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Old 03-26-2003, 07:32 PM   #1
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Wally Byam beret

Please help! I have been searching for anyone who has or sells the classic Wally Byam beret. There's one on ebay... but some guy has it up to $42. Why in the world doesn't Airstream still offer these?
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Old 03-26-2003, 08:38 PM   #2
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The WBCCI

The Club is not run by Airstream. Maybe you can buy from The Wally Byam Caravan Club International. (WBCCI)

The Beret is a "device" for identifying members Of the WBCCI, not an owner of an Airstream. (although you have to own or have owned an Airstream to be a member).

Check out this site: WWW.WBCCI.org

Smily
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Old 03-26-2003, 10:07 PM   #3
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Wally Byam beret

The WBCCI Wally Byam/Blue Beret is available through the club store. They have been sold at every International Rally that I have attended. The vintage berets were typically made of wool, and some are collected for that reason as well as the original manufacturer if the tag is still present. The current blue berets are manufactured of synthethic materials, and some with whom I have spoken feel that the vintage wool berets have a more luxurious color and texture.

The last information that I had indicated that local unit officers should have access to the club store catalog.

Kevin
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Old 03-27-2003, 01:36 AM   #4
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I saw a guy on TV wearing a green uniform and a similar beret reading some notes...

Hart
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Old 10-20-2005, 07:36 PM   #5
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I saw a guy on TV wearing a green uniform and a similar beret reading some notes...

Hart
I think that was this guy. He hasn't been to any rallies lately. We lost track of him somewhere in Bolivia.
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:47 PM   #6
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This beret listed on ebay does not look like the original wool one. It looks like the late model one I wore when I was a local president back in 1999. I think the WBCCI store still sells them for under $10.00. We usually keep a couple in our local inventory for our members. The wool felt ones are really rare and usually only worn be really old devoted members.
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:16 AM   #7
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Smile I wouldn't wear that beret in Miami...

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I think that was this guy. He hasn't been to any rallies lately. We lost track of him somewhere in Bolivia.
I think he had a caravan in Cuba too. Some of his friends stayed behind.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:50 AM   #8
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The Blue Beret - Priceless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane'sOverlander
Please help! I have been searching for anyone who has or sells the classic Wally Byam beret. There's one on ebay... but some guy has it up to $42. Why in the world doesn't Airstream still offer these?
The "classic" blue wool beret were imported from France. And for many years was the standard. Caravanners wanted something lighter, washable and the change was made from one product to the other.

Regardless, the Blue Beret is the symbol for the Club and Wally Byam and should be worn proudly by all members. Especially on Caravans and at Rallies. When you go to town to shop or whatever it shows the locals that you are part of a wonderful club and organization, with deep-rooted traditions.

Original berets are probably not readily available. If an original beret is available it is priceless. Not a million dollars, but what ever you feel it is worth to you.

Pee Wee Schwamborn
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by PeeWee
....
Regardless, the Blue Beret is the symbol for the Club and Wally Byam and should be worn proudly by all members...When you go to town to shop or whatever...
No thank-you.
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:16 PM   #10
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RE: The Blue Beret - Priceless

PeeWee,

Thanks for the explanation of the symbolism and tradition of the Blue Berets. Was it something that Wally wore as a part of his everyday apparel, and thus became the club symbol? I ask that because my grandfather wore one of those British caps with the button on top all his life, but then he didn't start any great clubs like the WBCCI.

As a new member of the WBCCI, I didn't understand the berets. I also didn't understand the dress code requiring sport coats and ties at the meetings. I still think a nice official WBCCI logo "golf shirt" and slacks would update the club and be something that many would wear off the rally grounds into the communities--great advertising too. Many large corporations are going this direction these days.

At this year's International, I saw many wearing the berets, including some who I wouldn't have expected to see (younger members). I didn't see anyone wearing them off the rally site.

When the military services adopted berets for their special units in the 60s, it kind of made everyone who wore them who wasn't "pumped" for action look a little silly. Maybe that's why we get responses like the one just above mine, when it's suggested we wear them everywhere as a symbol of the club. Personally, I wouldn't wear one unless I was indoors or after sundown. Preventing further skin damage from the sun is a higher priority for me. A nice Airstream baseball style cap came with my trailer, and that does a better job for me than a beret would do.

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.

As we newer, younger members of the club, move it into the 21st century, we need to be mindful of the traditions, and not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some people will never wear anything that someone else would like them to wear just on principal. Perhaps however, it's time for the beret to be relegated to a symbolic, ceremonial position. Updating the clubs "uniform" with something everyone would want to wear into town, may encourage more people to join, get involved in, and be a part of the leadership of this great organization.

Randy
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:11 PM   #11
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Anyone know the model / manufacturer of the original french beret and if they're still available?
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCabin
PeeWee,

Thanks for the explanation of the symbolism and tradition of the Blue Berets. Was it something that Wally wore as a part of his everyday apparel, and thus became the club symbol? I ask that because my grandfather wore one of those British caps with the button on top all his life, but then he didn't start any great clubs like the WBCCI.

As a new member of the WBCCI, I didn't understand the berets. I also didn't understand the dress code requiring sport coats and ties at the meetings. I still think a nice official WBCCI logo "golf shirt" and slacks would update the club and be something that many would wear off the rally grounds into the communities--great advertising too. Many large corporations are going this direction these days.

At this year's International, I saw many wearing the berets, including some who I wouldn't have expected to see (younger members). I didn't see anyone wearing them off the rally site.

When the military services adopted berets for their special units in the 60s, it kind of made everyone who wore them who wasn't "pumped" for action look a little silly. Maybe that's why we get responses like the one just above mine, when it's suggested we wear them everywhere as a symbol of the club. Personally, I wouldn't wear one unless I was indoors or after sundown. Preventing further skin damage from the sun is a higher priority for me. A nice Airstream baseball style cap came with my trailer, and that does a better job for me than a beret would do.

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.

As we newer, younger members of the club, move it into the 21st century, we need to be mindful of the traditions, and not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some people will never wear anything that someone else would like them to wear just on principal. Perhaps however, it's time for the beret to be relegated to a symbolic, ceremonial position. Updating the clubs "uniform" with something everyone would want to wear into town, may encourage more people to join, get involved in, and be a part of the leadership of this great organization.

Randy
Randy,

You know about the blue beret. I have posted a first had article by Wally regarding the blue beret on the Sierra Nevada's website.

Wally did have thinning hair, the beret kept him warm. It was functional he could put it in his coat pocket. As he gained knowledge on Caravans he would "pop" a beret on the head of an Ambassador, a mayor or other people he greeted in receptions. As mentioned the main significance of the beret was to advertise the buying power of a Caravan when it hit the city, also to encourage dialogue between locals and Caravanners.

Today these type of traditions wane, but they are still a functional part of the WBCCI.

Pee Wee
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:00 PM   #13
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WBCCI was selling them at Perry for $8. I saw some vintage looking wool ones at the flea market going for $6. They looked very small, but were in pretty good shape.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCabin
PeeWee,

At this year's International, I saw many wearing the berets, including some who I wouldn't have expected to see (younger members). I didn't see anyone wearing them off the rally site.
I wore mine on beret day at International. was proud to do so. the beret keeps me in touch with the WBCCI's rich history.

--dave
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