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Old 07-02-2016, 05:21 PM   #1
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4th of July Homage to Airstreams

July 4th Homage to Airstreams, an American Icon

Airstreams are unique and special. And I love my mine. I know there's probably something wrong with loving an inanimate object, but so be it.

They are a genuine American icon, a rare thing. Others that come to mind include Harley Davidsons, Webber grills, White Mountain ice cream makers, Coca-Cola - I'm sure you can think of others. Originated by a genuine American character, Wally Byam who was equal parts innovator, entrepreneur and promotor, Airstreams have survived 70 years of profound change in America.

Their form is instantly recognizable by almost everyone. The blend of curves and aluminum are unique, reminiscent of an airplane, that is almost genius like in its perfect combination of form and function. And, unlike most other RVs, they can be downright charming. When we set ours up in a campground with the distinctive Zip Dee awnings and folding chairs out, mats down, gas grille on a small table, checkered tablecloths and flowers on the picnic table, it's a welcoming and homey sight. It makes most passersby want to stop and chat a bit about the trailer. Great way to meet people.

There's also another way it encourages meeting people, the informal and formal camaraderie of owning an Airstream. Fellow Airstreamers flash lights when passing by on the highway and go out their way to introduce themselves when camping. And there's WBCCI. My wife and I have never been "joiners" but I've had a fascination with those red numbers since I was a kid and we joined when we first bought the trailer three years ago (maybe just for those red numbers). As it turns out, the Oregon Unit of WBBCI has great rallies and it's a wonderful group of diverse, intelligent and interesting people that we never would have met if we didn't own an Airstream. We have made many new friends.

Airstreams last, both mechanically and cosmetically. How many other 20+ year old RVs are pulled out of bushes or dragged out of fields for renovation and restoration? Our modest 26 year old trailer is admired everywhere we go. And everything works as it should - all the appliances work well and it tows well. Of course it requires conscientious maintenance but what fine piece of machinery doesn't?

And gently used well maintained Airstreams have to be the least expensive way to RV. Given how well they hold their value I doubt that when all is said and done that owning ours will cost us anything other than maintenance.

I love my trailer so much I named it "Nellie" after my first horse (I grew up on a ranch). Nellie was an old gray mare, a retired circus horse, with scars on her forehead from the plumes and she had been blinded in her right eye in that inhumane era to stop her from being distracted by the crowd. When I first got her she would only go in circles but despite my 5-year old lack of strength I was able to train her to follow the reins. She was a kind old animal, a little worse for wear, that affected my life greatly.

My Airstream is a grand old trailer, a little worse for wear, that is also affecting my life greatly. My wife and I use it to travel, to discover new places, to have new adventures, to meet new friends. It's the best acquisition we've made in our 49 year marriage. Who knew that the golden years would be silver?

John & Vicki
WBCCI #4291

Grown men don't need leaders. ~ Edward Abbey
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:48 PM   #2
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Sweet sentiments, fond memories! Thanks for sharing.

There's nothing like an Airstream! I love it when happy waving Airstreamers wave in passing on the road. It is like greeting family members.


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Old 07-02-2016, 05:52 PM   #3
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John and Vicki

Thank you for your very appreciative and positive post about your love affair with your Airstream Nellie and the wonderful affects it has had on your life in this great country.

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Old 07-02-2016, 06:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for expressing the sentiments, which we share. Most appropriate timing too: Wally Byam was born on the 4th of July in 1896.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:50 PM   #5
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We just took a walk around the RV park we're staying in. Two other Airsteams, conversations with four new acquaintances. There are no strangers in our Airstream world.

John & Vicki
WBCCI #4291

Grown men don't need leaders. ~ Edward Abbey
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Old 07-03-2016, 04:30 AM   #6
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4th of July Homage to Airstreams

Thanks John & Vicki!

We love our Pete (named by our then 3yo grandson when we brought the coach home) just as you do your Nellie.

We're always ready to show ours everywhere we go, and we enjoy it. Had to learn to make the beds properly and pickup my underwear.... You never know who will tour Pete when you're out there. 😊. I especially enjoy showing Pete to an owner of a 13k lb 4 slide 40' 5th wheel I land near (happened twice in the last month). They smile and nod and give you that pitiful "where do you put all your stuff?" look . 😜

They are truly an American icon and while certainly not perfect (what hand built vehicle is?), we sure love ours for tow-ability, live-ability, and just how cool it is.

Happy Fourth everyone. We are certainly blessed to live in America!

Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:15 PM   #7
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So very well written! Thanks for he great post
Steve "Centennial Man"
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:23 PM   #8
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John and Vickie and ShinyPete...nice words. We are nearly 45 years as rv'ers but only 2yrs in our AS Classic. How special it is. There's a different bond wit an AS.
Appreciate your pleasant comments among the complaints we read so often. We are blessed in many ways. And happy birthday USA!
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:15 PM   #9
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We're new to the AS family, but enjoying the new friends we make along the way. Must get movin down the road, so we can share more adventures before our sun sets.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for that thoughtful post. As a new owner, I couldn't think of any purchase that would provide more inspiration & memories. Happy Fourth of July to you!
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:45 PM   #11
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What!!! No pink flamingoes???
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:23 PM   #12
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John & Vicki
WBCCI #4291

Grown men don't need leaders. ~ Edward Abbey
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:03 PM   #13
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So well said and so true!
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:27 PM   #14
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So well put!!! Right on the money. We love our time at Top Of Georgia, always a great time, and much good fellowship. The Little Woman and I have been full timing it in ours, parked in the driveway, for 106 days now - recovering from flooded house. We're still in love, and still love the 'Stream. It's holding up better than we are!!!!

If you're lucky enough to have an Airstream, you're lucky enough!
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