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Old 07-25-2007, 07:19 PM   #15
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When we built our Midget trailer we put a sock monkey inside and named him Frankie. For Christmas I gave my wife another one named Wally. Had to make up a beret from blue felt. Being that the patch was too detailed, I used a button. He's going to be with us when the Liner hits the road. For now they share the Midget.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:31 PM   #16
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some of the units have found a navy blue military style beret. Others have used the AirForce beret and removed their patch and put on the WBCCI one. I still haven't found the navy blue one that I think is just the right one. If any one stumbles across one I would like to know. I wore mine on beret day in Perry as well as many other times.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:31 PM   #17
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Original Beret

After seeing this thread I was so concerned that I over paid for an "original" beret on ebay since everyone said the originals were very rare. So I went out to my trailer tonight and was pleased to see that my beret still had a cardboard cut out in it that said 100% Wool and Made in France. I feel like those people on the Antique Road show .

Quite honestly I don't wear mine much, but it does go everywhere with us. Like many I like the subtle traditions that Wally created.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:04 PM   #18
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The standard bear-er of the WBCCI

. . . . spotted wandering around the Penn Woods Airstream Park. . . .
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCabin
... It seems that almost everyone is comfortable wearing their WBCCI badges around their necks, as most workplaces require employees to do the same. Seeing WBCCI badges in Perry, and 100 miles away from the rally site was evidence of that. Randy
Hi Randy:

As the years pass, the tip of my tongue keeps growing ... and many more easily remembered facts remain there for longer periods of time. Whether or not used as admisson tickets to very large events, name badges as a common habit among all attendees are a practical way to flick the tongue's tip, so a person's name pops out more quickly when meeting them after a long absence. Name badges also help identify people whom one has never met but would like to. So even at small gatherings, name badges help meet some practical social needs of older folks, among whom I count myself. I also try to re-introduce myself to people who I've not seen in a while ... if I remember to.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
Hi Randy:

As the years pass, the tip of my tongue keeps growing ... and many more easily remembered facts remain there for longer periods of time. Whether or not used as admisson tickets to very large events, name badges as a common habit among all attendees are a practical way to flick the tongue's tip, so a person's name pops out more quickly when meeting them after a long absence. Name badges also help identify people whom one has never met but would like to. So even at small gatherings, name badges help meet some practical social needs of older folks, among whom I count myself. I also try to re-introduce myself to people who I've not seen in a while ... if I remember to.
I chuckled as I read your post, re: tip of tongue keeps growing.

Badges also give more information than a person's name. It also displays the name of the unit and if they currently hold or previously held any type of WBCCI officer position. All of the above are great door openers to starting conversations with total strangers!
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:01 AM   #21
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Are these berets navy blue? If so, one can still purchase French and Basque made felt berets in that colour at any decent hat shop or department store. I've also seen them in black, grey, kakhi and forest green. These are not military style, but are the traditional Basque style felt berets with satin linings.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:03 AM   #22
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When I was a kid (1960') and were on a caravan we had to wear the beret everytime we left the campsite. As previously mentioned it identified who you were and gave you either free admission to sites or a discount. Without the beret there were no discounts. Try telling that to a 13 year old trying to be cool. I fought it constantly. When I look back at slides and pics from those trips there we all are wearing berets. Wish I had it now...
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:41 AM   #23
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Blue Beret

Here is a blurb I wrote for our Unit newsletter based on info from Pee Wee regarding the Blue Beret. It has links to the article he mentioned. My family members have worn Blue Berets because they were proud to be members of this unique organization and as far as I know it was always their choice, never a mandated obligation.

Pee Wee Schwamborn, son of Henry and Helen Byam Schwamborn and 2nd cousin of Wally Byam has made many generous contributions to our website regarding the history of WBCCI. Among these contributions are two articles regarding the blue beret and how, because of Wally Byam, it became associated with WBCCI.

The blue beret is more than a name on a magazine. It is a piece of headgear that became the symbol of WBCCI. The blue beret had a totally practical beginning. This practicality led to it's being adopted by the Caravanners who traveled with Wally Byam. Over time, in part because almost all pictures of Wally show him wearing a beret, it began to be used to identify the organization in the logo and other applications. Eventually it became the symbol of WBCCI.

So how did this innocent attempt to keep one's head warm become an icon? According to an article written by Wally for the Caravanner newsletter, it started on his first trip to Europe with the first Airstream to travel abroad. In attempt to do as the locals do, Wally purchased a beret while in France. In the article, Wally says, “I found the beret made wonderful trailer headgear.” He soon found that the beret was great at keeping your head warm, keeping your hair in place, and providing some protection when going in and out of low doorways. It also rolled up so you could put it in your pocket thus reducing the possibility of loosing it.

After returning home friends asked Wally were they could get one. Then on the next caravan Wally gave one to each participant. One thing led to another and before long the blue beret became as Wally said, “the official badge of .... the Wally Byam Caravan Club members.” It soon became obvious that the blue beret was practical in another unexpected way. This is highlighted in a subsequent published article titled Blue Beret Has Magic Effect. This is the story of how one Caravanner, while in Mexico, got out of receiving a traffic ticket. When the policeman saw his blue beret he tore up the ticket and said “Paseo Amigo”. The blue beret had become recognized as symbolizing a special group of people. People who were welcome visitors anyplace they went. The blue beret, proudly worn by WBCCI members not only enhanced the welcome they received, it was also a way to easily identify other Caravanners when on tours, at events, and other caravan activities.

The reason Wally initially purchased a beret, to “do as the French do”, represents his philosophy about travel and caravanning. To not just visit places but to get to know and experience the place on a first hand basis. The WBCCI Creed and the Four Freedoms written by Wally express this philosophy. So, the blue beret, which started as Wally's practical solution to a simple problem has come to represent an organization and a unique style of RV travel that is known worldwide.

Blue Beret Tradition
Wally Byam Caravan Club International, the early days
Magic Effect
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:56 AM   #24
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Thanks for posting that Diane. That and the other postings here are very helpful to me being new to the club to understand the tradition and symbolism of the beret. The Blue Beret should always have a place in the WBCCI, and there should be times and places where wearing it is encouraged.

I too appreciate everyone wearing name tags as I'm terrible with names. I saw the badge magnet at Perry--good idea.

The club needs to move forward and recruit and retain members. My posting here was just a suggestion, in that vein.

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Old 09-28-2007, 12:49 PM   #25
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This is Wally and his beret

Wally Byam Beret, here is the genuine article top to bottom.
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:33 PM   #26
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Me continuing the Wally tradition at Burning Man.

Michael
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:03 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWee
he would "pop" a beret on the head of an Ambassador, a mayor or other people he greeted in receptions.
Hey that sounds like 2AIR, who has pictures of those hats and the people he pops those hats upon?
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:13 PM   #28
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Moving on to a present day good will ambassador, alive and active. Rabbit's got the spirit.
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