. Hobe Pollard (now known by his stage name "Hobby") was the star of the evening and may still be trying to get that toilet plunger off his head. Many thanks to Phil and Mary for hosting and Brad Mills for planning a great event.
The June 22 afternoon event at Phillies baseball was another Table success. 40 happy Table members and guests enjoyed a blowout game of baseball with the Phillies beating the Boston Red Sox. A birthday cake was presented to Dr. Gill to celebrate his birthday and the festive occasion.
On July 14, 2003 all Club Tables moved to the South Marble Room. The Lincoln Table is now located in windows overlooking Monravia Street and in view of the sumptuous buffet table. This is a good location befitting the stature of the Lincoln Table among its peers. Our Table flag, the Art Restoration Statue and the Lincoln sculpture on the turntable identify our Table location.
On Saturday July 19 forty members and spouses enjoyed refreshments from our floating bar and a tour of the Harriton House in Bryn Mawr, Our host was Bruce Gill the director of Harriton House and the son of Robert Gill, a long-time table member.
The story of this house and estate encompasses more than 300 years. It begins with the settlement of "Merion" by Welsh Quakers who purchase the property from William Penn in 1682.The original owner Rowland Ellis called his estate 'Bryn Mawr' which means high hill in Welsh. In 1719 the name was changed to "Harriton" when the property was sold to a Maryland tobacco planter Richard Harrison. He increased the number of acres under cultivation and introduced tobacco culture as well as slaves to the estate. Some believe Harriton was the northernmost tobacco plantation in the 13 colonies operated on the slave economy. Charles Thomson acquired the house and estate through the marriage to Richard Harrison's daughter Hannah in 1774. Among his many accomplishments as Secretary of the Continental Congress, Thomson designed the Great Seal of the United States. Charles Thomson traveled to Mt. Vernon in April 1789 to inform George Washington that
Washington had just been elected first President of the United States under the new Constitution. At seven o'clock the group moved to the Philadelphia Country Club
nearby where we dined in great style. The party was hosted by Phil and Suzanne Fisher. The Arnold's joined the Fisher's at their table along with new members Anthony and Catherine Clifton, the Manthorpes, the Gleesons, the Pollards, The McGills and newer members the Kochs, the Furias, the Oberdorfs, the Mosers and the table management Steward Vockel, Brad Mills and their wives.
Jack and Carol Asher hosted their fourth Lincoln Table shore party on August 2, 2003. 65 members, spouses and guests with 15 children attended a festive afternoon and evening event. The Asher's son Jack generously provided jet ski rides to the older kids. Among the guests were Jay and Maggie Oberdorf with their one year old twins, Jim and Judie Larkin and their three including Jim's parents, Chris and Bonnie Gleeson with their grand daughter, Donna and Mark Weidel and their three boys. New table member Bruno and Susan Giordano among others. Everyone in attendance had a great time and the Lincoln Table thanks the Ashers for their generous hospitality.
On September 25 the Jack Ashers, Blaine Stocks, Betsy Fineburg , the Glen Beckers and the Roger Arnold's met in Washington Virginia at the famous Inn at Little Washington for an eight-course gourmet dinner. The Inn is an elegant nationally known destination known for its ambience and cuisine and is frequented by the politically powerful in the District of Columbia. Our party of nine feasted on a variety of choice entries with appropriate wines. It was a fun evening with great company. The rest of the party went on to the Greenbriar in West Virginia while the Arnold's stayed at local bed and breakfast visiting the Luray Caverns and the Skyline Drive.
