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66th annual meeting

Annual meeting
Ancient Gastronomic Order of the Rattling Reptiles met on July 26 at Covered Bridge and Cottage on the Evergreen Farms. The inductees were introduced and initiation followed. From left: Craig A. Rickards, Tyrone, PA, sponsored by Jack Rawlings; Todd M. Emeigh, Claysburg, PA, sponsored by Phillip Emeigh; Grand Imperial Rattler R. Wayne Harpster; John W. Harpster; Fred N. Imler, Sr., Hollidaysburg, PA by Ralph W. Authurs, Jr.; George Lake, Spruce Creek, PA, sponsored by John D. Rice; David W. Gilliland, Pittsburgh, PA, sponsored by William Gilliland and Delmont Sunderland, Mill Creek, PA, sponsored by Scot D. Gill. (Courtesy photo)

The Ancient Gastronomic Order of Rattling Reptiles met at the covered bridge by the Evergreen Farms in the beautiful Spruce Creek Valley for the 66th consecutive time to honor King Rattler. There were 14 guests, 82 members, six candidates and one speaker for a total of 103 present for the gala affair.
Fellow Rattlers began arriving from near and far at approximately 2 p.m. for fly fishing and socializing with attitude adjustments while preparing themselves for the festive occasion. The day was a mix of sun, rain and clouds. A light rain around 2 p.m. soon passed with a few clouds, turning to a bright sun the remainder of the day and evening. The temperature was in the low to mid 80s.
The order was called together at 5 p.m. by President Abraham Harpster for various group pictures at the covered bridge. The group was then ordered to dinner by President Harpster who welcomed everyone and introduced Grand Imperial Rattler, R. Wayne Harpster, who thanked all those responsible for helping to prepare for the event. Rattler Jack Rawlings led the pledge to the flag of our great nation, which was followed by Rattler John Rice giving the invocation. This was followed by a delicious meal prepared and served by Hoag’s Catering of State College.
The dinner consisted of turtle soup, trout, ground hog, rattle snake, corn on the cob, potato salad, baked beans, cucumber and onion salad and for dessert, ice cream and pie. It should be noted, the ground hog was prepared to perfection and the snapper soup was outstanding. In addition, “King Fisher” Lloyd Riss of DuBois caught the trout, Aaron Harpster, “Quick Hands,” of Spruce Creek caught the snapping turtles, “Dead Eye” Bill Ansley of Duncansville and R. Wayne Harpster of Spruce Creek bagged the ground hogs, “High Stepping” John Harpster of Philipsburg tamed the rattlesnakes and “Master Cookey Chef” James Trostle of Warriors Mark with assistants Rich Burley of Lancaster Nate Oehme of Lititz and John Rice of Warriors Mark prepared the “Whistle Pigs” and Rattlers.
The meeting began with the reading of the minutes by Grand Rattling Secretary Richard Burley and were approved as read. President Harpster recognized Galen Gilliland of Warriors Mark for his 50 years of membership in the organization.
The very respectful “Resolution of Respect” was read for deceased members, George R. Houser, 69, of Lancaster, PA by fellow Rattler William Gilliland. Also, George W. Harvey, 96, of State College, PA, considered by many to be the Dean of American Fly Fishing by Aaron Harpster. The resolution of respect for Harvey was followed by his close friend and associate, Joe Humphrey’s of Boalsburg, PA, recalling personal stories with Harvey over his many years as friends. This was followed by a moment of silence.
The featured program for the evening was introduced by John Harpster and presented by Greg Gonder of Philipsburg, PA, Nationally known and recognized bowhunter and competitive shooter, Mr. Gonder talked about modern archery equipment and compared the advantage to equipment of yesteryear. He also discussed the skill of competitive shooting and also hunting. In addition, he demonstrated his shooting skills at 50 yard targets. Mr. Gonder will move to the next level of shooting when he turns professional and shoots with Team Bowtech later this year. The program was enjoyed by all.
The initiation of the inductees began at 7:45 p.m. starting with the Prologue by Board Member, Douglas Harpster. This was followed by the introduction of inductees by their sponsors: David W. Gilliland, Pittsburgh – Rattler William Gilliland; Delmont Sunderland, Mill Creek – Rattler Scott D. Gill; Todd M. Emeigh, Claysburg – Rattler Phillip Emeigh; Fred N. Emler, Sr., Hollidaysburg – Rattler Ralph Authur; George Lake, Spruce Creek – Rattler John Rice and Craig A. Rickards, Tyrone – Rattler Jack Rawling.
The inductees were then turned over to initiation Chairman, John Harpster, and Assistant, Aaron Harpster, to perform their acts of bravery. All candidates passed the tests successfully and in good health. Also present was Punxsutawney Phil, who appeared to sweep through the whole affair.
A good time was had by all and the meeting was adjourned until 2009 by President Abe Harpster at 8:30 p.m.