Response To September President’s Message
In my “President’s Message” in the September 2004 issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine, I wrote an article about the growth of faith-based chapters within FMCA. I received responses both in favor of and in opposition to this column. I do believe that everyone has a right to his or her opinion, and in an effort to express the viewpoints of folks who contacted me, I have asked that one “pro” and one “con” letter be published.
“” R.G. Wilson, F21025
FMCA National President
Dear Mr. Wilson:
I just wanted to thank you for your message in the September issue. Thank you for supporting our president as well. It’s refreshing to have someone speak up about their beliefs, rather than worry about offending someone. We live in an age where everyone can speak up about their beliefs except Christians.
We purchased a motorhome in March because we have five children and want to create memories as a family. One of our goals is to take time for Bible studies with them. Our other goal is to see this great country we’re so blessed to live in.
Thanks! You made my day!
Maria Hanson, F343339
I am writing you about the “President’s Message” that appeared in the September 2004 issue.
I was always told that one should refrain from indulging in political and religious discussions as these two areas tend to be “sensitive” and perhaps somewhat private. Yet Mr. Wilson chose the FMCpublication as a political and religious platform from which to launch his personal beliefs and political views.
I am not sure that any of us, except God himself, can determine whether anyone is a man of God, and certainly not Mr. Wilson. I have known a few men who aspired to be men of God yet when you turned your back on them … beware!
I am appalled that Mr. Wilson is using his office and position of trust as president of FMCA to further his political and religious agenda.
I am surprised that you as the editor and your staff allowed his letter to go to print. I feel you did a great injustice to a lot of us for allowing this publication to become a tool for one man. Are you going to give Kerry and Nader equal time?
Jerry and Opal Kogucki, F195627
The September 2004 issue included a review of the 2005 Country Coach Magna (“The Magna 630: A Marvelous Home On Wheels,” page 66). After publication it came to light that the remote-controlled patio awning mentioned in the article was misidentified. The Magna featured in this article actually was equipped with a Zip Dee New Century lateral-arm awning. Country Coach uses awnings from both Zip Dee and Girard Systems in several of its product lines.
Single Travelers Rally In The Northeast
I attended my first Singles International chapter rally at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, just prior to the Northeast Area Rally in Essex Junction, Vermont, this past July. I was very impressed by the excellent activities and the general organization of both rallies. They were a lot of fun because of the many friendly and helpful people I met.
It was apparent that not too many FMCA members are aware that FMCA has a chapter for those of us who travel in RVs without a spouse or partner. We were the ones wearing those bright yellow vests at the rally.
The Singles International chapter’s prerally activities were arranged by Charmaine Williams, F216766. She and her coworkers are to be highly commended for keeping us busy and making newcomers such as me feel welcome to join in. The Singles International chapter has numerous mini rallies throughout the country, so that no one has to travel extensively to attend a rally. Single FMCA members who are interested in more information about the chapter are encouraged to contact chapter president M. Susan Collins, F194688, 1069 Azalea Point Drive, Port Orange, FL 32129; (386) 767-5073. For general chapter information, contact FMCA’s Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622.
Bob Boxell, F186274
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Microwave Oven Repaired
The June 2004 issue of Family Motor Coaching mentioned the Samsung Electronics microwave oven recall. I had not received a response from them concerning this before I took a trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin, in July. While in Wisconsin, my microwave flashed Code 9, indicating I was unable to use the oven.
I extend thanks to the people at Van Boxtel RV Super Mart (1956 Bond St. in Green Bay), who referred me to Tom’s TV Service (1314 Velp Ave., also in Green Bay). Tony repaired the oven within two hours and billed it under warranty, since they were aware of the Samsung recall. The people at both companies were extremely helpful and courteous, and we recommend them to any travelers in need.
