Family & Friends
By Carol Drees, F302326
Nashville, Tennessee, home of the Grand Ole Opry, was the destination for the Tri-State Traveliers’ fall rally, October 13 through 16, 2005. Forty-three coaches made the trip on one of the most beautiful weekends, weather-wise, of the fall season.
Our home base was the Nashville KOA, which is close to many of the attractions in the area. Many members arrived early in the week to take in Opryland shows and sites that were not part of the rally. Some members even arrived the weekend before, staying at Seven Points Campground, an Army Corps of Engineers park on J. Percy Priest Lake.
Friday saw our first scheduled activity “” a cruise on the General Jackson Showboat, the largest of its kind in the world. Onboard, we had a delicious luncheon buffet and enjoyed an uproarious comedy show featuring Tim Watson. His country music playing was amazing also.
On Saturday morning we took a bus tour of Nashville, seeing sites such as Bicentennial Park, which contains a 200-foot granite map of Tennessee, and Centennial Park, which features the world’s only full-scale replica of the famous Greek temple, the Parthenon. Also included in the tour was admission to Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. According to information from the auditorium, “Experts say the Ryman’s acoustics are second only to the Mormon Tabernacle, surpassing even Carnegie Hall.” Various types of musical productions are still staged there. The last stop on our tour was a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame, a true country music lover’s delight.
Delicious food for our Friday evening meal was served at Cock of the Walk Restaurant right next door to our campground.
Then we were off by bus to the Grand Ole Opry’s 80th Birthday Celebration. The show began at 6:30 p.m., and the portion from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. was broadcast live on the Great American Country (GAC) cable TV network. This segment included a large birthday cake and the unveiling of a bronze statue of Minnie Pearl that was to be sent to her hometown in Centerville, Tennessee. Among the performers that night were Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Bill Anderson, Diamond Rio, Porter Wagoner, Little Jimmy Dickens, and newcomer Josh Turner, who has a tremendous voice and the looks to appeal to many young women. It was a thoroughly delightful show.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend. The trip home on Sunday turned out to be a little cumbersome, as many members encountered long “” 2½ hours or more “” delays due to several accidents on the highways. Fortunately, none of our members were involved.
But, good news. According to our president, George Hadesty, F256532, we may have added some new members “who said they liked our chapter” after getting acquainted with us during the rally. A lot of the credit for this goes to our incredible wagon master, Chuck “Bubba” Bracken, F242764.
National United Travelers Anticipate 10th Anniversary
By Barb Higgins, F203761
The National United Travelers (NUTS) is an FMCA chapter that was formed for owners of National RV motorhomes. This year the chapter will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Since the NUTS are part of FMCA’s International Area, folks from anywhere can join; however, we hold the majority of our rallies in Florida during the winter months.
Almost from the beginning, the NUTS made every effort to live up to their nickname, and our get-togethers are much different from traditional rallies. In many groups, finding volunteers can be more difficult than the tasks they are asked to perform, but that’s not the case with this NUTTY club. The goal is to laugh and have fun, which new members find to be contagious. People are not embarrassed to play cupid and dance around tossing after-dinner mints while wearing an outfit complete with bow and arrow. Men proudly participate in fashion shows wearing silly outfits, or jump out of an Easter basket dressed as Peter Rabbit, handing out eggs and gathering ear-and-tail-clad participants to do the bunny hop. We’ve revived the TV show “Laugh-In,” and our inventive Halloween costumes have rivaled those worn by revelers at Mardi Gras.
The NUTS are lucky to have several talented musicians as members who help get the evenings started. Participation in the chapter makes for a close-knit group with many charter members still active. At most rallies, we enjoy our weekend of activities, especially when we don’t have to cook!
Some of our NUTTY activities include horseshoes, golf, flea markets “” a good reason to clean out the RV “” boat rides, dinner theater, catered meals, and professional entertainment ranging from bands and DJs to comedians. The group loves to dance, take chances on split-the-pot, and award door prizes. In fact, it’s often been said that the rallies aren’t long enough for folks to catch up with everyone.
At present, the NUTS have 202 family members who find it beneficial to share the common interest of being a National RV owner. This affords us time to discuss problems and solutions. National RV sends technicians to assist at rallies and supports us as an FMCA chapter. National RV was instrumental in getting the chapter off the ground and has helped to make it the success that it is today.
For our 10th anniversary, all former members “” with or without a coach “” are invited to be part of the chapter’s greatest celebration, April 6, 7, 8, and 9, 2006, at Lazydays RV RallyPark in Seffner, Florida. We also invite all new and current members, of course!
So, in a nutshell, if you have a National RV coach, $10 for dues, and are eager to have a good time, contact chapter secretary Les Stiles, F309176, at [email protected]; or write to National United Travelers, 218-A E. Eau Gallie Blvd. #74, Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937. Information about the NUTS, including upcoming rallies, and membership application and rally registration forms, can be found at www.rvnuts.com.
Then you, too, can enjoy it when somebody comes up and asks, “Are you NUTS?”