Wrecking the News on Amelia Island, Scott to Speak at EABC

Dave Scott, who writes the weekly davescottblog.com based on his “musings, opinions, observations, questions and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more”, is the guest speaker for May at the European American Business Club.

He also is the creator and only writer of the satirical tabloid print newspaper, The Amelia Island News-Wrecker. He decided on a whim to produce the satirical tabloid paper as a one-off project in the spring of 2015 but it proved to be so popular with readers and advertisers that he received numerous requests for a second publication, which will be printed this spring, in time for the Amelia Island Shrimp Festival.

According to Scott the only people that have complained to him about the content of the first News-Wrecker were the ones that weren’t mentioned in it.

Come join the EABC for the May meeting and get some insight into what drove Dave to this madcap madness.

The meeting will be held at:
Amelia River Golf Club
4477 Buccaneer Trail, on Amelia Island.

The cost is $12.00 per person and includes hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available.

For more information or to RSVP (not required) please send an email to: info@eabcnetwork.com.

EABC Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary

EABC Celebrates its Fifth AnniversaryBy: Caroline Blochlinger

January is traditionally the month we are reflecting back and looking forward…

It seems like yesterday that our EABC club held its first meeting in the back room of the AIFBY Chamber of Commerce. We came a long way since and celebrated a successful 2014 with many great speakers and events.

Remember the presentation from Lt. Dooley and Scott Basset from the Kingsbay Submarine Base? How about the Trivia Evening featuring Philipe Boets, our celebrity quiz master? Of course you recall the presentation of Mike Bowling who invented the Pound Puppies… and these are only a few of the many great presenters we had in 2014. Come to the January meeting and go down the 2014 memory lane.

Traditionally, our Birthday month January has become the month of reflecting back and planning ahead.

What direction would you like the coming meetings to take? Do you want to emphasize more on business or social events in the next 12 months? EABC is interested to hear from you as well as if you liked what we did so far or where you think we can improve. In fact, we have a whole bunch of questions we would like to have your input on. Yes, the European American Business Club is asking for your help in creating bigger, better and beneficial meetings for everyone, after all, this is your club.

This is your chance to voice your opinion and to present some ideas.

Join us at the next EABC meeting Tuesday, January 13 at the Amelia River Golf Club at 6 pm and celebrate our fifth anniversary. Find out what is in store for 2015 and enjoy a great group of people. You never know who you run into at our meetings. Many friendship as well as business relationships started at one of our meetings.

You cannot make it that day or time? Well, we would like to hear from you and this open and fun meeting only takes place once a year. However, we do understand if you can’t make it this time.

The EABC usually meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Amelia River Golf Club. We have to charge $12 admission so we can pay the bills. But the food is included in the cost and is prepared by the club’s chef. There is an open bar serving some of the best wines and liquor and beers. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are also available.

Everyone is invited to our meetings so bring your friends and guest for this fun filled evening of excitement, fellowship and yes, even gain some valuable business connections at the same time.

The European American Business Club (EABC) meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Amelia River Golf Club. Speakers and topics are announced each month via email. For more information visit the website www.eabcnetwork.com.

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Learn How to Build or Renovate in Fernandina Beach

Learn How to Build or Renovate in Fernandina BeachSubmitted by Caroline Blochlinger

In Fernandina Beach new buildings, and new communities are popping up like mushrooms.

Did you recognize Fletcher Avenue the last time you drove south (or north)? There are constructions sites everywhere. Plus buildings are getting bigger and grander as they start occupying the parcels.

So how easy is it to build on Amelia Island? Are there any limitations and is a planning process in place? We at EABC wanted to know more about this so we figured the best person to ask is the director of the Fernandina Beach, FL Community Development, Adrienne Burke. She can answer questions that focus on historic preservation planning and other community planning activities.

Do you live in an old historic house and plan to renovate or do you want to build a new home? It is always great to know just the person that can be helpful and has all the insights of the local regulations plus is familiar with the long term plans of the city.

Come to the next EABC meeting, Tuesday October 14 and meet Adrienne and have the opportunity to mingle among people with local and international backgrounds and interests. Our meeting is back at the Amelia River Golf Club (4477 Buccaneer Trail – Amelia Island, FL 32034) which is always a great place to make new friends and even find new business opportunities.

You cannot make it that day or time? Well, it will be a while until Adrienne will be able to present to our group again. By then much may have changed. So we hope you can be there and be part of the evening. However, we do understand if you can’t make it this time.

The EABC meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Amelia River Golf Club. We have to charge $12 per person so we can pay the bills. But the food is included in the cost and is prepared by the club’s chef. There is an open bar serving some of the best wines and liquor and beers. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are also available.

Everyone is invited to our meetings so bring your friends and guest for this fun filled evening of excitement, fellowship and yes, even gain some valuable business connections at the same time.

To learn more about the EABC and their monthly meetings visit: www.eabcnetwork.com

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Science First at EABC Meeting in Fernandina

Science First at EABC Meeting in FernandinaSubmitted by: Caroline Blochlinger

Always Shoot For The Moon! You might miss it but you’ll land among the stars!

EABC was able to convince Science First to bring one of their portable planetariums to the next EABC meeting. What an opportunity not only to see the stars but also meet the family that is part of an international network of business partners. In addition to the stars, we at EABC are also curious how Science First found Nassau County and the process of relocating a medium sized business from Buffalo, NY to the Northeast Florida area.

Come to the meeting and have a unique in depth look at an unspoiled night sky. Imagine no light pollution plus you will be able to explore the star you’d like to land on. Ever wondered which star sailors (or businesses) use to guide them? This is your chance to ask these kinds of questions plus more.

Unfortunately, due to the size of the planetarium we are not able to meet at our regular meeting place. Instead, Science First will be giving their demonstration on Tuesday, September 9, 5:30 pm at 869 Sadler Road right next to the Loop Pizza & Grill.

You can’t make it that day or time? Well, the planetarium is large and this is a very unique opportunity to see it up close and personal in an exclusive setting. So we hope you can make it and be part of this fun evening. However, we do understand if you can’t be there this time.

The EABC meets every 2nd Tuesday each month at 6:00 pm usually at the Amelia River Golf Club. We have to charge $12 admission so we can pay the bills. But food is included in the cost and this time the Loop Pizza & Grill will serve pizza and appetizers plus there will be a cash beer and wine bar. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are also available.

Everyone is invited to our meetings so bring your friends and guest for this fun filled evening of excitement, fellowship and yes, even gain some valuable business connections at the same time.

To learn more about the EABC visit their website: www.eabcnetwork.com

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Submarine Base Captain to Speak at European American Business Club

Submarine Base Captain to Speak at European American Business Club(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rex Nelson/Released)
Article contributed by Caroline Blochlinger

Do you recall Tom Clancy’s novel “The Hunt for Red October?” What a great story! Submarines are fascinating and are surrounded with mystery and adventure.

Obviously the European American Business Club is not able to bring a submarine to the club but since we have a naval submarine base practically in our backyard we wanted to know more. We specifically are curious about the economic impact the base has on small business in this area. Yes, your business!

Come to the EABC meeting and you’ll get the answers to many of your questions from submarine base commanding officer, Captain Harvey L. Guffey Jr. himself. Find out what the base is all about and how it affects our area. What a great opportunity!

Come and meet Captain Harvey L. Guffey, Jr., and mingle among people with local and international backgrounds. Our club is a great place to make friends and find new business opportunities. There is even a drawing at the end of the night not to mention the camaraderie amongst everyone.

There is just one catch; you’ve got to come to the next European American Business Club meeting on August 12, 6 p.m. at the Amelia River Golf Club.

You cannot make it that day or time? Well, this is the first time that the commanding officer of the naval submarine base Kings Bay agreed to make a presentation to a club such as ours. So we hope you can make it and be part of this evening. However, we do understand if you can’t be there this time.

The EABC meets the 2nd Tuesday each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Amelia River Golf Club. We have to charge $12 admission so we can pay the bills. But the food is included in the cost and is prepared by the club’s chef. There is an open bar serving some of the best wines and liquor and beers. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are also available.

Everyone is invited to our meetings so bring your friends and guest for this fun filled evening of excitement, fellowship and yes, even gain some valuable business connections at the same time.

To learn more about the EABC visit their website: www.eabcnetwork.com

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European American Business Club Trivia Night

European American Business Club Trivia NightContributed by: Caroline Blochlinger

Trivia Extravaganze – Quiz Nuit – Frågesport Natten – Quiz Nacht – Trivia Koyiz Nyxta

Its summer and we want to have some fun so we decided to provide our guest with some Trivia information which also could be useful for their own business.

