I’m building this story as it unfolds. I find I best talk about things that actually happen to me so why not just write it down as it actually happens. OK, that’s what we’ll do. Getting ready at the shop for a rally, many things have to happen. Why do I go? Well, to support the GMC community is a good one and of course to promote the shop and the stuff we do that but there comes a point that really you do something like this because you just need to. So here it is, my getting ready to go to the Dothan Alabama GMCMI convention.
3.6.09 Going to a rally, how do I stop the shop, stop all the projects and focus only on one project. It’s difficult but sometimes getting away brings you closer to whats going on. I guess it’s one of those “forest for the trees” thing. Maybe that it or maybe no matter how it’s done, it needs to happen. It has been like that to many rallies, especially ones over on the west coast. I usually jump on a plane, drop out at LA where Cal wisks me off to a rally, blow back and wham, before you know it it’s over. Hey, it’s just a blast to do that, thanks Cal. This rally will be a bit different. It’s far enough away that I have to focus to get there myself. Not on a plane but actually driving my coach “Larry”. These are really different, fun too. Nelson is going with me or should I say I’m going with him. I work so hard to make the window to get away that usually by the time I finally load up the coach and get going, the first thing I do is sleep like a rock. Can’t even get out of town when I start nodding off– good thing Nelson comes along to take the wheel!
So this rally is going to be one of those. Going to bring Larry. Who is “Larry”? A good question, it’s not the usual name you find people name their motorhome. Larry does have that sort of story. Larry, was a mobile Post office when I met him. Larry Coldren, a good friend living in Denver found this machine on the US Post office Transportation facility. One day it showed up on the lot and Larry saw it. Knowing how I was looking for a new coach for the shop, he felt this coach would fit my need. He was right, Larry was able to get the coach to me, not still sure how he did it but it was mine and this love affair started. So “Larry” means a great deal to me. You can read more about Larry on his gallery page. Larry.
Also, to lay out the scene, you must understand Nelson and the role he plays whenever I put one of these trips together. You already know he is my secret driving weapon. He actually is much more than that. Nelson has been to rallies through many things. No need to mention them here, let’s just say there has been a great deal. Nelson live very close to the shop, it’s not unusual to see him pull up on his scooter, maybe his Smart Car, his yellow Corvette or sometimes in one of his 2 GMC coaches. Yes, not happy with only one, he has 2! One standard GM floorplan Eleganza and a rear bath Royale. About as 2 far apart coaches as there could be but he appreciates them both. That in itself says a great deal about how he approaches things.
3.7.09 So the whole trip is going to be a sort of new beginning for me, important in that it will bring back together so many ingredients we felt important in a rally. Important in that once again, hands on demos will go on, important services that many would love to watch and have done to their coach will be available— windshields installed for those that want it and all the time to talk and be talked to, a real GMC rendezvous is what is being planned. The club is listening to the members and doing things they want, this is a refreshing direction for this long standing, in the past conservative bunch and I for one am pleased to be a part of the change.
So what else will this trip mean to me? First I love to get out on the road in a GMC, I tell ya it’s just the best way to travel, it’s the best way to feel what it’s like to be out there, in a machine going and doing what you want. I think of one of those suits that the “Heavy Metal” guy wore– his personal power suit. I see the GMC as a personal road machine there to take you faster and farther than you could go without it. I think probably most people get this feeling while on the road but in a GMC, a vintage machine appreciated by most everyone who sees it is just a real hoot! And here I’ll be out in Larry, my custom built personal road machine, outfitted to go to rallies, tools, parts all on board. Having the Prerally in Alachua of my Florida based club then convoy in to the rally is something I have dreamed about doing. Being this years prez gives me satisfaction that I had a hand in putting this together and being “sweeper” on the convoy will be great. I’ll prepare for everything, bring the long chassis jack, stands, tools, air and the works.
