A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to All

Les and Jean wish all a great Holiday Season surrounded by family and friends with much laughter and fellowship. We give thanks to all Service, Police, Fire and Medical personnel. We thank all who supported RVFEST rallies this year. We look forward to a great RVFEST 2012. Look for ads in the February issue of the FMCA Family Motor Coaching magazine under EVENTS. Our Chirstmas letter is posted on our blogspot:

Doris Peters

We are saddened to report that Doris Peters passed away 16 August 2011 at 86. Doris and her husband Charles were the International Events Managers (Wagon Masters) for the Gulf Streamers International RV Club from 1993 to 1999 when they retired from the volunteer position. Condolences can be sent to Charles Peters at 88 Mary Street, West Jefferson, Ohio  43162-1128. His telephone number is (614) 879-8876.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles and his family.

RVFEST 2012 Rally June 17 - 24

RVFEST 2012, the third annual RVFEST rally, is scheduled for 17 to 24 June at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds, Goshen, Indiana. This inexpensive RV rally is priced at $295.00 for two in an RV, $245.00 for one in an RV and $100.00 for each additional person over the age of 12. Children 12 and under in age are free! Seven nights, full hook-up, 30/50 Amp camping is included. A deluxe continental breakfast is served each morning; three evening meals, two pot-luck dinners, seminars, five nights entertainment and an interdenominational worship service are included. All activities take place on-site in the air-conditioned Elkhart County Community Center (ECCC). All RVers are invited to attend and join in the fun and fellowship. Please contact Les Potteiger, 13103 Trapp Drive, Spotsylvania, VA 22551-8023, 540-220-7649 or LPotteiger@aol.com for an application and/or additional information. A $20.00 non-refundable deposit secures a site!

