By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
I hope this column finds you all well and looking forward to a great 2013. I am writing this from central Florida, where Jean and I have a motorhome pad that we occasionally have the opportunity to visit. Weather here is much warmer than what we left behind in Pennsylvania.
I realize that many people were impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Northeast in late October, among them some FMCA members. Many people lost loved ones or experienced property damage. Our sympathies are extended to all who suffered loss as a result of this devastating storm. Many people donated money or volunteered to help in various ways during this crisis. Among them were the many outside utility companies that responded — those from other parts of the country and some from Canada, including Toronto Transit and Ontario Power. I’m sure those impacted are grateful to all who assisted during this disaster. It would be impossible to name all of those deserving of thanks.
The New Year — 2013 — kicks off the 50th year of Family Motor Coach Association. Fifty years! The largest and oldest motorhome association in the world began in July 1963 with a small gathering of families in Hinckley, Maine.
We will start our major events during the golden anniversary year with the Western Area Rally in Indio, California. This year’s dates are January 9-13, 2013. Next on the agenda is the Southeast Area Rally in Brooksville, Florida, February 6-10. Come spring, INTO, the International Area, will be holding its get-together March 20-23 in Tucson, Arizona.
The entire association’s big 50th anniversary bash will be celebrated in Gillette, Wyoming, June 19-22, 2013. This 88th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase will take place at the RV-friendly CAM-PLEX Multi-Events Facilities. Make sure you mark this one down and plan on being there to celebrate our special golden anniversary with all of your motorhoming family. For registration details about the Family Reunion, or the area rallies noted in this column, visit FMCA.com, check ads or the Association Calendar in this issue of the magazine, or call us at (800) 543-3622 and ask for the Events Department.
Coming up later in 2013 will be the Midwest Area Rally, which will take place in Manchester, Iowa, July 24-27. The Northwest Area will be getting together August 8-11 in Albany, Oregon.
Two area rallies take place in September. The South Central Area will rally September 11-15, in Sedalia, Missouri, and the Great Lakes Area will host its rally September 18-22 in Goshen, Indiana. Wrapping up the rally calendar for 2013 will be the Eastern Area Rally, October 9-13 in York, Pennsylvania.
So, you see, there is something for everyone, regardless of where you travel. Move into one or several of these exciting locations and join in the fun, excitement, seminars, and entertainment. Don’t forget the motorhome and related product displays, which usually carry every imaginable accessory for the RV you can think of, and some you wouldn’t even imagine!
Jean and I will do our very best to make it to some of the rallies, and we hope to see you there also. We have been blessed with the ability to be able to travel all across this continent via motorhome for the past 22 years. As I have said before, this is truly an exciting, pleasurable, and relaxing lifestyle. We have had the opportunity to visit many beautiful places and have found some very distinct and enjoyable locales along the way.
I usually don’t pass on the names of places to eat and stay that have impressed us, because they are numerous. However, I’m going to deviate from that pattern this month. For the past 15 years Jean and I have had the pleasure of dining at the Red Mule Pub in Brooksville, Florida. The Red Mule is a sandwich emporium owned by the Jinkens family — mom Julia and two sons, Les and Tim. We have never been disappointed by their culinary expertise in constructing some of the best deli-style sandwiches we have ever tasted. If your travels bring you to this part of the sunny South, stop in and say hi. You will be glad you did. And, by the way, mention my name to Cookie, one of the waitresses, and she just may give you a pack of saltines, even if you don’t order soup! You can view a “taste” of the Red Mule at their Web site — www.redmulepub.com. Truly a delightful experience.
The winter brings its own set of unique driving challenges; so, wherever you may travel, whenever you may decide to “pick up and go,” please be careful; slow down in inclement weather; and give yourself extra time for the trip. I mention this because we are all family, and, as such, I want to see you down the road, I truly do.
Safe and healthy travels.