Hey, what should I tow, I need your help with this. Being the “sweeper” I need to prepare for all possibilities and towing the Suzuki would be like bringing a liferaft to a trip to the Bahamas. The pair was made for each other, painted to match they look great together and the pair together is quite functional
Should I bring the bike Hey, it looks great behind the coach! Not as functional and I doubt I will have much time to putt around at the rally but man does it attract a crowd! Can only take one, which should it be– the Samurai or the Bike, what would you pick? Help me out with this, should I prepare to help and be efficient and effective or should I go to play? I’l be interested in what you think.
I washed Larry yesterday just before dark, unfurled it’s wings, a unique feature of the coach that makes it a pleasure to work with at a rally. Going to spend a little time raking Larry out. He usually just sits at the shop collecting both mold and extra parts and things I could not put anywhere else. We need to clean this puppy up and that will be my job. Over and out for now.
3.10.09 Thanks for the input, there will be a Suzuki Samurai following us to Dothan. Thanks for the input and logic prevailed. Everyone agreed I would not have any time to putt around on the bike and being “sweeper” I might need a set of wheels so we’re bringing the jeep!
Yesterday, Jason & Buster had some time se we did a long needed alignment to Larry . I have been quite seriously chewing up tires on the pass. middle wheel since I got the thing. Just no time to do needed work on my own coach. Really, I should practice what I preach, the first big trip with Larry to the west coach WS Palm Desert rally several years ago I actually had to buy a new tire to get home– chewed it up and spit it out when I got back to Florida! Hey, the postal service did a great job at maintaining Larry before I got it but I guess they just did not know what to do with aligning the wheels. As you can see, the toe on both middle wheels were out Toed in, both wheels were scuffing the outside edges of the tires badly, even at that though he coach drove pretty well. With a portapower, we got the toe straightened out The “camber” was still not “on spec” but in that they ended up within tolerance, it would take a great deal of work to bring this spec in. See this shows hoe the original frame rails were allowing the suspension to lean in from years of weight on it. This is not a serious situation and my bet is most coaches have some level of this going on. No, they are equal, within tolerance and well, it’s just too much work without enough return to mess with that. The front suspension was off a bit , not bad but this was not difficult to fix. So when you see Larry at the rally you will know our wheels are lined up. Took some time to wash and clean out Larry this weekend He looks good with his new shoes– well, not new but having aluminum rims IS new to Larry. I pulled these off another coach we have (Tin Soldier) a 1973 23′ coach that Larry Coldren also found for us in the Denver area. Larry was custom outfitted for just the job he will be doing for us. 2 of em, awnings gives us plenty of room under cover for our display . The “back door” will give us easy access to parts and the overall look of the coach just says work machine . Thanks Larry, I love it! Hey and please drop by at the rally and take a tour of this unique Transmode, there were reportedly 12 of these machine build for the postal service. When I picked it up, it had done a great job for the government carrying the mail The man on the left maintained the coach from new– his name was Larry, the other guy is Larry Coldren who found the coach so now you know where his name came from. “Larry” has undergone many changes since we got him, please come by and check out the new interior From our first outing to today, it’s now very comfortable . Not your average motorhome, we don’t look at it as a “motohome”. It’s our delivery truck, it’s our recovery truck, it’s our work truck– guess you could call it a truck, a big van, our flagship, company sled– hey and it could also be called a “motorhome” but we have another one (JayGee” for that so Larry will do his thing for us at Dothan, come on by and check him out!
3.11.09 Last thing yesterday I washed up the Suzuki getting it looking good under the watchful eye of Larry Hooked up with a classic tire cover for the towd . Wonder if Bill Bryant has one of these? Anyway, it will add to the overall look of the rig and let someone know for sure what machine the towd goes with!
We’ve been packing and loading and checking Larry for the trip , loading parts, tools and all sorts of things for the rally. This morning I came in early to get the shop ready to run on remote while I am gone .