RVFEST Christmas in Branson Recap

          The third RVFESTfun’ rally is history!  The owners of seven RVs rendezvoused 5 November 2011 at America’s Best Campground (ABC), Branson, Missouri for an action-packed, seven-day rally.  Attendees represented California (Beverly Hiltachk and Paulette “Casper” Nordahl), Florida (John and Audrey Murphy, and  Bill and Martha Potteiger), Michigan (Joseph and Betty Medsker), Missouri (Larry and Judie Stocker), Virginia (Les and Jean Potteiger) and Saskatchewan, Canada (Terry and Teri Meyers) making this an International rally. Jean and I thank all for attending and supporting RVFEST Christmas in Branson.
          Our scrumptious Welcome Dinner Saturday evening was served in the balcony of the Hughes Brothers Theater after which we were entertained by the unbelievable SIX, an a cappella group that sounds as if it is accompanied by a full orchestra, but there are no instruments - all musical sounds come from the SIX brothers!  There are four more brothers that work behind the scene. They concluded the show with Silent Night accompanied by their Father playing his own arrangement on the piano.  Their performance was outstanding to say the least. Their six Chevrolet Camaros are lined up by the street in front of the theater! Our rally was ‘off and running’!
          Sunday on the agenda was the beautiful Casandre’ The Voice of an Angel in the afternoon followed by Hollywood’s Christmas Spectacular that evening.  The vivacious Casandre’ is backed by a 10-piece live orchestra. She beautifully sang a variety of songs and entertained us with comedy as Aunt Erma!  The Spectacular singers/dancers entertained us with Christmas songs from the movies. We had great theater seats for all shows except the Spectacular and this influenced our evaluation of this show.
          Christmas with the Lennon Sisters in the Andy Williams Theater Monday afternoon was a hit that featured sisters Janet, Kathy and Mimi, and at times, three of Janet’s granddaughters singing many Christmas songs. It appears that the musical Lennon family will continue to entertain America for many more years! We attended the spectacular Twelve Irish Tenors show that evening. We thoroughly enjoyed them. After the show, we met all twelve young ‘hunks’ in the lobby.
          Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show Tuesday afternoon was a Christmas spectacular featuring a North-South competition with trick horseback riders and a comedian as well as a spectacular Nativity scene with live animals and angels flying above with a video narration by Dolly Parton.
          Wednesday morning was spent with Buck Trent who greeted us in the lobby before the show. The former Hee Haw star provides a wonderful show with talented entertainers. It is a pleasure to listen to vocalist Kenny Parrot as well as Buck and his entire band. That evening we were entertained by the one and only Oak Ridge Boys singing many of their hits as well as many Christmas songs. It was a ‘Country Day’ that pleased all!
          Our Saskatchewan guests departed Thursday morning to return to Canada, by car, leaving their RV in Branson for a winter trip to Arizona. Teri had been waiting two years for a rotor cuff operation and when a last minute cancellation came up, she jumped at the opportunity to have her shoulder repaired.
          Late Thursday afternoon we experienced and participated in Yakov’s Dinner Adventure. We had an excellent dinner served at our theater seats and no one soiled their clothing! We were entertained by a clown while we ate and later pelted with Hershey Kisses wrapped in paper napkins. The clown first used a small ‘rifle’ and when that didn’t shoot far enough, he switched to a blunderbuss.  Again, the range was short so he produced a large cannon so that we could all capture a Hershey Kiss! At one point during the show, he threw beach balls out into the audience, starting with small ones and ever increasing in size to about six feet in diameter! These traveled back and forth above and through the audience – we were kids again!
          Yakov appeared on screen to tell a love story between a Moscow Circus clown and a female dancer who were separated when only the clown was allowed to come to America with the Moscow Circus many years ago (in the 90’s). He defected and was reunited years later with the dancer who became his wife. There were pauses in the narration during which we were entertained by the clown and a female dancer as well as a young male unicyclist. Ending his story on screen, Yakov revealed that the story is true! The clown and dancer on stage are the individuals in his story and the champion unicyclist is their son! This was an inspiring story, written and told by a great entertainer, and experienced by these talented folks.
          Friday, 11 November was Veteran’s Day. There were many veterans in town to be honored by Branson entertainers. We did not have anything scheduled so that all could do their thing! Cousins Bill and Martha Potteiger drove us about 30 miles north to Lambert’s Cafe, home of the throwed rolls, for a huge lunch as Martha describes it!
          Saturday morning we had a breakfast buffet at the Branson Golden Corral, the largest in America, followed by a farewell show by Allen Edwards in their dining room theater. Allen is a former Houston, TX police force detective who sang on the side and was encouraged by fellow officers and others to sing full time! He has a great voice and produces a wonderful show saluting the veterans as did all of the entertainers this week. We should always keep our military, police, fire and medical personnel in our thoughts and prayers. They give us our freedom and protection, and keep us healthy.
          Eight of us went to see Tom Mullica’s Tribute to Red Skelton. He is truly amazing. Ten of us also went to see the one and only Shoji Tabuchi. His Christmas show was spectacular, also with angels flying above us. One of the ten reported that had we gone to see this show first, the others would have been disappointing! Nine of us went to see the Miracle of Christmas that also used flying angels. This was a magnificent and spectacular production produced on a 270 degree, wrap-around stage, also with live animals. Some of you may have seen this production in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where there is a sister theater. Four went to the Presley’s Country Jubilee and they reported that they enjoyed it. Six of us took in the Sander’s Family Christmas, a uniquely different but amusing show in a small theater. Jean and I attended two other spectacular shows: The Gatlin Brothers and Debbie Boone Together and The Hughes Brothers Christmas show – sixteen shows in eight days for us!
          America’s Best Campground (ABC) is ‘isolated’ from the hustle and bustle of Branson. It is quiet! We carpooled to all shows, about 85 miles round trip for the week – the greatest distance to any one theater being a little over five miles and it didn’t take very long to reach our destinations! Carpooling as opposed to busing worked out fine because we were on our own before, between and after shows to take our time departing, to visit a restaurant, a museum or just sightsee. Ten individuals returned evaluation forms and all gave transportation a rating of 10!
          ABC was also rated 10 by nine of the individuals and 9 by the tenth. ABC hosts and staff are the greatest. Jean and I had to drive the last 500 or so miles to Branson separately because the base plate on our Saturn was too loose to trust. I inquired at the office about the location of the local Chevrolet dealer to get it tightened before Jean and I went to the ABC office loft to visit owner Jim Alkire. We have been good friends with Jim and his wife Sue for many years. When I told him my dilemma, he asked me what site I was on and said that he would come by to look at it. When he did, he found the loose bolts that are practically inaccessible and then proceeded to tighten the bolts with difficulty requiring his mechanical ingenuity to access and tighten them, all this while flat on his back on the ground. Is Jim a good friend or what? We’re sorry to say that we could not tie up with Sue who was visiting her mother in Colorado most of the week. We thank Jim and Sue and the ABC staff for hosting our rally.
          The average rating for the rally was ten and for the shows, 8.73 to ten. I believe it is fair to say that all enjoyed RVFEST Christmas in Branson and all were glad that they attended!
Best wishes for a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Love to all, Les and Jean Potteiger

