From HMFIC Doug McWhorter

    White Lightnings, shipmates and friends-it is my pleasure to announce a few details about our next reunion.

   As you know by now, we are holding our 2018 reunion in Boise, Idaho, on 20-21-22 September this Fall. Your committee is: Bullet Bob, Doug, Marta, Billy Bob and Ger. We have hashed out a good plan that should provide a fun-filled and exceptional time for all of us. There will be culture, good food and drink, exceptional weather and tons of local activity.

   The Grove Hotel in downtown Boise will be our base of operations. This is a very nice place and is situated directly in the best part of downtown Boise. It’ll be $139/night.


   We recommend taking the free Grove Hotel shuttle from the airport (about 3.5 miles away), as all activity not close to the hotel will have a bus provided. After retrieving your luggage at the airport, call 333-8000 to arrange your shuttle pick up.

   Your Hotel Reservations were due by 21 August and all were in on time. Thank you for that.

Parking is expensive -- $15/night if you park it or valet for $22/night. Questions about your reservations call 208-489-2222 or 888-961-5000. 

Be sure to mention you’re with the VP-17 reunion. The $139/night will apply one day prior and two days after our scheduled dates should you decide to hang out in Boise for awhile.  Late checkouts are approved with a call to the front desk.


   Scroll down a bit for the updated Schedule of Events.


"Boise - Beats da hell outta Joisey!"



VP-17 Alumni,

If you left your email address with the Grove when you made your reservations, you should have been receiving occasional renovation progress reports. The most recent one reads as follows:   

      "Greetings from The Grove Hotel in Boise! We are contacting you because we have a confirmed reservation on file for your stay with us soon. Our hotel is in the final stages of a lobby renovation, which will be occurring during your dates of stay, and we’d like to inform you about these activities in order to prepare you for your arrival experience. Due to recent construction delays, the hotel’s main driveway, first floor lobby, front desk, restaurant and bar area are all currently under renovation. 

  • Starting on September 7 or 8, we are anticipating having the front desk and main hotel driveway back to operation on the first floor. 
  • We are anticipating the hotel bar to be back to operation starting on September 14.
  • We are anticipating the hotel restaurant to be back to operation starting on Oct 3. (Unfortunately, not in time to serve VP-17 -- but read on.)

During this time we are continuing to operate our temporary bar & restaurant**** in an adjacent facility on our property. For additional details, please click on the Grove Hotel Renovation Map button below to see a map with pathway access and other details. Please email us at or call us at (208) 333-8000 (or toll free at 888-961-5000) if we can help to answer any questions or provide additional details.

          With our thanks,

          The Grove Hotel

    245 S. Capitol Blvd,

          Boise, ID 83702 

         Tel: (208) 333-8000"


1. Background. Up to now, the Grove's main restaurant was known as Emilio's. Once renovations are completed, it will re-open in the lobby under a new name -- Trillium. 

2.  Jon Cooper, Grove Hotel Restaurant Manager -- and manager of the temporary restaurant, which is located inside the Century Link Arena in the back portion of the hotel and seats 64 people -- has provided us with a complete set of menus for the duration of our stay. (Scroll down to just below the blue RENOVATION MAP button. There you'll see a link to the renovation breakfast, lunch, dinner and Room Service menus in pdf format -- downloadable.) The good news is that breakfast menu options look pretty good for our purposes, especially on Sunday morning while we are checking out and saying goodbye -- a critically important, indispensable element of a successful re-union.

3. Meanwhile, about the Renovation Map linked from the blue button below. The map includes a pink-colored dashed line that leads you around the outside of the hotel to the arena entrance. From the last segment of that dashed line, the arena entrance will be to your left. Proceed through the glass doors and straight ahead to the lobby elevator. Go up to the second floor where the Temporary restaurant is located.  

4. Great information received from HMIC Doug McQ on 13 Sept dealing with our Schedule of Events and Hospitality Suite. In order to get completely up to speed, please revisit those areas of this page. 

