Family & Friends
By Jim and Kitty Hurley, F65419
On November 7, 1994, the Midweek Wanderers received their charter to become a chapter of Family Motor Coach Association. Currently the chapter has 37 member families, who live within the chapter’s geographical scope of Ventura County, California. From May 11 through 15, 2003, many of these members gathered at the Flying Flags RV Park and Campground in Buellton, California, to celebrate the chapter’s 100th rally.
As our chapter’s name suggests, Midweek Wanderers’ rallies take place Monday through Thursday, during the second week of each month.
We are a very active club, and our rallies offer a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy. The social agenda for a rally typically begins with a Monday evening get-together for an hors d’oeuvres social, followed by various games.
Tuesday starts with a breakfast social followed by a morning walk led by our hiking/walks captain, Joann Van Buskirk, F257856. Afterward, some members enjoy crafts in the clubhouse while others participate in outdoor games such as golf, washer board, horseshoes, and a new game called golf ball toss. Potluck is the dinner norm on Tuesday nights, with more games later in the clubhouse.
Wednesday’s schedule is nearly the same as Tuesday’s, except that we usually enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before returning for a final evening of games. On Thursday we’re all on the road again, sad to say, since the rallies are always so much fun.
Each member is asked to serve as trail boss once every 30 months. Chapter elections are held each November, and elected officers are installed at the chapter’s annual meeting each December.
During our 100th “Thank You Rally,” we recognized several members who have played significant roles in promoting and serving the chapter during its existence. Thanks to FMCA for donating the various prizes that were presented to these chapter achievers:
Guyula Adlard, F141055, has been the editor of the chapter newsletter, “On The Road Again,” since 2001. In 1999 and 2000, Jim and Joan Wood, F110743, were co-editors of the newsletter, but they left this responsibility to become co-editors of the Western Motor Home Association’s quarterly newsletter, “Western Byways,” which they continue to publish.
Jack White, F59095, has served as the chapter’s national director since 2000. Jack and his wife, Helen, have represented the chapter at each of FMCA’s international conventions and at WHMA’s annual area rallies since then. Jack served as a past president and captain of many chapter projects, while Helen served as chapter secretary. Paul Ewart, F127317, was the national director from 1995 through 1998, during which time he and his wife, Ann, attended FMCA conventions and Western Area rallies on behalf of the chapter. He also is a past chapter president.
Joann Van Buskirk has been our hiking/walks captain since 2001. During 2002 she and her husband, John (known as “Van”), became just the third member family in chapter history to have 100 percent rally attendance during a single year.
Mel Leisten, F164011, served as chapter treasurer in 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000, and still picks up the duties on occasion when the chapter treasurer is not able to attend a rally. Mel also is a past president, and his wife, Pat, served as treasurer in 1995 and secretary in 1997.
We would like to thank Camping World for donating two $25 gift certificates, which were awarded to the Leistens and the Van Buskirks during our 100th rally celebration. Thanks also to Terry Adlard who was kind enough to provide background music on his keyboard during the rally’s indoor social events.
As founders of the Midweek Wanderers, we would like to thank all those who have joined us as members and for the service that they have contributed in the past or will in the future. It has been a pleasure for us to serve the chapter from its beginning. Jim was the chapter’s first president, and also treasurer, membership chairperson, and charter newsletter editor.
Anyone living in the Ventura County area who is interested in joining the Midweek Wanderers chapter should contact membership chairman “Van” Van Buskirk at (805) 484-5187.
Revconeers Celebrate The Past At Silver Anniversary Rally
By Fran Zaft, F165466
Revconeers from across the country gathered in September 2002 at the Spring Lake RV Resort in Halstead, Kansas, to celebrate the chapter’s 25th anniversary. A total of 87 Revconeers in 42 coaches attended the three-day rally, which preceded FMCA’s 68th international convention in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Among those attending were seven of the past 12 chapter presidents. In addition, incoming FMCA International Area vice president Max Durbin, F76454, and his wife, Joanne, visited with us during the welcome reception, which began with a catered dinner followed by a beautifully decorated anniversary cake. Rally masters Jerry and Jean Garner, F93323, decked the room with special 25th anniversary banners, flowers, and ribbons, which put everyone in a festive mood.
The chapter’s beginning can be traced to the spring of 1977 when John and Johnnie Linebaugh, L12971, purchased a Revcon motorhome from Iley and Bert Conley, F22608, in Bradenton, Florida. The Linebaughs and Conleys became friends and talked about starting a Revcon club, which they named the “Revconeers.” John, who would serve as FMCA’s national president from 1981 through 1983, contacted FMCA’s national office for assistance, while Iley called Revcon to enlist their support. With help from FMCA representative Max Todd, L6118, and Dave Hibbard, Revcon marketing manager, an organizational meeting was held in Syracuse, New York, prior to FMCA’s 1977 summer international convention at the New York State Fairgrounds.
At that meeting, 20 Revcon owners signed the charter application; a chapter constitution was adopted and officers were elected; the name “Revconeers” was formally approved; and the chapter was born. Bill Kimmons, L9973, was our first president and John Linebaugh became national director. Although most members were Revcon owners, it was agreed that chapter membership would be open to any FMCA member.
Since then the chapter has flourished, with an average annual membership of approximately 400 families. Four of the original 84 charter members are still active in the chapter: Bert Conley; Allen and Bessie Howard, L5330; Bill Kimmons; and Loretta Schmitt, F10750. Rallies have been held in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including pre-rallies before FMCA international conventions. And even though Revcon stopped manufacturing motorhomes in 1989, our chapter continues to welcome new members who have acquired Revcons from previous owners and need the experience and technical support of our members.
We are very proud of our annual rally, held each winter during the world-famous Quartzsite Pow Wow Gem & Mineral Show in Quartzsite, Arizona. Since 1981 we have met in the same spot every year for four or five days in late January/early February, establishing what is believed to be the longest-running, same-location FMCA chapter rally.
The tradition started when Virgil and Lillian Bowser, F33474, met Richard “Robbie” Robison, a Quartzsite resident who lived in a tiny one-room stone house with no electricity or running water on an acre-plus lot in the middle of town. Robbie invited the Bowsers and their friends to dry camp on his lot, and from that time on it became the gathering place for the Revconeers every winter. As time went on the number of coaches in the encampment rose to a high of 77, but the local fire marshal limited the number to 57 to minimize the threat of fire among the parked vehicles.
Jim and Jean Pittenger, F55077, became good friends with Robbie. When he passed away in 1998, they purchased the property from his estate. They have maintained and improved it so that the Revconeers can continue holding rallies there each year.
The Quartzsite rally has become so popular that spaces are sold out by October of the previous year. The get-together draws more motorhomes than any other Revconeer rally in the country. Our rally masters work hard to provide us with breakfasts and dinners, and our days are filled with technical sessions and parts swaps; crafts classes; fashion shows; and games. We often are entertained by professional musicians and storytellers after dinner. And of course, the Pow Wow has evolved to include other events such as an RV show, a hobby and crafts show, a car show, and what may be the largest flea market in the world.
The silver anniversary rally last September concluded with our annual meeting, at which time outgoing International Area vice president Ginger Painter, F23514, presented the chapter’s 25th anniversary certificate from FMCA’s national office to Bill Kimmons and Phil Johnson, L3221. Phil served as FMCA’s national president in 1977, and signed our charter.
Our Revcon motorhomes are getting older, as are some of our members, but the Revconeers continue, spurred on by a membership proud of its past and eager to embrace the future.