Aug 162012

In a blog I wrote exactly one month ago today titled Lots To See And Do, I reported that while coming across Interstate 86 in New York the road was so rough that one of the hubcaps had bounced off the dual wheels on our motorhome. I said that when we got back to Elkhart Campground from New England, I would order a replacement from Spartan Chassis in Charlotte, Michigan.

Tuesday afternoon I called Spartan and told the parts man I spoke with that I wasn’t sure what part number I needed, and all he needed was the last 5 digits of our Winnebago’s VIN number. I gave him those numbers, he cross-referenced them with their inventory and said they had the part I needed in stock, and that it was $78.83 plus shipping. But he said that because we had just been in the factory for service a few weeks ago, he would give me the shop rate of $48.72 plus shipping. I gave him my credit card number, and yesterday, less than 24 hours later, it was delivered. That’s darned good service!

We spent yesterday getting caught up on chores around the motorhome, including answering 37 e-mails about our upcoming Ohio Gypsy Journal Rally. The closer we get to rally date, the more hectic things always become. And this is no exception.

Several people wanted to know, since the rally starts on a holiday weekend, if it would be possible to arrive at the fairgrounds in Celina a couple of days early to avoid all the holiday traffic. Yes, the fairgrounds is a Passport America affiliate and you can come in any time you want. However, we only have a few full hookup RV sites, and those are reserved for people with special needs. So if you arrive early and park in one of those sites you will have to move early on Sunday morning when the Early Birds start arriving.

Quite a few people have asked when Terry and I will get to Celina. We plan to arrive the 25th or 26th to start working on all the last-minute details that have to be handled before the rally starts. We are looking forward to seeing everybody, but please understand that we have a lot to get accomplished, so we may not have a lot of time for socializing.

Several people have invited us to dinner during the rally. The only thing I enjoy more than going out to dinner is going out to dinner when somebody else picks up the check. But during the rally we are going six directions at once, from early in the morning until late at night, and we usually just run out and grab something quick and scarf it down as fast as we can to get back to the fairgrounds. As I’ve said before, we are doing a lot of thinking about the future of the rallies, and part of that is because they are just so time and labor intensive.

Today we have to drive to South Bend to pick up the addressed envelopes from the commercial mail service. We will be picking up the new edition from our printer in Allegan, Michigan Saturday morning. Actually, we could pick them up on Friday, but there is a fiber festival in Allegan on the weekend that Terry wants to visit. It doesn’t make any sense to drive 80+ miles up there two days in a row. And once we have the papers and the envelopes, Terry will launch into her envelope stuffing frenzy, I will just try to stay out of her way while she gets the job done.

Thought For The Day – I know the voices in my head aren’t real, but man, do they ever come up with some great ideas!

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Nick Russell

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  6 Responses to “Good Service From Spartan”

  1. While in Oregon a couple of weeks ago Luke heard our hub cover rattling on our Itasca. He discovered the long bolt had about a half-inch of worn thread in the middle. The good news is we didn’t lose it. The Freightliner dealer in Redmond had it overnighted. More good service while traveling.

    As for running yourselves ragged during your rally, go back and re-read all the comments from last March where one constant theme emerged — DELEGATE. Lots of folks are willing to take on BIG and LITTLE tasks. Spend your time NOW to develop the To Do lists and leave a line next to each item for someone’s name. Nick, we all love you, but you do not have to park us! Miss Terry does not have to make the coffee or sweep the floors. Nor does your key advance team of Greg, Jan, Barbara, and Tom. LET others help! (Readers, post here if you agree with me.)

  2. Although we have yet to attend any of Nick and Terry’s rallies, we go to about four or five chapter rallies each year. The ones where we can sign up to help are some of my favorites. We WANT to help, but sometimes it is hard to know what the rally organizer needs, unless there is a list of volunteer duties. As is evident from (most) comments, people love you, Nick and Terry, and I believe they (most of them, anyway) would be willing to help where needed.

  3. Judy,I totally agree with you, there are a lot of us that will do anything, well almost anything to help Nick and Terry. I love the folks who come and volunteer to help me with registration, I am never short of folks wanting to help me thru the week. Miss Terry needs to also delegate some of the task she has to do so she also is not run ragged. she has to keep an eye on Nick to make sure he is fine. Being on advanced staff gives us the time to also to help when we can.

  4. One of the things you have to remember when delegating is: maybe they won’t do it exactly the way you would, but it is better if they do it than if you do it. Sometimes they might even come up with a better way! And if it isn’t perfect, remember, we love you and Miss Terry for who you are, not what you do for us.

  5. While I tend to agree with Cool Judy, I also understand human nature and know that some of the volunteers will not show or will show up late or will lose interest and go back to their rig before the task is done. But there has to be a point where you can delegate more in the future than you have in the past.


    You are so well liked and appreciated and we all do not want to see you and Terry burn out on this or any other rally, so do your best to give more tasks to volunteers you know you can trust to get the job done.

  6. I’ll up the ante a bit more. We’ll be there as early birds on Sunday afternoon. We would love to help you out as we can. Let us know what we can do. Last year we helped with the pizza party and helped you clean up on Friday.

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