|The other day my dear friend, George, caught up with me on the phone and asked, "...how was your trip... did your RV make it back OK ...how's it look, man you're crazy ...why d'ya drive all the way to Ohio ...do you think it's really worth it?" Of course when anyone asks you if you think it was worth it one can pretty much have the predisposition that they think the following: 1.That it isn't or wasn't, and 2.That you're certifiable 'cause you do! Also, I had to remind George that though there is a Sandusky in Ohio (he's from Cleveland) there is also a Sandusky in Michigan, a quaint/charming little place in the middle of Michigan farmland.|
In the five plus years I've owned my GMC Motorhome I have been through quite an ordeal! I've estimated (I don't really want to know) that I've easily wasted between $19k and $25k on various service/repairs - primarily work related to the engine, suspension and the brakes! It truly has been the most frustrating part of owning the coach! This past March brought me to the point where I could deal with it no longer! I had spent so much money, so much effort, so much time that my wife, Carolyn, looked at me and said, "Enough!"
See, what George and I'm sure others don't quite grasp is that my GMC Motorhome is not just any RV! I was 14 years old when I first saw one at a Pontiac/GMC Dealer in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, in 1974. I was with my father in route from Pittsburgh to our home in Greensburg. My dad stopped at the dealer (at the time we had, as I recall, a 27- foot Travco motorhome). We got out of the car and just stood there for a moment or two, ...my father sighed and let out a whistle, you know the "...gee, she can stop traffic..." kind of whistle! Well, he got hooked, and so did I. Of course it took me many years to realize how severe the attachment was, which, I might add, occurred five or so years ago when I was about to write a check for $72,369.51 for a "Winnie!"
As one of 10 children, time with my folks was, well, limited. Dad worked constantly to keep the
|wheels of the household oiled, and Mom kept Dad patched together so that he could! My father is 80+ years old now and struggling with various health issues, and now, from my own efforts to feed, clothe and shelter a household in today's world, a hearty respect for him and his accomplishments is well earned many times over.|
Strangely though, on a personal level, I don't really know my father all that well! I know he came up through some pretty tough times, the son of an Italian immigrant, a barber, a mill worker and a father. Dad's a quiet, sturdy man with eyes that seem to recollect far too much but to reveal any details would be to grant them a reverence they've not earned! In his way, I think perhaps, a brooding form of optimism. He once told me, "Remember, the only thing you become is that which consumes you," and I'm confident he's absolutely correct! Still, there's a distance and that's just the way it is. But, and this is a really good but, ...there is a part of my father that I and I alone possess ...an intimacy that, to me, is the stuff of great adventures and delight. September 1974, Pontiac/GMC dealer, Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
Now, many years, miles and careers would pass but the day would come when my wife and I got around to the discussion of me spending more time with her and the children. She would recall my stories of traveling and camping and the fun my family would have and the idea gradually worked its way to our making the rounds to various RV shows and dealers. This process took a year or so as I mulled about figuring out what was the right coach and the pluses and minuses of one versus the other and of course, the ultimate, how am I going to pay for it.
Well, we got to the point where we selected what I thought was the best choice for my wife, my two children, Vincent and Claire, and the family purse. But I was struggling with it, I looked at what we were about to purchase, and I was troubled. The
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