Newsletter, May, 2013
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FRITZFEST; NORTHFIELD, MN. MAY 2013
Bob Miller and I want to express our sincere appreciation to Steve Rasmussen for coming forward with the idea of having a "working rally" at his facility. Steve also came up with the rally title of "Fritzfest" as a means of paying tribute to Fritz Slama. Fritz is very well known in the GMC Motorhome community as an "expert" in all facets of these vehicles. Those of us who had the honor of knowing Fritz, knew he was an absolute gentleman who was always friendly and willing to help others. I still remember well how Fritz spent two full days servicing and swapping a 3.21 final drive (surprise surprise) into my first coach. As typically happens the scope of the project increased to include some new CV boots and front wheel bearings. His only charge was for the parts. It was a challenge but I did manage to get him to take more. During this swapping, Fritz had me drive his coach from his house to his John Deere dealership. This was an experience I will never forget. For you tech people, the drive train was Fuel Injected 500 Cadillac engine, switch pitch transmission, and 3.21 final drive. Fritz won a mileage competion event with 14mpg with this setup. Unfortunately later, Fritz's coach had a fire which spelled the end of Fritz's physical involvement with GMC Motorhomes. However, for the rest of his life he was always available to answer questions and provide guidance. Fritz sold his coach to Wally Arntzen, who with Bob Miller's help, got the the coach back on the road. Later Wally sold the coach to Bob Miller who is the current owner. Fritz also sold all his parts and tools to Steve Rasmussen, our host for the upcoming rally, Fritzfest. So Steve and Bob, when you have your hands on Fritz's tools and coach at the rally, don't be surprised if you here Fritz with his slow, soft voice saying "guys be careful about that steering shaft nut and bolt, it needs to be very tight" Margaret and I stopped to see Fritz and Mona at Hillsboro about a year before he died in January of this year. Steve, this will be a great tribute to Fritz.
By John Biwersi.
Spring Working Rally, by Bob Miller
Hi everyone, well it’s time to think about the spring rally which this year will be a WORKING RALLY!
This is the first time we will be attempting this type of format and we are excited about trying this change of pace rally. The idea for the rally came from Steve Rasmussen, a longtime member of our club, who lives in the country and has quite a bit of room for coach parking. You may remember that Steve also used to operate a GMC motorhome repair shop and this rally will be at that location.
Steve also suggested that we make this rally a tribute and recognition of a man who, unfortunately, passed away last January, but was considered by many of us to be the GMC guru at GMCMI for many years, Fritz Slama. Like many of you, I knew Fritz well and think it is very fitting to honor his contribution to the GMC motorhome community. Accordingly, Steve has named this event Fritz Fest.
Ok, now for the logistics. Here are some of the things about which you need to be aware, if you are attending, as well as some detail on the schedule and directions.
Bob and Yvonne Miller 612-669-3004
John and Margaret Biwersi 651-779-6498
Where: Steve Rasmussen’s country home and shop located at: 31660 Idalia Ave. Northfield, MN 55057 Steve’s property has several spots for coaches and power connections, but distance to the power could require additional power cords. Bringing additional power cords is advised.
When: May 31, and June 1 &2. Early arrival on Thursday, May 30, but only after 12:00 noon please. This is a private residence, not a campground so we must not overstay our welcome. Likewise, please plan on leaving Sunday, June 2nd by noon. If you want to come earlier, or stay later, please use a campground in the area. Thank you.
Working Rally; This will be a working rally focused on a front end alignment checkup for coaches. This means checking the front wheel alignment, and the steering, and perhaps suspension parts, not actually performing an alignment. This will tell us what the alignment numbers are and what, if anything, needs to done. We will try to check all coaches in attendance whose owners want their front alignment checked, but cannot guarantee we can get to everyone depending on the number in attendance.
Special Guest: Mr. Dave Lenzi, who many of you already know, has conducted many technical presentations at GMCMI and is, in my opinion, the most knowledgeable person in the country when it comes to the front steering and suspension of our coaches. Dave also rebuilds many parts for the front end of our coaches, which helps keep our classic motorhomes on the road. We are very pleased to have Dave attending our rally and will also make our rally a teaching and training session.
Cost: $10 per coach per day plus whatever your dinner costs at a restaurant on Saturday night.
Directions: From Interstate 35, south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, take exit number 69, MN highway 19. There is a Flying J truck stop with a dump station on the corner. From the south, turn right going east at the exit stop sign, (from the north, turn left at the stop sign and go over the freeway). Take the first left, just past the freeway entrance, which is Hazelwood. Turn left (north) on Hazelwood, a frontage road, and go approximately 1 mile to the first right off Hazelwood, 78th which is a gravel road. Go right( east) on 78th approximately 3 miles to Idalia, which is the second marked street that you can turn left on. Turn left (north) on Idalia, ( another gravel road) for approximately one mile. Steve’s place is the first home on the right. Turn right onto his property at his SECOND driveway. You have arrived at your destination.
