Family History At Crater Lake
We received the July 2004 issue of FMC magazine today and I began reading your article about my favorite place on earth “” Crater Lake National Park (“The Bluest Blue At Crater Lake,” page 80). Being born and raised in southern Oregon, I have been to Crater Lake many times and have seen it in all of its moods, from sunshine and chipmunks to snow piled to unbelievable heights.
The article names William Gladstone Steel as the second superintendent of the park. The first superintendent of the park was William Franklin Arant, my great-grandfather.
It has been tradition in our family to say that the only reason Crater Lake National Park is what it is today is because Mr. Steel convinced the federal government to exploit the features of the lake and its surrounding areas. My great-grandfather wanted to leave the lake and the surrounding area as it was discovered. He felt that any buildings should be kept away from the rim of the lake and that there should be no roads going around it. Mr. Steel, on the other hand, wanted to develop the caldera rim, which was done. According to family stories, he also wanted to punch a pipeline through to the inside of the caldera so that the waters could be tapped “” for what use, I don’t remember.
My great-grandfather was appointed to the position of park superintendent by President Theodore Roosevelt. My great-grandmother, his wife, was the postmistress of the park. When Theodore Roosevelt’s term of office expired, Arant lost his position. When he objected to being dismissed, he was told that the position was not civil service but a spoils position. He sued and lost. The story is that a U.S. marshal was brought in to expel him from his offices and residence and, when his wife objected, the marshal threw her out of the building into a snowbank.
Today the U.S. Forest Service will not acknowledge who was the first superintendent of the park. Needless to say, I rather object to that. But then, I agree with my great-grandfather that the lake should not have been developed but left in its natural state.
Nancy Arant Cheffings, F287458
Editor’s note: According to a biographical history of William F. Arant on the National Park Service’s Web site, www.nps.gov/crla, Mr. Arant served as park superintendent until July 1, 1913. President Woodrow Wilson was serving his first term at that time.
Allegro’s Slideout Dimensions
I was reading your article about the quad-slide Allegro Bus (“The Allegro Bus 40 QDP,” July 2004, page 92), and enjoying it very much, when in calculating the measurements given by the author it seemed that the living room slideout needs to be larger, or one of the components smaller. An 11-foot 6-inch slideout will not hold a 6-foot dinette and a 74-inch sofa bed. I find that to be about 12 feet 2 inches and can’t figure how it all fits inside the slide. A large shoehorn comes to mind.
Don Alexander, F294031
High Springs, Florida
Editor’s note: Thank you for pointing out this discrepancy. We checked with Allegro and were told that the slideout interior is actually 12 feet 8 inches long.
A Thank-You From Good Will-Hinckley
FMCA has some of the most generous members around! FMCA was founded on our campus in 1963, so a high level of commitment from FMCA members may be expected. However, FMCA members now involved in supporting Good Will-Hinckley Homes and Schools for Boys and Girls were not members back then. Not only do you continue to include our neglected boys and girls in your thoughts and prayers, you now take an active role in helping us to provide a home and helping hand.
For example, in just one year members have contributed in the following ways:
1. More than 20 volunteers made 30-plus quilts and afghans for our youth. Many of the children had never received handmade gifts and truly appreciated the gesture. We’re indebted to Vornie Colbath, F130029, for leading this effort.
2. In May, Maine Wheels chapter members in 30 coaches visited the campus to see one of our drama club’s productions. Even when our aspiring thespians missed a line or two, your members cheered. Your attention was a dream come true for many of our youth who had no family members in the audience.
3. In addition to individual members, more than 25 FMCA chapters purchased commemorative bricks and blocks for the FMCA monument area. Through these contributions and through FMCA “Round Up” campaign donations, we have received nearly $12,000 to improve our students’ academic success.
4. Rally masters have invited us to attend three FMCA rallies this year to share information about Good Will-Hinckley.
While I could go on “” especially about the incredible work of members of the Maine Wheels chapter “” we really just want to thank you all for being part of our family.
One small way we repay your support is by offering free camping to FMCA members. If you’re interested in reserving a space on our campus, please contact Audrey Stott at (800) 639-1757 or via e-mail at email@example.com. On behalf of our 150 youth, thank you for all you do!
