2011 Rallies

“Grow With Friends Rally”, March 31 – April 3, 2011.

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

The Executive Committee Members including past presidents of Traveling Supremes delivered a fun-filled rally at Poche’s in Breaux Bridge, LA. The focus and major theme was for members to invite and welcome potential new members. The 33 members in attendance welcomed the ten guests (the Bobo’s, Gamble’s, Christian’s, Pesson’s and Toerck’s) with open-arms.

Linda Brian, President, called upon our founder, David Reed, and many past presidents, Bill Waters, Lou Butaud, and Polk Brian to explain Traveling Supremes’ mission statement of being a destination camping club, and the different types of events/rallies, and the function of each officer. Stories of past New Year’s rallies in their varied locations, MS, LA, TX, and NM, and details of our own entertainers were told.

Linda Brian had asked everyone to come prepared to tell two truths and one lie regarding them. The trick was to stump the audience on your lie. Each person was to keep track of the lies they had successfully detected. It didn’t take long for the laughs and everyone learned a lot about those in the room. Small prizes were awarded for the most detected lies.

Guests to the Grow With Friends Rally. Front Row: Bill and Martha Bobo; Second Row: Fletcher and Karen Christian, Lorraine and Henry “Butch” Toerck; Back Row: Judy and Irby Gamble. Missing were the PessonsThe hosts provided fabulous meals with no other than Marie Moreau’s crawfish etouffee (probably far surpasses any made by highly rated chefs), pineapple upside down cake, and fig cake—all so very good! Linda Brian’s okra and tomatoes, chicken and sausage jambalaya, corn maque choux, and chicken salad were all superb. Geneva Waters must be recognized for making many batches of her well known bread pudding with whiskey sauce—Yum! Yum! The Waters’ made fabulous homemade strawberry ice cream. They used their own strawberries and nothing but the best of ingredients for quality lip-smacking ice cream!

The arrival of Patsy Cline (Rosalyn Odom) brought the roof down singing one of Patsy’s hits, “She’s Got You”. With perfect timing, she pulled and pulled to reveal the many strategically placed props found on her person. Go Rosalyn!

A trip to the Lafayette area would not be complete without a trip to some of the historical centers to learn about the Acadian history and lifestyle. The Jean Lafitte Cultural Center film and Vermilion Ville Village with historical buildings tell the story very well. The outstanding lunch at the village often serving traditional Cajun dishes along with fabulous biscuits and Steen cane syrup, stewed cabbage with ham and seasonings were among some of our favorites. Many heard Burnel Moreau jamming at the cultural center with many great musicians. It was fun to watch the many dancers performing traditional Cajun dancing.

“Kick-Up Your Heels”, Palo Duro Canyon, TX. June 8 – 12, 2011

Hosts: Sue and Joe Moore

If you think our TS Club Members are not tough—just consider the adverse conditions that we faced in getting to and attending this Rally! Not only is Texas in the midst of the worst drought in its recent history, temps have been in the 100’s for several weeks. On the road to Canyon, James and I had a blown hose, which delayed us three hours. The Christians, the Bertelsens, and the Waters did not even make it the whole way to the rally due to an accident, a truck malfunction and health issues, respectively.

Canyon CGSo, you may be surprised to hear how much fun we had! Sue and Joe Moore had planned this event so thoroughly that it went off without a single hitch. Bobby and Nancy Skinner, the Moores, and Teddy and Susan Kercher made the 10% grade and camped in the Palo Duro State Park, in the Sagebrush Campground. We all attended a hamburger cookout with them there on Monday evening. In addition to the beautiful canyon walls, we saw 4 wild turkeys, several longhorn cattle and a coyote running as fast as his legs could carry him.

We were extremely delighted to be joined by Clarence and Jean Zabel, who are former members from Oklahoma whoGail Smith with Grandchildren came down to the rally to visit old friends and meet new ones. The rest of us (Smith, Brian, Cook, Butaud, Brandon, Bobo, Odom and Moreau) stayed “up top” at the Palo Duro RV Park. The extra 2 days of the gathering gave some of us an opportunity to see some of the many sites and scenery prior to the planned activities of the rally beginning. In our case, since we had two of our grandchildren (Nathan and Gracie Porter) along, we got to go to Splash, the waterpark in Amarillo, as well as the Amarillo Zoo. (And I would recommend both.) In addition, we drove out I-40 to the Cadillac Ranch, where the freshly painted Cadillacs were “tagged” with spray paint by a new round of tourists and the kids loved this! We heard about a Cadillac Club which arrived shortly after we were there and caused quite a wonderful commotion showing off their old restored automobiles. We saw them later driving around Canyon. They were making a drive down the Historic Route 66 and enjoying it immensely! Sue and Joe finished off Tuesday evening by furnishing pulled pork sliders, supplemented by a pot luck dinner.

