WOW, Margie & I have been traveling these past few months and since our last article (June/July) we have seen some of the most beautiful parts of these United States.
First, we visited the quaint little “Norman Rockwell” town of Adairsville, Georgia while staying at the Harvest Moon RV Park. While there we toured the town and come to find out the Civil War brought much action to this little town with the Great Locomotive Chase of April 1862. Also come to find out, one of our Florida Manatees is related to the founder (Joe P. Borodin, MD) of this town.
We then traveled up to Crossville, Tennessee for the Tennessee State Rally. We had a great time with Phil & Charlene Budd, our Tennessee State Directors, who put on a great rally; however I have some other thoughts on the Tennessee (Mac & Cheese) Pizza. Margie & I then traveled on to Sevierville, Tennessee, where we stayed at the Two River RV Resort. We had a great RV site facing the Two Rivers and just down the street from the Smokey Mountain Knife Works (believe me if you want a knife this is the place to go). Also, Margie found some more rocks (crystals) to add to her collection. And thanks to a new Tennessee friend, we got some tickets to visit Dollywood, a very nice family oriented entertainment facility. From there we traveled to Freightliner Service Center, Gaffney, South Carolina for some tender loving care for “Spirit,” meeting up with Doug & Kathy Thee from Polk City, Florida also. When we left Freightliner, we traveled on to Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina where we visited the Thee’s again at Richard Childress Bistro for a great lunch. Our travels continued on to Wytheville and Natural Bridge/Lexington, Virginia. We took in some great sites along the way, Blue Ridge Music Center with Bill Stanley & Donna Jones, Natural Bridge, Blueberry Farm, Big Walker Lookout (Crooked Road Bluegrass Music & Ice Cream), Beagle Ridge Herb Farm, Big Pencil, and the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. If you are in the area between Roanoke and Lynchburg, put this D-Day Memorial on your “bucket list.”
Well, after all this traveling we were on the road again, heading to Lewisburg, West Virginia for the International Rally. While there we also took in some sites like The Greenbrier, the Bunker at The Greenbrier, Lost World Caverns, New River Gorge, Coal Mine, Old Presbyterian Church & Confederate Cemetery, and of course a couple of rounds of golf.
Speaking of “Golf,” did I mention that the Florida (Region Five) Golf Team of Bill Berg, Kenny Griffin, Pat Genell & Greg Harrop are “Three Peat” winners? Add photo here Yup, we won the International Rally Golf Tournament for the third year in a row. The golf tournament was run by NKK member Butch Fiebelman, and he did another great job holding this event. Newmar Golf Bags were raffled off again and four winners went home happy little campers, or should I say golfers.
We would like to talk a little about the 35th International Rally. There were 456 coaches with 891 attendees. Out of the 456 coaches, 199 (repeat 199) were First Timers -WOW. Another great event and entertainment.
Newmar had 78 Employees on site, 54 of them were Service Tech’s and what a great job they did. They completed 347 service calls. Margie and I (lSG US Army Retired), along with Jim (SGM US Army Retired) and Carla Jean Miller, Presidents of South Carolina Palmetto Pals “volunteered” again as your Service and Service Vendors assistance team. We also want to thank our volunteers, Bill, Andy, Chris, Rich, Mike, Carl and Gayle, Judy, Gary, Warren & Kathy, Rolf & Anne, Tom, and Allen & Gerry. Without their help we could not have been successful. We want to give a grateful thanks to Matt Utley and his team of Ken Miller, Judy, Dan, Jordan, Chela, Brian, Tony, Derrick, Carol, Mike, Craig & Tyler and the rest of the 54 Service Tech’s (to many to name). Matt Utley came up with a great idea this year to help out with pre-registration for service, and it worked out great. Just for info, this is where you filled out your service request prior to arriving at the International Rally and the Service Tech’s were ready to go to work that Monday morning (which kept the service lines down to a minimum).
Now, The Great State of Florida (first again, 2nd year in a row) had 74 coaches in attendance with 37 of them “First Timers.” Region Five had 165 Coaches with 90 “First Timers.” What a great showing for our Region and The Great State of Florida.
Our NKK Florida Social was a great event with over 100 people in attendance. We had some great food and fellowship. Our International Directors Ron & Wanda, Members-at-Large Evan & Debbie, and many State Directors, Chapter Presidents and Officers were in attendance. We had over 15 new members sign up with our Florida Manatees, Pelicans & Sea Turtles. What a great effort by our Chapter Officers (Steve & Karen Terry, Laura Baker, Gerry Smith, Jeanne Bateman) and many more who were there.
Margie & I and our Florida Chapters want to take this time the give a great big “shout out” to Wayne & Sue Burke, Pennsylvania State Directors and Pennsylvania Chapters who have been undertaking our NKK Caring and Sharing Project at the International Rallies. They collected over $12,000.00 for the Children’s Society of West Virginia, as well as many donations of bedding, luggage, and personal items for the kids. Without all our Newmar Kountry Klub members this great outpouring of heartfelt thanks could not have been as rewarding as it was for “All the NKK members” and the GREAT State of West Virginia.
Now our “Welcome Back” Rallies are upon us, and we can’t say enough about our Florida Chapters and Volunteers who host and co-host the rallies. Without hosts and co-hosts our rallies would not be successful. We look forward to meeting our new members who we hope will partake in our great rally season.
Well, we have said enough for now, so Take Care and Stay Safe. Remember, “The best part of any journey is the people we meet along the way.”
We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Greg’s cell: 954-914-8335.
Greg & Margie Harrop (20694)
Florida State Directors