Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000, Executive Director
Next month’s Family Motor Coaching magazine, the January issue, will contain the 2009 FMCA Directory and Member Benefits Guide. If you open it and look toward the back, you’ll see directory pages that include a section titled “Stoppin’ Spots.”
I’m mentioning it because, as a motorhome traveler, I need the reminder as much as anyone else. “Stoppin’ Spots” is an invaluable listing of FMCA members who offer assistance and hospitality to fellow members who are on the road in their areas.
The “Stoppin’ Spots” directory also is listed on FMCA.com, so you can access the information online (member sign-in required).
“Stoppin’ Spots” members are listed under four categories:
Stop Over Spot: Fellow members are welcome to stop over at the volunteering member’s home for a 24-hour emergency stay.
Come Visit: FMCA members are welcome to visit the volunteering member’s home for a 24-hour friendship stay, unless invited by the host member to stay longer.
Mechanic’s Helper: If an FMCA member’s coach breaks down along the road in a volunteering member’s area, the volunteering member is available to assist him or her in locating quality local service.
Pinch Hit Driver: These FMCA members have volunteered to drive your motorhome for you in the event that an emergency arises and you’re unable to transport it. Members who live in either the coach’s current location or desired destination spot may be of help. Please be sure to defray any costs they incur.
Of these categories, my wife, Sharon, and I have not needed any emergency assistance, but we have looked up the Come Visit volunteers and had the pleasure of stopping or staying with a couple of them. We certainly appreciated their hospitality. Because we’ve not had an emergency, we have not had some of the other types of rewarding experiences members have shared with us detailing how Stoppin’ Spots volunteers met and even exceeded their needs.
Following are a couple of letters we’ve received, and previously published in the Readers’ Forum column, from members who encountered the true spirit of this member benefit. These members have been aided by others in the FMCA family, and reveal the giving and caring attitude of Stoppin’ Spots volunteers.
While vacationing in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, we had the misfortune of almost losing our motorhome to a fire. As a result of a broken rear cross member, all of the coach’s air lines and electrical lines were severed, and a serious electrical burn-down took place.
I realized I had my January issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine with the annual “Stoppin’ Spots” directory. I found only one name listed in the Abbotsford area, and thank the Lord it was Lyle and Sonya Taylor, F23915.
When I called, Sonya said to hold on because Lyle was under their coach, working on it. I knew then I had called the right people. They arrived within minutes.
After analyzing my situation, Lyle took over and contacted a local towing service, which gently moved our motorhome to a truck service repair establishment. Lyle assured us he knew people who could repair our coach and make it as good as new. He returned at 7:30 the next morning and literally set in motion all the needed repair services, and treated us like family, including bringing us lunch and giving us much-needed moral support.
Not only did the remote service repairman fix our coach to like-new condition, but they did it in literally 14 hours. My own initial estimate was it would cost me several thousand dollars and four to five days. The final cost and time needed were a fraction of that estimate.
Lyle and Sonya Taylor proved to be people with many friends, both personal and business relations. Lyle personally converts Eagle buses, and what a beautiful job he does! Their own Eagle is absolutely gorgeous, with every amenity and convenience of any bus on the road.
As you can tell, we were very impressed and pleased to have met and befriended this wonderful couple. I now know the importance of having someone around to help in time of need. Since we have several full hookups and can help on most mechanical issues, we wish to be listed in “Stoppin’ Spots,” too.
Phil and Linda Houghton, F176255
My wife and I were on our way from our home in Ontario, Canada, to a banquet in Virginia. We were traveling south on Interstate 390 in Rochester, New York, when our motorhome was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer.
My wife sustained six broken ribs on her right side and four cracked vertebrae in her neck. She was suffering extreme pain. She was hospitalized for several days at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. The security people let me park the motorhome at the hospital lot.
We had our dog, Belle, with us, and since it was very hot, I would start up the generator and run the air conditioner inside the coach to keep her cool. The generator began acting up. I looked in the back of the January issue of Family Motor Coaching, in the “Stoppin’ Spots” section, and found the names of Jim and Jan Wagner, F289125, of Rochester. I called Jim and told him my troubles. He lives about 15 minutes from the hospital and came down to meet me. We tried to get the generator to work, but it would run for only about a half-hour and then shut off.
Jim then said I could take the motorhome to his house and park it in the driveway. He said that Belle was welcome, too. Their backyard is fenced in, and he said they would love to look after her, as they had recently lost their dog. Jim also said I could use one of his cars to go back and forth to the hospital to visit my wife each day.
I stayed there until I was able to drive my wife home to Newmarket, Ontario. There she was admitted to the hospital and stayed another week.
I want other FMCA members to know about this great couple who were so caring and helpful to my wife, our dog, and me. These people were extremely kind and caring and helped us very much. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
There is an old saying: “We are all friends; we just haven’t met yet.” This is so true of this couple.
Glenn Phillips, F103189
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Remember to keep your January 2009 directory issue with you in your motorhome as you travel, and remember, too, that you can look up the “Stoppin’ Spots” directory online. You may find a new friend.