Good Will-Hinckley Homes & Schools for Boys & Girls
Campground Goes Above And Beyond
In September 2003, my wife, Carol, and I volunteered to host the July 2004 rally for the Snake River Valley chapter of FMCA. We chose County Corners Campground & RV Park, about 10 miles northwest of Caldwell, Idaho, as our rally location. Park manager Rachael Ward and her husband, John, had just taken over full general management and operation of the park from her father-in-law, owner Russell Ward.
We had rented the Sand Hollow Community Hall for the weekend, as the RV park did not have a recreation room or clubhouse. The hall had not been kept up. Even though Rachael and John had no financial gain from the hall rental, they said they would clean it up and make it presentable for us.
We arrived on July 15th, the day before our rally, expecting considerable work ahead of us to get the hall ready. Rachael and her husband were already in the hall scrubbing walls and mopping the floor. Our two co-host couples pitched in to make short work of what was left of the cleanup. We later found out that the hall’s refrigerator did not work. Russ Ward brought a working refrigerator from their campground maintenance shop so we could store our perishable foods. We soon found that the air conditioner had been broken the previous weekend. Rachael called an air-conditioning technician at her expense to have the A/C checked out, but it was beyond repair.
On Friday night, Russ, John, and some of our chapter members hauled tables and chairs from the hall to the park office where we could have our games in the cool comfort of their air-conditioned office area. Before we left on Sunday morning, we tried to get into the office to take the tables and chairs back to the hall. Rachael would not hear of it and said they would return them.
Rachael, John, and Russ Ward not only bent over backward to make our rally enjoyable, they went above and beyond. We had 11 coaches at the rally, plus three visitors. They have commented about how graciously the owner and management treated them and all of us during our short stay.
If any FMCA members are ever in this area and need overnight facilities, we urge them to stop by.
Robert & Carol Johnson, F248217
Narrowing The Search
Whatever happened to the 96-inch-wide motorhome? There are still a few of us who enjoy traveling narrow back roads without losing our side mirrors to oncoming RVs, trucks, and bridge structures.
With the extensive use of slideouts, it seems appropriate to go back to smaller body widths to accommodate a market segment that I believe is bigger than manufacturers think.
We are currently looking for a new midpriced motorhome that is 96 inches wide or less and between 34 and 36 feet long. If a product is out there that I missed, I would like to know about it.
Don Marsh, F280467
San Jose, California
Buddy Gregg Makes Good
I was registered as a first-timer at the Buddy Gregg Spring Rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in May. I arrived at the campground to sign in and was told the sites would not be ready for a while. I waited for 2-1/2 hours and was finally assigned a site. I snaked my way back through the campground, car in tow, only to find the site occupied. I tried calling the campground office, only to be put on hold.
So, I snaked my way back to the front entrance, where many RVs were waiting to come in. A Buddy Gregg staffer saw me in the office and said they would try to get me another site, but I opted to go to another campground, not wanting to waste any more of the beautiful weather of Myrtle Beach.
I didn’t attend the rally, but thoroughly enjoyed my week at the beach. When I arrived home, there was a phone message from the Buddy Gregg people apologizing for the campground’s confusion, and in my mail pile was a full refund for the rally “” something I did not expect or even ask for.
The associates from Buddy Gregg I met that day were courteous, helpful, and friendly. They showed professionalism by taking responsibility for the campground’s confusion. With people like this, you can be assured I will be shopping for my next Prevost at one of their facilities.
Thanks, Buddy Gregg, for caring for someone you just met.
Thomas P. Romano, F33806
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
A Gift From Monaco
We were going to leave for Mexico on December 26, but I had to change the oil in the motorhome first. When I parked it last fall, I had checked the oil and it was four quarts low, so I was going to add a quart. I pulled out the dipstick and there was foam on it. I knew we were in trouble, but I added the quart and started the engine to see whether the oil level had changed. A light on the dash said I was low on engine coolant, so I opened the back, and the burp can was pink. I thought that was enough fun for me. I would let someone else have some.
I called Monaco, and Rob told me that the transmission cooler in the radiator had sprung a leak. The warranty had expired a long time ago, but he told me that Detroit Allison in Minneapolis could fix it. So, the day before Christmas, we took it up there. My wife came there to pick me up and told me that Monaco was sending us a new transmission, radiator, and transmission cooler.