Think about it, some of the trivia information may start a conversation with the person next to them which in turn could lead to a new client, customer or friend. Who knows? Come to the European American Business Club’s Trivia Night on July 8, 6pm at the Amelia River Golf Club. The quiz will be in a team format with teams being selected at random from those participating.

Questions about national and international geography could come in quite handy if you plan to travel in the near future. How about sports? The world doesn’t turn just around soccer you know. There are other interesting and international sporting events. Can you name any? These and many other great topics will be covered by our celebrity quiz master from Belgium, Philipe Boets.

Come and meet new and interesting people and test your trivia knowledge from the Americas and Europe. There will be prizes for the winning team and many surprises throughout the event. You cannot make it that day or time? Well, we only have very few of these social fun events planned during the year. So we hope you can be with us and enjoy the lively company of the EABC. However, we do understand if you can’t be there this time.

The EABC meets the 2nd Tuesday each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Amelia River Golf Club. We have to charge $12 admission so we can pay the bills. But the food is included in the cost and is prepared by the Club’s chef. There is an open bar serving some of the best wines and liquor and beers. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are also available.

Everyone is invited to our meetings so bring your friends and guest for this fun filled evening of excitement, fellowship and yes, even gain some valuable business connections at the same time.

We look forward to seeing you at the Club! We really do have some great meetings.

To learn more about the European American Business Club visit the website: www.eabcnetwork.com

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Major League Soccer Players at June’s EABC Meeting

Major League Soccer Players at June's EABC MeetingSubmitted by: Caroline Blochlinger

You know the EABC has some really good connections and topics we promise won’t waste your time.

With the World Cup about to start, we thought it would be good to introduce you to a couple of former players and hear what they have planned.

This month’s meeting will combine the E and the A! Come meet two world class professional Major League Soccer players who have joined together to bring a team to Northeast Florida that will compete at the World Cup level. But more interesting is come hear what it takes to turn professional and what goes through the mind of a soccer player getting ready to run on the field. You know, it is not much more than running a business and taking the shots you need to win a customer over.

Get the inside scoop from former professional goalkeeper, Dario Sala, General Manager and Steve Livingstone the Club President of the Armada FC team from Jacksonville. Meet them at our meeting at the Amelia River Golf Club (4477 Buccaneer Trail – Amelia Island, FL 32034), June 10 at 6pm.

Can’t make it that day or time? Well the EABC cannot guarantee to have the Armada Futball Club (FC) back soon. So we hope you can make it but understand if you can’t.

The EABC meets the 2nd Tuesday each month at 6 pm at the Amelia River Golf Club. And we’ll buy you a drink and feed you if you come to our meeting. We have to charge $12 admission so we can pay the bills. But the food is included in the cost and is prepared by the Club’s chef. And there will be an open bar serving some of the best wines and liquor and beers. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are also available.

Everyone is invited to our meetings so bring your friends and guest for this fun filled evening of excitement, fellowship and yes, even gain some valuable business connections at the same time. We really do have some great meetings.

We look forward to seeing you at the Club!

To learn more about the EABC visit their website: www.eabcnetwork.com

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Mike Bowling to Speak at May EABC Meeting

Mike Bowling to Speak at May EABC MeetingContributed by: Caroline Blochlinger

At times, life’s interruptions take priority over business. But we promised to deliver so we got ’em.

We’ve done it again!

The “B” in EABC means Business but it should mean Fun too!

There’s a Puppy story up close and personal being presented at the EABC.

Can Floppy Ears and Droopy Eyes lead to a huge worldwide marketing success?

It did for this month’s speaker. Come hear how this inventor got the idea and took the steps to make his “pets” THE toy of the 80’s. Better yet, see how his tips and steps can be used in your business and potential success.

Come to this month’s EABC meeting at the Amelia River Golf Club on Tuesday, May 13 at 6:00 p.m. and find out more! Mike Bowling is our guest speaker who knew that to get his plush-pet ideas off the ground, he needed to produce a variety of stuffed animals that were loveable by kids but were easily manufactured. The Pound Puppies were born!

Remember them? The Pound Puppies were officially launched in 1984 in Toronto Canada. They each came with a cardboard case shaped like a doghouse with an “adoption” certificate. Now you get the chance to meet the creator of these huggable pet toys that made it into the history book of toys. Mike’s company was eventually purchased by Tonka which introduced the puppies into the U.S. Market and to kids around the world.

This is your chance to meet someone who got the inside scoop of how to approach large companies and make it big. This could be you! Come get ideas of how to make your start-up idea a huge success.

