Family & Friends
December 28, 1922 “” August 21, 2006
Former Western Area vice president George Rogers, F103097, passed away on August 21, 2006, at the age of 83 after a lengthy battle with cancer and heart disease. He died peacefully at his home at the Anaheim Hills Club in Anaheim Hills, California, with his wife of 65 years, Ann, and his family by his side.
The Rogerses began motorhoming in 1978, but didn’t discover FMCA until 1988 when George picked up a copy of Family Motor Coaching magazine at his doctor’s office. Once they became members, it didn’t take long for the couple to become fully involved in the organization. They joined numerous chapters and George became president of the California chapter in 1993. Shortly thereafter he was elected national vice president, Western Area, from 1993 to 1996. He also served on the Membership/Member Services Committee (1993-1996) and the Information Systems Committee (1993-1995). He was part of the President’s Council (1997-1998) and served on the Constitution and Bylaws Committee (1998-1999). Although George’s health limited his activity in recent years, the couple continued to participate in FMCA functions, traveling to as many rallies as his condition would allow.
George was born December 28, 1922, in Pennsylvania, but his family moved to Endicott, New York, when he was a child. It was there that he met his future wife, Ann James, in high school. After serving a three-year stint in the Navy during World War II, George returned home to marry Ann and take a job with IBM in 1942. He was transferred to Pasadena, California, in the early 1950s. Although George was reassigned to several other locations during his career with IBM, most were in the Los Angeles area. He eventually became branch manager responsible for all of IBM’s general systems hardware and software maintenance in Southern California.
George retired from the company in 1982 and started his own computer consulting business, working as a computer specialist for a number of organizations. He is credited with developing the first computer system used by the Long Beach Grand Prix and also designed a computer system for the 1984 Olympics Trials in Los Angeles.
“George lived life to the fullest extent,” Ann said. “He got really involved in FMCA and loved the organization. Everything he did, he threw himself into it. That’s one of the reasons he was a good manager. He was a fair and honest man and everybody who knew him loved him.”
In addition to Ann, George is survived by four children “” Eileen Swingle and her husband, Stanley; Barbara D’Arc and her husband, Thornton (Tad); Thomas and his wife, Cathy; and John. Another daughter, Georgianna, preceded him in death. He also is survived by 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held August 25 at Placentia United Methodist Church in Placentia, California. Donations in George’s name can be made to the American Heart Association or the Good Shepherd Fund at Placentia United Methodist Church, 2050 N. Valencia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870-2040.
Tarheel State Chapters Gather For Rally
By Gaye Young, F284657
Nestled in the North Carolina foothills between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean is the city of Charlotte. Just north of there lies Concord, home to Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the Fleetwood RV Park, site of the first NC State Chapters Rally, held June 1 through 4, 2006. The rally, which was organized for North Carolina-based chapters and non-chapter members of the Tarheel State, drew 86 coaches.
Rally host Alice Tew, F152425, along with Sue Haught, F82522, and games and entertainment chairman Gaye Young, F284657, greeted those arriving on Thursday, June 1, with goody bags and offers of speedway track tours; personal consultations with a Caterpillar representative; free weekends at Thousand Trails; Gonzo Golf; and Polish Poker.
On Thursday afternoon, members of the Coastal Tarheels chapter grilled hot dogs and served them with all the trimmings. Otho Tew, Southern Region vice president of the Eastern Area Motorhome Association, greeted everyone during opening ceremonies. After the Pledge of Allegiance, he introduced Eastern Area national vice president Judy Czarsty, F79148, along with all of the presidents of chapters in attendance. Otho drew attendees’ names for prizes and encouraged everyone to become acquainted. Several non-chapter FMCA members chatted with chapter members, receiving information about their individual groups. The warm, sunny evening had members strolling around the campground, some with their pets, greeting old friends and meeting new ones. Banjo and guitar music serenaded us into the evening.
The aroma of coffee in the air had us scampering to dress for breakfast on Friday morning, which was prepared by Larry Howard and Sharon Rice, F164427; Frank Benton and Frances Garner, F258873; and other members of the Coastal Tarheels.
Gary Miner, F276045, of the Coastal Tarheels, presented a seminar for those with hearing and speech impairments. He began his presentation by telling a story for which he asked for nine female volunteers, giving each of them a decorative wooden box with “taters” inside. The story had everyone laughing as he maneuvered through the tall tales, stating which type of “tater” each person was “” “adgitater,” “sweet tater,” etc.
Afterward, Mac Morris, F294506, of the Blue Ridge Pioneers chapter, had several attendees hitting a split tennis ball with a golf club into a hula hoop with a flag marking the spot. The game, called Gonzo Golf, had a few winners, who received prizes later in the evening.
Gregory Poole Equipment Company, an authorized Caterpillar dealer, was a rally sponsor and sent three engine technicians “” Mike Howell, Walt Brandenburg, and Kelby Rouse “” to download information and diagnostics from diesel engines of those attendees with Caterpillar-powered motorhomes. The engines’ serial numbers were recorded to ensure they were included in Caterpillar’s system.
Tom Johnson Camping Center, C6230, another rally sponsor, provided a lunch of chicken wings, chips, cookies, and drinks on the front porch of its facility, located next door to the Fleetwood RV Park. As we licked hot sauce from our fingers, we enjoyed country music provided by a local radio station, which also gave out music CDs. Many of us viewed the new and preowned motor coaches as we walked back to the campground. A short rain shower didn’t keep us from the next seminar, hosted by Tom Johnson, which provided information about troubleshooting and maintaining RV products.
Next, Mike Howell of Gregory Poole Equipment Company spoke about what to expect of upcoming emissions regulations and described the system that Caterpillar has developed. Another drawing was held for Caterpillar logo hats, license tags, stuffed bears and dogs, insulated beverage can holders, and the grand prize, a cooler on wheels.
The storm that had threatened throughout the afternoon sent only wind rushing through the pavilion, but no significant rain.
The warm, sunny evening provided a perfect setting for an hors d’oeuvres dinner, coordinated by the Blue Ridge Pioneers. Judy Czarsty held an open forum, answering many questions about the FMCA international convention that was scheduled for August at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Leon and Jennifer Smith, F334134, with Howard and Glenda Craig, F128003, of the Coastal Tarheels hosted homemade ice cream each evening.
A cooler, gloomy Saturday morning greeted us as we made our way to the pavilion for breakfast, provided by the Traveling Tarheels chapter. Willie Nelson “” really Jerry Young, F284657, of the Coastal Tarheels “” made a grand appearance to give folks an idea of what they could expect during the evening entertainment. Sharon Rice provided colorful balloons to all who wished to send a message to a loved one(s) in heaven. An array of color lifted heartfelt messages to the sky. Afterward, different chapters held meetings in the pavilion.
Tours of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, arranged by Jim Mabrey, F268762, of the Coastal Tarheels, gave participants the thrill of traveling 100 mph on the banked turns of the track. The tour guide provided the history of the track and other parts of the facility. Attendees had an opportunity to have their picture taken in the winner’s circle and speedway entrance, photographs they surely will treasure.
Ben Bryer, F298847, president of the Carolina Ramblers chapter, led many in an afternoon game of Polish Poker. The idea of this game is to switch cards with your neighbor so you do not have the lowest card. When players lost all of their coins, they were booted out. Prizes for the winners were awarded later that evening.
A barbecue chicken and pork dinner with all the fixings, provided by Gregory Poole Equipment Company and Tom Johnson Camping Center and served by the Carolina Ramblers, was a feast for Southern kings and queens. With tummies full, we prepared for the evening’s entertainment.
Nick Paul, F307260, president of the Coastal Tarheels, was the emcee for this event. The fun began with Charlie and Ginny McPherren, F150922, who performed a musical routine of Charlie wearing the pants and Ginny telling him which pair to wear. Next came a skit that involved a mother (Gaye Young) of three young “boys” (Steve and Judy Czarsty, Otho and Alice Tew, and Ben and Mary Bryer) who was trying to get them ready for school in the morning. Each “boy” was actually the head of the husband and the arms of the wife, who was standing behind her husband shielded by a curtain. As cereal missed their mouths and flew on the floor, the audience roared with laughter. But when a banana peel was thrown and landed on Steve’s head, the tears exploded! As the “boys” wrestled with brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and putting on their hats, they transformed into little “darlings” as they said good-bye and blew everyone a kiss.
Next, Ormond Williams, F277371, of the Carolina Cardinals chapter serenaded us with some gospel music; Nancy Barkalow, F293561, of the Coastal Tarheels provided jokes in a comedy act; and Elvis (Jerry Young) made an appearance to sing “Jailhouse Rock.” Maxine versus Martha Stewart (Ann Paul and Sharon Rice) had us in stitches as they portrayed their characters.
In between acts, emcee Nick Paul invited different folks up to tell jokes and one-liners. Price and Nancy Yates, F181351, non-chapter members, played their guitars and sang. Going back in time to the 1960s, Diana Ross (Gaye Young) and the Supremes (Nancy Barkalow and Carol Duke, F376461) performed “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Stop In the Name of Love,” which had the audience snapping their fingers and bouncing to the music. Another act from the ’60s, Sonny & Cher (Bill and Dolores Neumann, F353495, of the Coastal Tarheels) had the audience swaying to “I’ve Got You, Babe.” Michael “Boone” Bodner, F282591, followed with some comedy. The grand finale consisted of Willie Nelson (Brown Hendrix, F171201, of the Coastal Tarheels) strolling onto the stage along with the other entertainment participants who joined him in a rendition of “On the Road Again.”
To finish the evening, Otho drew numbers for some fabulous prizes, including a $200 grill, lawn chairs, mats, and more. Following the entertainment, many groups assembled at different coaches to enjoy the cool evening.
A chilly Sunday morning caused many folks to pull jackets from their closet before heading to breakfast, hosted by the Carolina Cardinals. Devotion of Scripture and song was delivered by Lawrence and Carol Lee, F153789, from the Coaches For Christ Eastern chapter, while guest Sandy Winkler provided special music.
Once the rally was over, folks left with new friendships, fun memories, and, for many non-chapter attendees, a new chapter home. We all were thankful for the opportunity to come together and experience our first state rally.
Who Needs A Limo When You Have A Motorhome?
By Winfield “Butch” Martin, F372073
During a stopover in Lewes, Delaware, last spring to visit my sister and her family, my wife, Janis, and I had parked our 2002 Monaco Windsor on a site next to my parents’ house. During our stay we found ourselves in a somewhat unusual situation.
My nephew, Ross, was in the graduating class of Cape Henlopen High School and with all the last-minute cramming, reports, and rehearsals, he waited too long to rent a limousine for the school prom. He was feeling pretty disappointed while sitting outside our coach trying to figure out how he would escort his date to this fabulous event without looking bad. Suddenly, he had a brilliant idea: how about if Uncle Butch took them in the RV?
Naturally, I said sure, thinking this would probably be the first time kids in this town had ever gone to the prom in a motorhome. The passenger list started out with just Ross and his date, but when word spread as to what Ross was doing, a half-dozen more students were added to the list.
The big night came and we drove to the house where the group had gathered to pick up these young men and women dressed in gorgeous attire. When we pulled up and the students “” along with their parents “” started piling out of the house to see this odd mode of transportation, I knew we were in trouble. Fourteen classmates had shown up for the 12-mile trip from Lewes to Rehoboth Beach. Luckily, we managed to seat everyone. The trip was truly an experience.
When we pulled up in front of the convention center and the kids started to pile out of the motorhome, students and teachers standing nearby stared in disbelief at the huge vehicle. Ross (far left in photo) was heard saying as he left the coach, “This will go down in history; it’s a night we’ll never forget.”