By Janet Frey, F96957
In 2013 many of FMCA’s GMC chapters marked the 40th anniversary of the classic GMC motorhome with celebratory rallies. The GMC Motorhomes International (GMCMI) chapter held its Fall Convention September 20-26, 2013, in Branson, Missouri, with 143 attending registrants, including 26 first-timers.
It was a celebration of the old and new. The “old” was, of course, our classic GMC motorhomes, with the owners of 1973 models especially enjoying their motorhomes’ 40th anniversaries. Also “old” were the friendships formed from many past GMCMI conventions. The “new” was the new environment for many of the first-time visitors to Branson, and the many first-time rally attendees on hand. These new owners enjoyed chatting with veteran GMC owners who have kept their classic motorhomes on the road for many of their 40 years.
We also welcomed members of the GMC Eastern States and GMC Greater Midwest Classics chapters, which utilized the GMCMI convention as their respective fall rallies.
For some of us who had never been to Branson, it was a revelation as we entered the Ozarks. The beautiful “knobs” and dramatic rock formations created a stunning welcome to the area. Some GMC owners ventured down the “strip” and encountered the legendary traffic. The slow pace enabled visitors to admire the many theaters and shops in the live entertainment capital of the world and provided a chance to familiarize themselves with the town for later excursions.
At the campground, the hosts were friendly and efficient as they helped with parking. The majority of the vehicles were GMCs, although SOB (some other brand) coaches were welcomed, too. The beautiful facilities kept us pampered all week. And the weather cooperated so that some members could enjoy the pool and hot tub.
Our chapter’s convention manager, Kim Weeks, had many events planned, including “hillbilly” activities. Teri Gregg led the Hillbilly Follies, which involved completing an obstacle course that featured a toilet paper toss, cup stacking, and marshmallow guns. The Greater Midwest Classics Drill Team, with Randy Johnson, Roger Stearns, Wayne Hasek, and leader Bob Miller, did a fabulous presentation with folding chairs. Many attendees dressed in appropriate attire for our Hillbilly Dinner. It was a hoot!
Attendees also enjoyed many seminars of a technical and nontechnical nature; group activities; and excursions to several of the shows offered in Branson. Two local chefs demonstrated how to use cast-iron Dutch ovens to cook and bake, and they even provided some yummy treats. This well-run convention allowed us to thoroughly enjoy the area and each other. Kudos to Kim!
If you are an owner of a classic GMC motorhome, consider joining GMC Motorhomes International. You will glean information about service and parts, and enjoy fun and fellowship at the two GMCMI conventions each year. For more information, visit www.gmcmi.com.