Turn Back The Clock: A Look Back at TR 07 - Ten Years Later

Another chapter of 'Turn Back The Clock'.... As I thought back, considering whether or not this would be a year to add to our TBTC series, I initially though... "Eh... 1997 - Not very relevant to this group - But next year, we can definitely look back on 1998, certainly a red-letter date in the history of Serb Fest!" But then it hit me... '97?! That's TWENTY years back!! We're talking about 2007!! Are you kidding me??! It feels like only yesterday, but yes, '07 was a full decade back! And oh my.... it is definitely a year worthy of exploring here today!

Where do I start?? Well, naturally ten years back brings us to our 30th Anniversary celebration - our first major anniversary celebration since uncovering some early details of Serb Fest's humble beginnings. With a respectable showing Hall of Famers, we celebrated HARD. In fact, I'd venture to say it was a high point of debauchery amongst the group! With the exception of the young Boskovic girls, the core group was just one year off of introducing the next major wave of the 3rd generation... At this point, we were still only dabbling in the introduction of significant others – with the Berger men being the only two to bring their ladies.  The way this group ripped it up all 3 nights, it was as if they knew how significantly the dynamic of TR would evolve in the coming decade.
Signs of this evolution were already revealing themselves in 2007 as the group opted for dual departure points for the first time.  There were meet-ups in the suburbs and downtown Chicago to better accommodate people’s locations and schedules.  And a 5 year evolution of delegating shopping duties commenced - eventually becoming the model under which we operate today.  These may not seem like significant strides for the group, but it was a much different approach than the single caravan of dudes driving to TR and all shopping handled by a few guys dropping a grand at Sam’s Club, Walmart and Cub Foods.  

One notable introduction - BAGS. It was a focus of the weekend, with intense competition happening at all hours. There’s something to be said about an activity that can be competitive while holding a solo cup!  Friday night, heavy rain forced the group to the main shelter where competition was accompanied by HEAVY drinking and lots of meat.  Saturday saw more of the same.  Heavy rains, more bags, more drinking and even more meat.  This time, out came the Holy Water.  A ceremonial passing of a camelback full of Holy Water, led by Jovan is featured in the 2013 Serb Fest Trailer.  You’ll notice Crazy Dan, in particular, indulging generously on the Holy Water – and let’s just say it didn’t end well. 

Another notable introduction was the notion of “initiating” rookies with a bottle of horrendous alcohol – This time a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.  Thank Crazy Dan for this!  Rookie, Eric Hanson took care of the bottle like a champ and earned himself the nickname “Mad Dog” along with Rookie of the Year honors.  Three years later, rookie Brian O’Kelly was presented with a bottle of Wild Irish Rose, once again, by Crazy Dan – and since it’s been custom to have Rookie men endure a special alcoholic “treat”.

Sunday, despite the heavy drinking of the previous two nights, the group was in good spirits and feeling ambitious once again.  There’s something to be said about the age-old saying that the only hangover one experiences at Turkey Run comes from eating too much and having to loosen your belt!  So with great ambition, the group shockingly agreed to an 8 mile kayak trip – a considerable step up from the typical 3-4 mile trip the group had become accustomed to in recent years.  Fortunately the group also encountered lax staff at Sugar Valley Canoe Trips and they were able to haul plenty of cheap beer to last the full 8 miles. 

So you can say it was a perfect storm that led to peak alcohol consumption amongst the group.  Already on an upward trend since 2003, the introduction of Jovan’s enthusiastic business school buddy, Mad Dog, set the bar yet another notch higher.  It may be safe to say that we’ll never reach this level of consumption again – but as the kids get a bit older, I have a feeling we collectively have another impressive run left in us. Let’s just let that thought marinate for a few years and I’ll bring the High Life!

MORE TR 2007

Good looking group of young men....  
Enduring the rain - Nothing gets in the way of us and our meat!  
A familiar scene - There's actually a lot that's PERFECT in this image...  
Crazy Dan  
What's not to love about this photo??  


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