Narrative and Photo by Dian Lawhon
Three years ago, I was drowning in the big DC rat race and got a wild hair to toss it all in and retire. So, with hubby BG Smith (who was also ready to toss in the towel), I moved to Chattanooga where I had lived as a child/teenager and have some family. We really had no idea about all the awesome outdoor activities here and were happy to learn about paddling with TVCC from Carolyn Rand, TVCC Overnighter Cruisemaster. Both BG and I had done some ocean and flatwater kayaking and quickly became regulars with Eric Fleming, Flatwater Cruisemaster, and his wonderful flatwater trips and a few overnighters with Carolyn. This past Paddle School we took some beginning white-water classes on the Hiwassee and are now hooked on paddling that river as well. Only with TVCC would we have had the opportunity to learn so much about paddling the creeks and rivers around here, and how to do it safely.
I had some great experiences in my PR career, working with all the national news media including 60 Minutes, CNN; 48 Hours; USA Today; and the list goes on. I loved it as well as the opportunities as a military PR officer to fly in all kinds of airplanes and meet some interesting celebrates such as Burt Reynolds, Jimmy Steward, Diane Sawyer, etc. After retirement, I kind of missed all the communications work I had done, so, when I learned that TVCC was looking for a newsletter editor last year, I practically begged for the job. It has been a steep learning curve as I am not much of a techy and the job requires the use of three different web programs to produce and mail each month. But, I still enjoy it. My position was expanded recently to include working with the news media and other communications type jobs.
Like BG Smith, TVCC Treasurer, I think there are opportunities to get more involved with the community and hopefully grow the number of members actively supporting club events and activities. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer and doing so is FUN as you meet and become friends with others who also enjoy outdoor activities. I hope to hear from members about stories for the newsletter, as well as community events we could take part in as a club