This blog is very overdue. My apologies for not writing about the Gypsy Journal Rally sooner. It was held in Yuma this time, instead of Casa Grande where it was previously, due to problems the organizers had with the fairgrounds’ management in CG.
Nick and Terry Russell, publishers of the Gypsy Journal newspaper written by full-time RVers, about RVing and touring, are the organizers of the rally. They do an excellent job of putting on a rally, and wanted to provide a better venue this year, avoiding the mud and/or dust and scheduling conflicts, to mention a few of the problems in CG.
The Yuma fairgrounds provide a great location, with plenty of space, but it’s directly across from the Marine Corps Air Station. The activity of planes, including Harriers, Ospreys and various other aircraft that make lots of noise, was a little disconcerting. Several times during almost every conversation or seminar, the speaker would have to pause for a few seconds to wait for the nose level to drop enough so he/she could be heard. Otherwise, we had a lot of fun, learned some new things, saw lots of long-time friends and made some new ones, and managed to spend a fair amount of money on things we couldn’t live without, from the various vendors onsite.
For a day-by-day report on the rally, go to Nick's blog and start with March 10. There you’ll find a photo (a version reproduced here) of me with Nick and Don assisting, showing a few of the ‘lapghans’ (lap-sized afghans) I knitted and crocheted for Soldiers' Angels, a not-for-profit group that provides various support for wounded soldiers. I’ve joined the Craft Team and have made 5 lapghans so far. If you know anyone who knits, crochets, quilts, etc. please urge them to consider donating to this worthy cause.
One of the funniest moments of the rally happened right at the end, when 3 very tall guys (Ken Pace, Ed Allard and Sid Dembowski) went up on the stage to discuss with Nick the idea of adding an event “Dwarf Tossing” to the next rally. Nick’s the guy in the middle, with shorter stature than most folks, and the other 3 are obviously taller than most folks.
One afternoon our Escapees Boomers group got together for happy hour and a potluck dinner. This photo shows that quite a few of us showed up. Don can be seen in the rear, left, and I’m in the second row, right, behind a woman in a red T-shirt. Ken Pace, one of the tall guys above, is behind me.
I didn’t take many photos, but you can see lots of good ones at Dennis & Carol Hill's blog. Dennis is a great photographer (he took the one with the lapghans above), and a man of few words, many of which are misspelled (but he knows that, and I still love him). Check out the awesome photos of planes he took with his “whale” zoom lens. He also has a knack of catching people in interesting situations. Start at March 10 for his blog, also.
There’s an eastern version of this rally scheduled for September in Elkhart, IN. Don and I plan to attend it, and he’s already volunteered for donut duty! He’s done that job at three Gypsy rallies now, and doesn’t seem to mind getting up early to make the daily trip to WalMart. And I’ll again help out with registration.