Oh, BTW, remember when I was trying to figure out what to tow to the rally? A late substitution, we may be dragging Nelson’s Smart Car, yep the one we drove to Barrington 6 months ago Many people have said you cannot tow a Smart Car 4 down, well– let’s see if we make it! Nelson has devised a tow bar set up for the car, to our knowledge it’s not available yet so pulling into the rally with this rig will be a first– wish us luck.
I hope to have internet access and if I do I plan to update this page daily. I’m doing a talk on “Shortcuts to GMC restoration”– boy, I hope to learn something there myself! Oh wait, I’m doing the talk, Hmmmm– this will be interesting!
So keep the home fires burning, we’ll look for the light. Pray for Larry, we’ll need your thoughts. Hope for a good Sunshine Statesmen rally and a great GMCMI convention. This is a big deal leaving the shop right now but hey, it has to happen. We’re keeping on keeping on so you please do the same.
Over and out for now
3.20.09 Day 1 OK, day one of the odyssey and I’m on line at the RV park in Alachua. The ride up was a good one, remembering why I mess with these old machines– they are a blast to drive!. It is a toll road but the Florida Turnpike is just such a nice drive you just don’t care. A beautiful blue sky, smooth road and Larry is running like the champ he is. Scanning the dash everything is go Pulled in to the Travelers RV Park in Alachua @ 4PM to find only 2 coaches. Shortly after 2 more coaches pulled in so tonight we are a rally of 5 coaches . We have a couple more coming in tomorrow so with the 4 or 5 coaches heading direct to Dothan, the Sunshine Statesmen will have a good showing. Dinner tonight was pot lock if you can call Spaghetti, cold slaw, bread & glorious butter “pot luck”– I called it a great meal . Tomorrow we’ll have a great day of checking out coaches and good times with good friends. I have a punch list of 4 issues:
1. Alternator— Voltage was jumping a bit, bet I have a loose connector plug
2. Timing— After getting warm, I had a good ping when vacuum dropped under 6″. Need to back off the timing a bit.
3. Generator— Pulled in at Wildwood for fuel and found the generator was blowing a bit of smoke. Hmmm, we’ll need to look into that. I have the Onan power drawer. We’ll have to see what gives.
4. Air compressor— Did not hear the air compressor kick in when I pulled out of auto. That was working when I left the shop! Hey, we live in an imperfect world, we’ll see what we have.
I’m sure everyone else has at least something to check. Sam said his dash AC compressor locked up. Stay tuned tomorrow to see how the checkout goes. I’m beat, it was frantic trying to get away from the shop. See ya tomorrow.
3.22.09 Day 2 Today was another picture perfect day in Alachua. Everyone got up late, getting ready for what was coming. As we watched the day blow past, first one then another member pulled in and pretty soon we had a real flock. A total of 10 coaches! Bill, the first coach to get in, had drawn the most comments on his paint job. Ed and Buddy, you know that dog that jumps straight up, came in with Pete in his RTS Bus Pete has had 2 GMC’s in the past and then progressed on to the next generation “Big Brother”. The RTS was the next design by the team that brought us the GMC. Big but still not completely an “SOB” (some other brand) Pete will be doing a seminar about the RTS at the Dothan rally. The guys did the usual chumming in the afternoon as others checked over their coaches waiting for dinner. Pot luck again but don’t feel bad for us, , there were all sorts of tastes. As we pulled everyone together for a group picture, you could see the fun everyone was having Now Sam, Nancy rubbing your shoulders didn’t hurt! Wait for it, wait for it– and there it is. The pic to remember, a great group of folks ready for our next step in this journey .
One note, as we all know as the RV industry tries to reinvent itself looking for a downsize RV savior, we all know about the “bigger is not always better” concept. GMC owners have always felt that 23 and 26′ is plenty and it’s about time that the RV industry is catching back up with the real roots of luxury travel. In the park was a good example of what the RV community is doing. Nestled in beside us was a Roadtrec 210 with a Smart Car towd. I personally feel this is a bit too abbreviated, not the Smart Car of course, we’ll be dragging Nelson’s behind Larry tomorrow but the pair together I have no doubt turns a pile of heads on the road . If he would have saved all of that money and picked up a nice GMC– guess he would still be getting the looks that way too!
