Scout Troop 274 reunites in Winters

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It’s been 52 years since the Scouts of Troop 274 have been together all at once. However, Joe Bristow (Joe the Butcher/Weatherman/Gatekeeper/Boy Scout) managed to wrangle the group back together and organize a weekend in Winters filled with laughs, drinks, memories, food, fun and more.

Getting the band back together was no easy feat as some drove in from across the country including trips from Tennessee, Oregon, Santa Barbara and around the Bay Area. Despite their relative distances from Winters, the resilient troop didn’t allow any excuse to get in the way of reuniting.

“Thursday night, four of us went and had dinner at Preserve. After that, we went around the corner and had a cocktail at the DeVilbiss Room and I showed them that before going across the way to the little concert they had at Rotary Park. Then we went back to the Abbey House Inn and called it a night,” said Bristow. “On Friday morning we just had breakfast, but the main thing was just waiting for the other guys to show up. They did and we had dinner at the Buckhorn and we all had a good time.”

Saturday morning, the scouts enjoyed a breakfast at Putah Creek before going on a Yolo 365 Tour around town; tasting and talking — and “BS’ing like we always do,” as Bristow put it.

While the scouts had fun up and down Main Street and Railroad Avenue, they also found themselves having a great time down memory lane. Old keepsakes were shared, photos reminisced upon and journals acted as time machines taking them back to one of their most cherished times together — a European road trip in the summer of 1970.

“We had so much fun reading the journals. We were in Carcassonne, France then someone would shout, ‘read another page!’ One of the main things we remember from that trip was an opera house in Germany and the mugs of beer for a quarter,” Bristow said further explaining their teenaged adventures. “We flew from San Francisco to Kennedy to Milan. Once we got over the Atlantic, the stewardess said, ‘alright boys, you’re in international waters, you can have a beer.’”

Bristow then may or may not have continued with an anecdote about the flight that ended with one of his fellow scouts passing out after a few too many beers. Regardless, the eight of them made it to Europe and spent the next three months making memories traveling across the continent in a VW Bus with their scout master.

It’s memories like this that forged a close bond within the troop originally based out of Oakland. The memories also added fuel for the relentless chiding and teasing going with the 70 year olds who — together — were interacting as if they were 17 again.

“This town’s been good to me and I just wanted to share it with these guys,” said Bristow. “It’s actually pretty amazing that the lot of us are still around and we came from all over to have this reunion.”

Euro-trip scouts include Mark Pedemonte, Geb Boero, Dan Dwyer, Tim Eade, Billy Haller, Michael Pedemonte, Joe Bristow and Jim McKittrick. The local scouts joining the weekend of fun were John Pickerel, Wade Cowan, Bruce Geulden, Tony DeLa’O, Larry Eade and Chris Pedemonte. Both Eade and Chris Pedemonte were part of Troop 274.

The weekend in Winters provided even more memories for the troop to talk about when they reunite again — hopefully before another 52 years go by.

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