Richmond, Virginia
August 12-15, 2010

Diamond Anniversary Convention Report  

By Patricia A. Kaufmann

Wow! What a spectacular event! This extraordinary anniversary convention will be remembered for years to come. We had four jam-packed days of fellowship and events, yet there were so many in attendance that it felt as if I only spent a cumulative total of twenty seconds or less with any one person.

Our local hosts, Peter and Ethel Powell kicked off the first evening with panache by welcoming over a hundred members to their lovely home for a wonderful cocktail party where we were treated not only to whole tenderloins of beef and filets of salmon, but exotic fare such as swan, shot by avid hunter Gen. Powell. Peter showed off his trophy room full of exotic large game such the large curved-horn sable antelope from Africa, as well as numerous beautiful waterfowl. Ethel was also responsible for the lovely flower arrangements on the Southern Supper tables.Trish Kaufmann & August Dietz IV by Hoyer & Ludwig Printing Press Anyone with a blue star under their plate got to take the beautiful flowers home. Someone clearly “set me up” as I was blessed with the centerpiece from our table and my table companions were all grinning ear to ear.  

Our other local Richmond hosts, William and Ginger Shulleeta, took care of much of the behind the scenes scheduling. William took charge of Southern Supper and battlefield tour reservations, as well as the CSA booth schedule. Thanks, too, to all those members who helped at the booth. You signed up approximately twenty new members with your efforts! Ginger and other locals took over a dozen ladies to the Louis Ginter Botanical Gardens on Saturday morning in their personal vehicles. They enjoyed a Dutch treat luncheon and a tour of the gardens, a delightful special event for the distaff side.

Thanks are due to so very many who made this noteworthy celebration happen. Thanks and accolades have been coming in from all directions from those who attended – virtually all saying it was the best philatelic event they’d ever attended. Many of the wonderful comments were from people who had never been exposed to an Alliance event before. We certainly put our best foot forward.

Friday provided two top-notch events. The first was the 3-hour Richmond Civil War battlefield bus tour by the James River Bus Lines. Col. Rex Felton arranged for nationally known author and historian Robert Krick of the National Park Service to serve as the tour guide. Both he and his father, Robert Krick, Sr., are noted scholars of the Virginia Battlefields.

Trish Kaufmann & Jerry PalazoloThe tour included the major Richmond area sites from the 1862 McClellan Campaign against Robert E. Lee. Battlefields visited included Mechanicsville, Gaines Mills, Glendale and the concluding battle at Malvern Hill. Also visited were the 1864 Battlefields at Cold Harbor and Second Gaines Mills, where Lee faced Grant. The trenches built at Cold Harbor impressed everyone both by their size and number. Cold Harbor has always been remembered as one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

Period building and land restoration was pointed out by Bob Krick. They are a result of the Richmond Battlefield Association's tireless efforts.  Bob Frailey, who kindly provided the details after the tour for me, says the bus driver had the largest and newest bus in their fleet, and deserves a special salute for being able to navigate the small roadways with their numerous turns and trees.   

Friday evening was “the” event of the convention, the Diamond Anniversary Southern Supper. After opening brief opening remarks by your president and a welcome from local host Gen. Peter Powell, Gen. Daniel C. Warren asked the blessing and we were then treated to the unparalleled delectable cuisine of the Commonwealth Club.