On a beautiful fall afternoon on October l1 Ed and Amy Borer opened their spacious "Fair Meadow Farm" in Chester County. The property is situated on a portion of the Brandywine battlefield with a stone house built in the 1700's and a magnificent old barn with horses grazing in the pastures. Food provided by Table members included shrimp and various dips, fillet of beef sandwiches and delicious chocolate pretzels from the Asher chocolate factory. More than 30 members, spouses and guests enjoyed the occasion. Among those in attendance Stewart and Pam Vockel, Brad and Saundra Mills, Jack and Carol Asher, Blaine and Peggy Stock, Joe and Shirley Laird, Mark and Donna Weidel, Phil and Suzanne Fisher, Bruno and Suzanne Giordano, Roger and Marion Arnold with guests Denny and Claudia Willson, Lee and Ann Koch. We thank our hosts Ed and Amy Borer for another memorable outing at "Fair Meadow Farm".
The Fall Ball on November 1 was attended by a large Lincoln Table contingent. The theme Chicago featured appropriate decorations of the speakeasy era with black fedoras for the men. It was a festive evening with great hors d'oeuvres and dinner. This was a sell out event with more than 400 people in attendance.
On December 8, 2003 40 table members with an abundance of Lincoln stove pipe hats enjoyed a festive Christmas lunch and annual meeting. Stewart Vockel was elected for his second term and Patrick Sweeney for another year as Secretary/Treasurer. On the Management Committee Joe Prim was elected for his third year and new members Donna Weidel and Mark Lupke.
On December 10 our annual Table Christmas Party broke all records with almost 100 members, spouses and guests in attendance smashing the previous record of 70. A last minute decision was made to move the dinner to the Library Lounge after traditional cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the Lincoln Memorial Room. We simply could not fit everyone in the Lincoln Memorial for dinner. Many thanks to Brad Mills for organizing the event including the string quartet and carolers. Also a special thanks to Sandy Manthorpe and Jay Oberdorf for once again leading us in a Lincoln Table rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas.
2003 was a much better year in the stock market after three down years. The DOW reached 10429 and the NASDAC 2000. Lincoln Table membership now totals 130.
January 1st was a beautiful day was crisp temperature at 40 degrees. The Union League Open House was a sell out with many of the Table members in attendance. This year the Mummers Parade came back to Broad Street and the sights and sounds added to the festivities.
On January 31 Joe Prim hosted a pre-ball party at the Union League with music ensemble prior to the annual Academy Ball. Attending from the Lincoln Table the Arnolds, Vockels, Larkins, Giordanos, Lupkes, Lisis, Furias, Craig and Diane Semingson.. Conductor Simon Rattle dedicated a number in memory of the manager of Carnegie Hall who died the previous night at age 47. Shortly thereafter two middle aged men were carried out of the Academy Hall for medical treatment. Since the Arnolds have been in attendance at this Ball since 1979, this was the first such incident. It was a grand ball with seven orchestras at the Bellevue Hotel. At the Arnolds' table in the Atrium, the Giordanos, Vockels, Larkins and Gleesons. Joe and Jeanne Prim hosted the Furias, Camiels in the Clover room.
Lincoln Day February 12 at the Union League was a festive occasion with the exception of the featured speaker Senator Arlen Spector who arrived late. Two full tables of Lincoln Table members and guests. Fifteen table members in stove pipe hats added appropriate color to the occasion. The Historian did not attend as the Arnolds were principal supporters of Congressman Pat Toomey who was seeking Senator Spectors' seat in the Congress. Unfortunately Toomey lost in the Primary by some 2000 votes.
On February 27 at the Union League Activities Fair the Lincoln Table's booth was handsomely decorated and hosted by Mark Lupke in full Lincoln regalia including top hat and beard. Seven hundred members and guests attended with great food and an array of booths depicting the activities of all the Tables and organizations of the Union League.
On March 13, 2004 the Club Table Ball featured a Pirates in the Caribbean motif. Five Lincoln tables with sixty members and guests won the Champagne prize for tables over a hundred members. It was a grand evening with good food, fine music and comradery. Many table members wore the signature top hat adding to the festive affair.
