I’m sorry yesterday’s blog was so short, but I was just too punch drunk from two days of parking RVs and putting out fires to function. I’m just as tired tonight, but at least we got back to our motorhome a little earlier (9 p.m.) and I can think straight.
Besides being an expert instructor, my friend Dennis Hill from the RV Driving School really knows how to handle a camera, and he has been busy taking photos here at the rally, and was gracious enough to allow me to use some of them in the blog, so you call can see all the fun you’re missing if you’re not here.
You all know about Good Nick and Bad Nick, but here is a picture of Tired Nick taken Monday night, after operating on adrenalin, nervous energy, and only about six hours sleep in two days. Miss Terry was just as exhausted, but she’s never too tired to laugh. How did a guy who looks like me ever get such a beautiful, intelligent lady to even give him a second glance? It’s one of the great mysteries of life.
Here is a shot of the crowd gathering for our official welcoming Monday night, which kicks off the rally. For most of my life, I have had such stage fright that the idea of getting up in front of even a dozen people and speaking terrified me and made me physically ill, but now I’m perfectly comfortable on stage talking to crowds like this, numbering in the hundreds.
After Terry and I welcomed everybody, Sharon and Don Del Rosario came up on stage so Sharon could tell everybody about the small afghans, called lapghans, that she crochets for a wonderful organization called Soldiers’ Angels, that passes them on to wounded veterans. Sharon urged all of the knitters and crocheters in the crowd to consider making a few projects for our troops.
Then a fine young man from the Yuma Marine Air Station, Lance Corporal Benson, spoke to the crowd about the mission of the air station and its role in training combat pilots for overseas deployment.
It did this old veterans’ heart proud to see everybody on their feet, applauding and giving Lance Corporal Benson such respect for all he and the rest of our men and women in the military do for us. I know I wasn’t the only vet there with a lump in his throat, and a tear in his eye.
Once all of the welcoming and introduction duties were handled, I was only too happy to relinquish the stage to David Bradley, who put on a wonderful 90 minute concert that had the entire crowd clapping and singing along to the music.
Yesterday was packed with seminars, and the feedback we are getting on them is very positive. I was told that the geocaching seminar had over 60 people in the audience, and I know we have some new converts to the hobby!
I did a seminar on Gypsy Journal FAQs to answer some of the questions that people always have about the paper and why we do things the way we do, and then sat in on Joe Kieva’s excellent Personal Security Tips For RVers seminar. If you couldn’t make it to the rally, you can order their book by the same title, in either paperback or online as an e-book.
I don’t worry about security here at the rally, because I have Art Fennell to keep an eye on things. With this big guy covering my back, I can sleep tight tonight. Of course, having 5,000 U.S. Marines right across the street helps too!
Our vendors all seemed to be doing good business as people shopped for everything from satellite TV systems to tire pressure monitors, jewelry, and RV insurance. If you need it, it’s probably for sale in our vendor area.
I’ll be doing two new seminars today, Cemetery Stories, and Blogging For RVers. I also hope to find time to sit in on a few seminars myself. Joe and Vicki Kieva are doing a seminar on RVing Alaska, and Judy Bayless is doing her popular The RVing Genealogist, and I hope to take in both.
Before I close, I want to mention again how much I appreciate all of our volunteers, who do so much to help make these rallies a success. And, a very special thank you goes out to Miss Terry, who shoulders so much of the burden in everything we do. While I get to be up on stage goofing off and telling my little stories, she’s the one behind the scenes who makes sure the donuts get ordered every morning, the coffee gets made, the day pass visitors are handled, and a 1,001 other details that I can’t even begin to list. Without her, there wouldn’t be a Gypsy Gathering rally, or a Gypsy Journal at all. They say that behind every great man is a great woman, and I’ll tell you what, behind this very mediocre man is one hell of a lady! I love you, baby.
Thought For The Day – Don’t let your fears stand in the way of your dreams