Aug 172011

I finished laying out the new issue of the Gypsy Journal last night, and after a final proofing this morning, I will upload it to our printer’s web server so they can do their thing. This is issue 74, and I still get a thrill every time we put a new issue to bed. Then I fret and worry until we pick it up from the printer. Did I fix that typo on page 6? Do the photos have enough contrast? Will the printer do a good job? You’d think after over 30 years of publishing newspapers I’d learn to relax by now, but I always feel like a new father pacing outside the delivery room.

Just because the paper is finished doesn’t mean our work is! We’ll pick up the new issue from the printer on Thursday, and spend the next several days stuffing envelopes and getting them all mailed out to our subscribers. Well, okay, Miss Terry will be the one doing all of the work, I’ll just be the gofer, lugging bundles of newspapers inside, and bins full of stuffed envelopes back out to the Explorer.

And, of course, once we get the mailing all done, it’s time to get busy on all of the final details for our Eastern Gypsy Journal Rally the end of September. What’s that they say about all work and no play? 🙂

Hey, don’t worry about me – my work is play to me! I know I’ve got the best job in the whole world, and I thank all of you for making it possible for us to continue doing it. We don’t plan to stop until we get too feeble to turn the key in our motorhome’s ignition, and hopefully that won’t be for a long, long time!

Speaking of rallies, we have to do a lot of long range planning to make them happen. Our next Western Rally will be in Yuma, Arizona March 5-9. And we need to make a decision on a location for next year’s Eastern Rally. One option is at the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Celina, Ohio again. Or we could hold it at Elkhart Campground, like we did last year. The campground is a popular location, but presents us with some challenges, because they don’t have enough buildings for all of our seminars. Last year we had to rent a huge tent for some of our seminars and for the evening entertainment. It worked, but it really put a dent in our budget.

And there is no reason we can’t look at other venues. The Amana Colonies in Iowa have been suggested, and an upscale RV park called Sun-N-Fun in Sarasota, Florida has been courting us. That would force us to push the rally dates later into the winter, but who knows, maybe it could work. We need a place capable of accommodating 100+ RVs, and at least four buildings for seminars, as well as a large hall for evening events. I’d appreciate your feedback. If you’ve been to our Eastern Rallies, where would you like to go? We’re open to suggestions.

Thought For The Day – Never regret something that once made you smile.

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Nick Russell

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  20 Responses to “Another One Bites The Dust”

  1. I vote for the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Not only is it a cool area, but we live in Minnesota! We wanted to come to Celina this year, but when we figured up the fuel cost there and back, we decided to plan some trips closer to home. If you held it in Iowa, we would have no excuse not to be there!

  2. I would like to see a rally on the east coast in the winter. That would allow east coast workampers to attend.

  3. Nick we really liked the Elkhart CG setup last year. I know you had a lot of headaches concerning CG reservations. I would separate out the rally and the registration. Let folks make their own reservations directly with the CG.
    I would like to try a FL rally as well. Pushing it back in the year a bit wouldn’t be a problem for us. I can’t speak to the other venue you mentioned because we’ve never been there. See you at the rally.

  4. Nick,
    I like the idea of the Amana Colonies. You have a West and an East rally and this could be a Midwest rally. I, like Rod live in MN and would attend in a heart beat. Not only is the Amana Colony in a beautiful area, people could tour the Winnnebago/Itasca factory which isn’t too far away. I think you would draw alot of new people to the rally.

  5. Nick,

    How about Lewisburg, WV? There was an Escapade there about 10 years ago.

    Tell me what your requirements are and we’ll check out the Amana site. I go past it weekly since my mother is in the Care Center there. Without seeing it again, it can handle the 100 RVs (hands down). But the number of meeting rooms would be short I think.

    My biggest complaint is that they used to allow camping in the city park for $5 a night. Then they built the campground (for the National PLowing Matches) and raised the rate to $15 a night. Now it is about $30 a night for singles. (I think they are hurting for users based upon what I see when we drive by!)


  6. We like either of those two choices. Amana Colonies offer a lot of nice things to do pre-rally. Celina is also a nice friendly place for the rally. Elkhart Campground was nice but as you said the buildings are small and the expense of the big tent is something consider.

  7. Nick,

    Bill and I like to go to different places. Isn’t that why we pick different roads? Isn’t that why we are RVing? It doesn’t matter where, but I think going back to the same place is defeating why we are RVing. Our type of Rving is to explore and discover different things and places.