On May 8 the Lincoln Table hosted another successful event at the Camden Aquarium. Fifty members and spouses enjoyed cocktails and a catered dinner in front of a giant fish tank at the New Jersey Aquarium fronting the Delaware River with a magnificent view of the Philadelphia skyline. Among members attending the event were old timers the Stocks, Ashers., Beckers, Gleesons, Trendlers, Vockels, Arnolds, Prims, Manthorpes, Heintz, Bettsy Fineburg and newer members the Holls, Mills Greg Montanaro and Charles Keats. Also attending were the Suplees, Distasios, Sweeneys, McGills, Mosers, Howard Aaronson and Ellie Haupt.
On Memorial weekend Saturday May 30 the historian turned on Fox News and who should we see but Brad Mills being interviewed on the street in New York City. His subject was the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation where Brad and Jay Oberdorf are prominent members. Brad drove from his home in Philadelphia to New York at 7AM. Lined up with Brad for the interview were three active Marines standing at attention, a magnificent sight, all 'spit and polish'. Brad's explanation of this resplendent event was - "I had the interview scheduled and just happened to recruit the three Marines who were in the vicinity sightseeing".
Sunday, June 13, The Lincoln Table event featured cocktails at the Willows estate in Radnor and dinner on the porch at Aronimink Golf Club -thirty five people attended. It's always of interest to see who turns out. On this occasion we saw Jim and Esther Cavanaugh who we had not seen in many years. Other members and guests included Geoff and Saundra Shepard, Dan and Linda Butler, Spencer and Sandy Manthorpe. At our table the Arnolds, the Giordanos, Mosers, Mark Lupke and Charles Keates. At Stu Vockels table, Walter and Mary Jane Gallagher, Chris and Bonnie Gleeson and Bonnie's father, Mr. Scott. At another table Pat and Chris Sweeney, Patrick and Michelle Kennedy, Denise Hompe, Lanny and Ann Patten, Donna and Mark Weidel and Julie O'Brien and date. Walter Gallagher's attendance at the Willows/Aronimink event reminded the historian of the value of age and memories of past Table occasions. Walter turned 92 years old on June 12, 2004 and on June 10 we celebrated Charlie Case's 93rd birthday. At Charlies's birthday Donna Weidel, Brad Mills, Bill Suplee and Roger Arnold were at the table, The South Marble Waitress's joined the Table members for a rousing Happy Birthday to you dear Charlie, a member of the League and the table since 1965.
On June 22 Archer Swift, alias for Anthony Clifton hosted a book party at the Brasserie Perrier launching his book entitled Big Pox. It was a successful event attended by one hundred prominent Philadelphians including several Lincoln Table members. Among them Anthony's father-in law Ralph Roberts, Blaine and Peggy Stock, Stewart Vockel, Brad Mills, Joe Prim, Spencer Manthorpe, Barbara Spiro, Jonathan Ziss, and the Arnolds A photo of this book party appeared in the July/August Banner.
On June 29th we celebrated Joe Prim's birthday with Cherries Jubilee and Baked Alaska. It was a little much in the way of dessert but Joe is a popular member of the Lincoln Table and an influential person on the Management Committee and the House Committee of the Union League. At the Table for the celebration were Len Distasio, Stu Vockel, Ed Suarez, Ross Feehrer, Spencer Manthorpe, Mark Lupke, Roger Arnold and Greg Montanaro. Lots of laughs and good comradery enjoyed by all.
On July 10 the Lincoln Table went to the ball game at the beautiful new Citizens
Park across from Lincoln Financial Field. The weather was ideal, sunny temperature in the 80's with low humidity. The Arnolds and out of town guests arrived early and experienced a 45 minute hassle in getting Lincoln Table box seats from Will Call. Other Tables Members endured this same problem. After gaining admission we walked around the entire stadium admiring the ambiance and variety of the attractions to entertain and relieve the participants of their money.
The Giles suite 78 was huge and accommodated our more than fifty Table members and guests magnificently with food, drink and good cheer. Among the participants, the Trendlers, Pat Sweeney, the expectant father, the Kochs, also expecting their first child, Ed Suarez and his grandson, the Suplees, Vockels, Prims, Distasios, Midkiffs, Lupkes, Beckers, Manthorpes, Willsons. Monzos with four kids, Hess, and Arnold's with four guests. In spite of a slow game between the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves with a Phillies loss, it was another enjoyable Lincoln Table event.
