Sunday, March 18, 2007

Honoring our Military

March 13 to 17, 2007

"The modern age has been characterized by the restless energy that preys on speed, records and shortcuts. Despite our alleged efficiency, we seem to have less time for ourselves and far less time for each other. We have become more organized, but less joyful."– Jeremy Rifkin from his book Time Wars.

“Honoring our Military” was the theme of the Nevada State Good Sam Spring Samboree in Laughlin, Nevada. I added this event to my February-March 2007 travel schedules specifically to spend time with my sister Linda and brother-in-law Bob. We both arrived on Monday, and spent the first two days hanging out together.

Laughlin in mid March? Hot, hot, hot! More long-sleeved shirts were packed away, and shorts brought out. Nights were in the mid 50s and daytime temperatures pushed into low 100s.

During those first days, Linda and I decorated our bicycles and I put some finishing touches on a Navy poster that featured a picture of granddaughter Melody on duty in Tokyo Bay, Japan. (Unfortunately, it was way too hot and sunny to put the poster outside as I had planned.)

We also went to Oatman, Arizona – historic mining town where “wild burros” roam the street hoping for handouts of fresh carrots. We shopped the tourist shops; Linda bought t-shirts for her grandchildren, I bought the book, “Oatman: History, Recipes, Ghost Stories.”

We wandered into a jewelry shop and I noticed a crusty old man sitting at a table towards the back. He was busy doing something – and that got my curiosity up. When I approached, he had a fairly toothless – saw one or two teeth in the front. Instead of making jewelry as I assumed, he was making his cigarettes. And not the “roll your own” ones. He had a blue gadget, put loose tobacco in it, squished a lid on top, inserted a pre-rolled paper with a filter attached, and then pushed a cigarette out the end. He said I could take his picture.

Another pre-event outing was to the Disney movie – Wild Hogs. (think City Slickers on motorcycles!) Stopping at one of the casino restrooms after the movie, I saw a “safe needle disposal” container on the wall! What???!!??

When the rally started, Linda helped with registration and I found interesting people to talk to. By the time the rally started the RV park had about 235 RVs belonging to Good Sam travelers.

The Good Sam folks are serious game players – the event games included Mexican Train dominoes, Sequence, 31, Zilch, Cribbage, horseshoe toss, washer toss and beanbag baseball.

And in keeping with the military theme, there were pet contests and a theme parade. Linda and Bob entered their two Australian shepherds – Winnie and Maverick. And Bob entered the theme parade, taking second place in the men’s division.