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Old 11-02-2009, 08:24 PM   #15
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1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,087
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"However it is cowardly, rude and destructive to express oneself with the goal to disrupt, destroy or demean any organization. I was taught at a very young age; if you have nothing good to say about something, then don’t say it all."

The U.S. military was segregated until after the Korean War (despite Truman's executive order in 1948). There were people in uniform who honestly believed black soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines were not capable of doing many jobs. Fortunately, there were also people--including men and women in the military--who realized segregation was profoundly wrong.

Some of the most harsh critics of segregation in the armed forces were loyal, dedicated officers. It took uncommon bravery to speak out against racial bigotry, and I am sure these people faced withering attacks and the accusations of having less than noble motives. I'm sure some people felt the critics were simply out to "disrupt, destroy or demean" the military. For those of you inclined to good fiction, I recommend Pat Conroy's, "The Lords of Discipline," a story of racial integration at a military college.

I realize there will always be some people unable to tolerate any criticism of an organization they love. And there will always be those people unable to turn a blind eye to the imperfections almost every human organization has. To me, the issue is not the character of the critics... but the content of the criticism. Questioning the motives, the character, the courage of others... well, that's just argumentum ad hominem... a busy road leading nowhere.

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Old 11-02-2009, 08:48 PM   #16
1 Rivet Member
2008 30' Classic
Palukaville , Delaware
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Please explain to me...

Please explain to me how:

Originally Posted by PeeWee View Post
I wish to present a few credentials. I do so not out of vanity, but out of the knowledge that the WBCCI is a sound organization. Like any organization that is international and made up of units or chapters, there will always be some differences from one to another. It is also true that each of us are individuals and seek the associations that best suit us.

1 Born into the Byam and Schwamborn family
2 1st Caravanner, 1951-52 Mexico and Central America
3 1st Caravan to Eastern Canada 1955
4 Charter Member of the Wally Byam Caravan Club
5 WBCCI Headquarters 5 Years in the Schwamborn Family Home
6 1st Caravan to Europe 1956
7 2nd Eastern Canadian Caravan 1957
8 Wally Byam Caravan to Africa 1959-1960; African Scout
9 Numerous rallies, local and International
10 US. Army 1962 to 1968 (2 Active, 2 Inactive, 2 Reserve)
11 Airstream Employee 1964 to 1969
12 1965 Lynda Bird Johnson’s Tour of the West (see National Geographic)
13 Owner of the Byam Gold Trailer 1969 to 1977
14 During the 11 points of interest I knew 100’s of Caravanner’s, Club Members, and Airstream employees.

However it is cowardly, rude and destructive to express oneself with the goal to disrupt, destroy or demean any organization. I was taught at a very young age; if you have nothing good to say about something, then don’t say it all.

I’m a fuddy duddy. Well, if I am to believe what the antagonists are saying, I’m almost 71 and don’t fit in with what they are looking for in Club associates.

Upon my Mother’s death in 2004 I have returned to the WBCCI and Airstream World. I find that nothing has changed in over 50 years, with the exception of too many pessimists and unwilling Airstream owners that should be working for the best in the Club, and not deferring their energies to idle, negative talk and deeds.

1 I worked closely with Russ Banham, author of Wanderlust Airstream at 75 years
2 2005 attended the 50th Anniversary International Rally in Springfield, MO
3 2005 Kentville, NS, Canada the dedication of monuments to the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Wally Byam Caravan Club
4 2006 Began work with the Sierra Nevada Unit on a concise and comprehensive history website.
5 2007 Rocky Mountain Vintage Rally, Breckenridge, CO
6 2007 Fred Coldwell and I worked on sorting out pictures and documents
7 2008 Dead Horse Rally, Four Corners Unit
8 Denver, CO PBS History Detectives
9 2008 Bozeman International Rally
10 2008 Labor Day Rally Williams, AZ Four Corners Unit
11 2008 Arizona State University, African Caravan Project with their Engineering Department
12 Two VAP Podcasts
13 2009 Vintage Airstream Rally, San Antonio, TX
14 2009 Dead Horse Rally, Four Corners Unit
15 2009 Arizona State University, African Caravan Project with their Engineering Department
16 2009 Caravan from Great Falls; VA Washington D.C. Mall; Mt. Vernon, VA to Upper Marlboro, MD
17 2009 Cherry Blossom Rally, Washington D.C. Unit
18 2009 Airstream Dealer Homecoming, Missoula, MT
19 2009 Pittsburgh, PA to Madison Caravan with WDC Unit and VAC members
20 2009 International Rally Madison, WI
21 2009 Cape to Cairo Caravan Missouri to Illinois
22 2009 Cape to Cairo Rally Missouri
23 2009 the Wilds Rally Ohio
24 2009 Airstream Jackson Center, OH 7 days data gathering
25 2009 I spent many hours working with pictures and text posted with the Sierra Nevada Unit, and Airforums.

My travels this year began January 31, 2009 and ended September 26, 2009. I spend 64 days away from home. I traveled 19,738 miles. I spent time with nine different families, slept in 22 separate beds (8 different Airstreams), 13 different air flights, and an excess of 15 hours in speaking engagements. This does not include hundreds of personal minutes talking with Caravanner’s.

Since 2004 I have made hundreds of new friends, not just acquaintances but friends for life. I have shared potlucks, campfires and happy hours. No, the best is yet to come. But to sustain the Club all Airstream owners and Club members need to work together to make it a better Club for all members.