On Wednesday, we got our information packets, signed in and shared lasagna, salad, corn, garlic bread and cheesecake. We all shared war stories of flood and fire, etc. since we were last together, and, of course, some card games and dominoes were played. Bill Bobo commented that he used 2 tanks of gas to drive up here and play dominoes with the same guys he plays with in West Monroe, LA!

Thursday began with Polk and Linda’s famous french toast for breakfast, after which we all went our separate ways. Some went to Herrington House in the historical district. Others took jeep or truck rides through the back roads of Palo Duro Canyon before coming back to camp to rest up for our big evening at the “Texas” show in the Canyon. You are able to see magnificent views of the Canyon right from your automobile on the same trails used by the Apache, Comanche, and Spanish many years earlier. The color is amazing. The signature formation is the Lighthouse Rock.

We all drove together to the show “Texas” and were able to take a backstage tour prior to the fabulous meal prepared by the famous Big Texan Restaurant of steak, potatoes, salad, fruit and peach pie. The laser show in the finale was awesome!

On Friday, a cool front came through and our temperatures went from 102 degrees to 68 degrees in a matter of hours. It was heavenly. After a delicious breakfast, we carpooled to the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum—an interactive museum that is called the “Smithsonian of the West”. We then went downtown to the courthouse square where they were having “Tunes at Noon”, and we enjoyed music by West Texas Town and Gown orchestra while eating a picnic lunch on the ground! Afterward, we took photos of Tex Randall, the tallest Texan ever, soaring over 47′ high. He was built in 1959 as an icon for a western store. Some went to a great fried fish dinner, recommended by Joe, while others cooked at camp.

On Saturday, after biscuits and gravy, we took it easy (Wal-mart, laundry, RV repair, truck fueling, etc.) We got back together for dinner. Wow! Barbecue brisket, potato salad, beans, and Texas Sheet Cake! …More visiting and early to bed in order to leave early on Sunday morning. There are warnings of high wind and high temps and fire danger AGAIN so we are all anxious to start the drive home. So after muffins and coffee we said goodbye until we meet again in Chama, NM. See you all there!

By: Gail Smith    Photo Credits: Linda Brian and Susan Kercher

Chama, New Mexico, August 15 – 22, 2011

Hosts: Gail and James Smith

This gathering was held at the Sky Mountain Resort in Chama, New Mexico August 15-22, 2011.   Chama is at an elevation of 7860 feet above sea level.

Getting together with the Traveling Supreme Club members is always a treat. Being in Chama, New Mexico makes it even better. The wilderness out here with lows in the 50’s and highs in the 80’s does wonders for your mental health. I know most of the group came from scorching summer heat so this was a reprieve for them. Members who braved the trip here are hosts, Gail and James Smith; Linda and Polk Brian, Martha and Bill Bobo, Nita and Larry Denmon, Barbara and James Smith, DeAnna and John Brendon, Sue and Joe Moore, Chris and Gene Fisher, Ida and Les Cook, Bobbie and Chuck Bayles, and Linda and Jack Bruce (trying to surprise us coming in a few days late). Some of members showed up early and some stayed beyond the suggested gathering dates.

To start off this gathering on Monday evening, Gail and James fixed up a Frito Pie with all sides and dessert (some others chipped in) for our first night together. This rally had no fee to it so everything we ate was donated by the people doing any of the fixings especially Gail and James. After a great first meal some stuck around our “tent” area to play our usual table games.

We were mostly all on our own during the day. Gail and James gave us a list of possible places we could go visit in the area. So if you see pictures of just some of us anywhere it’s because the picture came from those that went to that place. Hopefully, if you don’t see the activity you did, don’t hesitate to send a paragraph and maybe a picture and I’ll add it to this page.

Tuesday morning Gail and James put out breakfast burritos which were extremely tasty. Afterwards, the Moore’s and Bayles’ took off to Ghost Ranch which was an interesting concept about fossils in the area. Mostly they had day visitors to this area, but others spent the night there and attended seminars. We also stopped to see Echo Amphitheater in Carson National Forest. It seemed everyone else stuck around the campground which is pleasant in itself. Tuesday evening we had a New Mexico pot luck dinner which turned out really nice…lots of different Mexican dishes.

