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Old 08-11-2006, 09:03 PM   #161
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We joined before we really knew what the club was. We ended up as MALs because the Pensacola unit would never answer our emails. We are also mainly in it for the numbers. Lucy really looks cool with her numbers. As a matter of fact, an Aitstream doesn't look like a "real" Airstream without the big red numbers.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:42 PM   #162
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clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
and at one time airstream owned the wbcci and the club prospered....
This isn't quite accurate. Over the past few months I have been having a conversation with Pee Wee (Dale Schwamborn), Wally Byam's second cousin. Pee Wee's mother, Helen was the person Wally chose to be the first director of WBCCI. It was largely because of Helen that the club prospered. For a summary of the beginning of WBCCI you might want to read what Pee Wee has to say.

http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/me...beginning.html
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:52 PM   #163
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hi diane

thanks for the post...

since we all seem to agree the club prospered...

and i fully agree ms helen was a key to the club success.

i'll assume the 'ownership' issue is the point of contention...

i'll make my case regarding ownership backward...

when thor purchased airstream, they did not purchase any club assets...

prior to the purchase, beatrice foods had liberated the wb...in 1979/80 or so. fully and legally liberated the wbcci...

a new building was built for the wb in jackson center....
at the opposite end of town and on the opposite side of the street.
in other words as far away physically as it could be positioned....

for me this was symbolic of the the 'new' independence...

also much of the legal work was redone at this time. incorporation, non profit statis and so on....a/s did own the club and lots of paper was needed to complete the split....i also suspect the 'legal side' of ownership and financing club operations wasn't discussed...till beatrice divested the club.....perhaps THIS is why so many folks think beatrice...ruined airstream?

imo this did mark the full split/separation...along with a new owner for airstream.
your reference is good history but makes no mention of these issues...

since that time,
the company has provided financial support, people power, printing, organizational assistance and a variety of other support. every time the club has needed help or asked for help a/s has quietly stepped up....

this isn't bad for a/s or the wb. but the wb is quick to brag...'we are the only rv/travel club not owner/affilitated with a manufacturer...' and that is misleading.

gungho guys like 65gt who get involved now, somehow imagine a/s thor is evil and hurts the club...that control is the goal...and so on...

none of that is true, but part of a myth maintained by wb folks....this myth backfires now and works against the club's future.

anyway history is always contested...and full of lies...these are mine....and i'm sticking to em!

now for the link....that piece is great....just like the entire snu website...full of really really good stuff...

this segment especially appeals to me....
perhaps now some of you will see my relationship to the originals....

Jack Rabbits


Dale (Pee Wee) Schwamborn

In the early days of WBCCI an ad hoc group formed that would be instrumental in advocating for the organizing of a club for Airstreamers. This group called themselves Jack Rabbits. These are Pee Wee's recollections of the Jack Rabbits.
Introduction

I believe that they organized themselves from the traveling together on the early Caravans, and picked up some of their members from early Airstream rallies.
The actual selection of the "Jack Rabbit" name is unknown to me. It was probably selected to show their maverick ways, group solidarity, and even out ahead of the others. At one time on a Caravan if someone passed the lead vehicle they were referred to as jack rabbits.
I have an 8 x 10 trailer plaque of a jack rabbit. These members proudly affixed this to their Airstreams.
These were feisty Airstreamer's. They made sure that the Club stayed pure and for the members. Good people. Great people. And my friends on the 1st Caravan ( some of them) and through my Club and Caravan years.
Directory

Jack Rabbit member directory (pdf) - Here are the Jack Rabbits. You will see that Wally and Stel were honorary members.
Comments from Pee Wee