The August 14th Lincoln Table shore party at Bruno and Suzanne Giordanos' lovely beach house in Avalon was an outstanding success in spite of Hurricane Charley and several inches of rain and wind. More than seventy Lincoln Table members, spouses and children attended the party. Mark Lupke arrived early with his cache of Lincoln Table liquor for the bar. The food, catered by Francis was excellent and the keyboard music of Doug Knight really lived up the otherwise soggy evening. Unable to use the large deck and terrace overlooking the ocean and jetty, all seventy guests were together in the extended living room and it was a cozy cabaret atmosphere. Enjoying the music up close were Blaine and Peggy Stock, Len and Belle Distasio, Bob and Anita Graves and a host of others including Betsy Fineburg, Denise Hompe, Joe and Shirley Laird, Ann and Joe Martinez, Kyle and Roger Midkiff and son, the Mosers, Howard Aaranson and Julie O'Brien and fiancé. The usual shore regulars were in attendance, Jack and Carol Asher, Bob and Joyce Asher, John and Renee Asher from Avalon, Glenn and Barbara Becker from Cape May and Jim and Judy Larkin with their three children from Ocean City. Joe Monzo with a party of five from Sea Isle. Phil and Mary Russo with their three children were at the swimming pool in the rain. Our Table President Stu Vockel, Pam and Morgan were there along with several past Presidents, Mike and Fran Trendler, Chris and Bonnie Gleeson with their young grandson, Spencer and Sandy Manthorpe and Roger and Marion Arnold of course. Many of the younger children enjoyed the Giordano heated pool in the rain. The designated adult life guard for the evening was Brad Mills in the pool protecting the life of his two year old, a determined diver. Rob Arnold, Augustus and Charlie arrived in time for Augustus to swim with a bevy of young ladies frolicking in the pool. The steady rain didn't interfere with their fun. The 2004 Giordano shore party was an outstanding success and will attest to the fact that the summer of 2004 was exceedingly wet.
On September 17, 2004, twenty-eight hardy Lincoln Table members, spouses and children ventured north to the Pocono Mountains for a weekend at Skytop, an expansive estate encompassing 5000 plus acres featuring all types of family recreation and great cuisine. Unplanned for this September event were the remnants of Hurricane Ivan which hit the Panhandle of Florida with winds of 135 mph and many inches of rain leaving a swatch of tremendous damage and 22 people dead. We all arrived at Skytop Friday afternoon and it poured all night and Saturday until mid afternoon washing out two outdoor weddings at the resort. The usual Lincoln Table group of party goers attended including the Prims with Tom and Marian, the Vockels with Morgan, the Jack Ashers, the Stocks, the Beckers, Betsy Finburg, the Gleesons, the Arnolds, the Distasio's and Dan and Elaine McGill. As this is a raucous group, the manager secluded us at two big tables in back of the main dining room and this was fortuitous as our party was noisy. After a five-course dinner the party dispersed to the various nocks and crannies. Blaine Stock, an old pool hall veteran gave Joe Prim a challenge at the pool table. The party crowd closed out the evening in the Pub. Saturday after breakfast with the storm raging outside several of us played bridge in one of the card rooms. The Arnolds and the McGills started the game with Marion's partners Roger, Len Distasio and Joe Prim including several kibitzers including Belle Distasio, Betsy Fineburg and Peggy Stock. The game lasted until lunch. As there wasn't much going on with the wet weather, we all feasted mightily. In the afternoon we were jitneyed a few miles from Skytop to a lovely cocktail party hosted by Walter and Mary Jane Gallagher at Buck Hill Falls where the Gallagher's spend their summers. The Gallaghers also invited the Johnsons and their guest from Australia. This gave the party an international favor as the Johnsons had lived and worked in Australia for many years.
