July 22, Thursday: So today is the first day of the Rally. It’s being held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY. The facility is huge (at least 1 million sq ft in the area we’re using) and just perfect for the Rally. There are 3 huge conference halls in the South Wing, so all the exhibitors and all the new RVs are in air conditioned space. That’s good, because it’s been in the high 90s the whole time we’ve been here. The Center also includes a theatre (Freedom Hall), Cardinal Stadium, North and West Wings and an arena for the state fair. The grounds are really pretty, especially in front of Freedom Hall with a fountain and lots of cascading flowers, all real and well cared for.
2010 is the 100th year of RVing in America. To celebrate, they have invited people to bring their vintage RVs and display them in the parking lot. Some of the owners belong to the Tin Can Club so called because in the beginning of RVing everything you ate (practically) came out of a tin can. We’ve been able to go in several of them and they are amazing in what they contain. In the beginning they just put in residential appliances, so the kitchens look very different from what we have today. The stoves ran on propane, but any refrigerators were electric, so you had to be plugged in to shore power. And the tow vehicles are just as great. I’ve attached a number of photos. The red one is a 1938 Curtiss Aerocar and Chevy truck, the first commercially produced 5th wheel. The turquoise trailer is pulled by a ’59 DeSoto station wagon. The ’60 Caddie convertible pulls a tiny Airstream. The interior shot of the ‘50s trailer fascinates me. The kitchen has an apartment size range and a residential refrigerator. In the bedroom is a double bed, but check out the little dresser. They just put in the trailer what they had a home.
The chicken in front of the green trailer was great. They like chickens. This one was gorgeous with wonderful tail feathers that are real. And notice the little tin can around its neck. They belong to the Tin Can Club. I forget where they said they found it, but when they went back to get another one, they were all gone. Anyway, I loved it.
There are seminars galore we can go to, all in the South Wing seminar rooms with air conditioning. There are also scads of RVs to walk through, and hundreds of vendors wanting to sell everything from soup to nuts (literally). Larry has picked out his next RV. Unfortunately, I keep bringing him down to earth on what he can afford, and it’s not that RV. I’m just an old spoil sport.
This morning I went to a seminar on how to take your medical records along with you on the road. The presenter was a pharmacist and had advice that was good for everybody, not just the RVing crowd. The products that are available are amazing. One is a medical card that is as thin as a credit card and you can carry it in your wallet. But it has a USB attached to it. The program is self contained and has a spreadsheet like window where you can enter in all your medical information, from the meds you take, to over the counter supplements, surgeries, conditions, allergies, vaccinations, and lists of doctors. If you get taken to the hospital, they can put the USB drive in any computer and find out everything they need to know about your medical condition. The downside is the time it takes to fill it out in the beginning and then remembering to keep it updated.
Larry went to one about RVing to Alaska and what you need to know before you go. Of course he was ready to go as soon as he left the room. We’ll get there, but not this year.
At lunch we sat with a couple who were telling us about the work they have gotten through WorkCampers. Last year they spent 5 months in Skagway working full time. It’s an interesting way to be able to afford full time traveling. I think I’ll have to investigate that some more.
The seminars are good, but walking through and looking at the RVs is mind boggling. We went through one motorhome that is listed at $1.9 million. But wait! Just for the next 4 days you can have it for 50% off! It’s fun to see how the other half can live.
Tonight’s entertainment was Bob Newhart, and he was really very good. He had some new material we hadn’t heard and some old ones, like the driving instructor with the lady student. He also showed some photos of his early career, had a clip of when he was on the Dean Martin Show that I hadn’t seen before that was hilarious. And he ended with the very end of the last episode of his last TV show, when he woke up from a dream, was talking with his wife (who was his wife on the first show, can’t remember her name right now) and he told her about this weird dream he had about running a hotel and the three crazy maintenance men that worked there. Good stuff.