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Being Social, Eating, and Growing Up

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I am leading a small chapter in the northeast. The previous president had to leave for medical reasons. Rhode Island borders Connecticut and Massachusetts. We have monthly dinner meetings and our attendance has fluctuated. Our neighbors in Connecticut have helped us with support. Several members are friends with members of the Connecticut and Boston chapters. We meet at local restaurants. Since 2015 when the restaurant we had been frequenting closed, we have tried several places. It is interesting how each place has a slightly different approach to small groups. In addition to including in our membership and on our board founding members, we prize our Jim Norris who is one of the five or so remaining founding members of the original Prime Timers (in the world).


Our chapter also holds a monthly weeknight Asian Buffet Night and a monthly Sunday Morning Brunch. Each get together is at a different place. Many of the core members live in or near the northern part of the state, so we tend to frequent places nearer to that area. Since Rhode Island is a small state area-wise, it is relatively simple to get to any area from nearby Massachusetts where several of our members come from and even nearby Connecticut. In the winter, several of our members travel to Provincetown, Massachusetts on Cape Cod where Connecticut and Massachusetts hold a great Halloween retreat. Connecticut has a robust group and we are invited to many of the trips and outings that they put together for their members. In the summer, a few RI members host outdoor parties that are very popular. I have included a few photos showing the landscape. Paul and Tom's place features a pool and Robert and Stephen's has a quiet, lakeside, laid-back feel.

Every few dozen years or so, we are invaded by gypsy moths. This is one of those years. The gypsy moth was introduced into North America in 1869 from Europe and quickly became an invasive species. Étienne Léopold Trouvelot imported the moths with the intent of interbreeding gypsy moths with silk worms to develop a silkworm industry. The moths were accidentally released from his residence in Medford, Massachusetts. It is listed as one of the 100 most destructive invasive species worldwide.

The chapter membership was robust for a good long time and then it dipped when the original restaurant closed. As we travelled from restaurant to restaurant, trying each in turn, our numbers went up and down. We have now located an old standby and long standing restaurant that furnishes us with a private room. This is a big deal. All the places we have tried were hard pressed to find private space for our smaller group. As a rule, we have a few dozen attend each month. In an effort to remain attractive, we have not raised our prices either for the monthly dinner or for membership in a number of years.
Our new home has provided us with good food and a space to be ourselves where we can socialize and relax in the company of old friends. It has also been useful for attracting some new members who have heard about our chapter. An interesting twist of fate brings us here as the owner's son is a successful professional in the West and is openly gay. Each year, we hold an anniversary dinner and this year we had a large crowd with considerable support from Connecticut and some Boston members. The lobster tail and filet mignon were enjoyable and we were able to celebrate 10 years in a typically New England demure fashion.

We celebrate our diversity including in our membership with so many widely different occupations – from "A to Z" – academics, actuaries, bookkeepers, capitalists, chaplains, journalists, manufacturers, and a pilot. And of course we have several veterans. This adds a rich blend of views and experiences to share.

Prime Timers Worldwide has also helped us with several ideas for attracting new members. We had representatives attend the national convention in Las Vegas in 2015. We met some great guys who provided us with some additional ideas and models. Worldwide also keeps us informed and tuned in to the other chapters through the newsletters.

 

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Last modified on Sunday, 03 September 2017 17:28

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