Feb 112009

Well, first we had rain, and then we had mud. That was followed by gale force winds and plummeting temperatures. What else could God throw at us for this rally? As it turns out, the Big Guy has quite the sense of humor.

By yesterday morning the wind had died down, and though it was still pretty chilly, at least we had blue sky overhead. I was just starting my Meandering Down The Highway seminar in the early afternoon when there were two loud popping noises outside that gave everyone in the room a start, and about the time I could say “What the hell was that?” there was a terrific boom, more than a couple of people screamed, and the power went out. I wasn’t sure if lightning had struck or if somebody’s propane tank had exploded.

As it turns out, a kid’s mylar balloon had come floating by and gotten itself tangled into the power lines in front of the fairgrounds. It shorted out the fuses on two different transformers, and the third transformer in line completely exploded.

Miss Terry and several other people who were outside when it happened said it created quite a light show for a few seconds there.

Here is a photo Terry took of what was left of the red balloon entangled in the wires, and a shot of the pole where the transformer blew. Note that the top of the pole is charred from the explosion. 

Fortunately, there was a road crew from the local electric utility on the fairgrounds property at the time this happened, and in no time at all they had repaired the problem and restored power.

When this all happened I had my laptop computer and LCD projector running, and I was afraid they might have gotten fried, but we dodged that bullet and everything was okay. Once the power was back on and everybody was back in their seats I said to my audience “We’ve had rain, mud, wind and now transformers blowing up around us. What’s next, a plague of locusts?”

The good news is that while it is supposed to be chilly for the next couple of days, we should see clear skies for the rest of the rally. Terry and I spent some time wandering around the vendor area, and all of our vendors seem to be having a pretty good show in spite of everything that has happened. 

We have every kind of RV you could imagine here, from tiny Class B vans to huge land yachts, and even a couple of unique rigs you’ll never see anywhere else. I took these photos of a custom trailer and the vintage truck that tows it while we were in Aransas Pass, Texas a while back. We met the owners while we were all out kayaking, and gave them a copy of the Gypsy Journal. They liked it and came to the rally.

Another one of a kind rig here for the rally is this unit, which was built in a boatyard down south. It looks part bus conversion, part boat, and part spaceship. I have not been inside either rig yet, but I sure hope to get to see them before the rally ends.

After the day’s seminars are over today, we’ll have our pizza party, and then our Cactus Queen beauty contest. This is a big hit every year. Norah Glover, who is organizing the event, promises me that she’s got some real cuties lined up for us. Look for photos in tomorrow’s blog.

Thought For The Day – Good judgment comes from experience, and much of that comes from bad judgment.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “One More Calamity”

  1. Nick, get some good photos of those two rigs. I wonder what that coach started life as. The frontend does not look like a bus, from the side view. Wish I was there.

  2. We all thought it was just “Mac – The Fire Guy” putting on a special demonstration!!

  3. Well, I think I’m glad we went to the Salina Rally. There we only had mud rain! Better luck the rest of the week, Nick.

  4. Nick I have to tell you this. We were out to dinner in Casa Grande early afternoon today and the 2 couples next to us kept glancing our way. Finally before they left he asked is wife (since she was closest to us) What does it say on their badge? Is it something about Gypsy? She said yes it says Gypsy Gathering 2009. Then he said, as they were heading out, “They don’t look like GYPSIES” I wanted to say something so bad but decided to just let them wonder.

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