Too often people bring Wally into the picture. Wally would be pleased to know that he is remembered. But that’s where it stops. There are too many Airstreamers that has suppositions what Wally might do, say or feel. I guess you had to know him, to be able talk about him.

I have taken three sections from Wally’s Ten Commandments written for the first African Caravan mailing. I think it tells us that he would not be pleased with negative voices, those that can’t use their talents to constructively make the Wally Byam Caravan Club a better organization.


Since this Caravan is going into a rough country on an adventurous journey, we must all realize that each must rely on his neighbor. We all must be ready, willing and anxious to help each other in every way possible


This is a one for all and all for one Caravan. The whole of the Caravan is more important than any one individual; privileges should be available for all.


Democracy is a distinguishing factor of America. We realize that the members of the Caravan are all rugged individualists, but where it is necessary for the good of the Caravan individualism must be subordinated to majority rule.
equates to:

Originally Posted by PeeWee View Post
By the way, each of your comments has interest. However, you have missed the point of this thread. It is directed to those that have problems finding a unit to join.
I mean absolutely no disrespect.

Personally, I believe that the vast majority of that which Wally created and espoused was wonderful.

And, I believe that he was a marketing GENIUS. He did more for the RV industry than any other person OR organization on the planet. EVER!

Unfortunately, that which Wally did has very little to do with what is being perpetrated by the LEADERSHIP of the WBCCI today.

Does anyone think that Wally would be in agreement with that which the WBCCI leadership is doing?

How many grievances for petty issues were put forth in Wally's day?

Would Wally support the organization if it was being operated in an obviously unsound fiscal manner?

Would Wally support a LEADERSHIP that, over the years, has alienated the existing members, new members and prospective members such that membership has declined from 28,000 in Wally's day to fewer than 7,000 today?

I think not.

As for civility, the ONLY lack of civility that I have read can be associated with the WBCCI leadership; they are the ones who continue to "beat" anyone who voices a difference of opinion.

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Old 11-03-2009, 04:42 AM   #17
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Tipton , Iowa
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I probably shouldn't post to this thread, but as a member here since '03 and an Airstream owner continuously (well, almost continuously) since 1987, and as a former WBCCI member I think I've earned a voice.

Airstream for me is a product. In it's day, it was the premier product of it's kind. That it's still around speaks volumes about the durability and suitability of the product for the job it was built to perform. I don't, however, see Wally in any light other than a guy who successfully marketed a very visionary product. Past that, I really don't care what Wally would do today. He's dead, and the product is owned by a corporate entity. The only mystique about Airstream is what owners want to weave around it, and the organization of Airstream owners is in the hands of it's corporate leadership.

I have largely avoided most of the WBCCI threads because the vitriol gets a little tedious. I have read and enjoyed your posts immensely. The Airstream history you carry with you is amazing, and I appreciate that you've shared with us as much as you have. You are the current reigning elder statesman for the WBCCI. I met one of the other last remaining charter members at the Sioux Falls International in 2001 and had a wonderful visit with him. I don't recall his name now.

Again, I have been an Airstream owner almost continuously since 1987; certainly not as long as you've been around them, but long enough, I think, to be able to claim some experience with them as well. I finally joined the WBCCI in 1998 and attended my first International at Sioux Falls. That will also be my last. I was in my early '40s, had a 325 motorhome, and a young family with a small dog. I got a very clear message from the organizers (from the 'parkers' to the International officers) that there was no place in the WBCCI for us. Fortunately, we found and bonded with the Vintage group. We attended some of the entertainment and were thoroughly appalled that it was completely and totally aimed at the Lawrence Welk generation.

The WBCCI is much like the blind men trying to explain an elephant; it's so large, and has so many facets that there's probably a little something everyone can find to like, and I did. A little. But the overwhelming experience I had at the International was that the organization exists solely as the vehicle for folks born before 1940 to get together and be entertained and do what they wanted. You nailed it when you said:

Upon my Mother’s death in 2004 I have returned to the WBCCI and Airstream World. I find that nothing has changed in over 50 years,
Indeed, I find that apparently the club has not changed since it's inception, and the the leadership chooses not to have it change. That's unfortunate, because the world has changed around the club, and like so many social institutions that grew after WWII, the club is going to die with the members who fight so hard to keep it from changing. We've seen that over and over and over again in the past 30 years as service and fraternal organizations fail from lack of membership. When an organization fails to stay relevant for the next generation, it dies.

I kept my membership until about 2004 even though the club had little to offer me, but decided that I wasn't getting even the $70/year worth of benefit from membership, after I realized I wouldn't be returning to an International, and I had little time to participate in my local unit.

So, I voted with my feet as, apparently, have over half the membership who belonged when I did. The membership of the organization has dropped from the 10,000 members it had in '98 to something around 6,000 members today.

I also don't understand the tenor of either of your posts. Both are provocative and vitriolic, and yet you vent your disdain of the same kind of posts from others who are as passionate about the WBCCI as you are, but don't agree with the organization's direction?

So, PeeWee, if you are so offended that you feel the need to withdraw, then I guess that's certainly your right, but I don't believe that anyone here, even those who most ardently desire change at the WBCCI, are trying to personally offend you (or the leadership of the organization). I believe that they're seeking to belong to an organization that they can feel good about and gain benefit from. Is that really such a bad thing to want?


AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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