2017/18 NY Rally report

Victoria/Goliad, Texas.  Dec 29, 2017 through January 3, 2018.

The New Year’s Gathering washeld at Coleto Creek KOA which was located half way between Victoria and Golaid had adequate room in the club house for a gathering of 10-12 rigs but we had a “good” problem because we had 18 rigs and room was tight. But, that is a wonderful problem to have and we made it work and work better after the tables were rearranged. Those attending were: Hosts Wagon Master Deanne and Dave Phillips and 2nd VP Jerry and Hessie Smith, plus Myrna and Billy Braly, John Brandon, Les and Ida Cook, Larry and Nita Denmon, Irby and Judy Gamble, Ron and Diane Garner, Jim and Tina Hoover, Ted and Secretary Susan Kercher, Joe and Sue Moore, Joe and Ardis Schenk, James and President Gail Smith, Dick and Nancy Acker, Linda and Polk Brian, Darren and Tammy Phillips, John and Romola Laninga and new members Don and Betty Smith. We had three cancellations so it was going to be a really big gathering.

Deanne and Dave hosted the “meet and greet” evening meal of chili and cookies for our agenda “information” meeting. We had a quick update and “thank-you” session by President Gail Smith. Saturday morning Jerry and “helping” guys, James, John, Dave and Polk, served pancakes and sausages for breakfast prior to our history lesson of the local area by Myrna Braly. She gave us a good overview of Goliad’s settlement and about the two tours we were to take that day. Our first stop was at Presidio Nuestra Senora de Loreto de la Bahia which was a restored fort with a church. The church is still an active church today. For lunch everyone opted to eat at different locations before meeting for our second tour at Mission Espiritu Santo which was lead by one of the rangers. That evening we headed back to the club-house for soup furnished by Gail, Hessie and Deanne, with all the other ladies bringing salads and sweets for our dinner. That evening several couples opted to go to a nearby iconic dance hall to continue their day by dancing while the rest of the group headed to their rigs for a needed rest and elevated feet.

New Year’s Eve Day we caravanned to Berclair Mansion in Berclair out from Goliad in an area where no mansion should be in a small community of 250 people. We had a scheduled lunch and then a tour of the mansion all by the ladies of the Beeville Art Association who work hard to keep this huge mansion open. They need $1,600 per month just for insurance. The mansion was built entirely of steel and concrete and has twenty-two rooms with ten bedrooms and four full and two half bathrooms. The home is furnished with beautiful 16th and 17th century antique furniture mostly from Europe. It is the original furniture which was left in the abandoned home for over twenty years after its closing. The home has a basement and attic where you can see the steel beams used in the construction of the mansion. The guide told of several ghost stories which made our visit more interesting.

That evening we gathered with our party treats and gifts for a fun filled evening. Deanne had many games and activities for us to participate and then we had the “dirty Santa” game of exchanging gifts of which the majority were bottles of wine and little stealing. We had several contests one of which was an ugly sweater contest which Larry Denmon won the men’s devision for his penguin pull-over and second was James Smith’s Christmas mantel with stockings. The winner of the craziest man’s hat contest was Darren Phillips with the “Make America Great Again” hat making Trump another winner over some well decorated hats. The ladies winner of the ugly sweater was Susan Kercher and the ladies hat was Hessie Smith. We had to share the building with another small group and the noise sometimes was not the best, but we managed.

New Year’s Day we slept in and arrived for our late lunch of lots of good pot-luck food with Darren preparing the turkey. Gail read a story about Traveling Supreme’s New Year’s resolutions which was funny. Gail does a great job with writing. John Brandon sang Amazing Grace which was spine tingling. He has such an awesome voice. Afterwards, some of the ladies played cards and dominos while the guys watched the bowl games.

The last day of the gathering was spent touring the Museum of the Coastal Bend located at the local college. That evening was a pizza meal held in the club house by the local deli. Make plans to attend our next gathering. Hope to see you there.

Linda Brian