OK, we’re as ready as we can be. The plan is to line up and bug out together latest 9:30. Sam has the least amount of fuel so he’ll take the lead, I’ll pull up the rear as sweeper. The plan is anyone pulling over will see me on their bumper to figure the problem and the rest of the pack will forge on to the next rest area. We’ll go @ 200 miles, stop for fuel, then look for lunch then continue on to Dothan with the train pulling into the station somewhere before dinner. Wish us luck, happy trains and all of the fun that all of us are looking forward to.
If there is internet access at Dothan I’ll be updating the blog, if not– we’ll see ya on the other side.
I’m writing this in past tense as opposed to real time as I usually like to plunk. I have just been so involved in all that has been going on there really was not enough time or mental energy to do anything. There is so much a want to tell you, so much that happened in my life that really, I hope I do a proper job. Here we go, I’l looking back at a great time, a great rally, a one to be there rally.
So you know we left Alachua Sunday morning with hopes of a smooth ride to Dothan. As you can probably tell, that was wishfull thinking. Not because of anyone on purpose but because of events, the club came more together. We didn’t go far, Bill pulled over and we had our first event, a flat tire Nelson jumped out of the coach first thing to Bill left another “road gator” on I-75. Bill had gone through his coach completely, done an awesome job on his paint, changed out his chassis actually, redesigned his interior — I mean gone after that critter with gusto but missed one thing, his tires., The Dunlops were just a bit over 5 years old– that’s too old and no fault of his the tire blew. and as usual took out his T skirt. I am a firm believer there must be a pile of T skirts on the moon cause no one really ever finds them when they blow a tire and this was no different. There was one thing different here however, Bill had replaced his original air bags with the new Quad bag 4 air bag system. Today, with the original air bags no longer available, retrofitting your coach to a 4 air bag system is less a factor of an esoteric mod and more of a logical next step.
While it’s true I am involved in the design and roll out of this new feature for the GMC, I could not have written a better real world test for the kit. I have told folks for a while that you could run on 5 wheels, take off up to 2 back wheels and even 2 air bags and drive to a safe place– and here we were– on the side of the road, a flat tire and a need to get going. The plan was for the rest of the convoy to pull over at the next rest area if one coach fell and now we needed to catch up to them. First thing was to lock out the damaged air bag and pump up the good one to as much pressure as we had. Bill had a battery powered air compressor that gave us 180 PSI, yep it took a bit but we made it. Next we dropped the pressure of the air in the bag holding up the blown tire and removed that tire . At 180 pounds, the coach was actually close to ride height but I wanted the swing arm with the drum a bit higher off the road so I clamped a vise grip under the arm for it to rest on and we were ready to ride. We had a trip of @ 10 miles to the rest area where the convoy was waiting. We got up to 50 MPH and on we went . I did however, keep Bill right in front of me on watch. I mean I was the “sweeper”! Hitting the rest area, the club was waiting and were duly impressed when we pulled in so fast Ralph had to take a close look at the future . I tell ya, the 4 bag system worked like a charm. Bill pulled his spare tire and in short order we were back together and on the road. We didn’t even pull out a jack. Pulling the wheel on the ground up on a couple of blocks, Bill was able to install his spare right on the spot , pulled off the blocks and we were good to go! He needed to put some air in the tire, it was down to 30 PSI. Back on the road, we were feeling pretty good. We had looked at the face of danger and had made it our own. So the quad bag system works, and we proved it! And then from the end of the line we saw another coach pull to the side of the road. What!!! It was Bill again and this time this new GMC owner knew what a bad tire felt and as he pulled over– his spare tire blew out! . Hey, don’t laugh, go check the date code on your spare! His 1990 tire did what it was designed to do, it blew out! Hey, but now he had experience and connecting his battery powered compressor he got 160 PEI which was enough to get him off the road. We followed him to the next exit where Sam was waiting with his spare. We followed him in with Nelson’s Smart car in tow , got Sam’s tire and again, we were on the road to catch up with the convoy. They got used to it by now and were waiting for us
Doesn’t Bills coach look great with no spare on the back? We now had both of his blown tire with us in Larry and we were keeping a sharp eye on our “problem child”. Maybe he had all the problems he was going to have but we were taking no chances!