While walking this morning I thought about the "Jack Rabbits."
Here are my thoughts. I looked at the names on their roster and memories of each came back with their faces. And I thought about this specific group and what they did for the Club, Wally, Stel and my Mother. After all these years I can stand back and evaluate those days, and write about them.
There is always a group of go getters on Caravans and in the Club. The first ones there to set up, organize and make themselves available for whatever duties are required.
This may sum up the “Jack Rabbits.” This is the support they gave on Caravans before the Club, and the interest and service they gave at Club and Airstream functions, after the formation of the Club
Wally, Stel and my Mother were always under their care. They knew the schedules and demands that Wally, Stel and my Mother had to meet.
They did this our of love, and caring. It was never a name dropping association. It was true devotion.
They were there when Trailer 1 (Wally and Stel) or 2 (Helen and Pee Wee) pulled in. Here’s your parking place. What can we do to help you? Gopher holes appeared, water connections were made, the trailers were unhitched. You name it and they assisted.
During the day they would stop by the trailer and ask is there something we can do for you, we are going into town to shop? Do you want to come along?
They were the first ones to bring up foreseeable problems that might effect the Club. This is where their feistiness came in. They wanted to protect the Club and the Way of Life from any situation that would undermine the Club.
They were like the Knights Templar of old, of Knights Errand. Protectors of the Club, Wally, Stel and my Mother.
These were the “Jack Rabbits.”
Adendum
Knock, knock,knock. "Helen, have you and Pee Wee had dinner? No. Well come over we're having meatloaf and macaroni and cheese." Or 'We'll bring it over. - Very generous people.
Do not misunderstand, there was a large aggregate of Caravaners and Club member that supported Wally, Stel and my Mother. It's just that the names on the "Jack Rabbit" roster stand out, in my memories


again thanks for the post and a chance to brag about my dead bunny ancestors........

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:29 PM   #164
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2Air

I see what you are talking about and understand. It can be a rather confusing issue. You are right that I didn't delve into the issues you presented. I was focusing on other aspects. As you say, the part I had concerns about was your comment that Airstream "owned" WBCCI. To me the keys are that Wally always saw Airstream and WBCCI as two separate entities. He created the Airstream Sales entity to house the fledgling club but control for the club was essential his and Helen's. If I get this correctly it was when Beatrice bought Airstream that WBCCI moved out from under the Airstream Sales entity thus totally elimiating that aspect of the relationship. That was also after Helen retired. So maybe it was a combination of both of those factors plus others that led to some of the issues we are facing today.

Now the mud is getting thicker or the picture is getting clearer. Thanks.

Why doesn't it suprize me that you like the Jack Rabbits BTW Pee Wee did want to share his material but he has concerns about where and how. That's why we added that note at the bottom of his pages.
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:00 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraBreeze
If I get this correctly it was when Beatrice bought Airstream that WBCCI moved out from under the Airstream Sales entity thus totally elimiating that aspect of the relationship.


well s'breeze...

that's close.
perhaps still not clear enough. the split came when beatrice SOLD airstream....

many great things happened in the 70s...more holding tanks, bigger trailers, extra features, more sales and finally profitability. these things happened during the beatrice years...

when beatrice prepared to SELL a/s they did what lots of owners do...cleaned house.

to make a/s attractive for buyers...they tried to reduce or eliminate things that might clutter the front yard. the club cost money...it cost beatrice money. it was another thing to manage and so on. it distracted from the bottom line. so the wb was given it's freedom and a handsome kitty.

when thor purchased a/s the wb was no longer owned by a/s...or at least in the final stages of separation...

now, back to subjects closer to the thread...

why not embrace mal folks...why not allow a 'national unit'

why not reduce regions? why not reduce unit #s... do we really need 1400 units?
what would be the downside to fewer units or regions...

clearly fewer international officers and committees and ranks and so on would be a good thing?

some folks are camped for free at the international for 5 weeks....
is that really needed or a wise way to spend club funds?

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:45 PM   #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
why not embrace mal folks...why not allow a 'national unit' ... what would be the downside to fewer units or regions... some folks are camped for free at the international for 5 weeks....
is that really needed or a wise way to spend club funds?
This collection covers a very broad scope from ideology and identity to politics to low level management. Whew!

To me, the "why not embrace mal?" question is like asking 'when did you stop beating your wife?" -- The only 'official' lack of embrace for MAL's is that of voting - and there is both a good rationale for that and good precedent in large association practice. The very fact that such a membership category exists is, to me, significant evidence that MAL's are indeed embraced and welcome - or at least the official policy is such. The kind of problems encountered with some individuals needs to be addressed as they do not reflect what the club is about.

The issue of Units and Regions has a lot to do with the inherent nature of the organization and its identity. WBCCI is not the SKP comprised mostly of rootless(!) full timers. Shorter distances make a difference. Locality makes a difference. Consider a Unit as a group that can get together without anyone needing more than a full day's travel from home and the implications of that. The idea of so many Units is that it is one way to accomodate (PC warning!) diversity in interests and capabilities.

