Another AKAA Reunion for the Ages

Peter Blaise

AKAA Board President Peter Blaise

Another year, another outstanding Auburn Knights reunion! How about the fantastic start to this year’s band lineup by the 40’s band? The radio show concept was stellar! My only regret was their selection of tunes ended all too soon.

As we’ve learned to expect every year, all the bands played great and, as usual, the current band superbly capped the weekend’s music with another terrific closing set. Like AU’s football Tigers, the current band is loosing several key players. So, while it may be a rebuilding year in some ways, I’m looking forward to hearing the band’s new musical chemistry.

Not to sound like a broken record but I’d like to shout out another resounding thank you to Charlie Higgins for all the work he does as our reunion coordinator! Without a doubt, his planning of our annual get together is a labor of love for Charlie. Nevertheless, it’s a labor for which I am incredibly appreciative. Let me add another shout out to our spouse volunteers Ann Phillips, Judy Bailey, Sally Byrd, Karen Blaise and Mary Siler as well as Nat Michelson and Wade Johnson for working the registration table. Nice job!

I’d also like to offer my heartfelt thank you to our departing board members and an equally heartfelt welcome to our five new board members, John Norton, Jack Dresher, Ralph Black, Woody Leonard, and Andy Duke. I am also glad to know that outgoing board member Paul McCracken will be remaining with the AKAA in his new role as co-historian with Charlie Kinzer.

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients from the current band—first time recipient Eric Shaw, repeat recipient Charlie Ann Grimes and repeat recipient Jimmy Johnson, now on the downhill slide of his doctoral studies at Auburn. It’s a pretty rewarding feeling to help these incredibly talented Knights on their educational journey.

If you have any leads on possible AKO gigs, please drop a note to the current band’s business manager, Chris Rose, at

This year’s reunion had barely ended when I found myself quickly switching gears and winging my way to the west coast on a short business trip. As I changed time zones, I was still reveling in the great times enjoyed at this year’s get together. Even better, I was already anticipating the good times to be had next year when the Knights faithful once again make their annual pilgrimage to the Plains. It will be superb!

In closing, our February 2012 AKAA Board meeting is not too far around the corner. So, I encourage you to pass any thoughts or suggestions regarding the AKAA and/or our reunion to me or any other AKAA Officer or Board member (see p. 3).  We welcome your input.

Keep Swingin’,

Peter Blaise

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