RAMBLIN’ FEVER - A Note from John and Susan
My hat don’t hang on the same nail too long…
My ears can’t stand to hear the same old song…
An’ I don’t leave the highway long enough to bog down in the mud…
‘Cause I got ramblin’ fever in my blood.
Ramblin’ fever, the kind that can’t be measured by degrees…
Ramblin’ fever, there ain’t no cure for my disease.
A few lines from a song written by country music legend Merle Haggard back in 1977. Who would have imagined it would have so much relevance today. Here at our house, and very likely at yours, rambling fever is raging much more than the Corona Virus.
Since we are all confined at home, with the Airstreams tweaked and ready to roll but nowhere to go, with the yard work caught up, the ‘’honey-do’’ list done, and rambling fever setting in, let’s talk about…
THE GOOD NEWS…
The WBCCI is alive and well! The “official word” from International is when your State reopens, and you have Rallies planned, by all means move ahead. Just be sure to follow local guidelines and take ALL the necessary precautions and use some common sense. By now, that stuff has been drilled into your head. Be careful with the things we love to do as Airstreamers, share hugs, hands, meals, and activities. Simply exercise caution and keep your hands washed. The camp fire circles just need to be a little larger.
MORE GOOD NEWS…
Soon we will have new International officers, and, we are very happy to report, a full slate of Region 3 officers, all set to take office in June. International President Mona Heath is finalizing the details of the voting and installation ceremony for the International officers using Zoom. Our new Region officers will be installed in June as well. More later…
Fall will be a busy time in the Club as activities resume and new local club Presidents take the helm. 2021 is destined to be a fabulous year for our Club. More on that later as well…
THE VOTES ARE IN!!!
Our new Region 3 officers have all been voted in unanimously! Thank you everyone for your support of these fine folks. We will be in the very capable hands:
President Bill Wild # 3615 of the Top of Georgia Airstream Club
1st VP Christine Baum #4814 of the Spirit of Virginia Airstream Club
2nd VP Jerry Peterson #4381 of the SC Coastal Airstream Club
Thank you, Bill, Christine, and Jerry for stepping up to guide the best Region in the WBCCI. Installations will occur in June, details TBD.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Be sure to take full advantage of the Blue Beret to advertise your Club activities. Make sure your events are posted to your club’s Events website, six weeks prior to publication, so HQ will include them in the Activities section. The old manual method of mailing/emailing them to HQ is no longer allowed. Click Here for a list of deadline dates. In the absence of Rallies, use electronic means to keep in touch with each other and conduct your Club business. Stay connected.
TIPS, TOILETS, and VEGETABLE OIL…
Slick stuff? We have used food grade silicone for years on anything that moves on our Airstream and around the house. Doors, windows, locks, catches/latches, hinges, drawers, awning pivot points, and more. It is great stuff but our good friend John Ashworth #21189 of the Carolinas Airstream Club turned us on to something even slicker, a product called Houdini. Made for locksmiths, it is incredibly slick and even has a pleasant orange smell to it. You will like it. Look for it online. Houdini
Speaking of locks and hinges, be sure to keep your main door lock and hinges lubricated regularly to prevent wear. The door hinges are very susceptible to wear and extremely difficult to repair or replace. Same goes for the door lock. Houdini will work wonders.
And don’t forget the perhaps most valuable yet most neglected item in your Airstream - the toilet! It has an incredible amount of moving parts inside, most inaccessible without tearing down the toilet, but a shot of either silicone or Houdini via the pedals will to help keep it opening and closing smoothly. (No WD 40 - it can attack the plastic components.) Shoot some onto the slide in the bottom of the bowl occasionally and work it into the seal to keep it clean and sealing properly. Vegetable oil will also do a good job here as well.
And speaking of toilets and vegetable oil, here is one more tip: Lubing the actual dump gate valves is difficult. They are enclosed and have no access without cutting into the belly pan. Spraying the handle/rod extensions does very little good and has no effect on the actual gate valve. Try this if you have stiff valves: First, empty the tanks thoroughly, and CLOSE the valves. Then pour about a half-gallon of vegetable oil in each tank. Drive to a shoulder or small drop off so the trailer or motorhome is tilted on the driver’s side. Or find a dump station where the pad is sloping on the drivers’ side. This will pool the vegetable oil against the closed valve. Pull each valve open and closed quickly several times so the vegetable oil can lubricate the slides and the seals inside the valve as it comes out. It will work wonders on stiff and leaky valves.
There are many folks throughout our Region that have made a tremendous difference in their local Clubs. You know who they are, and you know them by name. So, when you see them, please thank them and give them that well-deserved pat on the back, OR, drop them a note of thanks. Here are a few names that come to mind:
To Joan and Arleigh Wells, #11187 of the South Carolina Coastal Airstream Club for 40 years of membership. Thank you, Joan and Arleigh, for all your support and participation over the last 4 decades.
To Callie Rae Scurry, #17801 of the Palmetto State Airstream Club for 53 years membership. Thank you, Callie Rae, and Dwight (deceased) for all your help and guidance.
Add all these years together and that’s 186 years of experience and the reason our Local Clubs are so successful. Nothing beats experience.
To Barry Fuller, #5500 of the Coastal Georgia Airstream Club, for your determination to keep the struggling CGAC alive and well. With help from your sidekick Ray Lewis, membership is growing and rallies are happening again. Thank you both for sticking with it.
To Greg and Linda Heuer #1927 of the Spirit of Virginia Airstream Club for your tireless work and dedication to bring the SOVAC (formally the Shenandoah Valley Airstream Club) back from the point of extinction. Now it’s a thriving Club. Don’t stop!
To Jay and Elna Thompson #805 of the Big Bend Florida Airstream Club for leading all Caravanners. A huge responsibility, thank you both for organizing, leading, and chairing the International Caravan Committee.
To ALL caravan leaders…Ray, Carol, Winston, Carol, Gary, Rose Marie, John and Cissy, Nancy, Margaret, Ed and Beth. Many thanks for taking the lead.
To Joyce Werner #5360 of the Tidewater Virginia Airstream Club for being a spark plug in your Club. Thank you, Bill, for getting her to the rallies.
To Tom Carmichael #2212 and Lew Brodsky #2585 of the Northern Virginia Airstream Club for the ‘’never a dull moment’’ at your Rallies. What a pair! Keep the good times coming.
To Marcia Thompson #5027 of the Carolinas Airstream Club for all your hard work behind the scenes. Quiet as a mouse, busy as a beaver, never complains, cheerful in all weather, never shirks a task. A real hero.
To C & S, our secret pals in The Southeastern Camping Unit, thanks for sharing your time and talents. You are indeed special.
To Alicia Rafter #4092 of the Florida Treasure Coast Airstream Club for your many years as Region 3 Registrar and for keeping a watchful eye on yours truly. And thank you, Mike, for hauling Alicia to the rallies.
To Roy Beavers #4392 of the Southeastern Camping Unit for stepping up above and beyond your duties as Region webmaster. Fabulous work, Roy! Thank you.
To Henry Knight #4826 of the South Carolina Coastal Airstream Club for being the ambassador for Region 3 as our membership chair. Thanks, Henry, for reaching out to all the new members.
To Larry and Debra Owens #1600 of the Florida Suncoast Airstream Club for taking on the huge responsibility of parking everyone at the International Rallies. Larry can put 10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag, and remain cheerful doing it. And Debra keeps all the numbers in perfect order. Amazing work!! Thank you, Larry and Debra.
To Jim Cocke and Debbie Wood #4822 of the Carolinas Airstream Club for leading the WBCCI as International President and First Lady, and for continuing to work hard on many Club projects.
TO ALL REGION 3 NEWSLETTER EDITORS….
Christine Stockstill #6573 Big Bend Florida Airstream Club
Marcia Thompson #5027 Carolina Airstream Club
Casey Lewis #3321 Coastal Georgia Airstream Club
Susan Poole #3988 Florida Airstream Club
John Miller #1855 Florida Springs Airstream Club
Alicia Rafter #4092 Florida Treasure Coast Airstream Club
David Janowitz #6965 Florida Suncoast Airstream Club
Lew Brodsky # 2585 Northern Virginia Airstream Club
Melia Jacobs #6901 Palmetto State Airstream Club
Gregory Ray #5218 Piedmont Airstream Club
Greg Heuer #1927 Spirit of Virginia Airstream Club
Jack and Deborah Brooks #9314 South Carolina Coastal Airstream Club
Tony Laurie #2856 South Florida Airstream Club
Kate Coast #5778 Southeastern Camping Unit
Frank Munoz #8487 Tidewater Virginia Airstream Club
Clara Ellis #7343 Top of Georgia Airstream Club
Gary Brink #29944 Virginia Airstream Club
Thank you, newsletter editors, for the many times you make something out of nothing. No news is not always good news, especially when attempting to put together a newsletter with no submissions from members. So, thanks again for continuously pulling the rabbit out of the hat, and keeping us all connected.
THE REGION 3 RALLY NEWS…
The Rally was of course cancelled, so we did not get to see each other this year, but we have next year in Tallahassee, Florida.
If you registered for the Region Rally in Myrtle Beach, by now you should have received the Rally Booklet we had already prepared and printed, along with a rally ribbon. If you have not received yours, please drop us a note with your mailing address and we will send one your way. If you were not registered for the Rally, but would like a booklet, please drop us a note as well, with your mailing address. The Rally Ribbon makes a great bookmark.
We would be very happy to send out a booklet to anyone that wants one. They will give you a glimpse into what we think would have been an exceptional rally. And, just in case you are wondering, no Region funds are spent on postage. A huge THANK YOU to all of you that have responded back with your kind words, they helped more than you know. There has been a tear in my beer since we cancelled.
A FEW EXCERPTS FROM THE RALLY BOOKLET:
Region 3 remains the largest of the 12 Regions in the WBAC, with approximately 2300 members in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Currently 17 local Clubs make up our Region.
At least 2 past International Presidents are from Region 3. Jim Cocke #4822, of the Carolinas Airstream Club, is the most recent. Region 3, spearheaded by members of our 4 Virginia Commonwealth Clubs, hosted the International Rally last year in Doswell, Virginia. We have hosted mid-winter IBT meetings, are home to 5 downtown rallies, and have members on key planning and leadership committees throughout the WBCCI.
Thanks to the efforts and strong leadership of our past Region officers, we continue to be leaders in the Club. The future is bright for Region 3, with a full slate of officers set to move us forward.
There are 17 MVP’s in Region 3. They are, of course, our local Club Presidents. Thank you, Presidents, for all you do. You are the ones that see to it that our Clubs continue to grow, remain strong, and move forward. You provide the great leadership needed to stay the course.
Thank you, members, for hitching up and making the trip, for without you, we would not be here today. You are the back bone of our Club and the reason we gather. This week is dedicated to you, have yourself a wonderful time.
Everyone… please make yourself at home this week. Enjoy each other, celebrate friendships, reach out to your neighbor, meet your new best friend, honor our past, embrace our future, and remember that we are all part of the Airstream family and share a common interest. There are no strangers here.
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS FOR 2019-2020
This is your Region 3 team and the folks that keep our Region running smoothly. They are fabulous at what they do. Please thank them when you see them.
PRESIDENT: John Leake #268 Palmetto State Airstream Club 803-984-7225(c)
1st VICE PRESIDENT: Bill Wild # 3615 Top of Georgia Airstream Club
CORRESPONDING AND RECORDING SECRETARY: Margaret Van de Ree #2685 Carolinas Airstream Club
TREASURER: Jerry Hall #2693 Carolinas Airstream Club
REGISTRAR: Alicia Rafter #4092 Florida Treasure Coast Airstream Club
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR TO THE BLUE BERET: Joan Anderson #2056 Top of Georgia Airstream Club
MEMBERSHIP: Henry Knight #4826 South Carolina Coastal Airstream Club
WEBMASTER: Roy Beavers #4392 Southeastern Camping Unit
CARAVANS: John Becker #2048 Piedmont Airstream Club
SAFETY: Bill Townsend #27070 Piedmont Airstream Club
PARLIAMENTARIAN: Julian Clements #224 Top of Georgia Airstream Club
PRESIDENT EMERITUS: John Frerking #227 South Florida Airstream Club
Thank you, team, for being so great and so dedicated, and for your hard work enabling Region 3 to remain at the front of the pack.
Thanks to our great treasurer, Jerry Hall, for keeping the money accounted for, to Joan Anderson for ALWAYS coming up with articles for the Blue Beret every month, to Margaret Van de Ree for taking the ever so important business minutes, to John Becker for chairing the Caravans, to Bill Townsend for sharing his knowledge on traveling safely, to Julian Clements for keeping us ALL in line as Parliamentarian, and of course to John Frerking and Matt Hackney, for handing us a strong and vibrant Region.
SEE YOU DOWN THE ROAD!
Since the International Rally in Loveland this summer has been cancelled, this will be our last time together as a group with us as your Region 3 President and First Lady. We can tell you without hesitation that these last 2 years have been fabulous for us, and we would do it all over again.
We count our 2 years as President and First Lady a success, not because of us, or anything we have done, but because of you, and everything you have done. Region 3 is strong, and a leader in the WBCCI, because of your dedication and enthusiasm. You, our members, make it all possible.
You have supported our Region by hosting and attending rallies, organized and led Caravans, you embraced new and exciting changes in the WBCCI as we modernize and move forward, you stepped up to serve when called on, and voted to approve new names and flag designs for your local Clubs to bring us all in better alignment with the goals of the International Club. The Region 3 “Downtown Rally” series is in full swing. We lead the way in every category. We could not be prouder of all the things you have done. Because of you, we remain the go-to-Region, the trend setters, the leaders in the WBCCI. We are “the Jones”.
People ask us everywhere we go…” What can I do to help?” Our answer is always the same… “It is very simple: Keep coming, keep showing up, keep sharing the love; Support your local Club by attending the rallies. Be a leader in your Club. Be the spark plug, the cheerleader, the Pied Piper. Do not be afraid to think outside the box. Try new things, new places, and new ideas. Remember that variety is the spice of life.”
Remember, too, the simple secret of life…’’Surround yourself with nice people.’’ If you do, everything else will fall into place. So… thank you, nice people, for traveling down the road with us these last 2 years, and for making the road so smooth.
Now…Please ‘’Don’t stop, keep right on going…”. We have more places to go, more things to see, and more things to do. And to help and guide us, we have wonderful, talented, and dedicated leaders coming on board for Region 3; the future remains bright. Please show your new team the kindness and support you have shown us. You will be pleased. Together, we continue to make Region 3 the best in the WBCCI. They will be installed and take office in June.
Just like our other past Region Presidents and First Ladies that remain active throughout our Club, we will always be available to help where needed, anytime. We will never give up our self-appointed positions as “Head Cheerleaders!’’, and will always be looking for you somewhere down the road.
Remember to practice random acts of kindness, make someone’s day a happy day, and pay it forward when you can. Get involved in your Club, your new and fresh ideas are wanted and needed. Do not be afraid to venture outside the box or try a new route. Veteran members, be a mentor to the new folks and new folks, step up to help our veteran members. Together we will continue to move forward.
Thank you all again for sharing the love.
John and Susan