Before I get into yesterday’s activities, Terry and I want to thank everybody for your positive blog comments and wonderfully supportive e-mails after our announcement yesterday that this would be our last Gypsy Journal Rally, at least for the foreseeable future. Your overwhelming expressions of love and support have reinforced to us that this was the right decision at the right time. It also reminded us just how wonderful our extended family of RVers is.
A couple of people have asked me if this is only the first step toward us shutting down entirely and hanging up the keys. Absolutely not! We plan to be out here running around the country writing stories and having adventures for as long as our hearts will beat and our wheels will roll. All this will do is let us relax a bit, enjoy life a bit, and concentrate more on our writing and publishing business. You’re not getting rid of us that easy!
Okay, now let’s get to yesterday’s nonsense. My eyes hurt! Not because I’m tired, though I am; not because we have been really busy, though we have. My eyes hurt because of the things that they saw yesterday evening here at the Gypsy Journal Rally.
But before we get to that, there was a lot going on all day yesterday. As it does during a rally week, Terry’s day started about 5 AM when she got up to start getting ready for coffee and donuts. Lazy me stayed in bed until about 7 AM, which is only 3 or 4 hours earlier than I normally wake up.
I only had one seminar to teach yesterday, and that was in the afternoon, so I spent much of the day hanging around the registration booth visiting with people or out mingling with the crowd. One of the comments that we have gotten many times is that rally attendees like being able to talk to Terry and I one-on-one, and that we make ourselves accessible to them. That’s because we love our readers and we truly enjoy that interaction. It’s one of the things we will miss most about our rallies.
Mike Loscher has been handling book and CD sales at the rally, and in just two days we have sold out of printed copies of both Big Lake and Big Lake Lynching. Thanks for all your help Mike!
From 4 to 5 PM I presented a seminar on guns in RVs, which was well attended. We talked about the responsibilities that come with gun ownership, the necessity not only for safety training but tactical training if one is going to carry a firearm for self-defense, the legal aspects of traveling with a firearm, and the emotional repercussions if one ever has to pull the trigger on another human being. I also demonstrated several different types of weapons, including a pump action shotgun, single and double action semi-automatic pistols, and a double action revolver. The feedback I got after the seminar was all positive.
At 6 PM we had our pizza party, and as she has at every rally, Terry amazed everyone at her ability to serve over 200 people in about 7 minutes time. That girl has it down to science!
It was time for the grand event, our Buckeye Beauty Contest. And oh, what an experience it was! Check out this collection of cuties. Now can you understand why my eyes hurt?
My eyes weren’t the only thing hurting, though. A lot of people told me their sides were aching from laughing so hard at the antics of these… errr…. ladies? Oh, let’s be honest, there wasn’t a lady on that stage.
I warned the audience before the show started that if they were easily offended, it might be best to leave right then and there. It was all in good fun, and while some of the “girls” may have been a little naughty, nobody was nasty. Well… maybe just a little!
After we crowned our queen, the contestants went down into the audience and collected money for charity. We got $210, which will go to a good cause. Thank you everybody for your generosity, and a special thank you to our cuties for putting their dignity on hold to help us put on a good show.
Today is our last full rally day, and once again we have a full schedule of seminars lined up. This may be the last time around for us, but we plan to go out with a bang!
Thought For The Day – Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Here’s a little video of the Buckeye Beauty Contest. http://youtu.be/41o_lwmd7Nk
Nick and Terry – We were so fortunate to attend two of your rallies in Celina – the first time before we even bought our 5th Wheel, the next year with it. Learned so much, thank you! Only you know how hard it is to run one of these shin-digs – it isn’t easy and the toll on your health is not worth it. just remember you have so many people you have educated and met over the years doing the seminars – you will run into folks again and again who will thank you. Dave and I thank you! Happy travels. Hope to see you someday on the road. (We are in Yellowstone NP right now). Linda
Congratulations on your decision, I hope you don’t feel guilty, you don’t “owe” your rally attendees anything. We were not able to attend one, we were fortunate enough to see you speak at the first Tucson Life on Wheels in 2006. Your seminars were one of the best. I immediately became a subscriber. The premature death of your friend, Dave Baleria, should help you realize that we don’t know how much time we have and take care of yourself first. We had just become fulltimers in March 2006 after quitting our stressful management jobs at ages 49 & 55. It was not the best financial decision but we discovered workamping and still volunteer 6 months of the year. I wouldn’t change anything, we were able to be there for family when they needed us, especially the birth of triplet grandchildren. I helped my daughter for 9 months when she really needed me. Get off the hamster reel and enjoy yourself more. It will probably help create more characters to write about! There’s plenty of them here at an rv park in Reno after the Burning Man Festival.
Between the pictures and Chris’s film clip, I just went ahead and washed my eyes out with bleach. That took care of it.
I’m not clear…..does this mean no Yuma rally?? Just wondering since you mention talking to Yuma fairground once in a while. Don’t know if that was for canceling, of for info. If it is still on, we’ll be there, but if not, I would like to know. Either way, for your sake, I’m behind you all the way!!
No, there won’t be a Yuma rally. We had to make a change, we are both burnt out and the rallies were taking so much time and losing too much money in the process.