We are tickled we could attend Alumapalooza 2013 at Airstream’s trailer factory campus. Last year we missed by a few days attending and immediately marked our calendar for this year’s festivities. Lucky for Jim, the world’s largest ham radio convention occurred a couple of weeks before so he didn’t miss it, either. And we had time in between to visit with good friends in Dayton OH.
Our first Airstream trailer, in 2004, led us to many enjoyable weekends RVing throughout VA, NC, SC, and GA. We didn’t go much further afield in our first two years because we were working very full-time. Membership in the airstream owners club introduced us to our favorite thing in RVing, making friends and spending time with great people. Our number one priority for nearly every rally we attend is PEOPLE! We enjoy renewing friendships and making new friends.We arrived at the Airstream Factory campus a few days before the Alumapalooza event. Our almost nine-year old trailer receives a lot of loving maintenance from Jim but there are a few jobs he doesn’t mind passing on. These we save for our occasional visits to Airstream Factory service in Jackson Center. As good as the service is, the visit to the factory is great icing on the cake for us. Every time we visit the factory campus we meet and spend time with fun and very interesting people. This year, because of the impending Alumapalooza rally, the camping area was chockablock full of fun folks. We enjoyed talking in the customer service waiting and camping areas, meeting people from NY City, San Diego, and many places in between. A favorite Airstream rallies meet-up for us is with friends Matt and Beth. We enjoy their company and have had great expeditions with them. This time we rode down to Big Shaggy Buffalo Ranch somewhere near Sidney OH and then to The Spot in Sidney.
If we didn’t want the best pie or bison burger in all of Ohio, Sidney would still be a neat visit. It still boasts a downtown square, solidly anchored by the Shelby County Courthouse, surrounded by neat old buildings. One of many is the very notable Peoples Savings and Loan designed by Louis Sullivan in 1917. Click on that link to see Mary Ann Sullivan’s great photo work of this important example of early modern American architecture. We did eat in The Spot. The food is tasty and we’ll go back.
Our real reason for this visit, though, was to attend Alumapalooza 4. Are we ever glad we did! Great seminars, fun chidren’s programs, no flag ceremony (gasp!), inventive approach to arranging afternoon socials locations, and the best run rally announcements and door prize sessions we’ve seen in almost nine years.
R&B Events (Rich and Brett and many good-hearted crew) planned and orchestrated a week filled with fun events for attendees of all ages. Our airstream owners club could take a few lessons from this great rally. It seemed the assigned representatives of the international airstream club might have remained rooted in the vendor tent instead of attending the great seminars. Fortunately Joe and Sandy Perryman (WBCCI officers) were browsing the activities and seminars and taking notes — good for you two!
Jim joked with the current president of the international airstream owners club recently about R&B Events success in operating rallies. Jim asked John Boutwell if perhaps R&B Events should take over the annual airstream club rally, an event which is shrinking rapidly and appears nearly ready for withdrawal of life support. If the choice becomes shutting down the annual international rally or giving it away then MAYBE our airstream club’s leaders might condescend to allow professional management.
Some of you know R&B Events recently took over the former Florida State Rally — the airstream club gave it up for dead and R&B said, “May we?” Jim postulated that R&B Events could operate in the black, unlike the airstream owners club international rally. Too, the rally would be a real kick. R&B Events know how to excite things, and aren’t bound so tightly to toilsome traditions.
We’ve followed Airstream Life magazine and Man in the Maze blog for years. We met Rich (the R of R&B) in Perry GA in 2007, when we were embarking on our full-timing and he was full-timing in his Airstream bunkhouse trailer. We enjoyed swapping tales then and occasionally since. Brett usually was moving too fast for us to catch up with him at airstream club events, but we had admired his charm as an emcee and from watching him work with people. They’re great people we enjoy seeing and talking with.
Would we recommend an R&B Events rally? Absolutely, before we had ever attended one. Their track record is fantastic. We already committed for next year’s Florida rally named Alumaflamingo, the replacement for Florida State Rally. We’re sure it will beat the pants off any Florida State Rally we’ve attended, and we have attended several over the past six years. Why would we have more faith in R&B Events than in the prior organization?Simply stated, these guys are fresh, dynamic, insightful, energized, and keen to try interesting and different concepts to attract appreciative attendees. Oh, and they know how to run introductions, announcements, and door prizes meetings – crisply and without demonstrating too much attention to themselves or to their admittedly recent traditions. We look forward to our next R&B event. Thanks Rich and Brett, for showing how much fun a large rally can be!
See you down the road!
Jim and Debbie