Wednesday we were again on our own. Bayles’, Moore’s and Brendon’s took the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad train halfway trip to Osier where they fed us a Thanksgiving dinner for lunch. This was the halfway point so after lunch we boarded a different train to head back to Chama. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is America’s longest and highest narrow gauge railroad. We went over a 10,015 pass and the scenery was fantastic.

We were all together for dinner with a surprise attendance from Nancy and Bobby Skinner. During the day Linda and Jack Bruce showed up with their 5th-wheel surprising all of us since it was a last minute decision on their part. Glad they came! Nancy and Bobby were staying in Pagosa Springs and drove over to be with us for the evening which was also wonderful for us to enjoy their company. Gail fixed a brisket and beans and we all brought the sides to go with it. Another great meal by our club!!!!

Thursday, Linda and Polk Brian fixed us all their famous French Toast for breakfast. We again were on our own during the day until 2:00 PM when we all took off to view Heron Lake for a great viewing of it’s beautiful aqua blue water, the island, Rio Chama, and the beautiful view of the Brazos Cliffs from the lake. From there we went to Tierra Wools in Tierra Amarilla where we had the good fortune to get a tour of their facilities and see weavers at work. They gave us demonstrations of how they hand weave their rugs and blankets along with showing us different looms and how they work. We also found out how they die the wool which was extremely interesting as they use a variety of different plants to create colors. In this same area we stopped to view an old Catholic church. Afterwards we all went for dinner at The Cliffview Restaurant which was very good. On the way out we got to see many deer that you could actually hand feed!

Friday we started out the day sitting out under James and Barbara’s awning until lunch. We headed out to one of the local restaurants to again feed our bellies. After lunch some of us went into town to look around the stores of Chama. Basically it’s a very old town with not much going on except the famous Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. It was told to us that if the railroad stopped the town just might dry up.

Saturday started out with a pancake breakfast hosted by Chris and Gene Fisher. Polk was flipping the pancakes while Chris and Gene made up batches of scrambled eggs and sausage. We all mostly sat around and visited along with the usual table games going on all the time. During the late afternoon those dark clouds finally got us and it started to pour rain right into our well planned steak cookout! It didn’t stop us! The guys got the grills going, some under their RV awnings if they didn’t get to the big one by the tent. We were all huddled in. Polk and Gene were the cooks at the big grill. It all worked out great as we all shared duties baking potatoes with all the fixings, salads, and desserts. We had three couples as guests which included hopeful new members: Judy and Dave Bartlett, Faye and Forrest Lauren, and Karen and Fred Bolish. Also joining us were Nancy and Bobby Skinner and Carole and Lou Butaud. We also invited the campground owners….Julia and Bill Rosner. All 36 of us were all crammed into the tent that was provided to us by the campground. It was exactly the right size as I’m not sure one more person would have fit in.

Sunday some started to pack up ending the rally. We all went to a local restaurant, High Country Restaurant, which had a great buffet breakfast. They made your omelet right there and you chose what you wanted in it. Also, there was pancakes, waffles, biscuits and gravy, and potatoes, all the breakfast meat. It was enough to fill us up for the day.

It was a great rally and we all thank Gail and James Smith for the hard work they put into it to make it such a success.

Ohio Amish Rally , Berlin, Ohio.  October 7 – 12, 2011

Hosts: Odoms and Brians

Who would believe that we could be at a rally in central Ohio, in one of the largest Amish/Mennonite communities in the nation, during the peak of the Fall Foliage? Thanks to Bud and Rosalyn Odom for arranging it so that we could do just that! Talk about natural beauty…we have not seen such green grass, beautiful flowers and colorful foliage in quite a while, and we really enjoyed this feast for the eyes.

We all arrived at Scenic Hills RV Park in Millersburg, Ohio within a few minutes of Ohio Groupeach other, except for John and DeAnna Brandon, who had arrived a couple of days early. We had 14 rigs; Odoms, Brians, James H. Smiths, James R. Smiths, Brandons, Bassetts (Roger and Carol), Gambles, Langs, Lunts, Moreaus, Schenks, Wellocks, Adams (Walt and Sue), and Rigneys. After getting set up and getting our bearings, we all set out for Der Dutchman for dinner in nearby Walnut Creek. They are famous for their chicken and Amish comfort foods. We saw many Amish buggies and beautiful horses along the back roads on the way there. The back roads were definitely the best way to see the local color (trees and people)!

At 7:30 Saturday morning, we were waiting at Miller’s Bakery for their famous hot apple fritters and cinnamon twists. Then we drove to Charm, OH for Charm Days—a typical Amish village festival with horse games, flea market and auction. We went to Keim’s Lumber and Hardware to see their rare lumber collection. We pigged out on barbecue chicken, ice cream and kettle corn. After resting for awhile, most of us went to the horse auction in Mt. Hope. There were some beautiful trotters being auctioned off for big bucks!