It requires a little bit of your time though. In order for you to hear about this successful venture you have to come to the EABC meeting on May 13th. We meet at the Amelia River Golf Club the 2nd Tuesday of each month. The meeting costs $12. Food is included and prepared by the Golf Club’s chef. An open bar with fine wines, mixed drinks, and beers is available. Coffee, Tea and soft drinks are also available.

To get an opportunity to meet Mike Bowling and possibly get some tips that may help your business ideas, come early on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.

Everyone is invited so bring your friends and guest for this fun filled evening of excitement, fellowship and yes, even gain some valuable business connections and ideas at the same time. We really do have some great meetings.

To learn more about the EABC visit the website: www.eabcnetwork.com

The European American Business Club (EABC) meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 5:45-8:00 p.m. at the Amelia River Golf Club. Speakers and Topics are announced each month via email and on the website. Hope to see you at one of our meetings.

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Pound Puppy Success Story Comes to Amelia’s EABC

Pound Puppy Success Story Comes to Amelia's EABCThey’ve Done it Again! The “B” in EABC means Business, but it should mean fun, too.

There’s a Puppy story up close and personal being presented at the EABC! Can Floppy Ears and Droopy Eyes lead to a huge worldwide marketing success?

It did for this month’s speaker. Come hear how this inventor got the idea and took the steps to make his “pets” THE toy of the 80’s. Better yet, see how his tips and steps can be used in your business and potential success.

Come to this month’s EABC meeting at the Amelia River Golf Club on March 11 at 6:00 p.m. and find out more! Mike Bowling is our guest speaker who knew that to get his plush-pet ideas off the ground, he needed to produce a variety of stuffed animals that were loveable by kids but were easily manufactured. The Pound Puppies were born!

Remember them? The Pound Puppies were officially launched in 1984 in Toronto Canada. They each came witha cardboard case shaped like a doghouse with an “adoption” certificate. Now you get the chance to meet the creator of these huggable pet toys that made it into the history book of toys. Mike’s company was eventually purchased by Tonka which introduced the puppies into the U.S. Market and to kids around the world.

This is your chance to meet someone who got the inside scoop of how to approach large companies and make it big. This could be you! Come get ideas of how to make your start-up idea a huge success.

It requires a little bit of your time though. In order for you to hear about this successful venture you have to come to the EABC meeting on March 11th. We meet at the Amelia River Golf Club the 2nd Tuesday of each month. The meeting costs $12. Food is included and prepared by the Golf Club’s chef. An open bar with fine wines, mixed drinks, and beers is available. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are also available.

To get an opportunity to meet Mike Bowling and possibly get some tips that may help your business ideas, come early on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.

Everyone is invited so bring your friends and guest for this fun filled evening of excitement, fellowship and yes, even gain some valuable business connections and ideas at the same time. We really do have some great meetings.

To learn more about the EABC visit their website: www.eabcnetwork.com

The European American Business Club (EABC) meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 5:45-8:00 p.m. at the Amelia River Golf Club. Speakers and Topics are announced each month via email and on the website. Hope to see you at one of our meetings.

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European American Business Club Meeting Success

European American Business Club Meeting Success

Pictured: Soft Marsh by Joan Murphy

The European American Business Club held their August meeting at the Waterwheel Gallery. Several members who are also artists brought along art to display and a contest was held. They had a tie for the winner and both pieces will be displayed for the rest of the month.

The first is a beautiful photograph of an old door by Peggy Albrecht; the other is a detailed rendering of the artists home by Steve Rieck.

Stop by and check them out!

Up-Coming Events

Retirement Show for Char Bachman
October 27, 2011, 4 – 7 pm

Meet your Conservationist
November 12, 2011, 11am – 4pm

This beautiful marsh painting (pictured) captures our local scenery with an elegant impressionistic style that is so iconic for Joan Murphy. Joan Murphy was born in New York but grew up in the deep south and lived in California for a number of years. In 1993 she relocated to Florida and later moved to South Carolina.

She began her career in the filed of fashion art but turned to painting full time in the 70’s. She was enjoyed wide spread fame in California. Vacaville, Carmel, Palm Desert and San Francisco were hosts to her one person art shows at many prestigious galleries.

Though the themes of Joan Murphy’s paintings are decidedly contemporary, the influence of the Impressionists can be discerned in the artist’s masterful use of light and color.