RVFEST 2011 Rally Recap

RVFEST 2011 Rally Recap
By Lester A. (Les) Potteiger
RVFEST 2011 was held 20 to 27 June at the Elkhart County Agricultural and 4H Fairgrounds, Goshen, Indiana.  The rally was successful with a peak attendance of 111 individuals in 54 RVs.  Hosts for the rally were: Richard and Virginia Raikes; Stephen Wismer and Anna Patterson; Duane and Neena Durham; and, Les and Jean Potteiger.  Regretfully many could not attend for medical reasons or family commitments.  (Some told me that their reason for not attending was the high price of fuel!)  Don and Suzanne Palczynski were named Honorary Hosts of RVFEST 2011; they did not feel like they could be co-hosts because Suzanne is having trouble getting around and indeed, they could not attend because she had medical tests the week before the rally.  (She is to have back surgery near the end of August 2011.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.) 
We pray that the health of those with medical conditions is improving and that they will be able to fully enjoy the RV lifestyle once again.  There will be an RVFEST 2012 June 18 to 24, 2012 at the same location.  I hold 22, non-refundable $20.00 deposits for this rally. It will be one day shorter because a large Fleetwood RV rally is scheduled for the following week at the Fairgrounds.  We will be able to stay later on Sunday 24 June so that we can have our Interdenominational Worship Service so ably conducted this year by Reverends Larry and Carol Parker.  Remember to save your pull tabs for RVFEST 2012.
Although RVFEST 2010 had a better attendance (157 individuals in 80 RVs), RVFEST 2011 was filled with many more learning experiences and valuable information.  ‘Mac’ McCoy, the Fire Guy - www.macthefireguy.com  provided a Fire & Life Safety in ‘Your’ RV seminar with hands-on experience for ladies who ‘manned’ (womanned?) the fire extinguishers to fight fires that Mac started.  Many thanks are due Mac for his excellent presentation and demonstrations.
Jim and Chris Guld - www.geeksontour.com provided two seminars with much valuable information on the use of a computer: FACEBOOK – Not just for Kids and Every RVer Needs a Blog.  Jim and Chris also provided valuable information on Picasa and helped individuals with various aspects of computing and photo management.  They travel in a Gulf Stream Endura that they furnished 27 June 2011 with two beautiful, custom-designed office units built by the Amish.  I was impressed with their beauty and versatility when I saw them the next day!  They helped yours truly set up a blog: http://www.rvfest.blogspot.com/.   We thank Jim and Chris for spending the week with us and providing much valuable and useful information.  Geeks on Tour has an excellent reputation with the FMCA.
Howard Payne provided seminars on RV Weight Safety and RV Tire Safety. Howard and his wife Linda, full-timers since 3 August 2005, are partners with the RV Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF).  Their interesting and informative Web site is: http://www.rv-dreams.com/.  They provided a RV/Truck/Car weighing service that many, including yours truly, took advantage of.  The individual wheel weights and analysis of the weighing results was very informative, e.g., telling me that as long as my tire pressures are at least 100 psi, I can safely travel to my destination!  (Over half of 1437 respondents to a survey by RVtravel.com replied that they had their RVs weighed!)  Many thanks are due Howard and Linda for their services.  They, Mac McCoy and the Gulds were at the Heartland rally just before our rally.  We are honored that stayed on even thought we only had about half the attendance of the Heartland rally.  Heartland manufactures 5th wheel RVs.
We also thank the other vendors who participated: Mike Weldy owner of Mike’s Custom Painting, Inc, Bremen, Indiana; Ken and Kathy Adams of K. A. Kemper Enterprises (Rescue Tape); Bill and Kathie Bevington representing Retama Village at Bentsen Palm; and, Dave and Jean Damon representing 303 Aerospace Protectorant.
History Professor Steven Nolt, Goshen College had an attentive audience during and after his excellent presentation: Introducing the Amish of Northern Indiana.  His knowledge of the Amish sect astounded everyone.  He is a native of the Amish area of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  His question and answer session spilled over the hour he allotted to make him late for his next class!  We give many thanks to Steven for his enlightening presentation.
Not all was dedicated to learning!  Anna Patterson, Neena and Duane Durham, Virginia Raikes and Jean Potteiger provided us with an abundance of delicious food for several dinners and many breakfasts - Jean’s homemade Chicken Tetrazzini was a big hit.  They were assisted by many volunteers who we greatly appreciate.  Without volunteers, RVFESTs are not possible!  We look forward to having volunteers for RVFEST 2012.  We had two pot-luck dinners that were thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated.  I did not hear anyone say that they did not get enough to eat at any meal! 
John and Margaret Lester, and John’s sister Ann Hemstock (from jolly-old England) led the Morning Stretch Tuesday through Saturday mornings.  We thank the three of them for providing the Morning Stretch which was enjoyed by many.  It was a pleasure to meet Ann and have her with us.   See the RVFEST BlogSpot for a photo of the ‘hams’ posing for Chris Guld who took the picture and posted it.
RVFEST 2011 entertainment was awesome and not interrupted by tornado warnings!  Tuesday evening Steve Jeffris (www.stevejeffris.com) entertained us to the delight of many.  His repertoire was extensive including many popular songs and a tribute to veterans enjoyed by all.  He sold many CD’s including See You Down The Road and Faithfully Yours to yours truly.  He was delighted to have Thursday evening’s entertainer with her parents in the audience.  They were just as delighted to hear him perform.  Steve has performed at FMCA rallies.
