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Old 12-19-2009, 09:55 PM   #121
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“Rob, thanks for all you have done to move the WBCCI, VAC, WDCU and Airstreaming as a whole along, and we hope to see you down the road. God Bless you and your family and may you have a very Merry Christmas”
Paul,

Thanks my friend! Of course we'll see you down the road. Any campground where the WDCU goes, we'll be parked with our own reservations a few spots down the row.. That's so the boys can all start hitting on that cutie of yours.

Rob
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:09 PM   #122
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Dale,

I just don't get why you are not grasping the situation given your background. The things you suggest are the things that we have been trying to accomplish, but have had little luck doing because the structure of the club by design maintains the status quo. It is a classic pyramid command structure with one-way communication, flowing from the top to the bottom, and is what we inherited from the club you knew when your mother ran it.

It worked then, because it was a company club, in that it was difficult to distinguish where the company ended and the club began. There was significant company funding and certainly, when Wally was alive his goals were the club's goals. In other words, the company was deeply involved in the running of the club even if most of it was behind the scenes.

All of that is gone. The honeymoon was over. In 1988-89, Thor and the WBCCI had a falling out and the membership voted to remove Airstream's right to vote as a trustee on the WBCCI Board of Trustees (the IBT). Under Larry Huttle's leadership, Airstream responded by creating a new company club, the Airstream Recreation Association. It only lasted a few years and then folded. Reconciliation with the WBCCI has been limited and sporadic.

So, the WBCCI was radically changed from what it was when your mother was so much a part of it, BUT the structure did not change. A dysfunctional organization is all that remains and it has since steadily declined in membership, yet refuses to acknowledge that its structure is the problem. Instead, it looks for others to blame.

I believe that all the anger, dissatisfaction, indignation, and even spitefulness (from both sides) are the result of confusion. The top thinks the bottom should be grateful because the top works long and hard and is therefore deserving. The bottom thinks the top should be responsive to their needs and desires because dues pay the bills and (despite what you've said in your posts) they contribute as best they can.

Confusion results when the structure of an organization prevents two-way communication. From the top, criticism is taken personally and seen as coming from malcontents that complain for no good reason and have nothing valid or constructive to say. From the bottom, no one at the top will listen, pay attention, or acknowledge what is being said, so the bottom yells louder and perhaps with increasing rancor hoping to be heard. Both top and bottom become more and more polarized, dig in their heels, and start acting spitefully. This results in one thing, and one thing only - members leave the organization out of frustration.

You can infer that they are quitters and whiners, but how can you ask them to continue to invest in a product that is failing when you are not a member yourself? When is enough, enough? There is the Law of Diminishing Returns, or as Rob wrote, some of us will continue to bang our head against the wall.

I don’t think Rob is retreating. I rather suspect he is reloading. I too am tired of banging my head into the wall and I am trying to find a way around it instead. Please see the thread I started:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286/an-amendment-to-the-wbcci-constitution-59520.html

No one thought the alternate delegate motion would succeed, but it did, and so will this one.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:14 PM   #123
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"Any campground where the WDCU goes, we'll be parked with our own reservations a few spots down the row.. That's so the boys can all start hitting on that cutie of yours".


Does this mean we will see you in Myrtle Beach, SC??

Sorry, just had to ask!!
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:32 PM   #124
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Sorry dude

Actually Paul... that's a good question and related to all this stuff.. the answer is no, not because we don't want to.. but because I just used 40 hours with the baby being born and I used up all my other vacation this past summer going to International out in Madison (80 hours) - so I'm really low using up 120 hours - not to mention the other countless hours used up hosting a couple rallies this past year and going to others like CBR, etc... remember - I'm still working with a growing family (I'm calling my little ones Lemmings now)... we'd love to be there.. but I'm forced to work this week (Mon - Thurs (yes, on Christmas eve) and all week between Christmas and New Years....

We'll be sitting around the campfire with you in spirit though... I'm sure the discussions will be GOOD ones....