Waterwheel Art Gallery and Custom Framing
(904) 261-2535
819 South 8th Street
Fernandina Beach, FL

European American Business Club Partied at the Hoyt House

European American Business Club Partied at the Hoyt HouseArticle and photos by Caroline Blochlinger, studioCBphotography.com

Amelia Island, FL At their June meeting, the members of the European American Business Club listened with interest to Myrta Defendini, one of the owners of the Hoyt House, as she was telling us a little bit of the background of the building.

This ten bedroom mansion, which is one of the treasures of downtown Fernandina, had been built by entrepreneur Fred W. Hoyt. Myrta DefendiniHe was a former school teacher, newspaper editor, church Deacon, grocer and ship chandler who arrived in Fernandina in 1879 from New Hampshire. Hoyt also founded the First National Bank of Fernandina. The Hoyt House was completed in 1905.

According to Myrta the Bed and Breakfast also houses a young resident ghost which is actually quite nice.

EvolutionThe group was entertained by the local duo Evolution. Han Ramakers and Dave Ferraro played hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The two man band started back up several months ago and has been appearing everywhere.

Dave has been playing and writing music for several decades. Han, originally from the Netherlands, is a “product” of the Dutch rock and blues scene dating back to the bands “Focus” and “Golden Earring” in the 70s. He is also busy organizing and promoting the Amelia Island Blues Festival which will take place in September.

The European American Business Club meets the second Wednesday of each month at locations that are announced via email and on the website.

Everyone is invited.

Visit www.EABCnetwork.com for more information.

EABC Meets on Wednesday with Guest Speaker

EABC Meets on Tuesday with Guest SpeakerApril 13, 6:00 PM, Deb Cottle is the Guest Speaker for the European American Business Club meeting held at The Learning Center of North Florida, 626 S. 8th Street, Fernandina Beach.

The EABC meets every second Wednesday of the month at locations that are announced each month via email and on their website.

After another great River Cruise for their last meeting, the group is looking forward to learn more about Deb’s GUTS 4-Step Formula for Success. Deb has successfully motivated individuals and groups in major corporations, associations, and non-profit organizations to exceed personal and professional expectations.

Everyone is welcome to attend meetings, regardless of your background. This is a great group of folks who love to make new friends and exchange new ideas.

If you are planning to attend this meeting please email Tim Burningham and let him know how many are in your group.

Meetings are $10.00 per person and this includes appetizers and drinks that will be created in the kitchen of the Learning Community (they offer awesome culinary courses, by the way).

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EABC had its One Year Anniversary Celebration

EABC celebrates One Year Anniversary

Almost next door to where it all started just a short year ago at the Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce, the European American Business Club held its first anniversary celebration last week at the offices of the Compass Group in the Gateway office park.

The turn out of the networking club that was started by Helmuth Albrecht and Tim Burningham was substantial, as the club saw its membership over the year grow from a handful to more than 100 members. This clearly underlines the desire for an exchange platform here in Nassau County as the club entertains thought of expanding into just being international.
Just the other day SearchAmelia was approached by a woman from Finland who had just followed her husband to Amelia Island and was looking to be hooked up in a volunteer position with an organization locally that deals with mentally challenged and handicapped people. She got all available information within an hour!!

During the celebration, which was unusually sober, as the club is known to mingle after the introductions and speeches with light alcoholic beverages and fingerfoods, new ideas were brought to the table for this year’s planned meetings and outings, with a strong accent on information exchange.

The best meetings last year included a Sunset Amelia Rivercruise, a Pétanque Warehouse presentation, a meeting at the Yachtclub at Oyster Bay Harbour, a meeting at the Museum of History, a meeting at WaterWheel Gallery and the impressive BellyDance performance afterwards, and definitely the December meeting with Lila Keim and Team Werling, followed by a Trolley ride to see the Christmas lights around the island.

For the coming year the Club is looking to up the ante with more informative exchanges and networking without losing sight of the social aspect, which all members appreciate.
During the celebration meeting I introduced Jeannie Higginbotham, owner of Lashem-n-Leavem, who just opened a specialty beauty salon at the Palmetto Walk Shopping Village and Specialty Photographer Silvy Tompkins, originally from Belgium, who just weeks earlier arrived on island with her husband, whom she met in Belgium while being in the military.

One of the real joys of being a member of the EABC is the pleasure of interacting with some highly talented people, which is why I suggested for one meeting to have all the visual artists in the Club do a small exhibition of paintings, sculptures, photos, poems and even people art.