Wednesday evening we were pleased to have the fabulous Truth in Jazz orchestra (www.truthinjazz.com) for a repeat performance without a tornado warning and with a new leader, Steve Allen.  Steve also was delighted to have Thursday evening’s entertainer with her parents in the audience.  Steve returned Thursday evening to hear her perform.  The Jazz standards played by this orchestra were enjoyed by many, if not all, in attendance. 
I’ve been building up to Thursday evening’s entertainment, not that it was any more special than the two previous nights entertainment!  The entertainer is special: Sarah Getto was born blind with a severe cleft pallet 27 years ago.  Her bio can be read at: http://www.sarahgetto.com/bio.html. She taught herself to play the piano at the age of 3 and the violin at the age of 10!  Her parents, Pat and Mike Getto, are her agents and biggest fans.  She graduated ‘summa cum laude’ in 2007 from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a degree in music education.  She has a Masters Degree in music thanks to her mother Pat who read all of the textbook lessons to her.  Sarah is qualified to teach music! 
Sarah’s father Mike is her chauffeur, driving her Newmar RV, and her soundman, gofer, guide, narrator, lead-in, singer, accompanist and sometimes, clown on stage.  Mike reminds me of Richard Simmons, small in stature, muscular and full of energy, always moving.  However, he did tell everyone that the sound equipment is getting pretty heavy for him – he wishes Sarah would find a husband to relieve him of this task.  Sarah says: “If you want a blind date, give me a call!”  Sarah’s mother Pat handles CD sales in addition to many other tasks.
Sarah’s performance was outstanding warranting a standing ovation for her rendition of I Will Always Love You – yours truly had tears in his eyes!  She is an extremely talented musician and vocalist.  As I mentioned above, Steve Allen, leader of Truth in Jazz, returned for her performance and I believe that says a lot for Sarah and her talent.  Sarah entertained at The Rally last July at Louisville, Kentucky.  We were honored to have Laura Turley (past International Director of the Gulf Streamers International RV Club), her husband Randy and daughter Evelyn with us for dinner this evening and for Sarah’s concert.  We were honored to have Jennifer Shaw (former Membership Coordinator for the Gulf Streamers International RV Club), her husband Darren and daughters, Alexa and Trista join us Saturday evening for our farewell dinner.
Carol Hall and Nancy Miller conducted craft classes that were instructive to those who participated.  We thank Carol and Nancy for volunteering to share their talents and look forward to many others volunteering to share their talents at RVFEST 2012.  We did have a Hobbyist gathering that was a happening enjoyed by many!
Most had a unique experience Friday afternoon - a tour of the new NeXus RV (http://www.nexusrv.com/) facility at Elkhart, Indiana.  Host Richard Raikes made arrangements with NeXus owners and founders, Claude Donate and David Middleton, to have a bus pick-up us up at the fairgrounds and transport us to Elkhart for a tour of the plant with drinks, munchies, ice cream sundaes and wine (for those who stayed later or were on the second bus!) provided by NeXus.  Claude and Dave are former employees of Gulf Stream Coach, Inc.  NeXus is building Class B+ and Class C RVs, with sales direct to the public from the factory.  We thank Claude and Dave for their hospitality and we wish them success in their new business venture.  It was a pleasure to see them again and their facility.  Claude noted that RVFEST could become their orphan club!
          A Chinese Auction was ably orchestrated by Richard and Phyllis Gilkey and Rikki and Nola Jean Parks – many thanks to them for volunteering to do this.  The Auction netted $238.00 for KOA Care Camps.  Gulf Streamers KyOhWeVa Chapter voted to donate $100.00 to the KOA Care Camps, redemption of pull tabs netted $100.80 and donations added $55.00 for a grand total of $493.80 to the KOA Care Camps for children with cancer.  We thank all who participated and contributed to this worthy cause.
          Reverend Larry Parker, assisted by his wife Reverend Carol Parker, conducted the Interdenominational Worship Service Sunday morning.  They composed, printed and paid for the bulletins and would not accept payment for the costs that they incurred.  We thank them for their devotion to RVFEST and the excellent worship service. 
          We also played – cash prize bingo, card bingo and a bean bag baseball tournament complete with a stretch between innings and participants singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’.  Four teams played bean bag baseball and they were rewarded with candy bars by organizers Al and Bobbi Vormittag who also orchestrated the bingo games.  Thanks to them for making the ‘final’ event Sunday afternoon a wild, loud, boisterous event enjoyed by many.
          We missed many of you at RVFEST 2011.  We are looking forward to seeing many more enthusiastic RVers at RVFEST 2012.  Please mark your calendar now: June 18 to June 24, 2012.  It will be tough to top this year’s event!  Don’t be afraid to ask anyone who attended RVFEST 2011 or 2010 if they had a great time!  I’ll bet that the overwhelming majority will tell you that they enjoyed the rally!
          Jean and I wish you the best of everything and we send our love to all (LTA).  Thanks for supporting us and RVFEST 2010 and RVFEST 2011.  Remember to support and thank those who protect us - our military, police, fire and medical personnel!  God bless them all, America and you!

