By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
“Charlie, you have a call on my cell phone.” My immediate reaction was, “I don’t think so, lady.” Jean and I were strolling in the Lazy Day Campground just off of Exit 170 on Interstate 70 near Danville, in the middle of Missouri, where we had stopped on our way to the Six State Rally in Hutchinson, Kansas. It was late September. We had never been in this campground before, let alone in this part of Missouri. Whenever we stay at a new campground, we make a point of taking a walk after we get parked so we can see where the exit is and note whether there are any tight turns or low overhanging trees that we’ll encounter on the way out the next morning.
As we drew closer to the young lady, she repeated that there was a call on her cell phone for me. I answered the phone, expecting that some kind of a prank was being pulled on us, the newcomers to the park. To my surprise and delight, the voices on the other end of the phone were that of Carole and Doc Hutcheson, F105046, two longtime FMCA members and very good friends of ours from the Southeast Area! During the course of the call, Carole told me that they had just left the Lazy Day Campground that very morning, having stayed in the spot next to the one we had rented. They meet once a year with several of their friends from around the country. They call it a “just friends get-together.” I was blown away!
The young lady who beckoned me to take the call turned out to be Marsha Shulz, F325373, who was at the campground with her husband, Rod. They had noted the national president plates on our motorhome and had recalled that the Hutchesons had told them they know us.
This incident underscored the continued value of membership in Family Motor Coach Association. Wherever you travel, wherever you stay for the night or stop for an extended stay, there are always “family members” to be found. This is the true value of FMCA membership.
Some say I try to sell membership in our organization in every article I write for the magazine. You are correct. The excitement and the pleasure I get from belonging to FMCA is something I can’t wait to share with every motorhomer I meet. We have a unique association, with many benefits that are free to each member.
On another subject, this month ushers in the holiday season. The end of the month brings Christmas and at the very end of the month, New Year’s Eve, and then New Year’s Day. Regardless of how you celebrate these holidays, and no matter what your beliefs are, this is a Peaceful Season, to be enjoyed and cherished by all of us in the free world. December 26 is Boxing Day in Canada, a day that brings shopping opportunities but also a day when many give money and gifts to the needy and to those in service positions. Again, a celebration of good intentions and Peace and Goodwill.
Speaking of the end of the month, all things come to an end — sometimes by choice and other times when we least expect it. So it is with FMCA’s executive director, Bradford Koshland. He has made a very difficult decision that requires him to set aside his duties at FMCA headquarters and take on a new challenge with his immediate family. I wish him the very best in the future and extend to him all of our good wishes here at FMCA for the season and the coming New Year.
Thank you, Brad!
So, in ending this month’s column, I ask all of you to reach out and extend an invitation to other motorhomers you meet during your journeys across this continent to come, Join Our Family. Enjoy the company of new friends and going new places that you may not have gone by yourselves. And, who knows. You may hear those same words someday: “Hello, you have a phone call,” and on the other end find a very good family member.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Safe and healthy travels.
FMCA National Office Holiday Closures
The FMCA National Office will be closed November 24 and 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The office also will be closed December 26 through December 30 in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays and will reopen on Monday, January 2, 2012. However, FMCA’s mail forwarding operation will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 27 and 28 and from 8:00 a.m. until noon on December 29. Since there is no mail service on January 2, the mail forwarding operation will be closed on that date. Current mail forwarding participants will receive a holiday mail schedule to let them know of adjustments in the dates their mail is forwarded to them.
Please Allow Extra Time For January Issue Delivery
Since the January issue is dropped into the postal system close to the Christmas holiday, it ends up in the mix of holiday mail, and delivery also can be impacted by the Christmas and New Year holiday closures of the United States Postal Service (this year December 26 and January 2, respectively). So, please allow extra time for this particular issue of the magazine to reach you. If you still do not have your copy by January 15, feel free to contact the Member Services staff at the national office (firstname.lastname@example.org; 513-474-3622 or 800-543-3622) to verify your address and request a replacement copy if needed.