2014 LASD Roundup Article
Family, friendships, and relationships! I believe that about sums up the LASD Roundup. This year a record attendance of 932 people must have agreed as they attended the 15th annual Roundup of LASD retired sworn and civilian personnel with family and friends in Laughlin, Nevada at the Riverside Hotel and Casino.
This annual event is conducted every spring, and for many of us the anticipation of the event begins in the fall. It is in the fall months that Moon and Robyn Mullen put out a notice of the Roundup dates, agendas and registration information. As we make our own plans to attend, we mail in our registration and each week as folks register, a list of those who plan to attend is compiled and emailed to those on the LASD Retired list. For me, and I think for others, this is when the excitement and anticipation of the Roundup begins, seeing who is planning to attend and knowing that we will be sharing the privilege of visiting together for one more time for one more year. If the list presents a negative it is that many names are missing.
This year, as with others, a number of events were held within the Roundup. Various units held luncheons, dinners and other social functions. There were Slot, Poker, Golf, and Bowling tournaments, raffles and door prizes, and an arts and crafts fair.
With the approval of Sheriff John Scott and the financial support of ALADS, the HR 218 qualification was conducted in mid nineties temperatures by Range Staff Deputies Janice Hansen and Mitchell Jones. A total of 367 retirees were processed through the qualification course thanks to the coordination of Walt Bouman and his helpful staff of volunteers. A big “thank you.”
Another big “thank you” goes out for financial support from the Sheriff’s Relief Association, ALADS, PPOA, and POPA FCU. Additionally, thanks to LACERA’s Outreach team as well as the Sheriff’s Museum and RELAC for their participation.
Pages could be written about the people and the different events they participated in but most of them already know those stories because they were part of the Roundup. Much like last year I want to address this article to those who have not yet attended a Roundup and I want to try to encourage many more first time attenders to attend next year.
We had quite a few first time attenders this year which was great for everyone because we all like new blood. I began thinking about why folks choose not to attend the Roundup so I first looked into the mirror. On a personal note I resisted for a few years after I retired. I was worried that I wouldn’t know anyone or worse, no one would remember me or want to remember me. I’d have to sit alone and text no one in particular on my phone to look busy. I had some false impressions based on bad information and used that and my doubts as an excuse to miss the Roundups. That said, there were people who were attending that I really wanted to see again; people I really liked and had fond memories of. And still I stayed away. But then, reality began hitting me right in the face. Those old friends began to die, seemingly one after another. My opportunity to see those people at the Roundup was gone. Forever! No tomorrow, no next year! So I made plans to attend the next Roundup and did so by driving to Laughlin from Southern Florida. I felt like a total dumb-dumb for any of my doubts. I did know people and they even remembered me. No one took a swing at me, which I took as a good thing. I renewed old relationships and made new ones and have done so each year. Now whenever the inevitable happens I will have had just one more visit one more time with friends. Now it may look like I’m writing about me but I’m really writing about a whole bunch of us. We asked the first time attenders to tell us their thoughts and here are their written thoughts to share with you:
I’ve put off coming to the Reunion for years. This was my first and I had a great time. Seeing old friends and partners brought back a lot of old memories and filled in the blank spots that are slowly fading. I knew Moon, Robyn, and their “crew” worked hard but didn’t realize how hard till now. Good work for you guys.
This is the first Roundup we’ve attended and it’s hard to describe the feeling of being back among our Departmental family again. There were people there that I’ve known since I was 16 and I’m 59 now. Talk about a lifetime!
Since I have retired, I have felt that there was something missing in my life. I even considered requesting to be re-instated on an occasion or two. I had received Moon’s emails about the Roundup, but I felt that most of those who attended were older than me and I would not have much in common with most of them. What I really missed was the people I worked with. So my wife suggested we stop in Laughlin this year on our way home. So I booked a room and bought us the tickets to attend. Every year I worked for the Department I looked forward to Baker to Vegas because I was a runner and I was worried that this event would be a let down for me. But the truth is, I loved it even more than Baker to Vegas. I have not enjoyed myself so much over a 4 day period in almost 6 years. I did find several of my former peers/friends and did a lot of catching up. I also met many people I never knew and really enjoyed getting to know them. I talked to a man who served in WWII and also worked East L.A. n 1963. I talked to people who held much higher rank than I ever did and got to know them as a person rather than as a supervisor. This event was well put together and run. I will attend it again as long as I am healthy enough. I no longer feel like there is something missing in my life. I feel that attending the Roundup is another chapter in my life as a deputy sheriff.
This was my first year at the Roundup. My husband and I attended and had a terrific time. I couldn’t stay for Tuesday or Wednesday’s activities but we took full advantage of Monday. We bowled, I qualified, and met old friends and we made new ones. Everyone we met made us feel so welcome. We plan on attending the entire time next year.
At the last Firestone Reunion (Maggies Pub, last September) I heard a couple of former partners say, “go, you’ll have fun.” They were right….I did. I thanked Moon in person on Wednesday but I think I added that there are a lot of other volunteers that contributed to the reunion’s success. I plan to go next year and participate in more of the scheduled activities.
