Archive for July, 2009

Mystery Rally-Rustic Barn-Kieler, Wi.-July23-26th

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

KielerHailAndy’s “Kielers”

Keiler, Wisconsin, July 24Th, about 6:45 PM, Golf Ball size hail driven by 100 mi/hr. straight line winds assaulted the 11 trailers and tow vehicles which came to the Rally. Whites’, Dixons’, and Humbles’ had their trucks windows shattered. Clark’s car sunroof exploded. Dixon’s’ two side windows on their 1963 trailer shattered. Miraculously, no newer model trailers, with tempered glass windows, broke. However, skylights in many trailers were cracked or destroyed. “Kielers”, too numerous to count, appeared on all the trailers. (“Kielers” are similar to “Bismarcks” but are larger, measuring up to 9 inches in diameter and up to 1.2 inches deep.) Tree limbs fell on other trailers. Of course, the power went out. Many people retreated to the barn basement. The skylight in the barn shattered and it rained in. I stood under the metal clad front porch of the barn holding the door shut, while watching it all unfold. Dave Clark ran to his trailer as it started, to close his vent and got trapped in the trailer as the hail battered it. The noise of the large hailstones breaking glass in the cars and trying to get through the metal roof was unreal. At the time, we were holding happy hour inside the barn after returning from a 50 mile long road rally scavenger hunt (sans trailers) and waiting for the rain to clear before starting our outdoor cook out. Needless to say, plans changed. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

After it settled down a bit we ventured out to survey the damage. It was extensive. This was a new experience for most and one we hope to never repeat. Plastic sheeting, cardboard and massive amounts of duct tape came to the rescue as people readied their rigs for their trip to the next destination.

Most people will be contacting their insurance companies today. The big concern is: how to get the trailers and tow vehicles repaired without having the insurance companies “totaling” them or raising the premiums through the roof next year. Dwight Dixon

Summary of International Madison Rally

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Madison Areral

The Madison Rally attendance was slightly over 900 units. The weather was great. The Alliant Convention Center and Fairgrounds were well equipped and the auditorium had excellent acoustics with convenient meeting rooms. Rented purring Cat diesel generators provided the power. From the above picture, you can see most of the units were parked on the asphalt close to the meeting rooms and Coliseum.

June 25th -The Northern Illinois caravan, led by Nan Morrison, came in and was parked on the asphalt. The ten Northern Illinois caravaners had a great time touring around Wisconsin and were joined by an additional five NIU units at the entrance gate.

Here is a link to a chronology by a Kentucky member  Click here

June 26th – IBT meeting The club is projecting a $58,000 loss for the year, but that does not include the losses from the shortfall in attendance at the Madison rally, since that is accounted for in a separate fund. The Forum section of the website has been redesigned. It will require members to resign up to post. The reduced budget for IBT and region officers’ reimbursements was rejected by the IBT. The change to the unit model Constitution and Bylaws, allowing alternate electronic voting methods was approved. The member proposal to allow shorter numbered caravans was rejected. Four Unit flag designs were approved.

June 27th– The Dixons came in with their grandson Robert, and 62 other vintage trailers (with flags flying) and parked on the grass.
Our younger working members came when they could get off from work.

June 28th- Opening Ceremonies – President Norm White carried the unit flag with the Superior Merit Award Banner that past president, Bob Whitesell, earned for the unit activities during his presidency.

Twenty-seven Northern Illinois member families attended the rally and a five more visited and three attended the Region 5 Luncheon. The Gerens sold their unit at the rally and returned home without a trailer. Bill Thomas brought 13 new units up from St. Louis and sold at least 8 of them plus a number of the trade-ins. Larry Huttle, from Airstream, reported RV sales nationally are down 50% and Airstream has laid off 50% of their workers. Nationally, motor home sales are down 73% and Airstream is not considering reentering the large motor home market. Airstream is revising their product line to better address the wants of its perceived potential buyers. Airstream will no longer make the “luxury portable condo” models tailored to the winter home users. The classic 34 footers and the 30 foot slide out models will no longer be manufactured. Airstream is targeting a younger family demographic but will not lower their quality standards or “cool” image.

June 30th -Delegates’ Meeting The Delegates approved adding the Vision and Mission statements to the Constitution. They also approved the change allowing non-attending units to appoint a representative from another unit in their region to cast their votes. The only contested election was for membership on the nominating committee. Leo Garvey, running from the floor, was defeated. Block voting was very evident. After his defeat, Leo stated he will continue to push for changes in the Constitution and Bylaws to: modernize the club, make it more responsive to the members, and add member benefits. Another delegate stated that the IBT seminars and meetings should be moved to within the time period of the rally, rather than before and after it. It was broadly applauded by the delegates. Since it was a comment and not a written formal proposal submitted before the meeting started, it could not be voted on. The Constitution and Bylaws chairman reported that all units will be required to change their unit Constitutions to allow e-mail, fax, and internet voting. There is no requirement that the units must use these methods.

June 30th afternoon -22 Northern Illinois families got together next to the Dixon’s trailer, on the grass for munchies.

July 4th – Fourth of July Parade– Norm and Sharon White had a new Northern Illinois Banner made and used it to lead the Illinois marchers in a short parade inside the auditorium. The NIU marchers took 3rd place in originality with their hearty rendition of “Take Me Out to the Rally”.  Anita Koch won a Blue Ribbon for her beautiful seamless knitted sweaters at the Hobby show.

July 5th – IBT meeting The IBT approved that future proposed changes to the Constitution and Bylaws, include any potential costs in their rational statement. The motion to include member recognition in the International directory for participation in unit caravans was withdrawn. The motion to increase the International dues to $75 was withdrawn after there was not enough support. By withdrawing, rather than defeating it, the possible increase in dues can be brought up again at the next IBT meeting in January 2010. The proposal to reduce the number of Blue Berets magazines per year was defeated. The proposal to increase the Marketing budget to $20,000 was defeated. The IBT approved the 2010 budget with a $81,000 projected deficit.

Note- Many units are becoming more Internet savvy and are using their websites and e-mail lists to communicate with most of their members. Some units have integrated their Website and their Newsletter and are using the Internet to coordinate their activities. The limited amount of content space (20 meg) allowed on the free sites has caused some of the units to use outside hosts for larger content and are linking to them from their portal site, similar to what Northern Illinois does. So far, 80 units have functioning sites and about half are very active. The committee feels that the internet is the wave of the future for younger members and progressive units. Some units reported up to 90% of their members are Internet active and are only sending out small numbers of printed newsletters. Northern Illinois is about in the middle with 55 of our 86 members using the Internet. I feel that we can not neglect these 30 members, but we need to develop a better, cost effective methods to keep in close timely touch with them.