guns004

Do RVers carry guns for protection? Since there are millions of RVers out there, that is a loaded question. Pun intended. But, how safe do RVers feel on the road? I gave both of my husband’s service revolvers to my son after he died.  I was uncomfortable with them in the house where a potential assailant could steal it, use it on me, or a grandkid could find it and have an accident no matter how well I’ve hidden it.

One of those revolvers was stolen from my son’s garage. It was, he thought, well hidden. He still has the second one. He doesn’t carry it and doesn’t go to a shooting range, or use it. It has sentimental value to him.

Jim traveled 17,000 miles, across Mexico and through every country in Central America, in his motor home, in 2004, without a gun. It was clear before he started, you don’t carry a weapon or you’ll end up in a jail. Period. He has been a full timer for 18 years and has never felt the need to carry a gun. He does carry a weapon, of sorts. He has an ice pick just above the door. He has a small, narrow, hardwood bat also near the door by the passenger seat. He used to carry a loud noisemaker air horn. He has never felt the need for a more serious weapon.

Having just read about another lone gunman attack, shooting an automatic rifle at an airport yesterday,  makes me think about the lunacy of selling automatic rifles to anyone who wants one. Let’s face it, the supposed screening process does not work which is exactly the way the gun manufacturers likes it. (The NRA is now a gun manufacturer in case you didn’t know.)

Jim and I have had one incident where a “weapon” was used. We were parked at a bus station waiting for an early morning shuttle to take me to an airport. We were in Arizona and three drunks came knocking on the door about 10 p.m. waking us up.  Jim opened the small kitchen window and asked what they wanted. They were pretty incoherent and kept up some babble, have you got some…, whatever. I’ve forgotten what they were asking for.  He took out his weapon, his cell phone and said, leave or I’ll call the cops. He had to say it repeatedly and hold up the phone and pretend to press a couple of buttons.  They went away, and awhile later they came back. Jim used the same weapon, they backed off a second time and went away for good.

My weapon of choice at home is a can of bee spray by my bedside, and an air can of loud noise in my car small enough to conceal in my hand. Pepper spray small enough to have on a key chain is available if you work where you have to walk to a dark parking lot at night.

The best weapon, is being careful not to put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, but, as we all know, shit happens.

Our good friend, Randy Vining, a fellow full timer,  does carry a weapon. I’ll come back to his story. And, I’d like to hear from other RVers about weapons.

 

 

 

THE LOST MAN

February 6, 2012

I received an email from a friend about a physician who treats veterans in San Antonio,  Texas.  The physician claims  more veterans settled in that area of Texas than anywhere in the U.S.  He was discussing his view on how under appreciated veterans can be, even by himself. He learned late in his career to ask each patient about their experiences and let them know how much he appreciates them as he listens to their stories, some of which are horrific.  It  put me in mind of the post in Ajo which shares a post with the American Legion and AmVets.

Most posts fly a POW-MIA flag.  Ajo’s  post has a table reserved for the lost man. We’ve stayed in many VFW and American Legion Posts over the years and I had never seen this done. I Heard someone ask what the salt on the table represented?  I was curious as well. After reading the framed mission statement, I thought I’d share it.

The bible is behind the frame and not visible in my photo, nor is the lemon slice present.

Yesterday, the resort had a polka party which sold out very quickly. We went to Mesa to get the Bronco washed, but couldn’t find a place that washes without brushes. We bought  a coffee pot since ours had a faulty handle. We returned in time to peek in at the dance.

Dancing the polka and schottisch is most likely something only our generation finds familiar.

One thing I know for sure, the dancers were having a great time.

And those who sat out were having a good time too.

For active seniors,  “snowbird” resorts, are a fun way to spend your golden years. Many RVers use their own motor homes to stay at places like this and others buy a spot they keep all year.  Either way, it’s a great, carefree, fun and economical way to live.

If you are receiving a gift or bought something for yourself this Christmas season from Amazon, chances are an RVer help get it to you.

Many RVers earn additional cash while working on the road. Here’s a story about RVers working at Amazon. Just click the link below the photo…

http://www.treehugger.com/economics/jargon-watch-workampers-follow-seasonal-jobs-rv.html

I’m fortunate that I no longer have to work, but for those who need the extra income temporary employment helps.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

Most “toads”, like Jim’s Bronco, are outfitted for storing things like our lawn chairs, books, tools, the brake buddy, emergency kit and any number of useful items that one might need on the road as a full timer. Jim has the bronco divided into two layers to store twice as much stuff.  We went to the grocery store and recycling center yesterday. While Jim put the groceries in the back of the bronco I took this picture:

In Palm Springs, people scoot to the store in their Rolls Royce. The parking lot sometimes resembles a sports car dealership. And, instead of playing the music from the local radio show, or standard elevator music, here you listen to Vivaldi or Chopin while you shop.
But, I regress. Back to the “toad”. Everyone kind of accepts that when you go somewhere with other couples, everyone goes in their own separate vehicles. Living in snowbirdville, as RVers, comes the problem. I decided to sign up for one of the activities at the lodge, a “Girls Day Outing”. Its lunch at the Elephant Bar and shopping at three different second hand stores. I love cruising the second hand stores and I’m particularly looking for another plastic drawer divider for my spoons, knives, forks, etc. You can find them for five bucks or less at any store selling household goods, except, RV drawers are so small, none of the standard size fits. You can go to an RV store like Camping World and buy one for $16.95. That is so clearly a gouge that I simply refuse to buy one. Instead, I stick with what I’ve got, even though it is stained and looks dirty when its clean.

