Family & Friends
September 4, 1928 “” July 21, 2006
Former Western Area vice president Bill Walker, F56746, passed away on July 21, 2006, at the age of 77 after a lengthy battle with lung disease. Bill died in Billings, Montana, while traveling with his wife, Kay. Bill and Kay were married for 56 years.
The Walkers joined FMCA in 1987. Bill served as national vice president, Western Area, from 1999 to 2002. He also served as a member of the Convention and Rally Committee (1999-2000 and 2001-2002), Finance Committee (2000-2002), and Membership/Member Services Committee (1999-2001). In addition, Bill served as a member of the 2004-2005 Nominating Committee. He and Kay were current members of the Magazine Panel. Prior to being elected as national vice president, Western Area, Bill served the area as its treasurer from 1997 to 1999.
Bill was born in Hackett, Arkansas, on September 4, 1928, and moved with his family to California in 1948. He was a longtime resident of Granada Hills, California, but moved to Agua Dulce in 1989, and at the time of his death was residing in Saugus.
Bill joined the United States Army in 1950 and served with the 40th Infantry Division, field artillery. He was stationed in Korea and Japan and was honorably discharged in 1952. Afterward he started working for Carter Fence Company, purchasing the company in 1963. Before his retirement from the construction industry, Bill was very active in the California Chapter of the American Fence Association and, among other things, served as its president.
Bill loved to travel in his motorhome, and over the years he and Kay crisscrossed the United States many times, including five summers when they traveled with all five of their grandchildren. Even though his illness slowed him down, Bill never stopped traveling and enjoying life to the fullest. He has been described as a man who was honest and fair and true to his word. Bill loved his family and always felt best when they were around.
In addition to Kay, Bill is survived by his two daughters “” Lori Farrar and her husband, Vic, and Linda McCulley and her husband, Jim. He also is survived by his five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Services were held on July 31 at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, California.
SENAT’S RV Club Spring Rally
By Ann Hoffmann, F251805
Our SENAT’S RV Club met at the Grand Lake RV & Golf Resort in Orange Lake, Florida, April 6 through 9, 2006. We had 16 coaches with 33 members and four guests present.
Our chapter consists of FMCA members from the southeastern United States who own National RV motorhomes “” that’s what “SENAT” represents.
On April 6 we arrived and got set up. At 6:00 p.m., we had our usual potluck dinner. Ham was provided by the chapter, and our great cooks in the group supplied the rest, such as green beans, potato salads, broccoli salad, deviled eggs, pea salad, scalloped corn, and lots of desserts. We had our 50/50 drawing that night, and Howard and Carol Schiffhauer, F319887, won $41. After dinner, the ladies played dominoes and the men played poker.
On Friday we were treated to a breakfast of eggs to order, bacon, grits, fresh fruit, toast, juices, and coffee. At 10:00 a.m., our new chapter president, Ken Williams, F264876, held his first business meeting and did a great job. One of the first orders of business was that Ken presented a plaque to Jack Bunting, F204922, outgoing president of the SENAT’S. Jack never had a gavel. He always used his pocketknife to call the business meetings to order. So, Ken made sure that Jack’s plaque had a gavel on it so that Jack will always have a gavel to start any meetings that he is in charge of from now on.
After presenting Jack with his plaque, Ken had Pat Cacciatore, F175652, our new secretary/treasurer, present outgoing secretary/treasurer Shirley Bunting with a plaque to thank her for her four years of service to the SENAT’S RV Club. Jack and Shirley were both such wonderful officers that we took up a collection of $10 per coach and put it in a card with our thanks. With that, we said good-bye to these outgoing officers and started looking forward to the next couple of years with Ken and Pat.
After the breakfast we’d just had, nobody wanted lunch, so we just gathered and socialized.
Social hour was from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., followed by a truly Mexican dinner cooked by our own Carolle Williams, F264876; Carol Baldwin, F364172; and Bernice Cogburn, F190702. They served up enchiladas, tacos, Spanish rice, refried beans, and dessert. And thanks to Carol Reilly, F351257, we had plenty of decorations to add to the Mexican fiesta. Ken set up a bar and served us margaritas, with or without alcohol. What a festive occasion!
After dinner, Fred Latulip, F249796, set up a domino tournament. We had two tables of ladies playing. The winner was Shirley Bunting, followed by Ann Hoffmann in second place. The awards were presented on Saturday evening after dinner.