Alden Hansell, F152551
Suffern, New York
Kind KOA Folks
While returning home from a rally in Salem, Oregon, we had an accident on Interstate 25 on Raton Pass heading into Raton, New Mexico. We experienced heavy damage to the towed Jeep and some damage to the motorhome, plus we broke our tow bar. The people at the Raton KOA went above and beyond to help us get back on the road. The owners, Grant and Lisa Robertson, were very helpful. Grant drove me all over Raton looking for a place to repair or replace my Blue Ox tow bar. The next day we were back on the road with a repaired tow bar. I would recommend anyone stopping in Raton to stay at the KOA.
Jerry Puckett, F213719
Good Will-Hinckley An Excellent Host
On the weekend of August 6, 7, and 8, 2004, I had the privilege of being a guest at the 100th Kum Bak reunion of Good Will-Hinckley School for Boys and Girls in Hinckley, Maine. FMCA was formed on the grounds of this school in 1963.
In an earlier issue of FMC I saw that the school was having a reunion, and I contacted Audrey Stott, the coordinator of the event. I told her that, although I was not an alumni of GWH, I was an FMCA member, and in 1946 I had spent a summer there as my parents worked in the school laundry. She urged me to attend and I drove my coach there.
For those FMCA members who are not acquainted with Good Will-Hinckley, it is a home and school for boys and girls and has been “A Home and Helping Hand Since 1889.”
While this was not an FMCA event, there were several FMCA members past and present in attendance. The food and hospitality were second to none and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I heartily urge FMCA members to visit their Web site to learn more: www.gwh.org.
Tom Meservey, F193623
More Mirror Loss Reports
Stan Levine, F168888, wrote regarding having his motorhome side mirrors struck by trucks on the Southern California area freeways (“Side Mirrors Fall Victim To Trucks,” August 2004, page 22). I also have had this unpleasant experience while driving in that area. The mirrors on my 40-foot Mountain Aire project from the front and extend only 8 inches from the side of the coach.
Just last year while on my way to Newport Beach from northern California, I was crossing the Los Angeles basin during rush hour (driving in a “rush” at 5 mph). While the highway curved to the left, an 18-wheeler passed me on the right. The rear of his trailer crossed over the line and the back corner of the trailer clipped my passenger mirror. My guess is that others have had the same experience.
Mr. Levine is correct in assuming lanes in the Los Angeles area are narrower than normal, because they are. It’s said that they make more lanes on the highway not by adding more asphalt, but by restriping the roads. Narrow the lanes and presto “” you have a new car pool lane.
Ted Sibert, F337808
Stan Levine wanted to know if others had had the unnerving experience of having a truck slice off your side mirror. Well, I live in San Pedro, California, which is a stone’s throw from Mr. Levine’s hometown of Rolling Hills, and I can testify that I have had a similar experience on the same freeways that he travels.
Last summer I was traveling north on U.S. 101 through the San Fernando Valley. Traffic was heavy and moving at about 35 to 40 mph. Frankly, I was concentrating on the drivers’ side of the lane where full-size SUVs were more likely to be; people drive these vehicles as if they are still in a much smaller vehicle, and, normally, you can trust a truck driver to hold his lane. Well, this particular truck had extended mirrors and BANG!
We both pulled over and a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer pulled up. He advised that in this type of situation where there was no visible blame, both of us would be held liable. We shrugged our shoulders, the trucker helped me secure the mirror with duct tape and bungee cords, and we went on our merry ways. Fortunately, it was a Friday, and I was able to drive to an RV dealer to have the mirror replaced. But driving without a side mirror and towing a car, even with a backup camera, is a stressful experience.
Please let Mr. Levine know that he is not alone.
Eva Ribman, F187421
San Pedro, California
Maine Bridge Repaired
The Waldo-Hancock bridge on State Route 1 near Bucksport, Maine, was closed to vehicles weighing more than 24,000 pounds about a year ago. We’re happy to announce that the bridge has undergone repairs and is once again open to vehicles up to 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
Maine Office of Tourism