Another 10 miles and look at that— Bill is pulling over. I called Sam, the convoy leader, and told him once again to pull over that we had an issue. As we pulled up behind Bills coach, I saw a puff from his exhaust pipe. Hoping out and walking up to his door, I opened it up and he reported that his motor had just backfired and stopped. It’s a good thing we had not spent the night before in Las Vegas cause Bill would have been broke! His luck was not with hin this day. Lifting the engine cover I told him to sit in the drivers seat. “Fuel or fire” what did you loose? Pumping the gas with the top of the air cleaner off I could see the accelerator pump squirting fuel– we had that. We must be loosing fire. The number one problem lon an original HEI ignition system is the module. Bill said he had a spare and hoped up to find it. I opened his dist., pulled out his module and installed his spare. Replacing the cap, Bill touched the key and the motor fired right up. Oh, look at that, a bad module and again, we were on the road. Taking off, Bill was way up front anfd now we were sucking up the exhaust of Pepte’s RTS bus. Hey, it’s not bad! His 2 cycle supercharged turbo diesel makes no smell, great so here we were at the sweeper spot, we did our job and the convoy was together again.
I could tell you about all the rest of the trip but it was about as exciting as the gauges on my dash . All was good and we pulled in to the Peanut festival grounds all together at the GMCMI convention Sunday afternoon.
As we pull in, all those familiar faces start to appear and immediately I can see we are surrounded by friends. JR Slaten the GMCMI Prez is there talking with Dave Perry, the Sunshine Statesmen past prez. Ron Teas brought our packet over and we were instantly escorted away to the vendor area and our spot. The rest of our Sunshine Statesmen convoy were each taken to their respective spots and just like that– we were all home.
I requested and got set up where I could do work next to Larry. This was a dream set up, for years I had figured how could the best arrangement be set up at a rally to work as well as offer parts out of a motorhome and this was my chance to make it happen. We pulled in straight, dropped the back, unfurled both awnings, disconnected Nelsons Smart Car and we were there One side got the 4 tables with all the parts while the other side got all the tools for the work . The Manny tranny was taken away almost immediatly by Bob Drews along with the tranny and floor jacks and the motor rack. He and some buddies were biting at the bit to tear into his motor and I was happy to let them do it! I started to work almost immediatly, there were many waiting to get signed up for window rubbers and felts . After that, much of the rally was a blurr for me, one coach after another, removing windows, rebedding them and installing new lock rubbers. Replacing front window felts , my thumbs were in pain and I was in denial that this was destroying them. Paul McCreary brought me Aleve each morning to mask the pain. The day we left Alachua my left heal started tightening up so all during the rally I walked around like Festus on Gun Smoke– “Comin Mr. Dilon”! Oh well, we deal with whatever we have!
The dinners were real events , piles of people all talking GMC having a great time together– boy was that a good place to be. So many familiar faces We had a huge group from our Sunshine Statesmen club, something like 30. Being this years club prez it really made me feel proud of our involvement. Man, just how could this be better! Dave Perry, our past Prez was there of course as was Ralph (our fire guy) hovering around the ice cream– hey, I was there too, how do you think I got this pic!
They did a great job on the food, I heard no complaints but really, there was no place for whining, everyone was doing their best so what else could you expect. Really, the GMCMI community is a good thing to belong to, gone are the old days of politics and red tape. Gone is the backbiting, clicks and brown nosing and man was that a refreshing group to be in. If you have stayed away from GMCMI because of the past issues, don’t hold yourself away, get on in there and get involved. It’s not expensive for what you get, JR, Ray and the rest of the board in charge are doing a super job and just like the Sunshine Statesmen club here in Florida, these groups need your support.