Rob, Zoe' and the 4 little lemmings

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"Any campground where the WDCU goes, we'll be parked with our own reservations a few spots down the row.. That's so the boys can all start hitting on that cutie of yours".


Does this mean we will see you in Myrtle Beach, SC??

Sorry, just had to ask!!
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:06 PM   #125
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Just a guy without a dog

I have been having an awful lot of fun sitting here on the sidelines. I do not have a trailer yet. I have been spending some time learning from the forum, all the things that I do not know. I have been scanning the ads,,,, trying to figure out how I was going to pull this dream together.

There was a guitar player who used an airstream trailer as a backdrop on one of his album covers that got me started in the first place.

Not being a joiner in other areas of my life, I have no inclination to seek membership in a trailer club. Unless, its benefits outweighed the dues. Have not found any real deals on auto insurance through AARP either.

Just wanted you folks to know that I am one of the New Guys who is not considering international recognition through membership. I am still weighing land yachts versus house boats.

Still enjoying the give and take that is going on,,,,

Steve
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:01 AM   #126
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i had the priviledge of breaking bread with pee wee and his wife in 2009 and it was the single highlight of my airstreaming adventure. Sitting and listening to the first hand stories about the early caravans and days of the club was truly special to me. It was like night at the museum airstream style.
Boy oh boy, do I know what you are talking about...
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That was a fabulous dinner to say the least. Nothing like good food and good friends. I have this photo framed and hanging on my wall. I made a frame out of some scrap aluminum, it only seemed fitting.
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Right after dinner we both had our photos taken with Dale. You remember that Dave? I think we were the only three there in berets. Dacia had one on too, but I think that was it. Very happy times for me. This photo hangs in the shop. I was hoping to have both of you sign it someday. Doubtful with how you both feel about me now.
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of all my photos this one is one of my favorites though. I took it while I was the caboose on a one day caravan we did. Rob was the leader of that caravan. We broke a lot of rules with that caravan. We had the wrong number of rigs, we followed each other in a convoy and not spread apart, We parked illegally a few times, took roads we were not supposed to, had a mini parade through downtown DC with out a permit, entered Great Falls when it was still closed. I even took my daughter out of school so she could have the experience. I was like a little kid with Dale sitting in my passenger seat.
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I was like a little kid in this photo too. Dale had been the scout and I was the wagon boss on the WDCU caravan to Madison. I had just spent five days and four nights with Dale as my guest. I got to know him well and will always be grateful for that experience.


Some call it walking away, some call it making a stand. Call it what you want. But be very certain you are doing what is right for you. As I said in my note to my unit members with my letter of resignation.... the only thing a man really own himself is his honor.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:38 AM   #127
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There was a guitar player who used an airstream trailer as a backdrop on one of his album covers that got me started in the first place.
That was a Ry Cooder album; great artist, killer photograph.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:46 AM   #128
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weighing land yachts versus house boats.

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Old 12-20-2009, 08:52 AM   #129
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Roger, your response doesn't really qualify as a perfect oxymoron. But I'm glad you noticed Steve's effort.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:58 AM   #130
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What is going on with the WBCCI is generational warefare the same as in the sixties. The older generation (the establishment) is running the WBCCI and wants the next generation (the baby boomers) to fall in line, to follow orders like robots. They actually want them to be lemmings. That is why the IBT an Pee Wee think that if you don't fall in line then you are being negative. To think independently is to be trouble maker. The real problem is that the generations are very different in attitudes and beliefs. In my opinion authority needs to earn respect and don't get it automatically because of the position. The older generation believes that the position in and of itself should generate the respect. Thus the differences in how the IBT is viewed.

The WBCCCI at this point has a monopoly. The only way to see real change in the WBCCI sooner than 20 years (when the older generation is gone) is through real competition. This will only happen with a competing organized Airstream camping club that is a real threat to the WBCCI. The Air Forums doesn't fully do this. Look at AT&T back in the early eighties when they had a monopoly - how much did long distance calling cost. Today I have unlimited nationwide calling for $30 a month. Do you think that would be the case if there were only one telecommunications carrier today for all calls including wireless?