When I signed the list to go, 14 people were signed in, every one of those save two,  needed a ride. Only two drivers had room in their vehicles for others. Jim had previously arranged  to visit his friend,  Bill Dobb, and can’t drive me. It will be interesting to see what happens when we all show up on Thursday.

BACK TO LAKE HAVASU

February 6, 2011

We woke up to a glorious sunrise at Dome Mountain; a clear, sunny day. Jim wanted to show me a signature cactus, one of the largest saguaro type cactuses identified in the area. He knew the exact spot, but it was gone. We asked around and from all accounts, it had fallen.  We were told that Huel Howser, who programs for Public Television, recently did a program about the giant cactus with fifty or a hundred arms?  Jim wasn’t sure how many, except that it was an exceptional cactus much like these pictured above. One of them has 26 arms.
They do have predators as you can see from the base of this giant.

Its been chewed by some animal which will cause it to topple some day. From quartzite we spotted what looked like fog in the distance. I thought it looked like dust, hanging close to the ground, even though there was no wind. When we caught up with it, we found miles and miles of dust hanging in the air from recreation vehicles, those dirt bikes, racing through the desert foothills on the Colorado River Indian Reservation just north of Parker, Arizona. The destruction and air pollution was appalling but cheered on by an audience of aficionados sitting about the hillsides.

Our goal was to stop once more at Lake Havasu on our way back to Las Vegas. The country side is raw, jagged mountains,

with the appeal of desert next to water in this beautiful lake.

Some regard it as a vacation paradise.
Our goal was to hook up with Ted and Judy Price who are camped here in their RV.

They hail from Lacey, Washington, Jim’s former neighbors for 16 years. It was from Lacey he sold out and hit the road as a permanent RVer. Jim regards them as the best neighbors a person could hope to have. Judy still works, but Ted is retired from the Washington State Forest Service and likes to vacation near water. He loves his boat. We had a great visit over a couple of brewskis at the VFW in Lake Havasu. They commiserated with us over my bike. They carry a couple bikes with them as well.

In the shopping center near the VFW, this woman was working painting four windows. It was fascinating to watch and when I told her my talented daughter-in-law does murals and paints windows for free at her kids school and library, she offered a lot of advice on how to make it a business. The types of paint, house paint for the base, oil tempura colors, water washable. The types of brushes, rollers, sponge brushes cut to size, etc.

She told me how she charges and said the advertising is word of mouth. You make cards and if you can point to something you’ve done, your are off and running.

Everyone who passed by enjoyed watching her work. No office hours, little overhead and talent. Then, she very nicely offered to take our picture as Judy and Ted were leaving.

I met Ted and Judy at their home, in Washington,   the summer of 2009. I’m hoping to get them to come to Murphys and visit us. (I guess you can tell we are no longer on a megabyte restriction.)

“We were Cajuns when Cajun wasn’t cool,” said Mrs. Floyd Sonnier, above. “My husband was a fierce Cajun. “Floyd (now deceased) was known as the artist of the Cajuns. As a child, he picked up bits of charcoal from the fires and drew with them. Pen, ink, and charcoal brought to life the people and places he loved.

His grandparents above…his daughter as a child below. He published two books and has a website:

www.floydsonnier.com


Clarence Junior Martin is a famous accordion maker. He builds 150 a year, his nearest competitor and friend, Mark Savoy builds 26 and the next guy builds 7.   He was making accordions when accordion wasn’t cool, that is, anywhere but Cajun Country. His daughter Penny, explained how embarrassed people would be, and the flak and teasing they took because they played an “outdated” instrument! Shucks, now the small accordions Martin makes, (which sell for $2400 and up) are the centerpiece instrument of  Cajun and Zydecko Bands. Its called a melodeon and is most closely related to a harmonica. It arrived in Southern Louisiana with the German immigrants in the 1800′s. A former builder and cabinet maker, Martin started building accordions and never looked back.


Martin’s daughter, Penny is a school principle by day and plays guitar, triangle, and bass with the family.  Martin plays his favorite, steel guitar. “I can’t compete with my grandson, (on accordion) he’s better than me,” he proudly claims. Raised around his grandfather’s shop all his life,  Joel wasn’t interested in accordion until age 7.  He suddenly discovered its appeal when a kid his age was playing with one. Joel has two CD’s out and has written a couple songs.   ( Joel’s father, recently deceased, also played in the family band.)

Most of the great Cajun bands, (like Richard LeBouef above)  can be seen using  Martin accordions with his signature crawfish on the bellows. Don’t miss Martin Accordions if you visit Lafayette.


Another cool place was the only Borden’s retail ice cream shop in the United States. We stopped for a cool scoop because, Borden’s was always cool!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,009 other followers