Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

May 10, 1989

The meeting was cal1ed to order at the home of John Matthews (because of high water on the Potomac) by President David Lyles.

Present were: David Lyles, John Matthews, Charles Trammell, Jack Sanders, Betty Burchell, Ken Sale, Pat Barnett, Phil Jones, John Thomson, Peter Jones, Marion Schlefer.

The minutes of the April 12 meeting were accepted as printed in The Sycamore Islander (May, 1989).

No communications reported.


Marion Schlefer (for Mark Schlefer) reported expenditures of $2,647 for April; zero deposits; CMA dividends of $930; and balance in CMA account at end of period, $20,424. Total liquid assets are $45,424, including 5-year CD of $15,000 and 5-year CD of $10,000.

Financial Secretary:
JohnThomson (for Bill Banta) reported deposits of $541 for dues, application fees and guest card fees. There are 14 members with dues outstanding, for a total of $2,337.50. Those members have been contacted by phone or mail.

John Thomson (for Marcia Marks) reported two resignations of regular members: John and Josephine Thornton and Gretchen Theobald and Peter Rient. Recommendations were made to move Robert Earl Bender and Peter and Julia Smith to temporary membership. Recommended for regular membership were Walter and Laurie Minerbi; Frank Daspit and Nell Hennessy; and Marjorie and Amos Eno.

Guest cards were issued to William Eichbaum and Elissa Parker; Paul and Jacqueline London; and Daisy Irene Sealy.

At present we have 17 non-resident members; 138 regular; 17 temporary; 26 senior; and 56 on waiting list.

John Matthews reported that work was continuing on a cost estimate for proposed addition to the caretaker's quarters. Little damage occurred during the recent flood, except for a float pulled under by the current, which righted itself. The mower has not yet been repaired. We plan to rent one if it is not repaired soon.

The annual canoe race was postponed until June 4 or 5. The river is still rising at Paw Paw, an indicator that water will remain high downstream. Large parties have again been postponed for next weekend.

Members were reminded again not to use the ferry in high water. Persons planning to visit the island should check water level at Little Falls by telephoning 699-7378, a recorded message. If the river exceeds 5 feet, then call the Island to check conditions before setting out for the island. At the height of the flood, the river reached 8 feet, 9 inches at Little Falls.

New members should be particularly cautious using the ferry if the water is high.

Caretaker Peter Jones reported that upon his return from his vacation he could see how swollen the river had become from his airplane as he approached the city.

Betty Burchell suggested that people should be careful of the ground as it is vulnerable to damage until it dries. Jack Sanders has covered the nettles near the David Memorial with plastic with the hope of discouraging them.

Phil Jones reported that 55 members have responded to a recent questionnaire on committee participation he had sent to members. Most have requested to join the grounds committee. Others have expressed interest in working with other committees.


President David Lyles thanked committee members Marcia Marks, Brad Coolidge, and Jack Sanders for their work on recommendations for changes in membership categories. Although no decisions will be taken on the matter this month, particularly in the absence of both Marcia and Brad, the meeting was opened to general discussion. The discussion will be continued at next month's meeting.

David noted that there will be a third Saturday workday on May 20. He recalled that the spring cleanup had been a delightful and productive occasion on a beautiful day. On June 11 there will be a potluck supper without work. Members are invited to come down and enjoy the island -- frisbees, softbal1, etc.

At the suggestion of David Lyles it was decided that an ad wll1 be placed in the June ISLANDER offering Saturday caretaker jobs to teenagers (15 or 16 years up) for Saturdays during July and August from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with pay of $25 a day. Candidates will be interviewed by David Lyles, John Matthews and others.


The question of whether or not there should be a maximum number of persons allowed for large parties was discussed by Pat Barnett, Party supervisor, and members. It was generally agreed that the problem arises when large numbers of young people who are not familiar with the island attend. It is important that guests sign our release forms.

At the request of David Lyles, Pat Barnett reported on her participation in The Justice Douglas Memorial Hike. Everyone fell in love with the river, the railroad system, and the canal in all their romance and glory, past and present.

They walked 184 miles in fifteen days from the western Maryland railroad terminal (Cumberland) to the tidewater in Georgetown. The support staff carried tents and food, but teams of hikers did the cooking with a few exceptions, such as the stop in Paw Paw where dinner was provided by the Ladies Auxiliary of the fire house. Justice O'Connor cut the ribbon and led the hike for the first three miles. A rapid and strong hiker, she had to return to court duties. Wild flowers were gorgeous all the way. Twenty-five persons comp1eted the entire hike; many others were in and out.

David Lyles thanked John Matthews for his hospitality and the meeting adjourned.

Mary Vogel, Recording Secretary, 19 May 1988
(Thanks to Marion Schlefer for her excellent job note-taking in my absence on May 10.)