On Sunday, after Bud and Polk made pancakes, we went to a liberal Mennonite Church in Berlin, and were just in time for the foot washing service (which I believe was only a once in awhile thing), but the service itself was very familiar to most Christians and we enjoyed it immensely. Then we left for Dover, OH, to explore the Warther Museum. Mooney Warther was a “whittler” turned “carver” who had to be a genius, as evidenced by his many carvings of trains, canes and postcards (that’s right, made of wood, with the words carved on)! He is best known for his carving of the Abraham Lincoln Funeral Train of 1865. He also made knives, which are still sold by the family today. His wife, Freida, was a button collector and an artist in her own right. Afterwards, all enjoyed dinner at Texas Road House.

On Monday, we left early for a tour of the Heini Cheese Factory. We learned how cheese was first made by travelers in the Middle Ages as they crossed the desert on camels, and the milk accidentally churned itself. We bought cheese and dips and Amish treats and got to taste them all. Next, we went to the Apple Barn and watched them sort and press apples for cider. We shopped at a Bulk Store, while some sampled sandwiches and ice cream at Mudd Valley Creamery. We still ate lunch after that at Boyd’s in Berlin and shopped for quilts and baskets. Mid-afternoon, we went to John Miller’s family farm to see horses being shod, pick out pumpkins, ghords and onions and to taste and buy apple butter that Linda Brian and Rosalyn Odom had helped to “stir” several days earlier. Amanda and Aden Miller welcomed us into their modest, clean home and we enjoyed meeting them and Aden’s parents, John and Mary. Mary was busy quilting for a local vendor. Amanda raised 12 children on this farm!

On Tuesday, after eggs and ham at the Odom’s, we left for Mt. Hope to attend the vegetable auction. Pumpkins, mums, squash, green beans, corn cob wreaths, and every other vegetable you can imagine were being auctioned off! Some of us later drove to Canton to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to Wendall August’s Forge to buy beautiful hand-forged pewter pieces, and to see Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, which was amazing because of the numerous hardware pieces and tools that were available in one place!

The following day we said goodbye to the Rigneys, the Schenks, and the Adams (the Gambles had left earlier), and the remaining 10 rigs of us set off for Lexington, KY. It was a 5+ hour drive, but we all made it okay, and Fletcher and Karen Christian were already there waiting to meet us.

Kentucky Horse Park ,Lexington, KY  October 12 – 16, 2011

The Kentucky Horse Park, where we camped, is a beautiful camp with 1200 acres of green manicured grass and trees. We grabbed a quick dinner and discussed our upcoming plans with the park manager.

Rain fell steadily on Thursday, but it didn’t dampen our fun. We toured Lexington and surrounding areas via Thoroughbred Horse Tours, which Bud had arranged prior to our arrival. Our guides were good and explained the horse industry to us as we viewed the local farms, visited Keeneland Race Track, Winstar Farms (home of Tiznow…winner of 2 Breeder’s Cups races), Donamire Farms, and the gravesite of Seattle Slew. At Winstar, we also saw Distorted Humor…the highest paid stud horse in the U.S. and sire of Funnycide.

The next day was our day to tour the Kentucky Horse Museum and grounds of the park. We saw a “Parade of Breeds” and several retired thoroughbred “heroes”, as well as beautiful museum presentations of the history of horses. After breakfast on Saturday, some of us went to Keeneland to see if we could beat the odds and win some money at the races. However, the cool (50 degree) temps caused some of us to wimp out and spend the day on our own.

Goodbyes were said early enough on Sunday morning to get everyone back on the road to their respective homes or destinations. This was a busy, full rally, but we had enough time to catch up with each other and build some stronger bonds. It always happens, at every rally. If you haven’t been to a rally lately, make the effort. It pays off!

Sponsor’s Rally,  Henderson, LA. Nov 10 – 13, 2011

Cajun Palms Resort

All the member of the Traveling Supremes Club showed up in Henderson at the Cajun Palms Resort by Thursday, November 10th. The park is a real resort with plenty of their own activities including a fabulous pool area with stool seats right in the pool butting up to the bar. There was a fountain of characters in a walk in children’s pool, fun covered slides going into another pool with an area to play net games in the same pool, a volleyball beach area, and a miniature golf course. Also, there is another bar upstairs with an area for entertainment outside. The park itself is huge and can accommodate over 300 units along with cabins as well.

