Family & Friends
By Ben Bryer, F298847
Each December, members of the Carolina Ramblers chapter meet for a Christmas party and to share our good fortune with others. This year 43 chapter members attended our outing, which was held December 2, 2006, at the Yancey Village Restaurant in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Once again it was a fun-filled outing and members were very generous to those who need our help.
Our wagon masters for this gathering were Richard and Jenny Goodson, F318878. They made all the arrangements with the management of the Yancey Village for a wonderful day.
The party began as we chose from among four or five home-style entrees offered for lunch on that day. Many of us selected the barbecue meal, which was delicious. The wait staff then offered a selection of four different desserts.
While we waited for our meals to be prepared, one of the owners gave us a brief history lesson about the Bartlett Yancey House. Apparently there are two ghosts living in the house, which was built in 1806 by North Carolina congressman Bartlett Yancey. Later the house was enlarged by Tom Day, a local cabinetmaker well-known for his carpentry work in the early 1800s. Day, an African-American, was one of the individuals responsible for starting the North Carolina furniture industry. He owned and operated a factory where both whites and blacks were employed.
When the addition was made to the Yancey house, the porch, which had a slope of 10 degrees, was kept the same. It became the hallway connecting the new addition to the old house. When walking from one to the other, you immediately notice the sloping hallway.
If you are in North Carolina and want to experience some wonderful history “”’ and great food — I highly recommend that you visit the Yancey Village. For more information visit www.yanceyvillage.com.
So what do the Carolina Ramblers do to help others who may be less fortunate? Good question.
Each year we ask members to bring three items to our Christmas party rally. They include food for a local food pantry to help the homeless and those in need; food for cats and dogs in animal shelters; and a toy for the Toys for Tots program. The Carolina Ramblers have done this every year since the chapter formed four years ago. This year we collected so many donated items that it took several pickup trucks to deliver them all. They included two brand-new bikes — one for a boy, the other for a girl “” with riding helmets, donated by Phillip and Linda Hayes, F333413.
Besides the food and toys, we also received generous monetary donations from two families this year. Bob and JoAnn Hahn, F286569, made $500 donations to both the food pantry and the animal shelter. Eddie and Barbara Talley, F378197, donated $500 to the food pantry. A big thank-you goes out to them.
After lunch we held a “Dirty Santa” gift exchange. Here’s how it works: Each person brings an inexpensive or fun gift wrapped in paper, and sets it under the tree. Some of the gifts are very nice, such as a bottle of fine wine, while others aren’t worth much, such as a small used candle that will not last more than five minutes when it is lit. To play, each participant reaches into a hat and selects a number to determine the order of choosing a gift. After a gift is opened, the next person can choose to select an unwrapped gift or “steal” a previously opened gift; however, a gift can only be selected three times. The person whose gift was “stolen” then opens another gift. It is so much fun and brings lots of laughs.
Jenny and Richard Goodson presented a poinsettia plant to every family who attended and we thank them both.
We are all so blessed and it makes one feel wonderful to unselfishly help others, especially people you do not know. The folks we help only know that the Carolina Ramblers of FMCA touched their lives. We encourage other FMCA chapters to consider doing something similar for the needy in their areas.
Rexhall International RV Club Homecoming Rally
By Marjorie Grubka, F283339
The 12th annual Rexhall International RV Club’s 2006 Homecoming Rally took place November 15 through 19 at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster, California. The grounds filled with 140 motorhomes brought by chapter members and guests ready for a good time. The theme for this year’s rally was “Rexhall 500,” and everywhere you looked you saw race cars and black-and-white-checkered flags on vests, aprons, and table decorations.
Rally coordinators and volunteers began arriving at the fairgrounds on Monday November 13, to begin setting up for the event. Rally masters Richard and Janice Huskey, F232569, were on hand to see that all of the committee chairpersons met with their volunteers, a group headed up by Beverly Brooks, F255692. Registration was led by Lois Stevens, F262316, while Norma Holt, F216452, positioned volunteers at the entrance to direct arrivals. Dave Holt, F216452, and his volunteer parking crew proceeded to park motorhomes in the paved lots that featured 15-amp electric. Cheryl Preul, F71337; Sandi Hubbs, F294047; and Carol Hulse, F269482, took care of food service, while the other volunteers and chairpersons set up tables.
Rod and Kathryn Stoltenburg, F339181, had their greeters give each arrival a locator card, then attached a letter and number to the front of each motorhome that designated their parking space should an emergency arise and they would need to be found. The locator card granted each rally-goer a packet containing a program, meal tickets, American flag pins to wear on our name tags, a map of the area, free goodies, and several fliers from local merchants.
