By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
“Hey! You in there?”
My work at the computer was put on hold by a voice from the past. I know that voice, I thought to myself as I went to open the screen door on my motorhome.
Sure enough, standing outside was an old friend from many days gone by, dressed in her red-and-white outfit as a member of the Frustrated Maestros, the musical chapter made up of talented FMCA members from throughout the United States and Canada who provide entertainment during coffee hour and other events at international conventions and area rallies. She was planning to perform at the Great Lakes Area Spring Spree in Berrien Springs, Michigan, which my wife, Jean, and I were attending.
My old friend and I visited, laughed and joked, and dug up memories that each of us had long since placed under “friendship” in our mental file cabinets.
It was good to visit with her. She had started out in a small Type A motorhome, had always volunteered at rallies and conventions, and, as time went by, purchased a Type B. She continued to volunteer during her travels.
She had traveled to Berrien Springs this time in her car, as she said she didn’t get out much in the motorhome anymore. Since she lives near the rally location, she thought she would stop by and sit in with the Maestros.
When our visit was over and she got up to leave, we stood for a moment outside the coach waiting for a courtesy golf cart to take her to the parking lot. I couldn’t help think how much I had missed her friendship, her down-to-earth comments, and listening to her as she sat in with the Maestros. As the cart drove away, I also thought of the many, many friendships I had made simply by owning a motorhome and belonging to Family Motor Coach Association.
Jean and I have done our share of volunteering over the years, and I don’t think we could be compensated with any amount of money for the pleasure and good times we have enjoyed with other members. It was, and still is, fun.
All of our area rallies and conventions are supported by a cadre of volunteers who give of their time to make your time more enjoyable.
By the time you read this article, we will have left Berrien Springs and spent a week in Madison, Wisconsin, the site of FMCA’s 86th International Convention in August 2011. From there, we went to the Midwest Area Rally in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, in June, and traveled up to the Northeast Area Rally in Essex Junction, Vermont, in July. By the time you get this, we are, God willing, pulling onto the grounds of the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon, for FMCA’s “Redmond Rocks! Feel The Excitement!” summer convention.
There are indeed many exciting new things to do and see at this convention, set to take place Wednesday through Saturday, August 11 through 14. Besides the usual “” and priceless “” opportunities to meet new friends and rejoin old friends, you can do something that does involve a price: go shopping. Everything from the smallest RV doodad to some of the biggest motorhomes you’ll ever see will be on display. Music and laughter will fill performance stages located inside and outside at the convention. And the area, with its dramatic scenery, is just begging to be explored.
If you arrive on Monday, August 9, take a trip back in cinematic time and enjoy a showing of the 1954 classic romantic comedy The Long, Long Trailer, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. A special introduction to the movie will be made by Todd Fisher, CEO of the Debbie Reynolds Motion Picture Museum. And Lucille Ball’s original costume from this film will be on display.
On Tuesday, August 10, join Debbie Reynolds in the High Desert Activity Center as she reminisces about “A Lifetime of Laughter and Love.” Ms. Reynolds will talk about her 60 years in the motion picture industry, utilizing film clips and, who knows, possibly breaking out in song and dance.
During the convention, we’ll also enjoy bingo with a twist, plus karaoke for those who wish to tune their “pipes.” We’ll even be hosting FMCA’s own version of a wet T-shirt contest (rated G, of course)!
If you’re spotted having fun during the convention, you just might be rewarded with “FMCA Bonus Bucks,” which can be applied toward purchases at supplier exhibit booths and concessions that display the “Bonus Bucks” artwork.
As you stroll the convention grounds, be advised that I have agreed to sit in the dunk tank that will be set up there during the Ice Cream Social. As you pass by, I encourage you all to attempt to take a throw. The money raised goes to charity. Let’s see how much we can give back to the community. I will not be alone in this splashy endeavor, as the dunk booth was an idea proposed by Judy Czarsty, FMCA national senior vice president and the chair of the Convention Committee “” so, she will be available for an occasional dip, too. It’s all in fun, and we expect to have a super time in Oregon.
I would like to extend to you, whoever you are, wherever you are, an invitation to join Jean and me in Redmond. You don’t have to belong to FMCA; all you have to do is own a motorhome. If you do, you already have my personal invitation.
Come on out to Redmond and enjoy. While you are on the grounds, please look me up; let’s get to know each other; and, who knows, some day I may be outside your coach, hollering, “Hey! You in there?”
Oh, yeah, by the way, A. Jean Smith, I am still in there. God bless.
Until next month, safe and healthy travels.
Great Rates On Home Digital Phone Service
For a number of years, PNG Telecommunications Inc./American Telecom Network has given FMCA members special rates on long-distance service, calling card service, and low-cost home Internet access. Now the company is offering a new digital phone service called Thrive Digital Phone @ Home.
Thrive Digital Phone @ Home service comes with a long list of calling features, such as voice mail, call waiting with caller ID, call forwarding, call barring, three-way calling, speed dial, call return, and many more. It is available in three monthly plans:
- Digital Phone @ Home Unlimited 100, which includes unlimited local calls and 100 minutes of long-distance calls in the United States and Canada: $14.99.
- Digital Phone @ Home Unlimited, with unlimited local and unlimited long-distance calls in the United States and Canada: $19.99.
- Digital Phone @ Home Unlimited Plus, with unlimited local, unlimited long-distance, and unlimited international calls to more than 50 countries: $29.99.
This service is available in your stationary home only, and a high-speed Internet connection is required. For more information, call (888) 443-FMCA (3622) or visit www.callATN.com/FMCA.