Last Day of the International Rally 2005
The rally is over. But it ended well. Sunday was notable mostly for the big flea market that is traditional at major rallies. We sold a lot of subscriptions and heard “I just LOVE your magazine!” over and over again, which is something I never get tired of hearing. The Summer issue is now printed and we had copies to show the the flea market – those of you who are subscribers should be getting yours in the mail in the next couple of weeks.
Monday was perhaps the best day of the entire rally, for me. About 10% of the attendees packed up and moved out early, needing to be back home for one reason or another on Tuesday. So the field was a bit less crowded, and Vintage Thunder was more exposed to view.
This meant more tours. I lost track of how many we did, but it seemed that every time we sat down to do something, there would be a tap on the door and another couple would poke their head in asking, “Can we just take a look?”
Mid-day the club held its “Fourth of July Parade” in the air-conditioned comfort of the Expo Center’s main ballroom. I have to say that this was much better than I expected; the floats and costumes were unique and sometimes hilarious. The Michigan delegation did a demonstration of precision lawn mowing with toy mowers that emitted soap bubbles. Two Units towed half-scale Airstreams made of cardboard. Our home unit had a “cooks” theme featuring Emma in a little baker’s hat and apron.
Afterward we checked out the famous (huge) Bass Pro Shop store and museum for a few minutes, then joined the South Carolina Coastal Unit for their luncheon, and then we headed off to the trailer for what we thought would be some downtime.
No such luck. The tours started up again and we ended up two hours late for the Vintage happy hour at Shari and Rob Davis’ trailer. But that wasn’t a problem – the rule was that their Happy Hour keeps going until the food is gone, and so the party morphed into dinner on the grill, and fireworks after sunset.
I’ll admit that Springfield was mostly hot and humid. It was stifling at times. But it was also bug-free (except the occasional Junebug and firefly) and this evening was superb – lots of laughs, good company, interesting conversation, and a beautiful sunset over a field of shining aluminum trailers.
These rallies end abruptly. Tuesday morning at dawn, the water was shut off and by 7 a.m. our water line disappeared entirely. By 8 a.m. the power was shut off, and whether you wanted to be up or not, it was impossible to sleep through the sound of engines starting and people griping about the disappearing utilities. Off we went to the dump station (a 30 minute wait in line), and even as we were driving away we paused to give one last tour of Vintage Thunder.