  8. I vote for Florida in November when us Canadians can get to your rally in our 6 month out of country. I can never get to your September rally because of it. I was to your Yuma rally and really enjoyed it, but there again I am in Ontario. The Tampa Fair Grounds is a big place, might be pretty pricey though, but very central to a lot of Florida.

  9. We camped at Fun N Sun in Sarasota for a month last winter and while it was a great place for activities, I cannot imagine it would be a good choice for a rally. Although they have a fair number of nice places to stay for folks without RV’s,there wouldn’t be anywhere for all the campers to be gathered near each other. The outbuildings were buzzing with all the activities that draw people to this campground in the first place. It’s hard to imagine they would have space for all your programs, vendors and presentations as well. Most of all it was very expensive. We are going back to the Rio Grande Valley this winter which we know you love, because it’s 1/3 the price and has as many activities to distract us until the worst of winter is over.

  10. My vote is for Florida. For those of us who base along the east coast, it would be easier and November in Florida is still empty so to speak. Most seasonals don’t start coming down until after Thanksgiving.

  11. I worked for a small monthly newspaper for almost 20 years and I understand the feeling of accomplishment when you are FINISHED. Of course, it doesn’t last long. When you get the brand new issue in your hands, the typo you missed (always in 30 pt headline) looks so obvious! It’s a great business if you don’t weaken.

  12. How about the Elkhart Fairgrounds in Goshen, IN? We also liked Celina.
    Since we are not fulltimers some of the others mentioned would be out for
    us. We winter in Texas so definitely Florida would be out. Just our opinion
    on where we would like the Easstern Rally.

  13. One place the BAC has used for at least 4 pre-rallies to FMCA in Perry is Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga. Spence Field is an old WWII airbase. It was turned over to the city. One part of the field has poles with 30 amp hookup (at least 100 hookups – some concrete, most grass). There is a second field with more poles and 30 amp. We always came in full of water and empty tanks and used the site for 4 or 5 days. Don’t know about water or dump.

    We used the old officer’s building which has one large room (meals and entertainment) and one small room for meetings. Monaco International was there at the same time and used another building which I have not been in for seminars, meals and vendors.

    Lots to do in and around Moultrie; ex. tour of Maule Aircraft (right on site), wonderful local museum in town. Plenty of stores; Walmart, grocery stores,etc in town.

    Website Under FAQ: camping is arranged thru City of Moultrie Purchasing Dept, 229-890-5425.

    You could check it out on the way to Florida. Best place to stay nearby is Reed Bingham State Park (15-20 miles away). There is also Moultrie RV Park which is a PA park (haven’t stayed there).

    Once looked at Osceola Fairgrounds near Kissimmee, Fl as a possible site. RV sites with electric and water very limited. Not sure about drycamping in parking areas around venue. Website Might want to check it out when you are down our way.

  14. Do you have 3 rallies in ya? Looks like the traffic is there.
    Opun seeing the dates for Yuma we see that we will mis it next year. as we are going on a cruise with some RV friends to celebrate their 50th Anniv. We will be in Desert Trails in SW Tucson from Feb. till late April. swing by if you can.

  15. LeRoy, Miss Terry assures me that if I want to add a third rally to our schedule, she will happily tell whomever my next wife is how to do the 1,001 tasks she handles for each rally.

  16. Years ago we attended a rally at the fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri. We didn’t have any problems camping in the rain because there are plenty of buildings and the CG has good drainage. Also, for a super facility, you know there is always Gillette, Wyoming.

  17. Have attended (unofficially) a couple of FMCA rallies at New Mexico State U’s Pan American center in Las Cruces, NM–shoulder seasons of course.

  18. We to have been to the fairgrounds in Sedalia, MO. The sites have 30A with water & sewer. Only spent one night there in ’06 and sites “might” be a little tight for the bigger rigs if they are really busy ( more than one rally at a time ).

  19. Just read your post this evening. We happen to be at Amana RV Park right now for the FCOC. We had 60+ units snd still plenty of room. There must be over 400 sites with over 250 sites of 30/50 amp full hook-ups and others just water and electric all on gravel parking spaces. Four dump stations. There are four buildings but I have only been in one of them. We had all of our events in there. Free WiFi. Some very neat shops in the Amama Colonies to visit. Phone number of the RV office is 800-471-7616

  20. like elkhart campground. like full hook up. lots to see and in elkhart ind.

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