The concept of a Region has a number of fairly important issues behind it. For one, an organization like WBCCI will often have a board of twenty or so as that is a good group size for the necessary functions. For another, there is the locale thing but a bit broader to encompass the resources necessary to do some things a Unit usually can't do. I think the Region structure right now, though, is a weak link in WBCCI.

The third point hits several levels. Usually the incremental cost is very small and the gain rather large so it can be a very effective use of club funds. On the other hand, it can be abused and misused and that can lead to discord and adverse consequences.

On another note: thanks Mike. From the Directory it looks like the WBCCI I'Rally was at nearly 4k attendance from about 1975 through 1986. If the approx 20% membership attendance has held then that implies a bit over 20k in membership during that period. It is interesting that this WBCCI peak period didn't start until well after Beatrice bought up Airstream and lasted until well after Thor picked it up and Helen retired.

Heavy stuff! Good for a grad student in business or history, I think
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:48 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
We joined before we really knew what the club was. We ended up as MALs because the Pensacola unit would never answer our emails. We are also mainly in it for the numbers. Lucy really looks cool with her numbers. As a matter of fact, an Aitstream doesn't look like a "real" Airstream without the big red numbers.
That's funny, I had the same reason, that and I did't want to be excluded from a future rally if I wanted to go at the last minute.
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:52 PM   #168
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Those RED Numbers

Well, I just got mine in the mail today. I also got a set of instructions about how and where to install them.
My question is:
Has anybody installed them on an Interstate "B"?
If so, did you follow those instructions??

Sorry for intruding into the philosophy and history lesson, since these RED numbers were mentioned, just thought I'd zoom in.
regards
But, I would like to know......
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Old 08-15-2006, 06:13 AM   #169
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Thor = Evil? It depends on your point of view. If you’re a small entrepreneur trying to squeak out a partial living by supporting owners and users of ALL years of A**stream product – then they’ve done an excellent Emperor Palpatine impersonation. They forced ownership and licensing issues with many when they simply COULD have chosen to embrace that others were putting in time and effort that in the end helped elevate the brand. THOR chose not too -- a light saber to the chest. They unleashed the anti-marketing director, Darth Vader, and enlisted a band of Storm Troopers (licensing folks) to hunt down the resistance and terminate them one by one!

Your lack of understanding as to the why's and where for's of protecting a logo/trademark, especially one of iconic value like Airstream, certainly questions the credibility of the above statement.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:18 AM   #170
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Thanks Denis for the sanity on the logo/brand thing.

The proposed agreement regarding the use of the word Airstream by WBCCI said that the org can use the trade name in the same way they have used "Wally Byam" - this isn't the kind of control imposition that some seem to be asserting. It is a reasonable limitation regarding gross misuse IMHO.

All of this Airstream Inc taint on WBCCI seems to be so in line with the 60's political ideology that any money is inherently corrupt and corps are evil.

The fact is, though, that Airstream Inc is a primary grantor to the benefit of WBCCI and is represented by a non voting member on the WBCCI governing board. Up to 1979 or so, the primary form of grant was in the form of headquarters staff for the organization. This level of support and recognition is not out of line with usual and customary nonprofit organization practice as far as I can tell. Nothing presented to date that I can see shows any evidence undue influence by Airstream Inc on the WBCCI governance in an innapropriate manner.

I do agree that Airstream Inc has been overly agressive in regards to their intellectual property but I also understand that that is the nature of things these days. From their position, it is better to claim and loose than the loose because you didn't claim. (I just wish they'd be more competent in their efforts but I do understand how expensive that can be, too).

What I do see is a smoke screen of unhappiness and disatisfaction in some quarters seeking something to explain itself. Sometimes some issues worthy of serious consideration arise from this smoke but I think the Airstream Inc conspiracy theories and IP issues are not any of those.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:07 AM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis4x4
They unleashed the anti-marketing director, Darth Vader, and enlisted a band of Storm Troopers (licensing folks) to hunt down the resistance and terminate them one by one!

