By R.G. Wilson, F21025
As I write my article this month, I am at home in Oklahoma for a few days. My wife, Jeri, and I just returned from the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, which took place January 12 through 16. Soon we will be traveling on to Brooksville, Florida, to attend the Southeast Area Rally, February 2 through 6.
The Western Area folks hosted an excellent, fun-filled event at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival grounds in Indio. In keeping with their theme, they furnished us with all the goodies to remind us of the “Fabulous ’50s.” It was especially appealing to me because the 1950s coincided with my teenage, military, and college days. These were, in my opinion, the days when the most beautiful automobiles were built. Maybe I feel this way because my first car was a 1950 Chevrolet Club Coupe and I was very proud of it. These also were the days of the drive-in theater, the drive-in restaurant, and the jitterbug dance. The Western Area folks brought it all back into our memories during the week. They had an entertainment stage decorated with life-size pictures of cars of the ’50s. They had a large scene of a Big Boy drive-in with hot rods, carhops, and teenagers having a great time. They even had a real MG convertible in the scene.
The parade was fabulous, with many beautiful floats, and dancers doing the jitterbug to the music from a jukebox. There were colorful carhops carrying their trays of ice cream and sodas, and many Elvis impersonators, all having a great time entertaining the spectators.
The nightly entertainment also was great, with New Odyssey performing on one night, and comedian Dick Hardwick and banjo artist Doug Mattocks the next night. On the final night, we were privileged to enjoy a show by one of my favorites, John Davidson.
The seminars were educational, beneficial, and interesting. Both the indoor and outdoor exhibits were large for an area rally. The members enjoyed making their purchases, and the vendors seemed very pleased with their sales.
During the days leading up to the rally, the area received unusually large amounts of rain, which caused several cancellations. Even so, more than 1,700 families attended the rally in their motorhomes, and hundreds of locals came in on day passes.
It was one of the most enjoyable area rallies Jeri and I have attended. The Western Area people are so friendly and made us feel so welcome. I commend Western Area vice president Tony Vincent, F161584, and his wife, Betty, as well as the officers of the Western Area Motorhome Association, and everyone else who worked so hard and had a part in putting on this very successful event.
The Southeast Area Rally’s theme also is the 1950s. So, Jeri and I soon will have the opportunity to relive the “good old days” again. I’m sure this rally will be equally fun for all who attend.
Of course, by the time you read this issue of the magazine, we’ll be looking forward to FMCA’s 73rd International Convention in Perry, Georgia, March 21 through 24, and all of the fun and fellowship this event will bring. Hope to see you there.