Take a break “” or several “” during FMCA’s Pomona, California, convention to enjoy this terrific lineup of daytime and special entertainment.
By Doug Uhlenbrock
Motorhomers who roll into Fairplex in Pomona, California, for FMCA’s 75th International Convention, March 20 through 23, 2006, may find themselves wondering how they’ll find time to see and do everything that’s been planned for this gathering. Besides the usual fellowship that takes place at such get-togethers, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about their motorhome and the RVing lifestyle through the many seminars presented; tour the newest motorhome models on display; peruse products offered by suppliers in the indoor display area; create a lovely craft; or take an in-depth tour of a Southern California landmark or area of interest.
Trying to squeeze so much into a handful of days is sure to wear out even the hardiest of convention-goers, so FMCA has scheduled an array of daytime and special entertainment to help people unwind and relax during their stay in Pomona. Music and laughter highlight the acts slated for the “Celebrating Family” convention, with a little patriotism sprinkled in for good measure.
On Sunday, March 19, members of FMCA’s Executive East Pioneers chapter, with assistance from members of the Newmar International of FMCA chapter, will present One Nation Under God, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Building 5. This fascinating program traces the history of the United States through the use of numerous flags that have flown over this great land at one time or another. Chapter members, dressed in period clothing, will present 36 flags, each accompanied by a corresponding story.
The program, which is produced and directed by Woody and Jeannie Miller, F233882, begins with the Pilgrims, marches through numerous armed conflicts the United States has engaged in, and culminates with veterans of all branches of the military presenting today’s version of the Stars and Stripes. The program was first conceived by the Millers in 1990 and is a stirring presentation that will fill every American with pride.
Also on Sunday evening, longtime convention square-dance caller Howard Cowles, L18517, will provide swinging good times from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Building 7. No matter whether you’re an accomplished dancer, a novice, or someone who just enjoys watching, Howard’s skillful calling and instruction will lead to a fun-filled evening. And if one night of square dancing isn’t enough, Howard also will conduct his “Square Dancing and Line Dancing” seminar on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on the second floor of the Grandstand. Howard will appear in Pomona courtesy of Coach-Net, C4055, and Fan-Tastic Vent Corporation, C3077, each FMCA One Star sponsors, and FMCA.
All daytime entertainment will take place at the Daytime Entertainment Stage, sponsored by Foretravel, C236, an FMCA Two Star sponsor, located on Broadway across from the Grandstand.
Kicking off the daytime entertainment on Monday, March 20, at 2:00 p.m. will be the popular duo of Dave & Daphne as they present their high-energy musical performance. Dave & Daphne will appear Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. also. Blending country, gospel, patriotic, and even a little classical music into their show, Dave & Daphne captivate crowds with their versatility and rapport.
Dave Salyer toured as Barbara Mandrell’s lead guitarist for 10 years and has played alongside many other stars during his career. His partner, Daphne, has a voice that has been described as a cross between Shania Twain and Patsy Cline, and she brings Southern charm and a quick wit to this dynamic show.
Those who can’t wait to check out the new motorhomes that will be displayed in Pomona can get a sneak peek at the latest models during the “Motorhome Preview” on Monday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the outdoor exhibit area. A variety of bus conversions and production motorhomes in all sizes and price ranges will be open for inspection. In addition, don’t miss strolling through “Class C Area,” a special display of type B and type C motorhomes.
Next on stage will be one of FMCA members’ all-time favorite acts, Willie & Company, at 4:00 p.m. Ventriloquist Peggy Miller and her sidekick, Willie, have provided good times at FMCA conventions and rallies for more than 15 years. Willie & Company also will appear on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m., courtesy of Freightliner Custom Chassis, C1905, an FMCA Five Star sponsor.
Willie is the star of the show and makes sure everyone in the audience knows it. With a quick wit and soft heart he charms the women, pokes fun at the men, and amazes the children with his stories and songs. The clever 6-year-old may seem like a troublemaker, but he really just enjoys making people laugh. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you forget who’s actually doing the talking.
During the final daytime entertainment time slot on Monday, enjoy the Caribbean sounds of Calypso Compromise, which will appear at 6:00 p.m. This local group, which has performed throughout Southern California, also will appear on Thursday at 1:00 p.m.