Your lack of understanding as to the why's and where for's of protecting a logo/trademark, especially one of iconic value like Airstream, certainly questions the credibility of the above statement.

hi denis4x4....and others

this was a well placed observation and comment...thanks for playing!

you will find statement credibility a common theme in exchanges here on some topics and with some posters...

gt65...

thanks for reducing the number of units.....i couldn't edit my post from 1400...and i wasn't quoting the new edition of the blue beret either....the new pres made some nearly great comments...i've already noted this.

you've been doing so well with such nice posts...
but if we get back into the hot subjects....will old habits return?

you know that 'darth' was leashed up quickly, after we had fun with him here...and really all he did was try to explain why protecting the brand was important...also he and a/s were roundly bashed for delaying 'air' forums stickers...when in fact it was the list/forum owner that caused the primary delay...that whole story has been well covered and documented...so why suggest otherwise?

please provide ANY examples of thor/beatrice or airstream doing anything to hurt the club...ANYTHING

in addition you also know that 'darth' no longer works for a/s...and that he has been replaced by another guy with the same first name....you are aware of this right?

as for the gloves...
it was not the product but the corporate NAME chosen by the company making the product...that was the BIG ISSUE....as i recall.

this international company was trying to use the name 'airstreamz' which was cute but did pull to closely to an iconic name....besides their new corportate name is much better and describes their products better...

http://www.slipstreamz.com/index.asp

now they have aero ear covers for cyclist...neat.

my view is airstream helped them with the challenge....and as a result they have found a better identity and can make a name for themselves now...

bryan...i enjoy your posts....

moreso now that i understand your professional side. this is good stuff...

but the wb hardly embraces mals....
tolerates the category would be closer descripiton....
and takes the money....

if only a few folks in isolation reported negatives,
related to mal membership...you might be correct....

but lots of mals, from all regions and over time,
report examples of what is said to them,
or how they have been treated at wb functions and by members and officers.

except for attempts to recruit them into a unit...virtually all other club exchanges with members on the mal topic is negative....and when this negative attitude and behavior is so common....it begins to represent the 'club position'...since the club IS the members...

i am not refering to j/c staff. they are polite and neutral on the issue...
but at the officer and established member level...

i do wonder when they will stop kicking the dog...

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:30 PM   #172
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Quote:
but lots of mals, from all regions and over time, report examples of what is said to them, or how they have been treated at wb functions and by members and officers.
You know how it is with statistics and perceptions...

I do not agree with your "virtually all" and I do not agree that the experiences you describe properly represent the policy or intent of WBCCI as an organization.

But I do agree that there is a hubris problem with a number of people in the classes you identified that needs to be addressed. And I don't think this problem is strictly an MAL problem as it is one others have experienced as well. I am an "established member" and have been on the receiving end so let's don't split up the army if we don't need to. We all need to get together to create positive change.

New discovery (for me, anyway) WBCCI Youth to add to WBCCI Caravans these, to me, are additional symptoms of the same problem.
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:43 PM   #173
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An opinion

Back in the day WBCCI chose to have a delegate system. That was what they thought would be best for the organization. (WARNING OPINION) I think that the world has changed and it is now possible with modern communications that WBCCI should move to a one person one vote system. That one simple change would revolutionize WBCCI. It would be able to rapidly change/ bend/ flex to meet its changing members needs.
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:38 PM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT
Did you have trouble getting a sticker? I think I had mine in a couple of weeks…


NOPE – it was the PRODUCT not the corporate name. Try this link –
http://dayton.bizjournals.com/dayton...06/story3.html
gt65 i never did see the glove story...thanks for the link.

that is pretty cool...
our little tin hut maker taking on the big l.a. putz'z...good job.

and it looks like those gloves have a small patch of aluminum sewn in...


sorry i cannot benefit from the recording...no can hear.

not only DID i get stickers...well i can't show ya what else i got...not yet.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:29 PM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT

Thor CHOSE to chase after any and all regardless. They've even chased an apparel manufacturer -- one that makes ski gloves.
I am glad they did. People were asking me all the time " why was I wearing airstreams on my hands ?" and "do they still make those things ?"

I have to admit, it was really hard to ski with an airstream on each hand.



Leo, I did have one note to add here. During the time I had my antique Ford parts side biz. Ford sent ME a letter saying that they were going to grandfather me in on using their logo and brand names, Falcon/Mercury/Comet and the assoc. logos. In essence, they gave me permission to use the logos I had been using ( in the way I was using them ) but, if I want to do anything new with my advertising I had to submit it to them first. I have since sold the biz and the inventory. It came to mind though with your post here.

