In publicastions, websites, and forums there always seems to be a biological mystery to who Helen Byam Schwamborn is.
Loren and Melvina Byam were from Iowa. They had two sons Bertram and Raymond. Bert was 10 years older than his brother Ray. Bert married Carrie Biswell. Ray married Sue Elmore (I'm not real sure of my Grandmother's maiden name, I have it some where filed away).
Bert and Carrie had one child Wallace Merle Byam.
Ray and Sue had two childern Mary and Helen.
This makes Mary and Helen first cousins to Wally.
There is a picture of a vintage Airstream in the 30's. There are two ladies. These two ladies are not Stella Byam, or Helen Byam Schwamborn. Who the two models are remains a mystery. Books, websites, newspapers seem to continue to poliferate this error.
In 1930 my Mother and Father came to Califonia. Wally took them under his wing. As time went by Wally and my Mother became very good friends. Similar friendship that develops between cousins and/or brothers and sisters. From this friendship Wally appreciated the talents that Helen Byam Schwamborn had. When there was an oppourtunity to bring her into the Airstream family he did. This was in 1955
. The two became the dynamic duo. Wally the Papa Bear in charge of all aspects of the Airstream world and family; and my Mother delegated to start, watch over, and grow the Caravan Club, which was her baby from the beginning. Through Wally's efforts you have the Airstream, through my Mother's effort you have the WBCCI. Even after after her retirement in 1979 she was soooo proud of her baby, your club. She bled silver and Airstream blue.
If you wish to learn more go to the history section of the Sierra Neveda Unit, I have been working with Diane Liepper to organize and provide history for the WBCCI members.
A strange fact of family history Wally passed away on July 22
and my Mother on July 22
I hope this information clarifies the relationship between Wally and my Mother, they were first cousins. That makes me a second cousin.