It has become appearant by Pee Wee's posting over the last year that he has his own agenda. To protect his mother's legacy and the organization that she built; that is fine. His statement in the past (I'm paraphasing) that the WBCCI is the same as it was 50 years ago and implying that is OK told me all I need to know. You can start your flamming. I think Pee Wee is a great guy but no god. Pee Wee is great for history but is not the future.

I agree with Rob; life is short and dealing with all the BS surrounding the WBCCI is a waste of my precious time. I am in the WBCCI but if they raise the dues I will probably not renew. I am only in the WBCCI to camp with friends. I would join a new club; that decision can be independent as to whether I remain in the WBCCI. To be honest the only reason I remain in the WBCCI is because of the friends I have. If it wasn't for them I would leave today.

I believe that 2010 will be a very contentious year for the WBCCI. I will give my 2010 WBCCI predictions like the tabloids do - Leo will be expelled, Bob Thompson will announce the formation of a new Airstream club, the warefare will become more bitter, some progressive units will talk about leaving the WBCCI but will not, there will be more flamming wars.

My new year resolution is to do less with the WBCCI and do more camping.

Have a happy new year all.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:11 AM   #131
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Very concise and well stated. Agree with all you have said
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:17 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Air Apparent View Post
What is going on with the WBCCI is generational warefare the same as in the sixties. The older generation (the establishment) is running the WBCCI and wants the next generation (the baby boomers) to fall in line, to follow orders like robots. They actually want them to be lemmings. That is why the IBT an Pee Wee think that if you don't fall in line then you are being negative. To think independently is to be trouble maker. The real problem is that the generations are very different in attitudes and beliefs. In my opinion authority needs to earn respect and don't get it automatically because of the position. The older generation believes that the position in and of itself should generate the respect. Thus the differences in how the IBT is viewed.

The WBCCCI at this point has a monopoly. The only way to see real change in the WBCCI sooner than 20 years (when the older generation is gone) is through real competition. This will only happen with a competing organized Airstream camping club that is a real threat to the WBCCI. The Air Forums doesn't fully do this. Look at AT&T back in the early eighties when they had a monopoly - how much did long distance calling cost. Today I have unlimited nationwide calling for $30 a month. Do you think that would be the case if there were only one telecommunications carrier today for all calls including wireless?

It has become appearant by Pee Wee's posting over the last year that he has his own agenda. To protect his mother's legacy and the organization that she built; that is fine. His statement in the past (I'm paraphasing) that the WBCCI is the same as it was 50 years ago and implying that is OK told me all I need to know. You can start your flamming. I think Pee Wee is a great guy but no god. Pee Wee is great for history but is not the future.

I agree with Rob; life is short and dealing with all the BS surrounding the WBCCI is a waste of my precious time. I am in the WBCCI but if they raise the dues I will probably not renew. I am only in the WBCCI to camp with friends. I would join a new club; that decision can be independent as to whether I remain in the WBCCI. To be honest the only reason I remain in the WBCCI is because of the friends I have. If it wasn't for them I would leave today.

I believe that 2010 will be a very contentious year for the WBCCI. I will give my 2010 WBCCI predictions like the tabloids do - Leo will be expelled, Bob Thompson will announce the formation of a new Airstream club, the warefare will become more bitter, some progressive units will talk about leaving the WBCCI but will not, there will be more flamming wars.

My new year resolution is to do less with the WBCCI and do more camping.

Have a happy new year all.
Where did I say fall in? Boy, is that misinformation in your comments. I have only told people to be civil and use their imagination, leadership, and love of Airstream to rejuvenate the Club. I can't believe your statements. WOW! Stay on course. I find as many problems with your side of the ledger as I do with IBT side of the ledger. I just go about what needs to be done in a positive, no destructive manner. WOW!

