The 2017 Picking Reunion was held
October 9th thru October 12th in St. Charles, Missouri at the Embassy Suites St. Louis/St.
Charles Hotel. Our hosts were
Cheryl and Mike Overschmidt, Tom
Overschmidt, and Mary Beth and Dave Strassner.
Hotel accommodations were great.
A complimentary cooked to order breakfast was available each morning and
snacks and free drinks in the evening. Each
room was actually a two room suite.
St. Charles is a quaint town
located some 20 miles north of St. Louis on the banks of the Missouri river.
It is probably best known as the starting place of the Lewis and Clark
expedition. Several blocks of Main Street have restored buildings of the time.
The buildings contained many shops and restaurants. The street is still paved
with bricks. A free trolley that stops at our hotel is provided by the city. The
trolley also stops at a casino and several points in the downtown area.
Monday was registration day and
the hospitality room opened in the afternoon. Folks visited in the hospitality
room and many took advantage of the trolley to tour the downtown area.
Tuesday was our first tour.
Guides in historic dress boarded each bus.
They pointed out historic buildings and gave us some history of the city.
After dropping the guides, we headed south to St. Louis and
the Gateway Arch National Monument. Several
of the group rode the tram to the top of the 630 foot high arch.
However, the view was obstructed by low hanging clouds. We were able to
view a video of the arch construction in the museum at the base.
We then crossed the street to the
Mississippi River for a cruise on a replica nineteenth-century paddle-wheel
riverboat. A delicious buffet style
lunch was ready as soon as we went aboard.
Entertainment was a piano and banjo duet performing songs of the time. We
cruised for about 2 hours enjoying the afternoon on the river.
There was a great view of the arch as the clouds lifted.
Several of our group got behind the wheel for a photo-op and steered the
After the cruise, we boarded the
busses and headed back to the hotel and the well stocked hospitality room.
Wednesday morning saw us boarding
the busses for Jefferson Barracks. This
is one of the National Cemetery Administration’s oldest interment sites.
It has served as a burial place for soldiers of all wars.
During the Civil War, Jefferson Barracks served as a training post for
the Union Army. We toured the
cemetery then stopped and held a short memorial service for those crew members
whose passing we had learned of since the last reunion.
As each name was read, a bell was rung.
After the last name, a bugler played taps.
The group then divided, one going
to the Missouri History Museum and the other to Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
The Basilica is one of the
largest (if not largest) churches in St. Louis. It is the Spiritual center of
the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Many mosaics and artworks cover the interior of
The History Museum collection
includes both national artifacts as well as Missouri and St. Louis related
materials plus items relating to Charles Lindbergh and his trans-Atlantic flight
in the Spirit of St. Louis.
Both groups met at the museum and
had lunch there at Bixby’s. We then returned to the Hotel for an evening in
the hospitality room.
Thursday was a free day until the
evening when we gathered for a group picture before the Banquet. Once the pictures were taken, we headed to the banquet room.
After a welcome and Pledge of
Allegiance to the Flag, a delicious meal was served by the hotel staff.
Our speaker for the evening was Kevin Keough, Son of Captain Raymond
Keough, USS Picking. Kevin gave an inspirational speech based on the life of his
After the speech, Cynthia Daniels
presented Kevin with one of her beautiful hand made quilts.
A drawing was held for several
Sue and George Brunson announced
they would be hosting the 2019 reunion in the Chicago suburb of Shaumburg
Illinois. It is tentatively planned
to be in the Embassy Suites Hotel.
closed with the singing of Anchors Aweigh.