I got the feeling that they felt that too many people were doing whatever they wanted with the FORD names and assoc logos. I was very small potatoes compared to the large reproduction companies out there. I was pretty surprised I got the letter at all.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:01 AM   #176
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Ford doesn't get it anymore. There has recently been a stink raised as Ford went out and started telling everyone to stop using their registered names (even the people they had agreed to grandfather in a few years ago - good thing you're not in the biz anymore, Chris). Companies that thought they had an agreement with Ford are now being told the 800 pound gorrila has changed it's mind, and customers are wondering how they are going to find their Mustang parts when none of the businesses will have the name "Mustang" in them anymore. There has been a lot of wailing and letter righting and petition signing going on about it. Apparently Ford has no interest in supporting their huge and loyal fan base.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:28 AM   #177
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I'd suggest anyone interested _read_ the proposed contract between Aistream and WBCCI. The degree of venom and hyperbole in the attacks on the contract should be enough to create skepticism, IMHO, so read carefully and avoid bias. Its around here somewhere.

As far as the tradename, check sources such as Trademark Disputes: Who Wins, Who Loses & Why - Summary - Law Store - Nolo and then check the United States Patent and Trademark Office Home Page to search for trademarks - last I looked, Ohio alone has 5 - 10 companies with 'Airstream' as a part of their trademark.

Why is this relevant? I think it is because, from what I see, a lot of the MALcontent dialog I see appears to me to be ill informed and over zealous in just the way this corp envy and legal interpretation for fault seems to me to be.

Chill out. Let's go campin'.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:11 AM   #178
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While we are on the topic...

I am about to sign up as a WBCCI member. My boyfriend and I are also about to leave for a fulltiming adveture. we are anticipating being out on the road for several years. We are considering being MAL, but concerned we won't be getting all the discounts we could get if we were Unit members. Do these unit member discounts only apply in the region you are a unit member to? In that case it wouldnt make sense for us to be unit members. And if we were, what do we choose. we live in New York City currently, we are restoring the AS in New Hampshire, and that's where our "homebase" is located for mail, etc. yet we plan on ending up in Los Angeles years from now for permenany residency, but that could be in years after full timing.. any advice. I'm not interested in poltics, I like the idea of keeping the wally bayam name alive. We want to wear berets as our driving hats, and we'd like to attend rallies here and there, yet not have to vote, etc.
we plan on boondocking most of the time too.. help!!!
thanks!!

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Old 08-21-2006, 10:40 AM   #179
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It really doesn't matter what unit you join in your case...you could join any, or none. Joining a unit would be cheaper than going "mal"...unit dues amounts vary, with the WDCU being the cheapest. Whichever way you go, there aren't any "discounts" involved. any wbcci member can attend any wbcci function for the same fee as any other member. I'm not aware of any "residency" requirement for joining any unit, but for "fixed base" campers, , I guess the idea is that you join (and thereby support) the unit with which you will be camping the most. in your case, that doesn't really apply...but it might someday.
You're certainly welcome to join the NewEngland unit. We're having a rally in NH in September. Come on down and see us!
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:37 AM   #180
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discounts we could get if we were Unit members

Quote:
Originally Posted by harestream
I am about to sign up as a WBCCI member. My boyfriend and I are also about to leave for a fulltiming adveture. we are anticipating being out on the road for several years. We are considering being MAL, but concerned we won't be getting all the discounts we could get if we were Unit members. ... we plan on ending up in Los Angeles years from now for permenany residency, but that could be in years after full timing.. any advice. I'm not interested in poltics, I like the idea of keeping the wally bayam name alive. We want to wear berets as our driving hats, and we'd like to attend rallies here and there, yet not have to vote, etc.
we plan on boondocking most of the time too.. help!!!
thanks!!

-Kelly + Bill
Kelly + Bill,
Consider this proposed new unit. The emphasis will not be on politics but more on camping, especially boondocking. Plan to conduct most business via e-mail so we can have minimal dues. We have prospective members in;
AZ 3
CA 1
CO 3
NM 7
OR 1
http://www.airstreamingnewmexico.inf...unit_index.htm
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