Linda enjoying her dessert!The first evening, after a gathering in the meeting room, we all went to the local restaurant right next door to the campground to have our welcome dinner. After dinner we again went back to the meeting room for coffee and dessert for additional time to visit.

During the day we were on our own. As you can see by the pictures we all went to surrounding areas which included downtown Henderson, the Tabasco plant and gardens, Bayou Teche Promenade or some just stuck around the campground to visit. Friday night, Marie Moreau made all of us her famous and delicious crawfish etouffee. We all chipped in to bring an assortment of wonderful desserts every evening.

Saturday we met again for another delicious breakfast and again we were all on our own to do whatever. Some of us went to Atchafalaya Basin Festival where there was entertainment, an art and craft show, food, and car show. Back at the campground they had a gumbo cook off which was lots of fun tasting all the different gumbos. There was also entertainment with a band going on to early evening.

We all met that evening for a great brisket dinner prepared by Bill Waters.  After dinner we had the yearly General Membership meeting.

New Year’s Rally, Highlands, TX.  Dec. 28, 2011 – Jan. 2, 2012

Hosts: Jack & Linda Bruce, Joe & Artis Schenk, and Mike & Christen Bruce

Although Joe and I have been members of the Traveling Supremes for some time, this New Year’s Rally was the first rally we were able to attend. Those of you who could not make it this year sure missed a TEXAS SIZED Rally. Our week was packed from the moment we arrived until the second we left this morning. We were met with a schedule filled with Texas history, incredible food and awesome entertainment…not to mention making wonderful new friends at every turn! Nineteen rigs, including new members, Glen and Melanie Joziatis, from New Hampshire, (who unfortunately did not arrive until New Year’s Day) attended the rally, plus Polk and Linda Brian, who stayed in a cabin when their truck experienced engine problems and they had to take their trailer back home and drive in by car.

The rally was held at the San Jacinto Riverfront RV Park on the beautiful San Jacinto River, where we enjoyed breathtaking sunsets every evening. I was amazed by the TEXAS SIZED fish Gary Bogle caught almost every day off the dock. Rumor has it that if there are fish anywhere in the area, Gary WILL catch them…and that he did!

We began our sightseeing with a Port of Houston Turning Basin tour aboard the ferry, “The M/V Sam Houston”, where we enjoyed passing international cargo vessels and learned about the operation of one of the world’s busiest ports. On Friday, some of us went to the San Jacinto Monument, where we were treated to an incredible view of the city of Houston. At the museum, I was impressed with the knowledge of Texas history by our “Texas Proud” members! We completed our sightseeing with a guided tour of the Battleship TEXAS, the last of the world’s “dreadnoughts,” the big-gun battleships designed and built at the beginning of the 20th century. It is the only battleship still afloat to have served in both World War I and II.

To say we were served TEXAS SIZED meals is certainly an understatement! From homemade soup and sandwiches, a beef brisket dinner, a New Year’s Day fried turkey dinner with all the fixins’ and homemade pie, to our own TEXAS Chili Cook-Off, complete with Mike Bruce’s homemade CRÈME BRULEE for dessert, no one went hungry, that’s for sure! There are some SERIOUS TOP CHEFS in the Traveling Supremes!

Our Master of Ceremony, Ardis Schenk, outdid herself with our western-themed New Year’s Eve celebration. Our multi-talented members entertained us with several skits: Marie Moreau’s, “The Proper use of a Public Ladies Restroom”, “She’s Got You” by Patsy “Rosalyn Odom” Cline, Polk Brian and Barbara Smith’s duet “Everything is Beautiful”, “Retirement Home Dance” by Burnel and Marie Moreau, Nancy and Bob Skinner, Romola and John Laninga and Fletcher Christian, “Texas Chili Cook-off “ with Bob Skinner, Jack Bruce, Joe Schenk and myself. The vision of Judy Gamble on her tippy-toes, with her arm slung over a mammogram machine, telling her sad tale of woes to Judge Mike Bruce is emblazoned in my memory forever! Our entertainment ended with a beautiful tribute to our servicemen, with John Brandon singing, a cappella, “My Country Tis of Thee,” “America the Beautiful,” and “The Star Spangled Banner” and Polk Brian’s recitation of America “Why I Love Her”… what an evening!

A TEXAS SIZED Thank you to Jack and Linda Bruce, Mike and Christine Bruce and Joe and Ardis Schenk for a wonderful rally…what a great way to close out 2011 and ring in 2012! A special thank you to all our new friends in the Louisiana Traveling Supremes who made us feel so welcome!