After the Buck Hill Falls reception we were back to Skytop this time for dinner at a sylvan dining room overlooking the lake and the golf course. This evening we had three tables and after a delicious dinner a hugh chocolate birthday cake in honor of the historians' 84th birthday arrived with an appropriate rendition of Happy Birthday! Roger announced his future retirement as Historian in 2010 at age 90 after a thirty-year run. Several hardy souls walked back to the main lodge where the party continued in the Pub. Sunday the weather was better with clear skies, chilly and a bit windy. In spite of hurricane Ivan, a great time was enjoyed by all. Someone suggested the management committee might consult the Farmers' Almanac for weather predictions on Table events planned for August and September in future years.
On September 28, 2004 Dianne Reed, member of the Union League and former Treasurer of the Lincoln Table was named Budget Director of the City of Philadelphia. Dianne headed the Pennsylvania Economy League and was director of research in City Council. Dianne joined the Lincoln Table in 1992 and in recent years she had been a senior manager at KPMG llP. The Lincoln Table is proud of Dianne's accomplishments.
On October 9 the Lincoln Table had an outing at Joe Monzo's home in Flourtown. The historian was not in attendance but members reported the Monzo home was a beautiful setting and forty or more members, spouses and children enjoyed the festivities. The Monzo's served a delicious catered dinner with the bar provided by the Table and our bar tender de jour Mark Lupke.
The Lincoln Table has one of the largest contingents of Life Members of the Union League - at least twenty. On October 14 several Table members and spouses attended the third annual dinner. It was an elegant black tie affair featuring a cocktail hour with a raw bar and delicious hors d'oeuvres. Jim Mundy, revered League archivist, gave us a fascinating rendition of the founding of the Union League in 1862 and the founding characters involved. This was followed by champagne toasts and a six-course banquet with appropriate wines. The abundance and elegance of the cuisine reminded the historian of the ancient Roman orgy. The only thing missing were the couches on which to dine instead of the chairs. Among the guests were Blaine and Peggy Stock, Jack and Carol Asher, Joe and Jeanne Prim, Stewart and Pam Vockel and Roger and Marion Arnold. An after dinner rendezvous in the Old Café concluded the evening. Life membership should be the goal of every member - it's a long term good deal financially!
November 2, Election Day 2004 was a day that will go down in history as a turning point in the battle for morality, family values and conservative fiscal policy. Senator John Kerry and his merry band of liberal elites and underclass citizens seeking a handout from the government lost big time. The count was slow but overnight the red states overwhelmed the blue states and President George W. Bush won re-election with a popular vote majority of three million and a ratio of 51% to 49% - the first time a majority over 50% in many years. With the Republican Congress and Senate picking up additional seats as well, it was a resounding defeat for liberalism - high taxes, weak on defense and massive government welfare.
On November 6 a band of Lincoln Table members and guests departed on the Love Boat at the Union League for a spectacular voyage! We were treated to delicious hors d'oeuvres on the Marble deck and an open bar before dinner. The hors d'oeuvres were tremendous, better than the main course served later in Lincoln hall but that is usually the case at these Club extravaganzas in the opinion of the historian. The Lincoln Memorial and Library Lounge featured more food on which to dine. The older members of the Table dined in Lincoln Hall while the younger crowd represented by Greg Montanaro, Mark and Amanda Lupke, Jason and Kristine Lisi, and Jeff Watkinson and his date dined and danced in the Mead Room. Upstairs in the main saloon the Lincoln Table was represented by the Stocks, the Ashers, Betsy Fineburg, the Vockels, the Trendlers, the Larkins, Oberdorfs, Gleesons, Patrick Kennedy, the Sweeney's, the Mills, Erin and Mike Trendler. Joe Prim had his own table with the Furias and others. Dinner was a combination of steak, fish and more but as usual much like a Roman orgy and topped by baked Alaska for dessert. The best desserts of the evening were served in the corridor outside the Marble rooms -goodies you speared and dipped in the chocolate fountain. There was a casino in the South Marble room and a jazz combo in North Marble. It was a gala evening. As customary, the historian couldn't get Marion to go home so he sat in the Old Cafe until 1AM discussing the election with Bob Asher and the Lisis among others. Naturally we are all big supporters of G. W. Bush and happy with his re-election.
