Family & Friends
By Robbin Gould, Editor
Duane Pindell, F105443, former Rocky Mountain Area vice president, passed away on May 1 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was 77.
Duane actively supported FMCA at the national, area, and chapter levels. He served on the association’s Governmental and Legislative Affairs Committee, Convention Committee, and Nominating Committee. In 2001 he was on the team that established the Rocky Mountain Motorhome Association (RMMA) for the Rocky Mountain Area and helped to compile its original bylaws. He subsequently served as area vice president from 2003 to 2007. He and his wife, Rosalie, belonged to numerous FMCA chapters.
Beyond his many FMCA accomplishments, Duane is likely to be remembered most for his warm, genuine, good-hearted nature.
Allen Rein, current Rocky Mountain Area vice president, noted that Duane remained very involved in the area when his tenure as area vice president came to a close. “He was a good friend, very supportive, always approachable, and, above all, he loved RMMA and FMCA. We miss him dearly.”
FMCA national president Connie Pool recalled how she met Duane: “We were on our way to Redmond, Oregon, in 2001 and [my husband] Corbett and I stopped off at our very first Rocky Mountain Area Ramble when they were forming the Rocky Mountain Motorhome Association. Duane and Rosalie were the first to extend a welcoming hand.
“After my election as national treasurer in Redmond, I got to observe and know him even better when he was elected national area vice president, Rocky Mountain Area. Duane was always the easygoing gentleman, with respect for all, and his commitment to FMCA and the Rocky Mountain Area was always evident.”
Duane was born on September 5, 1931, in Ogallala, Nebraska. He and Rosalie knew each other from childhood in Deuel County, Nebraska, as their parents were good friends.
After graduating from high school in 1950, Duane served two years in the U.S. Army, including 18 months in Korea during the Korean Conflict. “During that time Duane’s mother asked me to write to him while he was overseas, and I did,” Rosalie said. She attended business school in Denver and one year of college at Louisiana State University. “We both got home in May 1954 and began dating that summer. We were married in October.”
Duane embarked on a 30-year construction career, which included journeyman and supervisory positions. For the last 15 years prior to retirement, he worked as chief of maintenance of the Laramie County School District.
The Pindells’ RV experiences began in 1973 with a 14-foot Eagle trailer, which they used for weekends at a nearby lake when time allowed. Later they bought a 22-foot trailer, which Duane lived in during the week while he worked heavy construction.
The Pindells purchased their first motorhome in 1978.
The couple joined FMCA in 1988 and were charter members of the High Plains Drifters and Cowboy Ambassadors chapters. Altogether they belonged to 10 chapters. Duane worked as wagon master for three Rocky Mountain Area Rallies. For four years, he and Rosalie also managed the FMCA membership booth at the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show in Quartzsite, Arizona.
Prior to RVing, Duane was involved in the National Hot Rod Association from 1955 to 1970 and served as its technical director for four years. This involved conducting safety inspections of all the competition vehicles at regional meets and overseeing the inspections at annual meets.
Rosalie affirmed that the many kind words people have used to describe Duane’s genuine warmth ring true. “One thing he always did: if we went into an area where workmen were busy, he always had a kind word for them.” She noted that his favorite part of belonging to FMCA was “getting to know so many wonderful people, and the many friendships we have made all over the country.”
Connie Pool added, “Duane will be dearly missed, as they just don’t come any better than him.”
In addition to Rosalie, Duane is survived by two sons, one daughter, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Memorials may be sent to the First United Methodist Church Building Fund, in care of the church (108 E. 18th St., Cheyenne, WY 82001).
Roadtrekkers Create Egyptian Wonders At Western Area Rally
By Christy Powers, F366813
Numerous Roadtrek International chapter members, also known as Roadtrekkers, arrived at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival in Indio, California, for the 21st Annual Western Area Rally, January 7 through 11, 2009. Forty-two Roadtrek motorhomes, ranging from 1994 to 2008 models, with all the bells and whistles, lined up in a perfect grassy spot. The first day of the rally, dubbed the “Wonders of Ancient Egypt,” was spent settling in, getting reacquainted, meeting new members, showing off modern gadgets, and bragging. Following some appetizers, Wendell Nunes led a tech discussion about on-the-road Internet connections.
“Build our float” day dawned on Thursday, the day of the rally parade. Prebuilt pyramids were tethered to the tops of two Roadtreks, and elaborate drapes adorned with hieroglyphics and ancient drawings covered the sides. Theme artists Terry Yates and Carol Danielson and their many helpers transformed a thoroughly modern Roadtrek into a Wonder of Ancient Egypt. Egyptian music came from Carl Pearson’s Roadtrek as a throne for Cleopatra (Kitty Pearson) was prepared on the rack at the rear of the motorhome.
Extensive research yielded photos and ideas. Bags of bangles and gold, and clever costumes were the result. Those without costumes became mummies, and even several pet dogs were recruited to serve as Egyptian animals. The parade starting point was some distance from our camping spot, so we all “” camels and goats included “” climbed aboard the shuttle for the ride.
The mummies were high-maintenance, and several of them began unwrapping even before we reached the parade route. Safety pins and duct tape were invaluable. Mummy Wendell Nunes was unable to be repaired, however, and was quickly transformed into a handsome Egyptian character. Camel humps and packs twisted and turned on top of our ever-so-patient dogs. We were at our best passing the judge’s stand. Although we were not the only stunning entry, we were the only ones who utilized motorhomes in our entry. Participants and bystanders loved the parade.
The parade awards were presented before entertainment that night. A large group of Roadtrekkers was on hand and excited. The room was quiet. Our pharaoh, Richard Tuckfield, in full costume, was summoned. We stood and cheered as Richard accepted the President’s trophy. We were definitely the loudest and proudest group.
Each evening of the rally, we gathered for Mexican, Italian, or Asian catered meals. After the great evening entertainment, Campfires-In-A-Can were lit and the conversation went on and on.
The seminars were interesting and beneficial, with the tech seminars seemingly the most popular. The line-dancing class was held in a nearby ramada and drew a big crowd, which included many Trekkers.
We all loved walking through the exhibit halls with aisles of RV products, services, and clever inventions. Morning coffee with doughnuts or muffins and the daily ice cream socials were favorite activities. The Frustrated Maestros entertained us well.
Early Saturday morning, the motorhomes began pulling out of the fairgrounds. Some lingered for final visiting and catching up on rest. Leaving Indio, a caravan of Roadtrekkers traveled to Quartzsite, Arizona, for a few days of conversation and shopping.
Next year’s Western Area Rally theme, “Legends of The Silver Screen,” has us all thinking and planning. Our leader, who might appear as Clark Gable or Bob Hope, is hoping for 65 Roadtreks and another trophy.