By Charlie Adcock, F311374
FMCA National President
Hello, My Fellow FMCA Family. If you catch me rambling this month, please give me a little leeway. I learned pretty quickly that it’s difficult to write a monthly column, and I’ve been doing this now since August 2013. Although I think Gloria and I live an exciting life, there are some things you just shouldn’t tell.
Sitting here this morning, I found myself in a really reflective mood. I started thinking about all of the places Gloria and I have traveled, and all the friends we have made in FMCA. I get a little melancholy thinking about dear friends who have had to hang up their motorhome keys. It dawned on me that about the time you get to know lots of FMCA members, some of them start having to drop out because of age and health. I try to stay in touch with as many as I can.
The thought of friends hanging up their keys makes me wonder how many years I have left to enjoy this wonderful lifestyle. We members of FMCA are so fortunate to be able to travel this beautiful country of ours and to share it with so many of our like-minded friends.
As I tried to choose a subject to write about this month, I’d run the idea by Gloria and she would comment that I’ve written about that in the past. This seems to happen at least once on each trip these days. Lately I haven’t done anything such as jumping out of a perfectly safe airplane, rolling my windows down in the car wash on a freezing day, or running out of fuel in my coach. As Gloria always says when I do something really stupid, “We are just making memories.”
Although you’ll be reading this in the February issue, I’m writing it on December 15. So, my thoughts take me to plans for January. Gloria and I will be traveling to the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, set to take place January 11-15. Just prior to the start of the rally, we have been invited by FMCA members T.J. and Marilyn Hewlett to drive down to Los Angeles and go to the world-famous Magic Castle for dinner and a magic show. I will have to report about the evening in an upcoming column.
As always, the Western Area Rally in Indio will be a blast, and I can’t wait to join the Overland Trailblazers West chapter for some of Russ Hill’s world-famous barbecue. When we leave Indio, our plans are to go to Camp Pendleton and spend a week at Del Mar Beach Resort. We will be parked right on the beautiful white sand facing the Pacific Ocean.
Since I am just rambling, I want to back up and tell about a chapter rally we attended in December. I was invited to swear in the newly elected officers for the Cruisin’ Cajuns chapter of FMCA. I want to tell you, that chapter makes every rally special, but the Christmas rally is always over the top. The chapter is about 300 coaches strong, and at their rally in early December they had 135 coaches in attendance.
One thing that really stands out is the number of younger members this chapter attracts. Right now they have a group of members who all live around the Houma, Louisiana, area. They call themselves the “Pah 2 Lah Gang.” That’s a phonetic spelling of the French phrase pas tout la, which means “not all there.” I am here to tell you, if you meet these folks you understand really quickly why they call themselves the Pah 2 Lah Gang. They are a great bunch of people and really know how to have fun. Thanks, Cruisin’ Cajuns, for a wonderful rally.
After leaving Camp Pendleton, we will make our way over to Quartzsite, Arizona, for the big RV show and try to meet as many of you as we can. From there we head down to Lakeland, Florida, for the Southeast Area Rally, February 2-5.
I hope all of you have made note of the dates March 7 through 10, 2017. That’s when FMCA’s 95th International Convention — Rally In The Valley — will take place in Chandler, Arizona. We have some fun activities on tap, and it’s not too late to join us. Registrations are being accepted online at FMCA.com, by phone, and by mail until February 23. After that we’ll be registering folks on-site at the Rawhide Western Town and Event Center. Be sure to pack your cowboy hat and boots, because you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back into the old West when you roll into the convention site and see the 1880s town there.
Also don’t forget that FMCA will be conducting a two-day RV Basics session right before the convention starts. We have three of the most knowledgeable instructors we know of lined up for the March 5 and 6 classes — “RV Doctor” Gary Bunzer, Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy, and RV Safety & Education Foundation executive director Walter Cannon. RV Basics is geared especially to new RVers and to those who have been RVing for a while but want to brush up on their knowledge. For more information, visit www.FMCA.com/academy or call the Events staff at the FMCA national office, (800) 543-3622.
And while you’re marking your calendar for Chandler, be sure to circle July 12 through 15, 2017. That’s when FMCA will be heading to the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis for our 96th International Convention. Registration for this event has begun. The registration form appears on page 97 of this issue and online at FMCA.com. Well, I’ve rambled enough. Hope to see you in Chandler or at an upcoming rally. Until then, remember, “It’s all about having fun!”