5. RENOVATION MENUS [Temp Rest, Bar and Room Service] -- See link below the Reno Map button




RENOVATION_menus 4 (pdf)




Bill Ketchum - President of the Mess, Guest Speaker/21 Sep*

(Recovering from major cancer surgery - doing well)

Doug & Nonie McWhorter/Resident Host

Bob & Anna Barclay/Resident Host*

Marta Heffner & Kelley Hayden/Cheerleader/20 Sep*

Bill & Anna Overend NR Consultant/19 Sep*

Ger & Kar Spaulding - NR Communications/20 Sep*

Ken Crandall/20 Sep*

Jack & Barbara Schrager/20 Sep*

Gary & Eva Davidson/20 Sep*

Lee & May Trotter/20 Sep*

Larry & Leanne Lane/19 Sep*

John & Irene Pendleton/20 Sep*

Mark & Pam Byars/20 Sep*

Daryl & Susi Ray/20 Sep*

Bill & Robin Obrien/20 Sep*

Guy & Vicki Leary/20 Sep*

Jon Dresel/20 Sep*

Pat & Kate Maley/21 Sep*

Bill Buckingham/20 Sep*

Jim Carlson & spouse, Bridget Zolman/20 Sep*

Don Purdy/21 Sep*

Dennis Murphy/20 Sep*

Lou Rabe/20 Sep*

Dave Bakken/21 Sep*

Tom & Cathy Goen/19 Sep*

* = hotel reservation made 

VP-17 REUNION 2018 - Committee Contact Info


  Doug McWhorter, email -


  Bullet Bob Barclay, email -


Head Cheerleader/Optimist: Marta Heffner, email -


Communications: Ger Spaulding, email -

Reunion Consultant Extraordinaire: Billy Bob, email - will be our web site from now on. Be sure to bookmark it.

* Arrive Thursday, depart Sunday morning. (VP-17’s hotel group rate will apply 19–24 Sept for those who wish to come a day early and/or remain an extra day or two.)

*** And here's a patriotic song by Charlie Daniels in which he mentions VP-17's reunion site:

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (Updated Sept 13th)

From HMIC Doug McWhorter on 13 Sept,

Hey gang, several updates on the reunion plans. We’ll be receiving coffee and rolls every morning at 7:30 in our hospitality suite. This may suffice for breakfast for some folks. This service is provided as complimentary because the bar in the lobby will not be open during our stay. The setups are going to be refreshed every day in the early afternoon- also complimentary. The hospitality suite will be cleaned after breakfast at about 9. We can remain there during the cleanup. MORE ABOUT BREAKFAST OPTIONS BELOW UNDER THE RENOVATIONS UPDATE SECTION.



Recommended arrival date. Lots of great places nearby and Bullet will provide more info on arrival. Hospitality Room will be open by noon!!!


Bus leaves hotel at 2:30 Friday afternoon. We’re gonna have an ad hoc tour of Boise--docent Bullet!!! Hopefully he can still navigate.

First stop will be Memorial Park for our VP-17 tree dedication! MC is Jim Carlson. 

Next stop is Boise Shakespeare Festival. Personal tour and Brief by the Director, followed by a catered meal, followed at 7:30 by BEEHIVE-a 60s Musical. This is an exceptional, toe-tapping, jukebox musical celebration of women singers, musicians and girl groups that helped define a musical era. Examples: To Sir With Love, It’s My Party, Downtown, RESPECT, Where the Boys Are, etc.   

Coach back to the Grove; Hospitality Suite opens!


Continental breakfast in the hospitality Suite and then free until 7pm. The city blocks off about 4-5 blocks and downtown is turned into a Saturday Farmer's Market. Lots of eclectic stuff/junk for sale and fun to walk around. Too many places to eat to cover here- maybe 100 or so within 3 blocks.


Basque Market will be open and will feature Basque Foods, cultural exhibits, museum etc. Many Basque people migrated here in the late 1800’s as sheep herders and stayed on to make Boise their home. Their culture is a big deal around here and our Mayor is from a big Basque family.


At 7pm our banquet will begin in the Grove Hotel. We have picked out delicious stuff and we’ll have plenty of local wine to complement our food. Captain Ketchum will be the keynote speaker and Billy Bob will MC with help from Ger. 

The Banquet will set up with 6 round tables. Raised podium and sound system are complimentary. We’re buying 36 bottles of pretty darn good 🍷. Should suffice.

Adjourn to the Hospitality Suite.


SAYONARA SUNDAY BKFST  - Tears, hugs & kisses will be the order of the day. Until we meet again.


Can’t wait to see everybody in the beautiful setting of Boise. (See Boise slide show below.)  

Cheers and thanks from Bullet, Marta and Doug.


Call the Grove Hotel in downtown Boise at 208-489-2222 or 888-961-5000

or reserve on line at


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Don't drink and drive. Don't even putt!

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