What we saw and experienced at the 2003 Southern Historical Conference & Bonnie Blue Ball:
Just wanted to say thank you for having the courage to step out on faith and make this past weekend's event happen. My wife and I loved the conference (our kids managed to get through it, even though their age and illness prevented them from fully appreciating what was taking place). I'd never been to a ball like that before, and didn't really know what to expect.
While my wife has always supported my Southern-activist activities, she's never been really into taking part in things. She loved the conference, and I discovered that she and my daughter loved the ball. While we showed up in our 'modern' clothes, Beth and Nora were talking on the way home how next year they were going to see about getting dresses so they could be 'appropriately dressed' for the occasion, and Beth started telling me what I could do. That's a huge step for my wife.
Even with me and the kids being under the weather, it was a great time. My wife didn't waste any time telling friends about how much fun it was, and I know she'll be encouraging folks to come with us next year (most people that know us listen to her more than me. She's the personable one that everyone loves.). We spent too much money this weekend, but I'm not sorry.
By the way, one suggestion for next year: In promoting the event, a few months prior to the date of the event you might send out notices/invitations to everyone that attended this year, and encourage them to bring one friend/family with them. You might even offer a certain amount off for every friend or family they get to sign up. If you had 200 this year, and everyone brought one friend, you'd be looking at 400 people next year. We'll be working to get folks to commit next time regardless. We had too much fun not to share it with friends.
It was great meeting y'all, and I hope you'll keep in touch.
P.S. While I've been a member of the League of the South for almost 6 years now, I've known for a longer time than that I qualify for membership in the SCV. Watching the swearing in ceremony y'all had made me think that when my son gets of age, perhaps I'll see about the two of us joining as sort of a father-son thing. I've got too much going on right now to add to my plate something that would take away from family for the moment. If my son and I did it together, it'd be a great 'male bonding' thing, and pass on some traditions to him. That was a good touch to the ball.
. . . The last speaker was H.K.
Edgerton who passionately provided a summary of lessons learned on his march,
his conflict with the ignorant, and why slaves fought for the South.
Two other events of mention were the ball and a church service on the Lord's Day. The ball was great. Great music, good call-master, and dance. But, what gave hope was all of the young men and ladies who participated in the dance that I thought had the elements of charm and good-natured flirting. While many consumed alcohol—as you would expect in a group of Christians—it was cordial, lighthearted, and pleasant. The church service at the Presbyterian Church in New Braunfels was not a part of the Conference, per se, but was a fitting ending for those who could stay. Pastor Dick Jones preached God's Word; baptized his father [sic] and Pastor Jones' grandson; and, administered the Lord's Supper.
Oh, surprises of surprises….I won a copy of the DVD of Gods & Generals from one of the vendors, which compelling me to buy something from them. Got the book Christ in the Camp which I had
wanted to get for a long time but hadn't.
The novelty of this Conference was two-fold. Being with Christians, it was refreshing that they don't give a hoot about which Southern Organisation you belong, but aren't put off that you belong to one. The SCV wasn't touted as the sole guardians of Southern heritage, and the League of the South wasn't demonised as leading us down the road toward another bloody secession. In fact, not even the host organisation (Foundation for Christian Alternatives) was pushed. Secondly, the presence of the Black voice, as part of God's work, was helpful to further dispel stereotypes that possibly linger (though I saw no evidence of it lingering among this group).
If there be any improvements to such a fine weekend, it would be this: that we get the word out to those luke-warm Southerners who need to see the love and support in action in a traditional Southern community of fun, information, and fellowship. With rare exception, I think we we're still preaching to the choir. This stuff is too good not to share!
Notwithstanding, it was the best weekend I've spent in a long time, with newly found friends.
God bless you & the South,"
The 1st Annual Bonnie
Blue Ball and Southern Conference at Schertz, Tx has come and gone, and it was a
fine success. Thanks to all the hard selfless work of compatriots in the New
Braunfels, and San Antonio area SCV camps, I have heard nothing but good things
from those who attended, especially the new folks with no prior SCV affiliation.
Special thanks go to Karl and Nancy Falster who worked so hard and diligently. I think they have a life time job guarantee! The ladies of the New Braunfels OCR chapter were especially beautiful in their colorful dress, and the outstanding band play of the Louisiana Tiger String band added so much to the fun and authenticity of the ball. I have never seen such enthusiastic participation by the overwhelming percentage of people in attendance, out on the dance floor! For those of you who didn't come or support this effort, you missed out. The conference speakers were first rate, and HK made sure no one went to sleep in that final session! The word is getting out, thanks to efforts such as this. We hope for more Division wide participation next year.
Thanks to my people from the Black Bexar Pipe Band who attended, danced, and performed, I hope we can do it again next year. Our first CD is out in October so see me if you would like to order one.
Bill Jones, Camp Adjutant # 1838
Gustav Hoffmann Camp, SCV
Can hardly believe it is just 24 hours since we returned from that glorious evening at the 1st Bonnie Blue Ball! Mere words are not adequate to truly express what great pleasure and joy we experienced last night- and what gratitude to our LORD for His great mercy in giving us such friends as you! We were so PROUD of all you did to make the evening such a smashing success!! THANK YOU for the dream and the focus and the perseverance and the encouragement. You two are precious gems!!
Thanks for your efforts in the Conference.
I look forward to next years event.
I was disappointed in the no response from the State Division officers of the SCV but we did well without them. Karl, is Nancy your daughter?
For Texas and the South, Joe E. Bostwick
Just in case you didn't get this one!
Thank you, Karen
Had a great time as did all that I encountered afterwards this weekend.
Was good to meet you and laughed at the unusual look you gave me when I saluted you at the Ball with the Confederate Marine uniform I had on. You must have thought I was crazy.
Imitation being the best form of compliment, we're thinking about putting a Conference and Ball here in the DFW area in March of next year.
Based on your experience from this event, would you and Nancy give me some pointers of what planning and pre-activities and actual activities went right and what didn't go well. These lessons learned will help us in striving to put together as great an event as you did.
Semper Fi, Paul
It was a smashing success! Thank you both so much for all the time and effort you obviously put into making the conference such a great day. My hubby had a three day golf tournament and did not get home in time for the Bonnie Blue Ball but next year I will make sure we are there with bells on. I can't wait to get my videos of the speakers so I can relearn all they had to say. Once again, thank you so much for a fine effort to promote "all things Southern". Pris Squires