Greetings from the President's desk and hey to all my Gaither cousins!! The 3rd week of June 2012, the Gaither Clan converged on Missoula, Montana in a manner that would have made "Lewis and Clark" take notice. Some of our group arrived early and others stayed late to enjoy all the wondrous beauty of "Big Sky Country".
The official kick off of our reunion began at the "Hospitality Room" Thursday evening at the Doubletree by Hilton, Missoula. We all gathered to socialize, browse and enjoy the Gaither memorabilia, flora Ann and Bradley had on display. Our wonderful host, Ralph and Betty (Gaither) Thisted, had invited us to their lovely home for a picnic buffet, so we loaded into cars and convoyed to the Nine Mile Valley area of Huson (About 30 miles Northwest of Missoula). We were treated to a lovely buffet dinner provided by "King Ranch" and a wonderful evening of fellowship provided by our host. The Board of Directors was able to break away from the fun and festivities and conduct a productive meeting.
Friday morning, after a delightful buffet breakfast at the Doubletree, we loaded into car/shuttle and made our way to the Missoula Museum of Art organized by Renee Tafft. The Gaithers enjoyed a most interesting audio/visual presentation on local Art given by Ted Hughes and Steve Glukert. The morning concluded with Melissa Madsen taking our por1raits, providing some water colors, and endeavoring to bring forth the artistic talents so engrained in the Gaither Clan. Just a lot of fun and most interesting! Lunch was provided by "Doc's Sandwich Shop". The afternoon was open to roam the city at wiil. There was really a lot to see and do. The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula and the Military History Museum were within walking distance. Must not forget the free Carousel Ride, the Ice Cream Shop or just some rest/relaxation at the Doubletree and maybe a dip in the pool. Friday evening concluded with our Banquet Dinner at the Doubletree at 6:30 PM where all enjoyed a most informative talk on the history of Missoula by Allan Mathews.
Saturday morning began with another wonderful breakfast buffet provided by the Doubletree. Immediately following breakfast, the President conducted the business of our General Meeting. The names of the new slate or officers/ board of directors will appear elsewhere in "The Gaither Connection". I wish to thank all who took a position/office for the ensuing year and those who have brought us thus far. Mack and Rebecca Gaither agreed to host the 2013 reunion, possibly Maryland or Virginia. There was just enough time for the great Doubletree staff to setup before our buffet lunch. We gathered again to eat, fellowship and exchange gifts. The Board of Directors meeting was conducted by the new President and the 2012 Gaither Reunion concluded.
I sincerely thank Ralph and Betty Thisted for hosting the 2012 reunion and encouraging the Gaither Clan to go west. I believe I speak for all who were present, we had a wonderful reunion in "The Big Sky Country".
Johnny D. Gaither, President