On Saturday we enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, fruit, coffee, and juices. Breakfast was followed by a flower-making craft class hosted by Carol Schiffhauer. We made beautiful flowers from wire and knee-high stockings. We were all amazed at how they turned out.
At 5:00 p.m. social hour began, followed by a dinner of scrumptious steaks, baked potatoes, green beans, salad, and dessert. Those steaks were out of this world. Later, the ladies stayed and played dominoes, and the men played poker.
On Sunday we had a continental breakfast and then said our good-byes. We planned to meet again in September at Blueberry Hill RV Resort in Bushnell, Florida.
The Smile’s The Fix In 2006
By Don Graham, F181499
And indeed the smile was the fix! The Great Lakes Area Spring Spree, popularly known as the G.L.A.S.S. Rally, was a happy hoot right from the get-go with more than 2,000 attendees enjoying the summer-like weather and the camaraderie. Everywhere, the smiling “Happy Face” theme followed the milling motorhome owners, bringing a bright and humorous mind-set to every activity. Rally masters Dave and Penny Hough, F246114, administered one of the most enjoyable rallies we have ever attended.
The 2006 Spring Spree was held, as usual, in the bucolic setting of Berrien Springs, Michigan, with its rolling farmland and deep green woods. And, as usual, it took place over Memorial Day weekend; this year’s dates were May 25-29. We were met by the smiling welcome team, led by Larry and Peg Schroeder, F177103, and Wanda and Jim Riemersma, F211043.
There were 1,001 coaches parked on spacious, lawn-grass sites, provided with 30-amp electricity and trolley-ride access to the main buildings. The courteous and efficient parking crew was led by Ed Byberneit, F98411, and Bud Kohn, F174021.
Having set up, it was off to registration to pick up the rally program, rally pin, and gift of a bright yellow parasol “” or umbrella, if you prefer. Registration was efficiently managed by Gary and Pat Graves, F267596, and Max and Gloria Sutton, F205618, and their team of volunteers. The rally program was written and published by George Abbott, F214693. The information booth was manned by Merlyn Martin, F35517, and her knowledgeable helpers.
For many, the first order of the day was the Coaches for Christ meeting held early every morning and led by Jerry Wessel, F179742.
As soon as the exhibit buildings opened, many rushed to see what was new and available. We have to thank Stan and Nancy Newton, F289492, and Cal and Doris Courtney, F158229, for their efforts in bringing the nice variety of vendors to the show this year. We noticed Bill Trefry, F84845, out there with his big tractor helping vendors set up.
When lunchtime rolled around, if you didn’t wish to cook in your own coach, there were food concessions serving huge hamburgers, pizzas, Philly steak sandwiches, curly fried potatoes, onion rings, hot dogs, elephant ears, ice cream, and all that other good stuff. At this point, we put our healthful diet in abeyance and tucked into some of the best-tasting viands this side of Coney Island. The food concessions were in the scope of Cal and Doris Courtney.
After lunch we just had to see those shiny new coaches lined up for our inspection. The commercial coaches were brought in by Doug and Sandi Nie, F170279, who asked dealers to show a representation of types to fit every budget.
During the daytime, line dancing and square dancing were taught, and old-fashioned slow dancing encouraged. Howard Cowles, L18517, is the longtime master of the rally square dance. He has been a member of FMCA for 30 years and has been calling dances for more than 40 years. He has called for every G.L.A.S.S. Rally for 29 years!
At dinnertime we headed for the dining hall. Despite the long queue, in no time we were in the door, armed with a segmented plate, and heading for the food servers. It’s always amazing that they can feed so many hundreds of people so speedily. And the meals were really good: roast chicken and turkey, barbecue pork, steaks, roast potatoes, dessert “” and we didn’t have to do the dishes! Thanks go to Marv and Marilyn Hills, F174041, and Cal and Doris Courtney.
Every night the dining hall monitor positions were filled by members of different Great Lakes Area chapters: GMC Great Lakers “” Ed and Judy Dohm, F188289; Hoosier Cruisers “” Rosanne Gardner, F107625; Midwest Coachmen “” Bud and Wanda Trash, F23758; National Great Lakers “” Jan and Ernie Eller, F248238; Ohio Nomads “” Ray Goodrich, F126890, and Francis Sherman, F120117; Ontario Overlanders “” Don Crawford, F11012; Ontario Rovers “” Marleen Langdon, F120108; PALS “” Jerry Sigler, F257933; Tri-State Traveliers “” Dick and Joan Flanery, F203153.
We must tell you who set up all those tables and chairs; who laid hundreds of yards of plastic tablecloth over hundreds of tables and set up more hundreds of chairs, and then created unique “Picket Fence Squares” to hold real-flower centerpieces with happy-face windmills. This production was designed and executed by Geri Taylor, F16477; Marie Garant, F49721; Joyce Miller, F79085; Rita Shantry, F248284; and Jackie Trefry, F84845, who also acted as greeters at mealtime.
The job of organizing and dispensing the great numbers of golf carts required for personnel transport was undertaken by Dan Taylor, F16477. Jan Abbott, F214693, was asked to oversee the six-seater carts used to ferry people around the grounds. Using carts to patrol the grounds was also essential to the grounds security team supervised by Doug and Judy Van Tuinen, F222441.
We like to read. We have a lot of old paperbacks and novels we’re finished with. Well, we brought them to the Book Swap run by Judy Kohn, F174021, and her gang of eager page-turners and found any number of whodunits by our favorite authors.
Those who brought their golf clubs were able to sign up for the Tournament at the Hampton Golf Club or the “50-Foot Putt for Cash,” directed by Bill Schueller, F85235. It was disappointing to watch some of those fine golfers miss the hole by mere millimeters or, worse, have their ball skirt the diameter of the hole and not fall in.
Every day there were drawings for prizes contributed by vendors and displayed on a board set up by Wanda Hogle, F30660.
Did you see the clowns giving out kisses to those in the ice cream line? The kisses were the chocolate kind, but there were only three clowns this year: “Bluebird” (Twyla Grovom, F117484), “Dotty” (Joyce Agle, F98757), and “Flakey” (Henry Gartner, F197563), with his white bunnies and a following of little kids.
There were two ice cream socials on separate days. Those tasty ice cream treats were very welcome on those steaming hot afternoons. A whole brick, too!
The female rally-goers looked forward to the “Style Show” founded at G.L.A.S.S. years ago by Marguerite Boyce, F59326, and conducted now by her successor, Connie Wilson, F277172. Here we saw a swirling variety of chic new female fashions together with the latest accessories modeled by attractive members from FMCA chapters.
Gals who owned a red hat and a purple frock were invited to dress up and join the red hat ladies for their annual rally get-together, led by Judy Kohn. We heard the affair was a colorful success.
The highlight of the Spring Spree was the grandstand show on the last three evenings. How do they find such spectacular entertainment? The selection of talent, discovered and arranged by Dave and Penny Hough, was without equal in our estimation. We listened to and applauded the “Rivoli Revue,” staged by Ron and Kay Rivoli, who presented a lilting infusion of popular songs. Kay Rivoli also sang and spoke to the many who gathered for the Sunday morning devotional service.
On another evening we were regaled by the foot-stomping melodies of the Fox Brothers, who presented us with a satisfying mixture of bouncy country and gospel pieces.
Sunday evening brought us the New Odyssey, a spectacular group of zany musicians and a stage full of musical instruments. For more than an hour this over-talented group played every instrument known to mankind, except maybe the Wurlitzer pipe organ. There were keyboards, melodeons, banjos, guitars, cornets, trumpets, saxophones, trombones, electronic percussion, and even a harmonica, all played by each and every member of the band.
After each evening performance, the 50/50 drawings were held under the watchful eye of Sandy Byberneit, F98411. A dozen or more envelopes, each containing amounts as large as $1,000, were distributed.
Did you take note of how delightfully the stage was decorated with picket fences, floral arrangements, birdhouses, strings of sparkling lights, and smiling happy faces? All were artfully arranged and maintained for different performances by stage managers Jerry and Jean Wessel, F179742. Jerry also took memorable pictures of grandstand performances. Don Graham, F181499, photographed the antics and smiling faces of many enjoying the grounds and strolling through the buildings.
The Memorial Day observances began with a parade led by the marching bands of the Berrien Springs High School and Middle School, followed by golf carts and flag-bearing crowds of rally attendees. The ceremonies were guided this year by Mark and Kathy Monismith, F328464, and Doug and Judy Van Tuinen. The Stars and Stripes were raised then lowered to half staff at the flagpole by Genny Luckey, L26, after which the Last Post was heard from distant bugles. Very moving.
Everybody seemed to have had an enjoyable time and, despite the rising cost of fuel, most are planning to return in 2007 for the 30th version of the Great Lakes Area Spring Spree, when the theme will be Hawaiian. So gather your Aloha shirts and your grass skirts and prepare for the fun and frivolity. It’s Hawaiian Heaven in 2007!