By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
Since the beginning of 2009, my wife, Jean, and I have visited two FMCA international conventions and five area rallies. By the time you read this column, we also will have visited the 2010 Western Area Rally in Indio, California, in early January, and I will have taken a side trip to Redmond, Oregon, for a convention site visit. Then we both will have headed to the International Area Rally in Quartzsite, Arizona, in late January.
This month, February 3 through 7, is the Southeast Area Rally in Brooksville, Florida. In between all this, we plan to squeeze in a couple of chapter rallies, too.
We have attempted to meet with as many FMCA members as we can at these events, stopping by groups gathered about their motorhomes or speaking with many on an individual basis.
One theme keeps running through all of the conversations and all of the gatherings and meetings with members. Memories! We have listened and participated in many conversations with many members, and on every occasion, memories come up. Memories of past meetings with friends and acquaintances that we and other FMCA members have developed over the years, whether at conventions, rallies, a chance meeting of another FMCA member in a campground, or keeping in touch with a new member we had the privilege of bringing into FMCA.
We have met grandparents who, because of various circumstances, are raising their grandchildren. These children go wherever their grandparents’ travels take them, whether it’s up into the Maritime Provinces of Canada or down into the American Southwest. We have met couples who are homeschooling their children on the road as they travel in their motorhomes. Most are still making a living as they travel. But all of them are making memories, memories for their children and grandchildren, and many, many memories for themselves.
During our travels we met a member of the Constitution Cruisers, a Connecticut chapter that was, by the way, the first chapter we joined in FMCA. After some long-lost greetings we sat and talked about the “old times” we had “way back then.” During the conversation we reminisced about one member who was always present at our rallies.
We recalled a particular weekend rally the chapter held at Hammonasset Beach State Park on the Connecticut shoreline. Some of the members of the chapter, before turning in that night, sprinkled an abundance of bread pieces on top of this man’s RV. By sunup, it looked as though every seagull in the Northeast had showed up to feast on top of his coach. The pecking inside must have sounded like a hundred machine guns!
That man and his wife never missed a rally. He never had a frown on his face and always was the type of friend you wanted to be around. He is missed now, but what fun, fond memories we have of him.
Perhaps you are reading this column in Family Motor Coaching magazine in a service center, or have just received it in the mail as a member. Maybe you are a chapter member, or a longtime member of FMCA who does not belong to a chapter. Or, maybe an FMCA member gave you this issue to read. Regardless, I urge you to look us up; come visit a chapter rally, area rally, or convention. Sit a spell, and let’s make some memories together!
Until next time, safe and healthy travels.