On Tuesday morning volunteer captains hung bags filled with homemade red race car potholders and candy on each volunteer’s coach. After a morning breakfast meeting, volunteers set out to perform their respective duties, parking approximately 45 additional Rexhall coaches. Many of us met for dinner at the King Buffet, returning for a meeting at 7:00 p.m. where volunteers were thanked for a job well done.
Night security captain Gil Anderson, F130871, made sure the grounds were patrolled when folks were sleeping. June Bean, F198149, handled information and Susanne Marco, F283537, put “Ask Me” signs on her volunteers who could answer members’ questions. Susan Brush, F347048, was our first-aid nurse and offered blood pressure checks to members. Rex Jacobsen, F335042, acted as electrician; Rita Korth, F292404, took care of the financial end of things; Marshall Milton, F233655, and John Wheeler, F256015, handled transportation; Burt Oliver, F316601, made the signs; Don Winter, F200483, was the safety captain; and John Grubka, F283339, served as the official photographer, snapping shots and videotaping memories for everyone. He even put together a computer slideshow for us to enjoy during dinner.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ernie Delgado, F262148; John Marco, F283537; and John Fay, F192230, made sure the vendors on hand were set up while Bob Preul, F71337, saw that Rexhall’s eight new 2007 coaches were ready for walk-throughs in the coach display area. A first-timer’s meeting was held for those new to the RVing lifestyle. That evening rally master Janice Huskey welcomed everyone; made introductions, including the king and queen candidates; and handed out door prizes. This was followed by attendees renewing old acquaintances and meeting new friends.
On Thursday the food service crew made pancakes and sausages, which were enjoyed by all. Afterward, many of the ladies met for Ladies’ Social Hour with Norma Holt, discussing helpful RVing hints. Interested rally-goers took a Rexhall factory tour for a firsthand look at how the coaches are built. At 2:00 p.m. that day engineer Saul Barbosa from Rexhall Industries met with interested RV owners to discuss new ideas and help to solve existing problems.
Throughout the rally, attendees could choose to attend numerous seminars, ranging from technical to crafts. While all of these fascinating events were taking place, others played Goofy Golf and Bocce Ball on the grass.
Dinner on Thursday featured El Pollo Loco chicken, and entertainment was provided by Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott and Neil Gelvin. All of the male members received official Rexhall rally ball caps, and the females received collapsible fans.
On Friday 88 ladies attended the Ladies Red Hat luncheon hosted by Carol Hulse and Sandi Hubbs. Door prizes were raffled off, and a race car video ran continuously on the big screen during the event. Following the luncheon, the group donated $100 to Habitat for Humanity. Also on Friday, Rexhall service technicians visited coaches to clean out refrigerator and furnace compartment flues and touch up paint chips.
Later, Rexhall Industries provided dinner. Bill Rex delivered the opening remarks, assuring us that Rexhall was going strong and its 2008 coaches would be new, exciting, and innovative.
Mary Marsh, F221753, acted as master of ceremonies for the entertainment contest performed by attendees. Each act was allowed 10 minutes, during which time they could sing, play instruments, tell funny stories, and put on lip-synch skits. The NASCAR Red Necks, composed of Steve Howard, F205174, and Dave Winters, F222989, took top prize. Holly Rex-Walker then pulled names for door prizes. Red duct tape and Rexhall flip-flops were the hit of the evening. Voting for king and queen took place, and we all signed a get-well card for Ruby Young, F260782, who fell and broke her hip on the second day of the rally and was in the hospital.
Saturday activities included a swap meet and craft fair. Dinner again was hosted by Rexhall Industries and featured delicious barbecued chicken. Entertainment was provided by a comedian called Nazareth who kept everyone in stitches for an hour. Later than evening Mary Marsh and Jules Brown, F97683, were named king and queen of the rally. The Jivin’ Duos, Burt King, F189769, and Ken Nelson, F175733, were named Goofy Golf champions, while The Wonderful Ones, Greg Kaufmann, F319421, and Paul Korth, F292404, came in second. Holly Rex-Walker and Cheryl Rex handed out door prizes, and disc jockey Jack Lillian of Music Mania entertained us with dance music.
On Sunday morning we all ate heartily of the leftovers from previous meals. Some folks attended services with chaplain John Schively, F266902, while others began to leave. Good-byes were said until the next Rexhall International RV Club rally in 2007.