Muzzle Blasts Online
August/September 1997      Volume 2, Number 4
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NMLRA News


New ExCom Members Elected

Jim Fulmer Ron Ehlert
Randy Koerper Chuck Hearn

The association's board of directors held their annual meeting during the June Shoot and elected officers for the 1997-98 year. Voted into his third and final term as President was Marty Murphy. Russell Griffing was re-elected as First Vice President and Jim Fulmer was continued as Second Vice President. Ron Ehlert replaced Willie Boitnott as Third Vice President. Randy Koerper took Pat King's place as Secretary, and Chuck Hearn became Treasurer, the position having previously been filled by Dan Kindig. These officers are the Executive Committee (ExCom) and their first scheduled meeting is planned for the Fall Shoot.

Membership meeting Update
Ever since the date of the National Championship Matches was changed from August to June (changed in 1986), some members have said they thought the change was a mistake. Dwindling shoot participation coupled with the demise of Charter Clubs seems to bear this out. After considering the situation for several years, the Executive Committee voted to recommend to the full board that the National Championship matches be held at the end of summer, rather than in the spring. The actual recommendation was to keep shoot dates the same (they start on the second Saturday in June and September) but switch the shoots so that the National Championship matches would be held in September in place of the Fall Shoot.

The board, in a marathon session that began at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, and ended at 1:15 a.m. Friday, June 20, rejected the ExCom's recommendation. Even though many board members agree that holding the National Championship matches in June is similar to holding the World Series at the beginning of the baseball season, and even though some board members wonder whether the demise of so many charter clubs is not the result of removing the incentive of shooting all summer in preparation for the Nationals in the fall, they nevertheless chose other reasons for maintaining the status quo. One such reason was that while junior shooters shoot the same number of aggregates at both the June and September Shoots, they shoot more re-entry targets at the June event. This June, of the 1,653 registered shooters and tradesmen, 127 were juniors.

For the eleven years of 1975 through 1985, when the National Shoot was held in August, the average participation was 2,034. For the years 1986 through 1997, not counting 1996 and its flood, the average is 1,740. This year's number of 1,653 is the lowest since 1975. Some of the decline in these numbers may be due to normal attrition--we are growing older.

Field Reps of the Year Named
National Field coordinators Dean and Pat King announced this year's winner of the Field Rep of the Year Honors at the Annual Members Meeting during the June Shoot. Pat explained to the group that this year's competition had been so keen that they had been unable to select just one Field Rep and settled for a tie. The winners, who were each presented with a clock and a plaque, were John Richardson of Gilmanton, New Hampshire, and Richard Truex of Wakarusa, Indiana. Richard started his tour as a Field Rep in 1986 and John followed him two years later in 1988. In addition to his Field Rep duties at home, John helps run the Beginners Bench during Friendship Shoots. Richard is one of the regulars at NMLRA's Range Days Work Weekend, and has done most of the recent trim carpentry in the Walter Cline range club house and scoring room. Congratulations are in order to these two fine NMLRA members.

1997 Blackpowder Hall of Fame Winner Announced
Lt. Col. Vaughn Goodwin Gordon Davis, chairman of NMLRA's Blackpowder Hall of Fame committee, participated in this year's Annual Membership Meeting and announced the latest addition to the "Hall." The Hall of Fame committee receives nominations for induction from the membership at large. The committee meets in the spring and considers the nominees. Those that the committee feels meet the "Hall's" criteria are recommended to the Executive Committee for induction. The Executive Committee forwards the recommendation, and its own, to the full board, which has the deciding authority.

This year, the board was pleased to add Lt Col V.K. Goodwin to the NMLRA Blackpowder Hall of Fame. Lt Col Goodwin was president of the association during the years 1971-74.

EVP Honored at Annual Members Meeting J.Uithol and M. Murphy
NMLRA President Marty Murphy took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the Annual Members Meeting during the June Shoot to commend Executive Vice President Jon Uithol for his service over five years and to wish him well in his retirement. As a token of the association's appreciation, he then presented Jon with an engraved .32 cal. traditional flintlock pistol, the work of NMLRA member Charles Maggard of Prescott, Arizona. Mr. Maggard is a very active member of the NMLRA's Winter National Shoot committee, and is, as evidenced by this pistol, an outstanding gunsmith, builder, and craftsman. Uithol, who was taken completely by surprise, vowed to spend the next five years on the pistol line.

Search Committee to Meet, Interview
Back in February, 1997, when Executive Vice President Jon Uithol gave his six month's notice of his intention to retire in August, 1997, President Marty Murphy immediately formed a search committee to find a replacement. The committee members are Marty Murphy, Russell Griffing, Jim Fulmer, Willie Boitnott, Dan Kindig, Pat King, P.J. Cardinale, Branch Meanley, and Warner Moore. In addition, Jon Uithol and Rosie Magner were asked to sit in as non-voting members of the search committee.

The committee met in February to finalize the job description and to place ads in trade magazines. It met again in May to review applications and to select six candidates for interviews.

Interviews are scheduled to be held at the NMLRA office in Friendship, Indiana on July 12 and 13, 1997. From these, it is expected that the search committee will select a final candidate for presentation to the full board during the September Shoot. Newly elected members of the Executive Committee have been afforded the opportunity of sitting in on the interviews as observers.

June Shoot Declared a Success
Although it did rain on several occasions, Laughery Creek stayed within its banks and Friendship avoided another flood. Grateful for that, but nervous nevertheless, 1,653 registered shooters and tradesmen converged on Friendship last month and added another National Championship Match to NMLRA's archives.

The first Saturday saw a particularly large crowd. The campgrounds were full, as were the parking lots. Unfortunately, the portable toilets were also full and the contractor's failure to show up for servicing the units didn't help. This seemed to put an extra strain on all the facilities and they never fully recovered. Vandalism of the facilities during the shoot added to the problem.

Sensing the frustrations this caused for many of the participants, long time board member and newly elected treasurer Chuck Hearn announced at the Annual Members Meeting that he was taking personal responsibility for all the sanitary facilities on NMLRA's grounds. Hearn promised that by next June all facilities would be completely repaired, cleaned, and painted. He further promised there would be no leaks. Chuck's commitment was greeted enthusiastically.

Other than the toilets and a little mud from the rain, everything else progressed in its usual clockwork fashion under the able guidance of NMLRA's Director of Operations Rosie Magner, and it was another wonderful Friendship experience.


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