By R.G. Wilson, F21025
Previous FMCA presidents have told me that this is the magazine article they enjoyed writing the most. By the time you read this, I will be out of office and relieved of the tremendous responsibilities of being president of Family Motor Coach Association.
I don’t see how any man could serve in this position and do an acceptable job without a talented, intelligent, and loyal wife, as I have been blessed to have. Today happens to be July 27, 2005 “” our 53rd wedding anniversary. As I rose early from bed to write this final magazine article, I left her sleeping. We were married on this day in the year 1952. When it comes to my careers, she has always been a strong behind-the-scenes-type person. She has never tried to do my job for me, but she has always been there with that “Second Opinion,” which I cherish but have not always appreciated at the time. She has edited my articles every month and insisted that I keep the subject on FMCA business and activities. As you can see by now, I am violating that for the first time, because this article will be very personal.
I have always been very honest with you and have never held anything back. Well almost, so here’s the rest of the story. I had always been in excellent health until I was elected president of FMCA. After my election in Buffalo, New York, in July 2003, we returned home to receive the results of a PSA test I had taken prior to leaving. The results were not good. I had some biopsies done and was told I had a very aggressive form of prostate cancer. Being aware of our former president Jeff Jefcoat’s experience with prostate cancer, my first thought was to resign. My wife encouraged me to wait and see what developed. After all the available tests and choices of treatments they offered me, I elected to have surgery. I decided to keep it confidential from my FMCA friends and had my surgery in Oklahoma City on December 7, 2003, following our November committee meetings in Cincinnati. The surgery went very well, and I left home 20 days later and drove our motorhome to Indio, California, to attend the Western Area Rally. I take my PSA tests every three months, and my doctor says I’m cancer-free. I sure hope he is right and thank God often.
I developed a severe lower back pain about a year ago, which I have been dealing with. My wife thinks it is stress, but I do not agree. I have dealt with stress my entire working career and have never let it bother me. This was, however, a major part of my decision not to run for my third term as president. I have been trying everything from epidural shots and medication to chiropractic treatments. Unless my wife is correct and leaving office helps, I will be considering back surgery soon.
You now know my medical history. You already knew my national politics and my strong religious beliefs, so I will not open that “keg of worms.”
Most of you know I have been a certified public accountant for 45 years. With that background and experience, I have strong convictions on how a business should be properly run. Since FMCA is a member-owned organization in which most decisions are made through committees, I have been able to influence decisions but have never tried to dictate. As I have stated many times, that is the way I feel it should be in our organization. We are a great member-owned organization where members do have a voice through their Executive Board, Governing Board, and standing committees. We should not listen to those individuals or leaders who do not respect the authority, decisions, and recommendations of our committees.
As I leave the presidency of FMCA, I see our membership somewhat divided, which I do not like but have grown to accept. I have heard the statement “I don’t like all the politics in our organization” many times. Well, my answer is we have it as citizens in the great countries in which we live and still survive and are blessed.
I have enjoyed serving our great organization and will continue to serve in other positions if asked and feel I can contribute something. Most of those on the Executive Board believe as I do and have supported and followed my leadership. For them I am very grateful and appreciative.
Help Us Update Our Records
Please note that the deadline for making changes to the information included in the January 2006 membership directory issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine is October 28, 2005. Please check the 2005 directory to determine whether any of the information contained therein has changed, and contact the Membership Department at the FMCA national office to report any changes.
The Membership Department can be contacted by phone (800-543-3622) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). You also can change your membership record online at www.fmca.com/membership. Click on the Update Info link and log in using your FMCA membership number and expiration date.
Although members’ phone numbers are for FMCA business use and not for publication, please remember to let us know if your area code or phone number has changed. In addition, if any other information has changed, such as your mailing address, zip or postal code, e-mail address, or if you now own a different motorhome, please let us know.
We continue to add e-mail addressees to our membership records. These are maintained for FMCA business use only. If your e-mail address is not currently on file with us, please be sure to provide it. We prefer that members submit their e-mail addresses online at www.fmca.com/membership. However, you also can e-mail the address to us in the following way:
Subj: Update e-mail
FMCA Membership Number (no spaces) (e.g., F123456)
E-mail address (e.g. email@example.com)
Please also check the information in the Membership Directory’s Stoppin’ Spots listing. This list begins on page 1051 of the January 2005 issue. If you are not included in this listing and wish to have your name added in one or more categories “” Stop Over, Come Visit, Mechanics Helper, or Pinch Hit Driver “” let the Membership Department staff know that as well.