The Lincoln Table wins another award! On Veterans Day, November ll, 2004 more than thirty members donned their stove pipe hats and turned out to celebrate Veterans Day at the League. Although the historian was not in attendance, it was reported that the ceremony was impressive, memorable and according to our working members, "too damn long". The plaque celebrating the occasion, a large colorful framed documentation of the occasion will be added to our gallery of awards next to the Lincoln Table.
Monday, November 29 was the historians' 25th anniversary as he joined the Union League on November 29, 1979. It was celebrated in a big way with a large chocolate cake and the official photographer of the League, Daniel Ortaga taking group pictures of the Table participants. Leslie Kase, Capital Campaign Director of the League, arranged the publicity. Table members present included Blaine and Peggy Stock, President Stewart Vockel, Spencer Manthorpe, Charles Case, William Suplee, Joe Prim, Robert Arnold,
Al Schwecke, Len Distasio, and Brad Mills. Suplee with 47 years, Stock, 41, Case 34, Manthorpe 32, Distasio, 29, all had more membership years but they put up with the
Historians' shenanigans with good humor.
On December 13, the annual Table meeting was held in The Lincoln Memorial Room with 50 members in attendance. President Stewart Vockel presided with Reverend Joseph
Laird giving the Invocation. Toasts to the President, George W. Bush and several other
dignitaries were given and an hour and a half of fellowship was enjoyed by all.
The new slate of officers for 2005 was voted and confirmed. They are Patrick Sweeney, President, Joseph Prim, Secretary/Treasurer, Donna Weidel, Mark Lupke and Barbara Spiro on the Management Committee.
On December 15 the annual Lincoln Table Christmas party took place with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres served in the Lincoln Memorial Room and dinner in the Meade Room. Ninety some members and spouses attended with a string quartet playing for the cocktail hour and a member choir singing Christmas carols at cocktails and dinners.
It was a joyous evening with plenty of comradery, spirits, good food and multiple toasts to the President of the USA, the League and the Table. The highlight of the evening as is the custom is the singing of the Twelve Days of Christmas led by Sandy Manthorpe and Jay Oberdorf. Each table enthusiastically sang their part in a rendition that could have been worthy of a Carnegie Hall performance.
President Vockel's farewell December, 2004 Table letter concluded with these remarks "I would like to thank my fellow Management Committee members over the last two years. Pat Sweeney, Joe Prim, Donna Weidel, Mark Lupke, Jack Asher and Brad Mills, These people have worked very hard to bring you the great success that the Lincoln Table has enjoyed in all our social and League related events. We possess something very special that I have not witnessed at any other table at the League. The camaraderie and goodwill among our members is genuine. Lifelong friendships have been created that would not have resulted under any other circumstances. We have a wealth of very talented and successful people who compliment each other and provide a tremendous reservoir of knowledge that every member can tap into. I want to thank all 132 of you for making the Lincoln Table the envy of all other organizations at the Union League of Philadelphia" Well said Stewart - in the opinion of this Historian. - one of the most energetic and successful of our Table Presidents.
It should be noted that Francis X. Iaquinto passed away on August 23, 2004. Frank was an active Table member for more that ten years and is remembered for sponsoring several Table outings at his club Commonwealth National.
2004 was a good year! The Dow Jones ended at 10783 and the Nasdaq at 2175. The war on terror ended successfully in Afghanistan and the new President Karzai was elected decisively. The war in Iraq was successful but the guerilla operations by the terrorists continues with more than 1000 Americans killed pending the election in 2005. President George W. Bush enjoys the confidence of the majority of the American people and we anticipate a favorable outcome.