Completing the tradition from last year’s launch was a short trip across the parking lot to Barbara Jean’s after hour bar, where we improved on last year performance. If you want to know more about the EABC check out their website www.eabcnetwork.com and if you’re looking to become a member – there is (so far) no membership fee – send us an email and get invited for the next meeting on the second Wednesday of the month (always).

EABC Cruised to Cumberland

Tim addresses the front of the boat, while the partyers in the back are tasting wine and snacks

The European American Business Club http://eabcnetwork.com/ had a sunset cruise outing Wednesday night leaving on Amelia River Cruises from the Downtown Marina to the marshes around Cumberland Island. Some 40 plus members of the club were in animated conversations, aided by a healthy mixture of European and American wines and snacks, on a beautiful spring evening.

With the proper warnings from Captain/Owner Kevin McCarty that he loves to talk, the trip over to Cumberland was an hour of some of the finest lessons in mind and fact altering history I have ever witnessed. From others and intimated stories I had already learned that Kevin has a way with stories that puts you back into the scenery of those days long gone.
The original town of Fernandina, the fact that the floorplan of old town was not big enough for the plan to turn Amelia Island into the Manhattan of the South and therefore the whole town was moved at one point in time; the fact that for many years the deep waters of Cumberland Sound and the Amelia River were anchorage for hundreds of trading vessels, smugglers, marauders and pirates, as the closest port to America. I looked over the vast waters and the lighthouses and my mind wandered 200 years back

If you ever want to get a true sense of how life was in those days, Captain Kevin can take you there.
Even the stories about the Carnegies and their 54 room mansion Dungeness on Cumberland Island, the story of the wild horses that are still roaming the island, John Kennedy Jr. wedding chapel and the life and death of Nathaniel Green, are fascinating and once and for all establishing the this little piece of the world once not too long ago was a major center of world history.

Once we turned our back to Cumberland and the surrounding marshes though, the conversation in certain groups turned to what many Europeans consider a major event every 4 years: The World Cup Soccer .

The mix of this club membership is pronounced enough to warrant some nationalistic emotions between Brits, Germans, Dutch, Belgian/French, Italian and some Spanish blood going around and soon discussions and conversations centered around the event and the next meeting, usually scheduled for the second Wednesday of the month. Well it turns out that the second Wednesday in June falls on the 9th, two days before the World Cup kicks off in South Africa and the July meeting is scheduled for July 14th, 3 days after the finals. Brilliant planning I overheard someone saying.

I have not been much into soccer since the Dutch lost in the finals in Munich Germany in 1974, when they had the best team in the world, but with typical Dutch arrogance thought they had it bagged after scoring 1-0 in the first minute of the game. They lost that year 2-1 to Germany. I was in the Munich stadium, postponing my vacation and paying DM500 for a ticket. They stopped playing soccer after that first minute penalty goal. They made it again into the finals four years later but lost to Argentina in Buenos Aires after extra time. I had already crossed the Atlantic by then.

From the conversations going around I learned the following opinions about the upcoming world cup:
The teams who will probably win it : Brazil, Argentina, Italy ( they are champions and on their style, the toughest nut to crack), Germany, Spain, with Spain as most people’s favorite because they play the soccer that can charm the pants of a cold blooded NFL player. Brazil is the other main contender (as always) even though they play soccer these days as a battle ship; it produces results but little excitement.

Also the ones who might win it without shocking the world too much : England, France, Holland, Portugal. Consensus is that any of these countries would take a semifinal as a fair result. Not the same weight of expectation.

For the rest of the Europeans, South American and all African teams, as well as Mexico, USA and Australia probably would be ecstatic with a semifinal in a way the other 9 would not be. 32 Teams are playing in 8 rounds. Since 1930 Brazil has won the cup 5 times, Italy 4 times and Germany 3 times.

We will know who won 2010 by the time our July meeting comes around, but since that meeting falls on Bastille Day, July 14, the French National Holiday, I think the meeting should be on the Pétanque Courts at the marina, where every nation in the European American Business Club will have an opportunity to defend its own colors and drink Ricard on honor of the French. We’ll have enough time to teach our American Friends the “Marseillaise”.  Should be fun.

Here are the words of the first verse:

Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’étendard sanglant est levé ! (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes !
Refrain

Aux armes, citoyens !
Formez vos bataillons !
Marchons ! Marchons !
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !