By Don Moore, F154921
By the time you read this, it will be time to get ready for the holidays, and the November committee meetings at the FMCA national office in Cincinnati will have concluded. But as I write this, it’s right around the end of autumn. And we’ve been traveling (again).
The first week of October, Darlene and I traveled to Wisconsin’s Door County to attend a rally celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Badger chapter. This chapter has 303 member families, according to FMCA’s current records, and it is the seventh-oldest chapter in FMCA.
There were 86 coaches in attendance at the anniversary rally. Chapter members have kept a very good record of their activities over the years in scrapbooks, with photos from all rallies, as well as meeting minutes. To date, 985 member families have belonged to the chapter at some point since its inception.
We really enjoyed the chapter’s hospitality, along with the fun, fellowship, and food. On Saturday night of the rally, they celebrated with a catered meal, along with anniversary cake and entertainment. Nelson K. Stubbs, F107765, Midwest Area vice president, spoke to the group and then introduced me. I had the privilege of presenting the chapter with their anniversary certificate and check.
In 2005 four FMCA chapters celebrated 40th anniversaries, and in 2006 three chapters reached the milestone. In 2007, three more chapters will reach 40 years. Each of these chapters shows the true spirit of FMCA. It takes many dedicated members willing to volunteer and continue a chapter for that long. I hope each one will continue the fun and fellowship for at least another 40 years.
Darlene has wanted to see Door County for several years. It is part of a limestone peninsula that juts 75 miles northeast into Lake Michigan. Geologically speaking, it’s part of the Niagara Escarpment, which supports the plunging waters of Niagara Falls. Door County Peninsula mixes scenic beauty with entertainment and fun, and is often referred to as the Cape Cod of the Midwest.
For a 75-mile-long county, it has plenty: five state parks, 10 lighthouses, and more than 300 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan, plus shopping, restaurants, tours, performing arts, and renowned galleries. We saw pumpkins and apples for fall celebrations. The leaf colors were beautiful as we drove along the peninsula. Of course, given the short time we were there, we couldn’t do everything there is to do.
Lighthouses are an important part of Door County’s colorful maritime history. Door County has 10 lighthouses, more than any other county along the Great Lakes. Visitors can tour three lighthouses between May and October. They are open to the public for a fee, to see how lighthouse keepers and their families lived and tended to lights for guiding ships. The other lighthouses may be seen from the shore or via boat.
We did find time to stop at several restaurants. One day on our drive up the peninsula, with Nelson K. Stubbs, and his wife, Janet, we stopped for lunch in Sisters Bay (one of the busiest villages) at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, where goats graze on the roof during warm weather.
Almost every restaurant up there advertises a fish boil on Friday evening. Fish boils began as an economical way to feed hungry groups of lumberjacks and fishermen. It all starts with a hot wood fire under a kettle of salted water. When the temperature is just right, the boil master adds a porous steel basket filled with small potatoes and onions to the kettle. A few minutes later, another basket with the fresh whitefish steaks is added and the water is brought back to a boil. At just the right moment, a dose of kerosene is tossed onto the fire, making it hotter and causing the water to boil over the kettle’s sides. This has two benefits “” it douses the flames and it carries off the fish oil that has collected on the surface.
With the use of a metal pole, the baskets are lifted from the kettle, drained, and then the food is served up with a generous drizzling of butter. Even people who say they don’t like fish have been known to change their minds after having this meal.
I wished we could have spent more time there, but we left Door County early on October 8 to begin a fast journey to Casa Grande, Arizona, for the Rocky Mountain Area Rally, better known as the Rocky Mountain Ramble.
It was nice and warm in Casa Grande, with just a few drops of rain to remind us we were at an FMCA function. On Wednesday there was a really nice “red hat” luncheon attended by a large group of women. Next was the chapter showcase, which introduced folks to chapters in the Rocky Mountain Area. Opening ceremonies were on Wednesday night, followed by entertainment from The Keepsakes, who played music of the 1950s and 1960s.
On Thursday the educational seminars began, along with crafts, a pet parade, and an ice cream social. Entertainment Thursday evening was provided by Jerry Lane and Company, a comic ventriloquist who was accompanied by a variety of funny and loveable characters. Friday we had a nice style show, with male and female models in Western clothing, golf attire, and FMCA-logo clothing. On Friday night The Swingtips performed their pop vocal music. Saturday night, Mike and T Band, a group of musicians and singers, entertained us.
The Frustrated Maestros provided wake-up tunes for everyone each morning from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. as we gathered for breakfast.
The attendance figures were up this year for the Rocky Mountain Ramble, with 578 coaches overall, including 454 family coaches, 74 display coaches, 18 demo coaches, and 32 live-in vendors in attendance. Rocky Mountain Area vice president Duane Pindell, F105443, and his wife, Rosalie, and all of the many Rocky Mountain Motorcoach Association volunteers did a great job. On behalf of the Executive Board members who attended the rally, I say thanks for the hospitality shown to us.
We left Casa Grande on Sunday morning and traveled to Tucson to attend the “After the Ramble “” Rally On” at Beaudry RV Resort, C902, October 15 through 18. It was a special offer for Rocky Mountain Ramblers. For only $99, we received a three-night stay; a welcome reception; and two lunches, two dinners, a dessert party, entertainment, prizes, and one hour of free coach service. Approximately 140 coaches from the Rocky Mountain Ramble attended.
I hope you also had good travels this year in your motorhome.
As we close out 2006 and look forward to 2007, Darlene and I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year.
January 2007 Magazine Delivery
The January 2007 membership directory issue of Family Motor Coaching will be dropped into the postal system just a couple of days prior to the Christmas holiday. Because of post office closures for the holidays; the fact that mail volume in general is heavy at this time of year; and the fact that the January issue weighs more than most magazines, it may take a little longer for the magazine to reach some of you than your regular monthly issue of FMC. So, we ask that you please allow some extra time for the issue to arrive before contacting the FMCA national office to report that your copy is missing. Also, please keep in mind that the January issue incorporates the annual family membership directory and the “Business Directory” of commercial members, in addition to the January edition of the magazine.
FMCA National Office Holiday Observances
The FMCA national office will be closed in observance of the following holidays:
Christmas: Monday, December 25; Tuesday, December 26
New Year’s: Friday, December 29; Monday, January 1