By Denise Brignac, F192490
The Texas Outlaws chapter was chartered on January 24, 1976, and was formed to have approximately half of its membership from Texas and half from Louisiana. Our rallies are most often held at locations within those two states.
The fun typically begins on Thursday as we have either a potluck or we go out to dinner. Fridays are for scheduled activities, or just card-playing and socializing. The day always begins with a big breakfast and ends with a catered meal in the evening. Sometimes several members will cook the meal, which is always a treat. Our chapter is famous for its great cooks. Saturday begins with breakfast followed by a business meeting and then another catered meal that night.
We meet in February, March, April, May, September, October, and November. Upcoming rallies are scheduled for Woodlands, Texas, in October, and Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, in November. The chapter is a strong supporter of the South Central Area (Six-State) Rally, which takes place in September of this year. We were a host chapter for the 2004 South Central Area rally in Gonzales, Louisiana.
This past February 2 through 5, we held a rally in Rayne, Louisiana, to commemorate our 30th anniversary. We called it the “Reasons to Celebrate” rally, because we had Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and the most important reason of all “” our 30th anniversary “” to remember. Seventy members in 35 coaches were on hand including approximately 10 of the original charter members.
On Friday of the rally we enjoyed an outing to a crawfish farm/John Deere Toy museum. The owner prepared a delicious chicken and sausage gumbo and then gave us a tour of his crawfish ponds. The toy museum has hundreds of John Deere toys from all over the United States. A great time was had by all. On Saturday the business meeting was highlighted by a visit from Tony Innocenti, F56315, vice president, South Central Area, who presented the chapter with a 30th anniversary certificate and a check from FMCA. The members were later treated to a special anniversary cake.
Over the years we’ve had many memorable outings. For example, in Natchez, Mississippi, during a balloon festival, balloons were located right on the banks of the Mississippi River at the campground where we were parked. At night they fired up the balloons right outside our motorhomes, which made a beautiful sight. It was up close and very exciting.
During a rally in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in May 2005, we took a sailboat cruise out into the Gulf. It was wonderful, but Hurricane Rita took most of the town away a few months later.
Last year at a rally in Branson, Missouri, we made omelettes in a bag for breakfast. Each of us put two eggs and all the trimmings we wanted in a resealable bag; dropped it in boiling water, and in a few minutes, we each had a cooked omelette. It was delicious and so much fun to watch. Another great outing was in San Antonio, Texas, to see the holiday lights in late November.
Our chapter has a total of approximately 70 member families. Dudley Romero, F290196, our chapter president said, “We have such a great group. Everyone is close to each other and we feel like family.”
Regarding our chapter’s longevity, he said that it’s most likely due to a couple of factors. “When I first joined this group, the thing that attracted me was that it was a small group but very close-knit people. People with very diversified backgrounds. I think this has helped our club survive, because we are family and we all are different, and this makes for an interesting group. Also, the role of women in our group is one key to success. We have always had women in key organizational roles such as president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. They also play a key role in the social activities. This is very important in the longevity of our group.”
New members are always welcome. Dues are $25 per year. For more information about the Texas Outlaws chapter, contact FMCA’s Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622.