Meeting minutes for any organization are usually a very dry read that detail the business aspects of meetings. Some might argue that they are bureaucratic minutia that do not really matter in the grand scheme of things. Is it really necessary to have more than a few notes to remind us of what we did last month to conduct CASM business?
Prior to 2010, there were little, if any, CASM records of this sort kept. As Rick Knapp once told me, it was very “informal” in those days. To be completely fair, I was not around then, perhaps there are some records somewhere that have been forgotten. If so, I’d love to see them unearthed. Without these, there are many gaps in our history. An example of this can be seen on our website, where the story of CASM’s creation is told. It says, “Bob Patton, Ron Leker, Ed Swaim and one other initial member first met.” Who was this unnamed member? Even those who were at that first meeting aren’t quite sure. It seems a shame that we can’t put a name to this modeler that helped found our club!
In October of 2010, Tom Brown was elected to the office of secretary, and he went about the task of creating and codifying the meeting minutes. This was no small task, but as it evolved, Tom gave us a template for organizing information. When he handed the job over to me, he had already done all of the heavy lifting, and all I had to do was follow his format. After doing the job for two years, I will tell you that Tom does not get enough credit for his efforts in taking the secretary position to a new level.
When I assumed the position of secretary in 2012, I began thoroughly reading Tom’s minutes. As I read the minutes from early 2011, I found detailed accounts of the passing of Jimmy Lockette and Gary Johnson. I never had the honor of meeting either of these gentlemen, but I was struck by the small memorial to them Tom had included in the club minutes. Where else could you find a record of their involvement with CASM? At that moment, the minutes were no longer bureaucratic minutia, but a piece of club history.
I was fortunate enough to not have to report the passing of a CASM member, a fact for which I am thankful. I did have to report a few medical struggles of members, such as Noel Lawson, Sam Macheak, and Dave Branson. I also included the many efforts of Daris Long to find justice for his son. That these members would still make time for CASM indicates not only their dedication to the club, but the club’s dedication to them.
Also included in these minutes are the triumphs of our club. Over the past few years, CASM has received recognition from IPMS with multiple Regional Chapter of the Year awards, and one National Chapter of the Year award. If anyone wanted to know what CASM did to win these accolades, look no further than the minutes! It’s all there: the seminars, the public displays, the HobbyTown move, the growth in membership, and the successful Sproo-Doo’s. You’ll also find Rusty Nail’s work as a Grex Airbrush representative, Cliff Bullock’s tireless efforts to find sponsors and raffle donations, and the many show reports from members such as Ken Childres, Lloyd King, Bob Hiatt, Ron Leker, and Matt Bond indicate our commitment and support of our fellow clubs while representing our own.
CASM minutes are much more than just scratches in a random notebook. They are our history and a reflection of the club. They are a tribute to the contributions, dedication, and, in some cases, the memory of our members. They document our successes and our failures so that we can learn from both. As I prepare to turn over the secretary duties to Matt Bond, I feel certain that the minutes will be in good hands, and the tradition Tom started will continue. (He’ll also do a better job of spelling the names of your military models!) As a new Executive Board takes over, let’s always remember that keeping the minutes may be a thankless job, but it is an important part of CASM’s success.