Reservations: Please call or email Bob Miller to make your reservation. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-669-3002. If you have already responded to my rally email to let me know you’re coming, you do not have to do it again. If you have a smaller project that needs to be done, bring your parts, if any, with and if time permits we will try to get to it. Please understand that we may or may not be able to get to it. Also, if we have inclement weather, we will not have
shelter for meetings or events other than the shop for working on coaches. Pray for good weather!
If you have any questions, please call me or John Biwersi so that we may help everyone understand what can or cannot be accomplished at this rally. Maybe in the future if we have more of these, we can expand the types of projects we can perform. One last thing, if you have the mechanical skills or ability to work on your GMC, we want you to help with your coach. We are not
intending for Dave or some of the others to perform all the work if you wish to help. I think this will be a fun rally if we all approach it with patience and understanding that this is not the normal, campground rally. I look forward to seeing all of you there. Bob Miller.
Notes from Yvonne
I am writing this on May 1st and watching the snow fall. We have been busy planning our first rally of the season. Since it’s a working rally, which of course means working on the GMC coaches, I don’t want you gals to feel left out. We have activities planned for you.
Following is the schedule:
May 30th; Taste of Northfield 5 to 10 pm
May 31st; 8:00 AM- Coffee & donuts, (breakfast on your own)
9:00 AM- Lucy Weidner presenting “Navigating Life Without a Map or GPS”
Afternoon – we will carpool to Northfield for shopping and sightseeing. It is a quaint, college town with lots of shops for us to explore. I will have information about what is available.
6:00 PM- Pot luck dinner, grills will be available
8:00 PM- Bonfire
8:00 AM- Coffee and donuts (breakfast on your own)
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM- Carpool to Riverwalk Market Fest in Northfield
2:00 PM – Apps in your life, or does Grandma tweet and should she use social media
6:00 PM –Dinner in Northfield
8:00 AM – Coffee and donuts, end of rally
AUGUST 23, 24, 25, 2013, ROCHESTER MINNESOTA LARRY AND LUCY WEIDNER, WAGONMASTERS
Our summer Rally will be at Autumn Woods RV Park in Rochester, MN. Early arrival will be August 22nd. The cost is $27.00 for 30 amp and $29.00 for 50 amp.; this does not include tax.
GMCMI Report: Lucy Weidner
The GMCMI rally in Dothan AL was fun and exciting. The National Peanut Festival site was
accommodating and easy to get around. There were 140 coaches registered with some folks who
came to look at the coaches before they bought one. There a lots of photos posted on the GMCMI website that were taken by a first timer, Glen Gardner. The Greater Midwest Classics were mightily represented by Wayne and Jane Hasek, Jim and Teresa Dall, Jim and Anita White, Sandi Renk, John Smyrski, Bob and Marlys Drewes, and Larry and Lucy Weidner. Tech sessions were great as always and the indoor vendor area was humming with talk and sales. Since we were in the Peanut Capitol of the World, the Ladies Social focused on Peanuts, Moon Pies, and RC Cola. The Dixielanders did a great job of sharing stories about growing up and eating peanuts, moon pies, and RC Cola. Great decorations and trivia contests gave the ladies lots to talk about. We even had peanuts to put into our RC Colas so we could watch them fizz away! The Pineblock Derby was held with some new winners (including our own Wayne Hasek), we had Peanut Games, which provided many laughs and great participation from all. A magician got yours truly as well as Larry up on stage for some mischievousness and mayhem!
We had some great non-technical sessions also with Jean Price sharing some inspirational stories, dehydrating foods, cooking with Ken Fry, and our own Lucy Weidner talking about navigating life without a map or GPS.
Plenty of food with catered meals, Martha Songer’s pancakes, Ken Fry’s omelets, and as always ice cream and bingo with new helper Wayne Hasek assisting John Smyrski.
The Board of Directors met during the week and a couple of decisions were made, one was to stay with FMCA for insurance purposes. A committee had explored the various options available but the board decided not to make a change at this time. The other decision made was to incorporate GMCMI. This will protect the organization from litigation. This will not affect how we do business.
The next GMCMI rally will be held in Branson,MO, Sept. 20-26, 2013. This area will provide
many activities for folks to enjoy while they visit.
The 2014 spring rally will be held April 3-8 at Montgomery KOA which is near Houston, TX.
Midge Glenna is sunshine lady so send her the name of anyone needing a little sunshine and Midge will send them a card. Her phone # is: 715-426-5650.
For Paying dues, Change of mailing address, or Email changes: Please notify Treasurer, Larry Johnson, 14451 Highway 23, Cold Spring, MN 56320-4613 Tel 320-685-3457
Website: www.gmcmidwestclassics.org has great information about our GMC
club and how to join. Visit it often and share with perspective members. Bob Drewes has done an excellent job with our web site. News, photos, For Sale items, Rally’s etc..