What a Christmas present! Thank you, Monaco. I have heard that the company does great things like that, but I never thought it would happen to me. Just ask me what kind of motorhome I will buy again: Monaco.
Larry & Gloria Aebly, F226391
Personal Assistance In Ontario
We left Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on our way to Florida one extremely cold day in our brand-new coach. Temperatures were well below freezing (-23 degrees Centigrade; -9 degrees Fahrenheit). When we were not more than an hour from home, the steering on the coach became extremely tight. We pulled off at a gas station where we were told that the hydraulic hose had come off and that we should get repairs. Off we went, very slowly, to a garage that worked on large trucks. They took us in immediately and spent most of the day working on the coach. They refilled the hydraulic fluids and reinstalled the hose with double, extra-heavy-duty clamps.
Off we went, only to have to pull off the road again at the next service center because of the same problem. This time they found that the original hydraulic fluid had congealed and blocked the filter, which created pressure that blew the hose off again.
The owner of this establishment, Roy Leblanc, replaced the hydraulic fluid with transmission fluid and bypassed the plugged filter. By then it was Saturday night and Roy called his wife to tell her he’d be late getting home. This was because he wanted to wait for us to drive as far as our original pickup point, and then call to verify that the hose was still on and everything was running properly.
So, we stopped once we got there and called him to say everything was okay. We crossed the U.S. border at approximately 10:00 that night and he called our cell phone to make sure everything was okay and wish us a good trip. The next morning we were happily on our way, when who called? You guessed it. He wanted to make sure all was well and again wished us a good trip.
Even bad experiences can turn out to be a way of meeting caring and responsible people.
Needless to say, we extend a big thank-you to Roy Leblanc, owner of All-Makes Truck & Car Repair in Milton, Ontario; (905-876-0919).
Steve & Doreen Resnick, F287041
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Unexpected Help From Blue Ox
Although we’ve learned the hard way not to answer a knock on our RV door at a rest stop, when my husband saw a man outside waving a bright yellow “Car in Tow” sign and holding a business card, he opened the door. It turned out to be Reggie Collins and his wife, Patsy, from the Blue Ox rally sales team. They had parked next to us and noticed our handmade sign in the window and that a clamp was missing from our tow bar. Reggie felt he had to help us.
Indeed, he replaced the missing clamp, gave us that static magnetic sign, and wished us well. We certainly appreciated his help.
We still think it’s not a good idea to open the RV door to a stranger, but we are glad we did in this case.
Joe & Marsha Elowsky, F24378
Plainview, New York
Help Along The Way
Of the many wonderful trips we have taken through the years to many different states (we have seen all but two), the one we just returned from was one of the best. My husband, our son, his wife, their two little girls and I, recently returned from a trip of 7,460 miles from our home in south Georgia to the west coast of Oregon and California. We spent the first half of the trip driving with the children to pick up our son and his wife at the airport in Portland, Oregon.
In Kansas, we were caught in some very strong crosswinds; 55 mph is what the news said. The wind caught the awning on our American Eagle motorhome, broke the lock, and ripped the awning to the point of no return. When we stopped at the Shady Grove Campground in Seibert, Colorado, my husband borrowed a ladder from the campground owner, and the owner helped him remove the destroyed awning and disposed the scraps for us. When my husband asked what we owed him, he refused to take any pay. He then went to his home/office and sent his 10-year-old daughter over with treats for our little granddaughters. This was a small campground, but certainly was not short on being friendly and helpful.
We continued on our way to Portland, and the night before we got to the airport, we stopped at Bridge RV Park in White Salmon, Washington. Both the owner and assistant manager were very friendly and loaned our girls a video to watch when we checked in. The assistant manager also was very helpful in giving us information about which parking lot to use when we drove the motorhome to the airport in Portland.
In California, we needed to run the air conditioner, so we turned on the generator. It worked for a while, then suddenly just quit. Our son called Fleetwood and obtained a phone number for Cummins West in Fresno. Paul, the service manager, and Tim, the technician, spent almost an hour checking out the generator and found that the reset button was not pushed in “” and that solved the problem. They would not let my son and husband pay them anything. Such service is rare, and we were very appreciative.
We enjoy our Family Motor Coaching magazine so much and always the read letters from your readers with interest.
Don & Connie Roberson, F269757