It really doesn't matter what people say or do on the forums, I will soon trash the sites on my computer. My friends know how to get a hold of me, so that's good. The rabble continue to rabble about. Positive rebuilding is good, anger is bad.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:25 AM   #133
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What is going on with the WBCCI is generational warefare the same as in the sixties. The older generation (the establishment) is running the WBCCI and wants the next generation (the baby boomers) to fall in line, to follow orders like robots. They actually want them to be lemmings. That is why the IBT an Pee Wee think that if you don't fall in line then you are being negative. To think independently is to be trouble maker. The real problem is that the generations are very different in attitudes and beliefs. In my opinion authority needs to earn respect and don't get it automatically because of the position. The older generation believes that the position in and of itself should generate the respect. Thus the differences in how the IBT is viewed. ...
You know, there was a time when I wondered if the generational differences between baby boomers and the older generation might explain some of what's going on. If interested, you can find websites that explain some of these differences; you can apply them to the situation within the wbcci to see how this works out. And the case is pretty compelling.

But now I'm not so sure. The problem is that the generation before the baby boomers is now aging a lot, probably no longer RVing; the baby boomers ARE the 60+ generation. For all intents and purposes, those in control of the wbcci are, in all likelihood, baby boomers.

Surely, then, some of the artefacts of an earlier generation are still maintained within the wbcci. I'm thinking here of the uniforms, the flag ceremonies, the standing at attention, and so forth. We've all seen pictures of this kind of thing. But the people who originated these customs are probably no longer with us, or no longer in control of the wbcci.

So what does explain the problems if not generation? Well, of course, as noted, some artefacts are still there, and these cause some pain. But if that were the whole story, we'd have little to deal with. Customs fade with time, some faster than others. BFD.

No, I think the essential issues involve money. These are well-known issues, so there is no need to review them here -- other than to note that it's kind of doubtful that these central issues are, in fact, generational ones.


Lynn
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:50 AM   #134
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Lynn, not all boomers are the same. While a lot of boomers desired change back in the '60's, many did not. They joined the conservative movement and supported the Vietnam War. I expect that group are the ones who now control the WBCCI and endorse the top down structure and the embellishments that go with it.

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Old 12-20-2009, 10:13 AM   #135
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It really doesn't matter what people say or do on the forums, I will soon trash the sites on my computer. My friends know how to get a hold of me, so that's good. The rabble continue to rabble about. Positive rebuilding is good, anger is bad.
PeeWee, I thank you for all you've done, and the rich history you've made so clear, and I mean absolutely no disrespect, but how can pitch positive solutions on things and also refer to people as Lemmings and Rabble?

FWIW I hear you in your posts that you don't think people jumping ship is positive, but you state that you're doing the exact same thing with the forums etc. Hopefully you can decide to simply not read threads you don't wish to see the content of and participate and spread your knowledge here in other threads (i.e. I avoid the axle threads).


Happy Holidays Everyone!
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:18 AM   #136
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If Tim is reading this, my apologies. No disrespect was intended to you, Colin, Frank or anyone else involved with the VAP. Hopefully, the intent of my post was not lost.

Rob (and Tim, Colin, Frank, Andy, Ute and many others) have earned my respect and gratitude because of what they have done... not in some bygone era, but now. I'm interested in their ideas, not what happend on a caravan before I was born.

I don't think this is generational. I'm under 50 and on the very tail end of the baby boom. I think the essence of owning an Airstream, particularly a vintage Airstream has changed. My grandmother wanted an Airstream because of the prestige. It was a rolling a status symbol, not unlike the Cadillac my grandfather owned. For my generation (and those younger), I think owning an Airstream has become an iconoclastic choice. It's a rejection of the mass-market "same old box" trailers and an embrace of an elegant, efficient and wonderfully malleable design.

I think my grandmother (now 87) would enjoy the WBCCI... that is, if she were well enough to travel. If she had joined in 1947 or some odd year, she would have kept sending in her dues religiously because she would trust without question that it was the right thing to do. It's a bit funny, really. My grandmother is delighted that we've bought an Airstream, but for reasons that have nothing to do with why we actually bought it. And goodness knows, I love my grandmother too much (and know her too well) to try to explain.

