Well, it was just about a year ago when the whole world hit the RESET BUTTON. Work stopped, entertainment stopped and travel came to an abrupt halt for the entire world. It really hit home for Connie & I. We had been working for weeks in late February, planning for a 3-week trip along with our extended family from Germany for a Mediterranean Cruise. Then 2 weeks in Italy, ending with a visit to my homeland, Germany. I found the hotels to stay at, Connie researched and found all the side trips at each city to be visited and we paid for them for both couples. During the search we found that I could book the hotels cheaper from the US than they could from Germany. So, we were quite proud of the itinerary we arranged and reserved. Then Covid came upon us. Booking was straight forward if you do it via hotels.com, etc. But when you pay for the reservation directly to the hotel, guess what, you have to deal with each hotel and get a refund. Hotels.com will not help.
A lesson learned there for me!
Needless to say, none of the hotels would refund, the airlines finally relented during the 4th quarter of last year and credited our airline trips. This is just 2 couples’ mild scenarios of what has happened the last 13 months. Sadly, for some, it was much more traumatic.
Now, here’s for trying to put interesting and good thoughts together for our Konnection article. One thing that I continue to ponder is my inability to gather some of our newest members to take an active part in the chapter. We signed on 14 new members in 2020 of which only 6 renewed in 2021. I can’t believe that the annual fee of $10 is an issue. I know that Covid 19 plays a big part in folks not wanting to gather, plus finding rally locations in the deep south during the winter is quite difficult. I’ll just have to keep at it till I figure out what is missing. New members to the Pelicans for 2021 are: Dennis & Susan Marrotta, Zack & Lucy Taylor, Don & Mickey Stauffer, Jim & Mary Kennedy, Allan & Marilyn Bishop, Tim & Barb Ekstrand/Tyron, Andy & Chris Couto and Bobby & Jan Lines. Thank you for joining the Pelicans and we trust you will become active and enjoy the fine folks in our chapter.
In January, the Pelicans held our rally in Tampa while at the Super Show. The overall Newmar rally at the show was down by over 50 percent. However, we had 12 coaches attending. We kept things loose and just gathered for social time late each afternoon. Mel Wrotten who was parked next to me asked one day if I liked clam chowder, my immediate answer was, you bet!! Mel made up a large pot of the chowder and many of the gang showed up to try it out. Mel, it was excellent. Thank you for doing this for the Pelicans.
One of our group who went looking at the 2021 Newmar on display by North Trail, was Bob & Bonnie Martin and they found the floor plan and coach size they had been contemplating. Needless to say they bought their first diesel pusher at the show. Congratulations Bob & Bonnie.
On Saturday of the show, I stopped by the North Trail display looking for my friend Dan Cutting and could not locate him. I found out later that as he was leaving his hotel he evidently missed a step on the stairs and took a bad fall breaking his arm. He also took a hit to his melon and sports a new color of black & blue. Dan, we wish you a quick and complete recovery.
We started the monthly Pelican luncheons again in January. Our Membership Chair Pat Hartman chooses a venue each month for us. The first one was held at Doc’s Boathouse in Alva. We had a grand attendance of 31 folks. We even had our NKK International Directors, Ron & Wanda Llewellyn joining in with us. They winter in N. Fort Myers and host the monthly NKK luncheon at the Golden Corral on 4690 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers on the 3rd Thursday thru March. We Pelicans assist them in this gathering of Newmarians.
Another reminder, if you winter here in SW Florida, please consider joining the Pelican Chapter. You can contact Pat Hartman, at 239-470-1074 or me personally at my address at the end of this chapter message.
Our March 7-12 Florida Pelicans Strawberry Festival Rally was held at the Lazydays RV Resort, Seffner, FL which included the Strawberry Festival and lots of headline entertainment. Our long time member Pat Hartman has organized and led this venue for several years for the Pelicans. Thank you Pat.
Our leaving Florida rally will just have ended as you read this message. It was held at the Upriver Campground in North Fort Myers the week of March 29 with our VP Roger & Emily Mercier hosting along with Rich & Cathy Queen co-hosting. Then right after Easter, many of us will be heading for the Florida State Rally being hosted by Greg & Margie Harrop, our State Directors, up in Panama City Beach, Florida. From there the flock will be scattering to the North, East and West for the summer, maybe even taking in the International Rally, being held in West Virginia.
Thank you for taking the time to peruse our happenings.
In closing, Connie & I wish each of you a blessed and thankful Easter 2021. “REMEMBER HE IS RISEN”
We can be reached at Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 239-464-0219.
Tim Buchholz (12344)