RVFest Christmas in Branson

RVFest Christmas in Branson is now November 5 - 12, 2011 at ABC.
499 Buena Vista Road
Branson, Missouri 65616
off Highway 248
  • Seven Nights Full Hook-up 30/50 Amp Campsite with Wi-Fi & Cable TV
  • Carpool and/or Bus transportation to All Functions
  • Welcome Dinner followed by Entertainment
  • Dixie Stampede with Dinner
  • Buck Trent Show
  • Hollywood Christmas Spectacular
  • Oak Ridge Boys Show
  • Andy Williams with the Lennon Sisters
  • Twelve Irish Tenors
  • Cassandre' The Voice of an Angel
  • Yakov Smirnoff Dinner Adventure
  • Farewell Breakfast
$1145.00 for Two in an RV
$685.00 for One in an RV
$485.00 for an Extra Person
Arrive Early and/or Stay Late @ $32.45 per night
Contact Les Potteiger: (540) 220-7649
or Leave a Comment Here

RV Fest 2011

A good time was had by all!

A hearty group attended morning stretch each day.

There was excellent food and entertainment, including the popular Sarah Getto.

If anyone has some pictures of the rally they'd like to share - leave a comment here by clicking 'Comments'.

Hope you all can join us again when we gather for Christmas in Branson!