For my grandmother, the Overlander would have been a parade float. For us, it is an escape capsule. I think that, as much as anything, explains why the WBCCI is not the club of choice for younger generations of Airstream owners.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:35 AM   #137
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Lynn, not all boomers are the same. While a lot of boomers desired change back in the '60's, many did not. They joined the conservative movement and supported the Vietnam War. I expect that group are the ones who now control the WBCCI and endorse the top down structure and the embellishments that go with it.

Gene
Precisely. Which, in turn, suggests that a generational difference doesn't really explain what gives.

Lynn
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:12 AM   #138
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It really doesn't matter what people say or do on the forums, I will soon trash the sites on my computer. My friends know how to get a hold of me, so that's good. The rabble continue to rabble about. Positive rebuilding is good, anger is bad.
Pee Wee I am sorry to hear that. Members respect you and your sharing your personal and the club histories has always been very interesting and generous of you to spend your time thusly.

I am more deeply sorry that you must be driven to distraction and impacted personally so negatively as to respond to the forums openly as you now often do. I have never heard you insulted on any of the forums and usually highly venerated. All we can deduce is that there must be more than has met our eye and we bid you a fond farewell and thank you for your contributions of stories and pictures of the rich Wally Byam heritage. That was priceless. You were kind to do so. Godspeed.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:12 AM   #139
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I have things to do and places to go

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PeeWee, I thank you for all you've done, and the rich history you've made so clear, and I mean absolutely no disrespect, but how can pitch positive solutions on things and also refer to people as Lemmings and Rabble?

FWIW I hear you in your posts that you don't think people jumping ship is positive, but you state that you're doing the exact same thing with the forums etc. Hopefully you can decide to simply not read threads you don't wish to see the content of and participate and spread your knowledge here in other threads (i.e. I avoid the axle threads).


Happy Holidays Everyone!
The fourm was always a lark. I enjoyed sharing history. I will be attending rallies. I will be continuing to add to the Sierra Nevada Units history section. I will be doing interviews. I will be writing a journal. I do believe that there are positive soulutions to any problem. That destruction is not answer. I'm am not leaving the world of Wally Byam, Helen Byam Schwamborn, or Airstream.

I will see many of you on the road, at rallies, on the phone, in my e-mail box.

I'm not running. Just changing venue.

I want to wish all, I do mean all of you, a very Joyous Christmas, and prosperity in the New Year 2010. Enjoy the Holiday Season with Reason.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:24 AM   #140
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Precisely. Which, in turn, suggests that a generational difference doesn't really explain what gives.

Lynn
Agreed. Back in the 19th century this was much more a monocultural country, but that was not even absolutely true then. Over the next century diversity kept increasing and the "melting pot" didn't melt us as much. Some people keep trying to enforce a monoculture of their own definition, vaguely approximate to what they think the nation's founders believed in. They don't seem to know very well what those men believed in, but that's another issue.

The battle over how to run an organization like the WBCCI does reflect the "culture wars". That war, fought over and over again through history, is always lost by the purveyors of the status quo because the process of change is inevitable and the old guys always lose the biological solution.

But people live longer and old guys of any type hold on longer than ever and become more and more irrelevant. Unfortunately, they cause certain institutions to die with them. As the old guard becomes more irrelevant, others start new institutions and replace them. The Forum is a good example of that. Some people want to start another Airstream club which may be modeled somewhat on what they think the WBCCI should be like, but may actually be much like the WBCCI—perhaps berets, but no flags; perhaps bolos instead of ties; perhaps 10 page bylaws instead of gazillion page bylaws.

Most leaders of traditional organizations try to perpetuate their views and while there may be direct election of the leadership, it's not hard to make sure the nomination procedure is loaded in favor of such perpetuation. Another factor in perpetuation is that few people really want to or can take the time to run an organization. How many people can hold a fulltime job and do the leadership work of a national organization?

I expect when the dust settles, we'll see several alternatives, somewhat reflective of the increasing diversity of our culture. Some will thrive, some will not. Right now the catalyst for change is a dues increase. I'd like to see the war be over too and for everyone to pick their type of group and get on with camping, but whether or not a dues increase is approved, the process will continue until everyone is tired of arguing and different groups emerge.

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