We all arrive Saturday or Sunday to greet old friends, waiting for 1:00pm
on Monday for the racing to start.  All of the sudden it is Thursday and the
1998 Rebel Nationals are history.  The once a year gathering of family, 
friends and competitors.  As usual, a good time was has by all, even 
though we could not get all seven races in.  This year I made some new friends.
I also was reacquainted with a friend I haven’t seen in years (it was great 
to see you Jan, I hope it will be an annual event) and said good-bye to a dear
friend of many years.  I think that Dan Socha was looking over Mark’s shoulder.
After all, two heads are better than one and Dan probably has an "in" with the
powers that control the wind shifts.  Congratulations to Mark and Peggy on a 
great series.  Chris finally did get his port tack start, even though it was 
in the last race that turned out to be a non-event.  I missed some familiar 
faces and hope that you will be at Clark’s Lake in 1999 (you know who you are
Clarence and Sally Metztger, Ron Reading and Cece Smith, Hank Hodgson, Ed and 
Linda Cox, John and Ginny  Butzer, and Nancy Socha, I hope  to see you all 
next year.

I heard some rumblings about the fact that the championship was determined
in only three races.  Well, it is not a record!  The 1962 National champion,
Dave Mahan, won the honor in only two races in Port Clinton.  The only 
difference is that that series was shortened because of too much wind and 
the 1998 series was shortened because of too little wind.

1969 was the last Nationals in which I participated in the "first half of 
my Rebel life".  I was a lifeguard at the time and I called in sick so I 
could crew for my brother Chris in our boat appropriately named "Flower Power" 
at Monroe Boat Club on Lake Erie.  My Uncle, Ed Fromme, with my dad as crew 
won the title.  It took him 15 years to get the win.  The entertainment, 
done by the host Toledo fleet, was based on South Pacific.  Chris Fromme 
played Tom Ehman barging at the starting line.  When I returned home, I 
looked in my archives and found the entire program for the 1969 entertainment.
It included the following acknowledgements:

Tom Ehman – for his rapport with all Protest Committee and his ":up, up, up"
Nancy Brandt – for her "bikini" inspirations
George Carr – for his championship status, his chevrons and his Out Island Inn ads
Benny Miller – for his Texas accent and sparkling personality
Bill Etherton and John Miller – for their gymnastics on the water
Bill Finlay – for really trying

I have heard that the first time we had live entertainment was in 1966.  
Boredom on the long drive to Dallas inspired the women from Huron Portage 
to write a skit ) does anyone happen to remember the theme?  I think that 
Marvin Brinn should hold the permanent title of entertainment director.  
Maybe then he would come to the Nationals every year, not just when they
are held at VISA.

My earliest memory is of the Nationals in Port Clinton in 1962.  The weather
was so bad that about half of the boats capsized and some were abandoned out 
on the lake to insure the safety of the sailors.  I remember my brother and 
I running back and forth along the shore looking for our dad and uncle.  
All of the Rebel family ended up safe and sound if not a little shaken…..the 
Herndons, the Ehmans, the Mahans, the Pattons and all the rest.

The 1966 Nationals will always live in infamy.  Instead of relaxing before 
the banquet, we all retired to the pool at the hotel and proceeded to 
celebrate.  Everyone got thrown into the pool, whether or not they were 
connected with the Rebel contingent.  Those of us that were underage were 
put into service to mix the vodka and Dr Pepper  for the adults (I do use 
that term loosely). I think the pool was 30 proof by the time we vacated!  
Jack Evans never did make it to the awards banquet having consumed more than 
his share of the doctored Dr. Pepper.  I can still hear his wife Sammy call 
out for Jack in her own unique way.  My Rebel family included people that I 
will never forget, the Evans’s, Bureau’s, Kohankie’s, Etherton’s, Miller’s, 
Colthorps, Hunsakers, Bartlettes, Krajewskis, Ehmans Musselmans and many more.

The people I  grew up with every summer, the Robinsons, the Bloughs, the
Sochas, the Quiniffs, Ethertons, Herndons, Evans, Bureaus, Hunsakers...they
were my friends and part of my extended family.  Imagine how surprised and 
excited I was when some of these same people were still here when I came 
back to sailing in 1989.  Over the last nine years I have gotten reacquainted
with my Rebel family -the Sochas, Robinsons, Quiniffs, Bloughs, Metzgers,
Crapsers and Brandts.  I have also welcomed many more into my family…Coxes, 
Butzers, George and Steve Vurno and Joan, Hank Hodgsen, Leenys, Cece and 
her dad Ron, Bill Ryan (when are you coming back to the Nationals????), 
Shaffers (I love it when Lee calls Jean "my bride"), Robbs,  Woodruffs, 
Blaines, Ray Ferree, Wrights, Vorels, Scotts, Nickels   Oh, and how can I 
forget Ben Hassel?  I think he paid someone to put Chris’s boat in the 
middle of the channel on Tuesday night..

A lot has changed, but so much has stayed the same.  There still is that 
sense of family, friendship and camaraderie, but when we are out on the 
race course, watch out!  The competition is fierce and it does get tense at
times…but at the end we are all smiling because of the week we have spent 
with good friends and family.

Hope to see all of you next year at Clark’s Lake.





Sue Gerber-----Crew 1657