Last Day In Elkhart

 Posted by at 1:39 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 172011

Today is our last day in Elkhart, and I have no idea where the time went. We got here August 11, and I think this has been the fastest five weeks of my life. We had a lot of things we wanted to get done while we were here, including kayaking on the Saint Joseph River, paying a visit on Carylye Lehman at Focal Wood Furniture, and getting over to Goshen to try to work out an arrangement for a future Gypsy Journal Rally at the fairgrounds there, and we never got any of it done. We plan to pop back into Elkhart Campground sometime in mid-October to get the new issue of the Gypsy Journal printed and mailed, and maybe we can get some of that done then.

A week ago, I wrote a blog titled Why We Are Leaving The FMCA, in which I outlined some of the many reasons we have decided not to renew either our FMCA commercial or family membership. On Thursday, Jon Walker, a Gypsy Journal subscriber and the FMCA Great Lakes Area National Vice President, stopped by to visit. John wanted to talk about our problems with the Family Motor Coach Association, and he patiently heard me out, and agreed with me that my complaints were entirely justified.

John apologized for the way we have been treated, and said he had forwarded my blog on to FMCA National President Charlie Schrenkel. He said Mr. Schrenkel wanted to call me, which he did yesterday morning. I didn’t do a lot of talking, basically I listened as Mr. Schrenkel acknowledged that the organization has a lot of problems, including a shrinking membership and fewer vendors at their rallies. He also apologized for our dissatisfaction with the group. I did ask him why we were told we had to maintain both our family and commercial membership, and he said that was not required, although we have been told that it was several times in the past.

I asked him why the FMCA required a vendor to buy a commercial membership to have a booth at their National Rallies, which are already very expensive. He said that was to protect vendors from having non-commercial members there selling the same products.  Huh? So, it’s okay to have other commercial members selling the same product? That makes it better for a vendor? The Escapees, Good Sam Club, and none of the other national RV clubs I know of, require a vendor to pay for a membership, just to be allowed to pay them even more to come to a rally. I don’t think that it is required at the smaller FMCA area rallies, but I may be wrong on that point. That may be just one of the many reasons so many vendors I know are unhappy with FMCA. Who needs the added expense?

At any rate, it was nice of  Mr. Schrenkel to call, and I really appreciate Jon Walker taking the time to come to our motorhome and talk to us. But we still do not plan to continue our affiliation with the FMCA.   

I spent part of the day moving files from the external hard drive that I keep plugged into my Dell PC to the iMac’s hard drive. People kept telling me that there was quite a learning curve when switching from a PC to a Mac, but to be honest, neither Terry or I think it has been that big of a hassle.  And the more we use the iMacs, the more impressed we are with them. My buddy Greg White still curls his lip every time he looks at the iMacs, but we’ve come to sort of an unspoken agreement; Greg doesn’t rag on me too much about my iMac, and in return, I keep quiet about Sarah Palin when he’s around. 🙂

Yesterday afternoon, Charles and Chris Yust took us to dinner at King Wha, my favorite Chinese restaurant in the world, and we had a wonderful time visiting over our delicious dinners.  We have known Charles and Chris for a long time, and they are regular vendors at our Gypsy Journal rallies, but this was the first time we’ve been able to spend time visiting away from all of the noise and activity of a rally setting.

After we finished eating, we came back home and spent a couple more hours visiting. Chris had a couple of computer questions for Greg, so I called and asked him and Jan to come over and join the party. Jan was already settled in for the night, but Greg showed up, and between the five of us, we had a lot of laughs and fun.

Charles and Chris still had to drive back to the RV park in Howe where their rig is parked, so after a while we all said our goodbyes, and Terry sent them away with two loaves of freshly baked honey wheat oat bread.

We still have some errands to run today, and on Sunday we’ll leave for the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Celina, Ohio to get set up for our Ohio Gypsy Journal Rally. We have plenty of room, so if you haven’t registered yet, come join in on all the fun!

Thought For The Day – Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.

Click Here To Register For Our Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally!

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Nick Russell

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

  6 Responses to “Last Day In Elkhart”

  1. Nick/Terry;
    We’d like to attend you rally but we are in a Passport America RV park in Moab,UT,just 5 miles from Arches,NP.
    See you in Yuma in March..
    Mark & Lydia

  2. I am pleased that Charlie Schrenkel took the initiative to call you. Regardless of how the issue was resolved, I view charlie to be a straight shooter. I guess it’s OK for two good men to agree to disagree, and I fully understand your frustration with FMCA.

  3. Sarah Palin. Ha. Now that is funny. 🙂

  4. OK, Nick, now I’m curious, just exactly what are your views on Sarah Palin???? Funny!

  5. We missed your original post on the FMCA but went back and read it. Could not agree more.

    We were vendors at three FMCA rallies (two area and one national) and were treated like crap at each one by both the parking crews and staff, and a lot of the members were snooty. My wife was yelled at at our booth in front of customers because she did not clean up after our dog and told that if she didn’t clean up the mess we would be evicted. Only problem was that we don’t HAVE a dog! I told the creep (who was in charge of vendor parking area) that and he said “Well some redheaded lady had it!” and walked away! No apology, nothing.

  6. See you in a few days in Celina, take care and be safe getting there.

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