The family electric steel drum ensemble, led by Michael Williams, has captivated audiences for more than 16 years with its brand of calypso and reggae music. The combination of steel drums, keyboards, congas, and a variety of other percussion instruments will have you daydreaming about a tropical paradise. Hear steel drum classics such as “Margaritaville,” “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” and “Jammin’,” along with a selection of easy listening, rock “˜n’ roll, and disco favorites. You might even hear some Elvis and Sinatra tunes, too.
Beginning on Tuesday, March 21, start each convention morning with complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, and doughnuts, while quantities last, at Morning Coffee Hour beginning at 7:00 a.m., courtesy of Caterpillar Inc., C4743, an FMCA Super Star sponsor. In addition, complimentary newspapers will be distributed during this time, while supplies last, by Tracks To Adventure, C1034, an FMCA One Star sponsor. Also, make sure to keep up-to-date on all the latest convention happenings by picking up a copy of the official FMCA “Celebrating Family” newsletter each morning, sponsored by Workhorse Custom Chassis, C8291, an FMCA Three Star sponsor.
Don’t rush away from coffee hour too quickly. You’ll want to stick around to hear FMCA’s own Frustrated Maestros, who will perform Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. This eclectic ensemble, composed of members from FMCA’s 10 Frustrated Maestros chapters, has been a convention staple since the first Frustrated Maestros chapter was formed in 1981. Clap your hands, tap your feet, and sing along as the Maestros liven up the mornings.
At 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, gather around the Daytime Entertainment Stage for Punch & Judy. This duo is accomplished at performing a variety of musical styles, from jazz to country to rock ‘n’ roll. And although there are only two musicians onstage, the duo combines recorded background music with their own instrumental performances to create a much bigger sound.
Judy Lynne began performing at a young age and sang and played the keyboard with numerous bands. Les “Punch” Crawford, who sings and plays the guitar and drums, has an extensive background performing big band and combo jazz music.
On Wednesday, March 22, join Bernie & Red for music and laughs beginning at 11:00 a.m. This dynamic duo from Vancouver, British Columbia, also will perform on Thursday at 11:00 a.m.
You won’t be able to control your laughter as this couple digs into their collection of hilarious stories, parody songs, and original comedy tunes. But Bernie & Red’s talents aren’t limited to comedy; both are fine singers, with Bernie accompanying on guitar.
Make sure to stick around the Daytime Entertainment Stage after Bernie & Red finish on Wednesday for Flakey The Magic Clown as he performs his “Magic Show For Kids Of All Ages” at noon. Flakey, better known as Henry Gartner, F197563, when not in makeup, has delighted FMCA audiences for years with his balloon creations and magic tricks. Flakey often asks members of the audience to assist him with his act “” to hilarious results “” so don’t be surprised if he chooses you. Flakey also will entertain the youngsters at Youth Center registration on Monday, March 20, and at the Youth Center throughout the convention. He will appear in Pomona courtesy of Blue Ox, C2903, an FMCA Two Star sponsor.
Following Flakey on the Daytime Entertainment Stage will be Bob’s Cats, a select group of Frustrated Maestros musicians, who will perform from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. during the ever-popular Ice Cream Social, which will take place in the adjacent Coffee Hour Area. The group will perform a selection of old-time favorites as convention-goers enjoy their frosty treats, which will be provided by Aon Recreation Insurance, C95, an FMCA Super Star sponsor.
At 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, settle back into your seats and enjoy the fantastic sound created by the Dave McKelvy Trio. This all-harmonica group performs innovative arrangements of a range of pop, jazz, blues, and country classics, such as “Stardust,” “St. Louis Blues,” “12th Street Rag,” and “Orange Blossom Special.”
Dave McKelvy is known for his imaginative solo techniques; Danny Wilson is the anchor for the group and is widely regarded as the best bass harmonica player in the world; and Michael Burton amazes audiences by playing the world’s largest (2 feet long) and smallest (1 inch long) harmonicas.
Be sure to take some time out of your busy days to relax and enjoy a laugh or song during the Pomona convention. You’ll be glad you did.