So the food was good, I was skipping eating trying to get in as much work as I could before the rains came . One evening when there was dinner on your own, Mark Creel of Alabama RV in Birmingham brought over his cooker and we had our own BBQ. Was a great night for all. Each eveing the SS club tent was open for business. Ed went down and picked up a fire pit, Pete Pappas tended the fire and all who came had a fantastic time just sitting around letting the breeze blow through– if you know what I mean!
On Monday morning first thing Jim K. & I did a talk on the 4 air bag (Quad bag) system. We had a great crowd, they made me feel right at home and I felt I made contact with everyone there Sorry, the light was dim and my camera could not adjust. Immediately after that the group followed us over to Larry where Jim K. & I installed one side of a Q Bag system on the spot. I was “diver down” so after properly supporting the coach on stands, off went the old air bags and down I went We had a good crowd , being the talk of the rally with Firestone discontinuing our original air bags many were interested in what would soon be their best choice to keep the GMC on the road. and I was happy to have a chance to really show what the system was all about.
As that finished I got back to work on windows. Dan was wanting to install his own felts but had trouble removing his vertical bars so I brought over my #5 “persuasion tool” to help out . Took 3 people ti run the rig, kinda liooked like Larry, Moe & Curly but it worked like a charm Freaked out a few people me pounding on the glass with my “tool”, glad to impress! My thumbs were getting flattened out but they kept on going, hey I had a mission and the more we worked the more people hung with us I took a break and asked one person to snap a pic, guess he should have held still but I think you got the idea– the weather was great, the folks were friendly and everyone appreciated why we were there. My goal was to do what was needed and on the week went.
On Tuesday morning I did a talk about “shortcuts to restoration” which the main story was “if you want to spend the most money possible, do it all yourself!” That’s not fair but basically it was stay within your abilities, sometime being able to say “I designed it myself” is better than saying ” I did it myself” both in terms of the finial product and the expense. Had a good crowd and I think they took what I said in the manner I meant it– to help. No pics there, I forgot– sorry.
The work continued on my end and the club members did what they do best, enjoyed the rally. The tent was a success after we moved it down in the group camping area and the fire pit and lights were added, thanks to Ed Jones, Paul Friz and all who made that happen.
Wed. night, I ran out of window rubbers, felts and blood in my thumbs all at the same time so Nelson & I decided to bug out. We waited till after the strawberry shortcake party, hey– we wanted our money’s worth! The weather man was talking about heavy weather rolling in on Thursday and man, I didn’t want any part of that so we loaded Larry up in the dark, did a fluids check, pumped up the air system and fired that mother up. With a send off from those that helped us pack, Nelson, his Smart car hitched up, Larry loaded again to the Gills and me at the helm we put out bow into the wind and we were outa there.
True, there were a couple of days to go to the end of the rally, but I was out of materials, our of energy and other than the 2 sets of windshields I had arranged to have installed we had accomplished our job and added to what had to be the best GMCMI convention in some time– our work there was done and all we had in front of us was an 8 hour ride home.
Larry was making some noise, he had been talking to us on the ride up, lifter noise I think, but he had sucked it up and had done his job. Hey, sometime you just have to live on the edge and I had faith he would pull us through. The tranny was blowing a bit of fluid so we topped it off and called Larry good-to-go. Got back to I-10 where we topped him off with fuel, the tap was still there but we had both gotten used to the noise, all systems were go and with our issues not increasing in severity I felt we were good for the run home.
