Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rally Wrap Up

In the blink of an eye, it's over. The past two days were a whirlwind in hindsight, but at the time things were happening, it didn't seem so frantic in those moments. I'll try to convey the highlights.

Thursday afternoon, several of the chatters from the chat room gathered here in the Castle to plan a special presentation for Howard and Linda that evening at the potluck. They opened the chat room a year ago this month, and since then, several of us have gotten to know each other through our evening chats online. Two of the folks who couldn't attend the rally, "Roz" and "Foxriverguy", actually wrote up the script for the presentation, which included a live chat session that was to be projected up on the big screen for the whole rally audience to see.

From left to right are Jenny, Dee, Speedhitch (Joe), and Mrs. Speedy (Sherri) planning.

There were rainstorms during the afternoon, some of them pretty heavy. But it stopped just in time for the potluck. Such great food appeared in amazing abundance! Thanks to all the rv dreamers who participated in making that a successful event!

This is a peek at the table, there were still more dishes coming in!

After dinner, Howard set up his computer to join the chat room. The image was projected up on a big screen for the whole audience to see.

Chatting from left to right are Speedy, Bob-Guy, Dee, Jenny and Ellie.

Following the dinner and presentation to Howard and Linda, which, by the way, got them both a little choked up teary-eyed, it was time to move on to the Karaoke session. The presentation was a small plaque to let them know how much their efforts have meant to so many people.

Denny Stanford got the musical entertainment started with a couple of songs. Nice job, Denny!

Nicholas Gimmarro (Camper_Boy's son) was celebrating his 12th birthday. He played Red Dirt Road for us.

My Boyfriend's Back, sung by Dale Bruss, Linda Payne and Michelle of ABC:

A very talented Art Bailey (husband of Carol Bailey, Tylersamma) sang 3 or 4 times

Even Chris Guld took the floor for several songs:

Below, a special treat. Ruthie, one of the campground employees, (in the yellow top) gathers the colors of the rainbow for "Somewhere Over the Rainbow). She's got a beautiful voice! There are some talented colors of the rainbow in the background, too!

Howard's turn:

Friday, after the morning seminars, Jim Guld, of came over to the Castle to solve an issue with my computer. Once that was taken care of, it was nearly time to head over for the Hillbilly Party and Contest. What a night's entertainment that turned out to be!
Two of the Hillbillies, Linda and Jim:

The Winner! The most hillbilly of them all: Speedhitch (with the yellow flower on "her" hat)! Standing next to him (Her?) is Mrs. Speedhitch, Sherri:

Another winner was announced - Debbie Goode was the winner of the 50-50 Raffle. The $500 winning amount was donated to Howard and Linda, what a great gesture, Debbie! Thank you for your generosity!

This morning, we got up early once again (this is a bad habit we intend to break very soon) to go to the farewell breakfast. All too soon, that was over and people started loading up and heading out. There are a few of us left to spend another night or two here.

Our first rally has been a great adventure! Of course, this is a very special community that Howard and Linda Payne started with their website. I'm not sure if they envisioned the group to be what has evolved from their decision about 3 years ago to trade their business and house for a life as full timer RVers. But it has grown to a close knit group of caring, wonderful folks and we're proud to be part of it. We'll miss our new friends, but hope to meet many of them down the road as we just travel this great country!


LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Great to see you all having such a good time. I can't believe it is all over. It seemed to go by so fast. Now back to normal. You will never see their names on the chat again without thinking about the great time y'all had.
The photos and narrative are great, Ellie. Thank you.
Best wishes, Penny, TX

Eileen & Tony said...

Sounds like the Rally was a huge success! Sure hope we can make it to the next one. Would love to meet everyone. Thanks for posting pictures, they were great!

Tinka said...

Thanks for keeping us updated about the goings on at the Rally. Sounds like it was a lot of fun. Wish we could have been there!!!!
Tinka and Rick

Speedy said...

I really apprieciate the exposure you gave me on the journal...and to think people still want to come to the next one??? Well at least I did not scare too many off.

You guys are the greatest...I hope we can spend more time with you later...Somewhere in Time

Speedy and Sherri