By Charlie Adcock, F311374
FMCA National President
Hello, My Fellow FMCA Family. If you could only see me now. We are sitting in our motorhome looking out the windshield, with nothing but beautiful white sand and about a hundred yards between us and the Pacific Ocean. We are at Delmar Beach Resort at Camp Pendleton, California, and it is beautiful.
I want to share with you a couple of things that really make family in Family Motor Coach Association stand out. Last month I received a call from a dear friend of mine, Robin Fagala, F410941. I could tell by the tone of his voice that something was wrong. He told me that he was in the hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was having to transfer to Oklahoma City for a liver transplant. He did not know how long he would be waiting for a donor. The reason he called me was to see whether I knew of someone who could move his motorhome to Oklahoma City so that he and his wife would have a place to stay while waiting on a donor.
I put a call in to Rod Sartwell, national vice president, South Central Area. You see, Rod lives in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the same city that Robin lives in. Rod did not know Robin but said that he would call him and take care of everything. Rod and his lovely wife, Ethel, took the motorhome to Oklahoma City (about 120 miles) and hooked everything up for the Fagalas. That is what I call taking care of family. Thanks, Rod and Ethel Sartwell, for all that you do for FMCA and for your friendship.
When we arrived in California this year for the Western Area Rally, Gloria and I were able to take part in another bucket list item. TJ and Marilyn Hewlett, F215517, are members of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, and they extended an invitation for us to join them as guests for dinner and a bit of magic.
For those who have never heard of the Magic Castle, it was built in 1908 for Rollin B. Lane. None of his family was musically inclined, but most homes of the era had a piano for decor. A frequent family guest named Irma played the piano at the Lane home. Her playing irritated Mr. Lane so much that he moved the piano to the tower room, close to the guest rooms. Before Irma died, she vowed to return to haunt the house. Today the piano has been replaced by a grand piano, and when a song title is mentioned near the piano, the song begins to play. So . . . I guess the house is haunted by Irma.
The Lane Mansion became the Magic Castle in 1963. The Magic Castle is home to magicians ranging from those just beginning their career to longtime professionals. It is a very interesting place.
We had a delicious dinner and afterward saw several magic shows. FMCA national senior vice president Jon Walker ended up a participant in one show. He was asked to write down the name of someone in his past, and the impressionist vowed to reveal the name and a little information about that person. As it turned out, Jon had written down the name of a high school friend. Sure enough, the impressionist told the audience the name on the piece of paper and shared information about the person that only Jon knew. So, that was magic! Along with the shows, we saw several card tricks. We had an entertaining evening, and the Hewletts were perfect hosts.
As I write this, we have just left the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, where we had a wonderful time. Lon Cross, national vice president, Western Area, and his great crew put on quite a show. Attendees enjoyed seminars, vendors, ice cream, a ladies tea, entertainment, a pet contest, a Beach Party Parade, and many other activities. They had more than 800 family coaches in attendance.
This past year I started presenting proclamations to FMCA members who have gone above and beyond in volunteering for FMCA and its members. The Western Area has so many wonderful volunteers, including some who have been working hard at the rallies for numerous years. Lon and I had a really hard time narrowing down the list of people on whom to bestow my proclamation.
We ultimately decided on Rick and Jan Ricordati, F173709. Rick is a past Western Area national vice president, and he and Jan have been very involved in FMCA for many years. They joined FMCA in 1993 and became heavily involved in several chapters. Rick later became active in the Western Area, volunteering at area rallies and also serving as the Western Area’s southern area vice president and then senior vice president before being elected as the area national vice president.
The next couple we recognized was Bud and Alice Bernard, F79098. Bud and Alice have been FMCA members since 1986. Alice has actively worked as part of the Western Area Executive Board for many years, first as secretary and then as the northern area vice president. She also serves as the Western Area membership chairman. Bud and Alice will be celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary in July 2017.
The third couple we recognized — Allyn and Joy Smith, F261471 — were not able to attend the rally. Allyn and Joy joined FMCA shortly after retirement in 1999 and set — and met — a goal to visit all 50 state capitals within five years. Allyn served as president and now is alternate national director of the Beat The Odds chapter. Allyn and Joy volunteered at two FMCA conventions in Pomona, California, and Allyn currently serves on the FMCA National Review Council. He also served as editor of the Western Area Rally program for five years and has handled program advertising for six years.
These three couples represent what I like most about FMCA — the volunteer spirit, the love of FMCA, and passion for the RV lifestyle.
By the time this magazine hits mailboxes, FMCA’s 95th International Convention in Chandler, Arizona, will be about to get under way. I have no doubt that we will have a rip-roarin’ good time at the “Rally In The Valley”. And then we’ll be setting our sights on FMCA’s summer convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 12 through 15. I invite you all to join us at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for what is sure to be great fun! The registration form appears on page 75 of this magazine and is available online at FMCA.com.
Meanwhile, remember, “It’s all about having fun!”
Articles Of Incorporation Amendment Passes
Votes were tabulated for the recent ballot to amend the FMCA Articles of Incorporation, and the amendment passed by a large majority.
Notice Of Annual Membership Meeting
FMCA’s annual membership meeting will take place July 15, 2017, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana.