jim-photo2  President's Corner

Dear members,
As of May 1, there are 58 days left until the official start, June 28, of the 59th International Rally/Convention at Lewisburg, West Virginia. Please note that I said the “official” start. By now, you should have received your parking date from the corporate office. All should have a parking date before the 24th of June…the 24th of June is the IBT seminar/meeting before the rally, as required by our constitution and everyone who wants to should be able to attend. This effectively gives you more time at the rally for your money…sort of a bonus. There are a few folks who have chosen to come in later due to work schedules or limited available time. We’ll keep a light on in the window, and welcome you when you arrive.

In March, Raisin and I were privileged to be part of the Cajun Country Caravan. After many years as members of WBCCI, this was the first numbered caravan we’ve been able to attend. What a great way to start caravanning! I have only good things to say about the fun, the food, the fellowship, the music and the caravan leaders. Cajun Country gets in your blood…I think I’ve even developed a Cajun accent. The food is fantastic, folks are friendly and the music sticks in your head…especially your ears. One day on the caravan, we had dinner at a place called “Rocky’s Cajun Kitchen,” an establishment for dinin’, dancin’ and drinkin’…food was good and the Cajun band was good, and good and loud. I looked around at our tables and saw everyone tearing ups bits of paper napkins and stuffing them in their ears. On the dance floor, caravan members were easily recognized by the tufts of white paper in their ears. You don’t have to be young to have fun but you have to have fun to stay young. I think Rocky’s will remember us and we will remember Rocky’s and the good time we had there…on the Cajun Caravan.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am “directionally challenged.” When I’m driving, Raisin has to tell me how to get to where I’m going. She is, of course, very good at telling me where to go…I think it’s a woman thing. I really don’t mind, because that leaves me free to just drive and look around…at cars and cattle, at good looking houses and farm lands and once in a while at a good looking representative of the other gender. I think it’s a man thing. As good as Raisin is at giving directions, she’s not very good at taking directions. For example, she has a problem with (though I’ve explained this several times), how we’re going to easily park over 700 Airstreams at the International Rally site, in a very short period of time. Maybe I’m just not good at explaining. I’m pretty sure that none of you folks need a course in Lewisburg Rally Parking 101, but for Raisin’s benefit, I’ll go over it once again, because I know she will respond to this article, probably more than I’d like.

On arrival at the Fairgrounds, some friendly members of the WBCCI family, the Welcome Committee, will greet you, and give you what is lovingly called “a goodie bag” filled with pamphlets, information and all kinds of good stuff. After you’ve been greeted, all stress and residual road rage should be gone.

You’ll then be directed down the road to where the Verification Committee hangs out. These friendly volunteers will determine, by consulting official WBCCI registration records, where you will be parked…if your fees have been paid, etc.…record-keeping stuff and again welcome you. You will then be directed to one of several staging areas…lovingly called “bull pens.” I don’t know where that came from. There are no bulls in there…well, maybe a little bull now and then. In the bull pens, you’ll find some friendly volunteers of the Parking Committee in golf carts. We call them “Parkers” though they don’t actually park your Airstream. They will escort you to your designated parking site, assist you if needed and again welcome you. That’s it…the easy parking procedure…repeated over 700 times…piece of cake! For a more detailed parking procedure, please read Paul Ryan’s article in this issue of the Blue Beret. Paul is the Parking Committee Chairman and he’ll make sure that your parking experience is a good one.

I have some good news! Registrations for the rally have reached 750, the largest number in recent years...but I also have some really sad news. The facilities for our rally are nearly full, the Fire Marshall could say that we are at maximum capacity, and then some. Regrettably, we must stop accepting both ON and OFF site registrations on May 15 and day passes for non-registered members will not be issued after May 15. Your response to this rally has been terrific and I really appreciate all of you, and wish that everyone in the Club could be in Lewisburg...but the bottom line is that we’ve just run out of room and there is no more available. I’m sorry...Jim

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Category: President's Message

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