Into the night we went, I was getting back some energy so I took back the helm and getting back on the highway everything looked “5×5”. All dash gauges were “nominal” and we looked good. Nelson & I were having a discussion on gauge compliments, idiot lights and their importance and just having a cerebral time talking about the GMC and it’s features when something happened. Just like Challenger when throttle up was called for, we crested a hill doing 60 MPH, cruise control on, everything looking good there came a terrible sound. The cruise dropped off, the alt. light came on and just like that we were on the side of the road! Nelson noted smoke coming from the outside and hopped out to investigate. I stripped the interior down to the engine cover in seconds thinking about where my fire extinguisher was and checking to see how many steps it would take to get me out the door if we found the worst was happening.
Everything was happening very fast. Popping the engine cover I found no flames, no apparent issues but there was a bubbling sound of water. I checked the temp gauge and found a low reading. I order up a check of the dip stick while I bumped the starter once to see what would happen. A bad sound came as the key hit start, steam rose from my open crankcase vent and when Nelson came out with ” there is a chocolate fluid on the top of the dip stick I knew we were done. Larry had given us his all, he had gotten us to the rally, he had housed us, gave us a place to work and sleep. He had given the Co-op a great image during the rally, played the roll of “sweeper” on the SS convoy and basically done what was expected of him but now it was time for him to go and he did it as he had always done everything I asked of him– all the way. We had water in the oil, we had a bad metal on metal sound from his innerds and we had a spot on the side of I-10 that until we get help would be our resting place. Thanks Larry for the good times, goodbye old friend, we salute your efforts and we were done. With flags at half mast, Nelson pulled out his Tom-Tom to get our location, I called my tow service and we settled in for the wait for Mr. Hook. Everyone was spent, my thumbs started hurting thinking of whatever monies I made at the rally would be reinvested in getting Larry whole again. Oh well, as Jimmy Buffet once said “I made enough money to buy Miami but pissed it away so fast, never meant to last, never meant to last”. A bitter-sweet end to a great rally. A tough way to make it to the barn but all in all no one was harmed other than Larry and my pride a bit. We had done our duty and now it was time for some refreshing of assets. It was 2:30 Thursday morning which happened to be my birthday– well happy Birthday Jim– here’s your present! Not exactly what I was hoping for but you take the good with the bad and I am sure that someday I will look back on this and smile. I mean I can call this a “successful failure” and the guys on Apollo 13 had called their mission. We fulfilled our mission and now it was time to tent to the rest of our lives.
Just after dawn, we popped out of the worm hole and I directed the tow driver to bring Larry to a resting spot beside the shop. The wheel lift truck had brought us in. I got some sleep in the cab with the driver so getting Larry on all 6 and pealing off some $770 for the tow, I was standing in the lot with Larry, his eyes closed. Nelson had bugged out with his Smart Car after seeing we were on the flight pattern home so he was probably sawing logs by this time. I transferred my dirty cloths and computer stuff to the Suzuki, locked up Larry, closed the gate behind me and headed for my breakfast hole for a little comfort food. I was back in the saddle and even though the saddle had a few war wounds, I was back, the buck seventy nine breakfast tasted good, it was a familiar taste. It was something that was a part of my everyday life again and it made me confirm to myself that all was good again. Maybe not as good as I had hoped for but you must remember the Rolling Stones song “You don’t get what you want, you get what you need” and I needed to be home again. I needed to be here, I needed to be back in familiar surrounding and I needed the reason to be again, the reason that the Co-op was formed and as the Moody Blues song went “EGBDF” (every good boy deserves favor). I was home, home, home again and back in the saddle, the place I wanted to be. I had some serious challenges in front of me, the finish of both Duramax coaches, the finish of Marylin’s paint job and what ever came so without regret I started in again with the life of the Co-op.
Thanks to all who made this rally such a success. Thanks to Nelson for his help getting Larry and I there and back, all of those who made the Convoy a treat, and everyone ar the Dothan rally who made it what it was. “On to Dothan” is done, stick a fork in us. I can’t wait for the next get together, Larry may be ready, maybe not– we’ll have to see. Hope to see you at the next one- and that’s a wrap.