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Nov 072016

bovee-coos16-1The Coos Bay Rally had 95 motorhomes from four Canadian Provinces and seven states.  There were 32 registrations from folks who were first time Rally attendees.  

“Way to go!” to the Registration team headed up by George and Jodell Banovich, with excellent assistance from Ted Freemire, Linda Clark, Fay Curtis and Alyce Shutzbaugh for getting everyone checked in!

Thanks, Jack Christensen, for leading a group of GMCers at 7:00 am with an early morning walk! I know it was tough filling Freddi Condos’ shoes.

Big thanks to Dick Paterson (Springfield Ignition) who came all the way from Coldwater, Ontario, Canada, to give four excellent tech seminars.  They were all well received and folks wanted to hear more.  Please come back again, Dick.

I also want to mention several other excellent tech sessions that folks found very informative: 

“Air Conditioning – How it Works and How to Repair It” by Jeff Fraisure; “Front Bearing & Knuckle Procedure to guarantee 80,000 miles without greasing” by Jim Kanomata; and “FiTech EFI is The Real Deal” and “Fueling the Barbarian, Onan Propane Conversion” – both by Jerry Work.  The slideshow presentations for Jerry and Sharon Work’s seminars are available on the Western States website –

A real “first” was the live Skyping via Internet to see Jim Bounds up on the big screen in his new 18,000 square foot shop in Orlando, Florida, for his two presentations: “Restoration Processes” and “How to Attach Your Sliders (New Designed Windows)”!  It proved to be an interesting way to see and participate in a seminar from afar.

Skype also allowed Jim Bounds to be available for the “Ask the Experts” panel, including Frank Condos, Jim Hupy and Jim Kanomata.  This seminar is always appreciated by attendees needing their GMC questions answered by our more experienced members.

The Cascaders Club, headed up by President Jim Hupy and assisted by his lovely wife, Judy Countermine, put on an absolutely outstanding Tri-Tip BBQ Dinner.  To give it a special touch, the Club also provided 59 dozen homemade cookies for dessert!  It was just fantastic!!! Thank you, Cascaders!!!

Following the barbecue, folks saw a short video “Live Monumental” film by Keen Footware.  If you have not seen it, check it out on the Internet.  The Keen company has at least two GMC motorhomes that they use in the business, and their representatives were first-time rally attendees. We hope to see them again. 

After the film came the evening’s main entertainment -- the Auction.  Auctioneer Tom List and his lovely assistant Suzanne Statler List, aka Vanna White, did a great job handling the auction.  It was definitely very entertaining and shockingly raised $2,670 for the Club.  Thank you to everyone who contributed and purchased items to help make the auction such a success!

I also want to give credit where credit is due and that goes to the folks who put on great non-tech sessions.  “Do Alaska on Your Own, It’s Easy” by Sharon Work, “A Walk in RV History – 1938-1965 by Dean Hansen, “Super Photo” by Dave de Graffenreid, and “The Lost Alex Birch Lecture” by Grandson, Greg Birch, were all hits.

Dave and Donna de Graffenreid led the book review where members discussed the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, who hiked the Pacific Coast Trail. You may recall that the book was made into a movie a few years go.  There was a great turnout of readers. Some enjoyed the story, others pretty much disapproved of Cheryl’s way of reacting to what life gave her.  In the beginning she was wild, in the middle she was strayed and by the end she was Cheryl.  No book was chosen for the next rally, but we will let you know when the choice is made.

First Vice President Carol Minnie was prevented from attending when their GMC stopped them cold, begging for attention in San Jose!!!  She mailed the program materials with instructions to the Rally.  Annette Elmer stepped in to lead the “Adult Coloring Books” seminar, allowing time for attendees to visit and share their amazing artwork.  The Adult Coloring class, attended by about 20 ladies, gave attendees the time to sit and color (reverting back to childhood).  Throughout the week many artists could be seen during other seminars using their coloring sheets and pencils.

Fay Curtis volunteered to host the Ladies’ Coffee/Tee by the Bay and had almost 50 ladies laughing as they grabbed for pennies if they answered “yes” to her questions.  Prizes were awarded to the winners while all enjoyed yummy treats provided by the Casino.

Everyone enjoyed root beer floats with the BBQ Hamburger/Hotdog Lunch put on by Pacific Cruisers, Dave and Donna de Graffenreid. Way to go, Dave and Donna!!! Keep them coming back for more!!!  Then it was time to load the buses for a free tour of the beautifully landscaped Shore Acres State Park.

After the final evening’s catered dinner, it was time for the professional Karaoke DJ to do his thing and for GMCers to “let down their hair” and ham it up in front of the microphone!  It was good, old-fashioned fun and most folks stayed around until the entertainment ended.  I didn’t know our very own “Beach Boys”, Jim and Grace Kanomata, and so many others were such great singers!

Open House was the only event stopped by the rain.  So with many first-time attendees wanting to see what others have done to improve their GMCs, we hope to see everyone at the next rally at the Preferred RV Resort in Pahrump, Nevada, April 20-24, 2017!!!