After reading my blog about all the fun we are missing at the Escapees RV Club‘s Escapade rally, which is going on in Tucson this week, I got emails from two different people who told me they had heard a rumor that I had been fired from the Escapade staff and that we are no longer members of the club.
That’s news to me, especially since I was never part of the Escapade staff. I have been a volunteer speaker at many Escapades over the years, but I don’t think they can fire volunteers. As for us no longer being members of the club, according to my membership card, we are life members. We love being part of the Escapees, and to us the club has always been one big extended family.
Somebody else wrote to say that they had been told we were not at Escapade because of my failing health. Wrong again. We did have to cancel our appearance at last year’s Escapade in Vermont and spent the summer at Elkhart Campground in Indiana instead, because we were still getting our feet back under us from when I was sick the winter before, and I had some medical follow-up needed and we had to be at one place to get it done. Trust me, I’m very much alive and well. At least as much as a mid-60s fat guy can be. Besides the normal aging issues that everybody has at this time in their lives, Miss Terry and I are both doing fine.
I’m reminded of the time years ago when Terry and I were traveling in our MCI bus conversion and found ourselves at a Corps of Engineers campground in Fort Smith, Arkansas. This was back when we used a Hughes tripod internet dish for internet access, and tree cover prevented us from getting a signal. So we were not online for two or three days. When we left and finally did get online, our inbox was flooded with e-mails from people who had heard we had been killed or seriously injured in an accident. Apparently somebody saw or heard of a bus conversion accident in Oklahoma and decided that it must be us, since we were incommunicado.
And back in 2013, there was a rumor going around that Mac McCoy, the RV fire safety expert, was very ill or had passed away. Mac is a good friend of mine, and I was obviously concerned, so I called him and he assured me he was still very much alive and well. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t lying about it.
Sometimes I wonder how rumors like this get started, but then I remember that I was partly responsible for one that had the entire United States Military Academy all fired up many years ago. At the time, I was a soldier stationed at West Point, and it was June Week, which is when the cadets graduate, with all sorts of fanfare. It was midmorning and I was walking past Buffalo Soldier Field, an athletic field on the post. At that time West Point did not have a helicopter landing pad, and when a helicopter came in they radioed ahead of time and MPs blocked off the field so they could land there.
On this particular morning, that’s what they were doing. A civilian who was on post for June Week asked me what was happening and I told him a helicopter would be landing there soon. He asked me who was on a helicopter, and I said I didn’t know. Then he said it must be somebody important. Again, I said I didn’t know. That’s when he asked, “Is President Nixon coming to address the graduating class?”
I looked him in the eye and said, “I never told you that.”
“He is, isn’t he? The President’s coming?”
I put my hand over my name tag and said, “Sergeant Russell never told you that” and then I smiled at him and walked away.
A couple of hours later when I went to the barracks for lunch, people were running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. The First Sergeant saw me and shouted, “Get your dress uniform on. The President’s here and he’s coming to inspect us!”
So I put on my monkey suit and we all stood around waiting on pins and needles for the next three or four hours. Finally it was determined that the President was not on post and we were told to stand down. My Commanding Officer, Captain Edgerton, said something about nobody had any idea how that rumor had started. I replied, “Who knows, sir? Somebody says something and somebody else takes it out of context, and the next thing you know, the whole base is in an uproar. Crazy, isn’t it?”
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Suzie O’Connell’s Starlight Magic, from her popular Northstar romance series To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – I love rumors. I always find out amazing things about myself that I never knew before.