First Roundup since retiring in ’97. Thought it was a hoot. Saw people I haven’t seen in years. Very much appreciate the name tags with the large bold print. Saved me from the embarrassment of admitting I couldn’t put names to faces. Thought the whole event was a lot of fun for all who attended and much appreciation is felt for all those who helped plan and execute the program.
This was my first time since I retired last August. To be perfectly honest I was a little apprehensive in attending knowing that while I was one of the OG’s while in the Department, I was once again a FNG in the retirement realm. But I want you to know that I truly enjoyed my time and am very glad that I attended. I went to two station get togethers and they were a blast. With 932 in attendance it was very well run and I want to thank all that put it on, especially Moon and Robyn who tirelessly work to make it a success. I left with renewed friendships and a few new ones also.
In regards to the Roundup, the experience exceeded my expectations. I was so blessed to be reunited, if only for a moment, with some very special people that I either shared a radio car, walked a cell row, received supervisory guidance from, trained with, supervised myself, or were retired members I had never met before but who I enjoyed hearing of their LASD experiences going back decades. It was also a good opportunity to thank some folks for their support and influence as I pursued my career. Furthermore, I appreciate and valued the pride so many expressed for the Department, even with the Department’s current events and the faith they had for it’s future. I enjoyed the intimacy of the smaller unit gatherings and at the same time I enjoyed walking the room (Briefing Room) or walking the line to get Pizza on Tuesday night and the appetizers on the final evening. It was like one big reception line and allowed me the opportunity to say “hi”, hug or shake the hand of so many that I shared my career with.
I deeply enjoyed attending the Roundup and was pleasantly surprised at the number of people I actually knew, remembered and saw in attendance. It was a joy to talk to many friends I had not seen in years. It was also great to reconnect and share memories with those who I knew at different stages of my own career. Yes, we are a bit older but the kindred fire of that friendship is still as strong as ever and was really what I enjoyed the most. I decided to attend this year when I connected with another retired deputy who also did not want to go alone. Additionally, I was encouraged by some other LASD friends to attend so we could see each other rather than just connecting via emails. It somehow made it easier to attend with knowledge I would be spending time with people I closely knew already as opposed to people I might not know or recognize. Thank you to all who spent so much time, effort, and expense to plan, staff and execute such a great event. I will be back next year and look forward to sharing time with many others.
I am not a first timer. I’ve been retired since 1980 and am 90 years old but I find name tags of young, newly retired deputies whose fathers I worked with before they were even on the Department. I also find people I worked with and haven’t seen in more than fifty years who are first time attendees.
Okay, you’ve read the comments. At least you know I’m not a lone wolf crying in the forest.
Is the Roundup just drinking and war stories? Hardly. I’ve never seen anyone close to drunk unless you count “under the influence of happiness.” It’s not about war stories (although some get told and better and better by the year) but rather it is about life stories. Greetings are not casual…they are sincere with everyone wanting to know how your are, what have you been up to and “man, it’s good to see you!” Common behavior is for someone to walk up to you, they look you in the face, then look you in the name tag, trying their best to get their brains to connect face and name, then they shake your hand or hug you with a smile. Conversations center on who has travelled to where, who has the most ailments and “man, I wish old so and so would attend these Roundups because I’d love to see him/her.
When you walk into the “Briefing Room” which is the nerve and central meeting center of the affair, you are overwhelmed by the number of folks you recognize. They are everywhere so much so that you kind of feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony….you know what you want to do but you just don’t know where to start!
There are 3200 plus names on the LASD Retired list. We had 932 attend this year. Time to get it to well over 1000 participants. Moon and Robyn may have to find an airplane hanger for the event but if we plan to attend we have a good chance of attending. Next year the Roundup will take place at the same place from March 29 thru April 1. If you can plan to attend, I want to suggest that you register as early as possible when the announcement comes out next fall because it does make it much easier for those doing the planning if they know how many are coming as early as possible. There is an added benefit in that when someone sees your names appear on the list and they are contemplating attending, your name may give them the motivation to attend because they want to see you again. I only have to write about the Roundup but for Moon, Robyn, and their volunteers, the whole thing is a full time job and the salary is really lousy for a full time job. I know the happiness of everyone at the event is their true reward.
If you have attended the Roundup before you know exactly what I am writing about here and if you’ve never attended I assure you that you will be welcomed with open arms, you will be known and remember. This is basically how all of us who attend the Roundups feel towards you who have yet to attend: If we worked together, if we know any of you and any of you know any of us, we want to see you again and again at the Roundup starting next year. For each of us who feel that way, it means there are many people missing from the event who we desperately wish to see again. Our birth certificates have no guarantees attached and either does anyone else have any guarantees so get on with it. Mark you calendars and make a plan. One question to ask yourself: Who else, where else do this many retirees get together every year to enjoy each other’s company?
On the final night of the Roundup before the food is served and the raffle and final goodbyes are conducted, the packed “Briefing Room” shares a prayer of thanks. It is impressive to see and to experience this wide range of retirees, their families and friends sharing this moment of thanks together. For 4 days they have had fun, interacted, and just sat and talked over old and current and future times. It has been about relationships renewed, made new, and nurtured. It’s a moment where the LASD family now retired share their friendships with each other because in final summation, that is exactly what the Roundup is all about.