52nd Family Campers & RVers
International Retiree Rally 2024

The FCRV Retiree Program invites everyone to attend the 52nd Family Campers & RVers International Retiree Rally at the Mineola Civic Center & RV Park, 1150 N Newsom St., Mineola, TX 75773.  The theme is “Horsing Around,” and coordinators George and Karen Reynolds promise, “This is one round-up you don’t want to miss! Let’s all giddy up and go to Mineola, corral the herd, and horse around together!” Remember, the rally is open to ALL, not just retirees.

Join in on the discussion at the 2024 Retiree Rally Facebook group.
Click the link above or scan the code below.

Retiree Rally 2024

  Details

Date:

March 18-24, 2024
Early Bird Days: March 15-17, 2024


Location:

Mineola Civic Center
1150 North Newsom Street, Mineola, TX 75773


Website:

https://mineolaciviccenterandrvpark.com/


Cost:

Before deadline/after deadline:
2 people in unit: $330/$365
1 person in unit: $300/$335

Camp pass on grounds staying in someone’s rv (must pay $10 per day for early days).

2 people $200
1 person $100

Camp pass off grounds:

2 people $200
1 person $100


Event Organizer Contact:

Chair: George & Karen Reynolds
Co-Chair: Steve & Diane Hitchens


Registration Forms:

Pay By Check: PDF Form
Pay Online: Not available at this time. 

Retiree Rally 2024 – January Update

Let’s Giddy Up and Go
By George & Karen Reynolds, Rally Coordinators

We are through the holidays and ready for a new adventure. Getting excited for the Retiree Rally. Let us celebrate this new year together in Mineola. The Retiree Rally has always been a gathering together with the membership and sharing the past year of remembrance. It is time to update each other and rejoice together. As always, we (our membership) have experienced changes. We would hate for you to miss this opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones. For Karen and me, the get-together is one of the best activities. Our team has developed new adventures for this rally to entertain you.

Our Chairs are extremely excited to provide the attendees with the best experience possible, and Mineola is such a wonderful location to rally! We hope to meet and greet each attendee. Please make your plans as early as possible. Everything is convenient and YOUR CORRAL is waiting with FULL HOOK-UPS close to the facility, easy parking OF YOUR HORSEPOWER!

Take advantage of our early days (14-17 of March) and tour the area locations or experience fellowship together!

LET’S GIDDY UP AND GO to Mineola in 2024. WE’RE HORSING AROUND TOGETHER REGISTRATION FORMS are available at: https://fcrv.org/retiree-rally-2024/.

Calling all Cowboys and Cowgirls
By Bill & Diane Buggeln, Chairs

A breakfast for the guys and a salad bar for the gals. A Cowboy doesn’t wear a hard hat; his working hat is a Cowboy hat. Western gals wore all sorts of hats. Bring your favorite.

Crafts in Mineola
By Dora Lewis, Crafts Chair

The 1st craft at this year’s Retiree Rally will be a diamond art project. Kits will be provided, along with supplies. Cost will be $6.00. Sign up will be at registration. No experience required.

The 2nd craft will be covering hangers with yarn. This craft involves covering metal hangers with yarn. Yarn & hangers will be provided. This is easy, and no experience is needed.

The 3rd craft will be rock painting. Betty Andrews will have different designs to guide you through. This is the second time for this project. It was requested as a repeat craft. No experience necessary, and all supplies needed will be provided.

So, get your giddy up on and come and join us in the fun in Mineola, Texas in March!

Retiree Rally WARNING!!!!!!
By Bill & Dianne Buggeln

Watch out for the Sheriff & his Deputies! Court will be held, jail and bonds at the judge’s choice. More to come next month.

Special note – Is the Judge a ‘Hanging Judge?’ ‘Hanging judge’ is a colloquial phrase for a judge who has gained notoriety for handing down punishment by sentencing convicted persons to death by hanging, or otherwise imposing unusually harsh sentences. Intrigued? Join us in Mineola, Texas to discover what the Buggelns have planned!!

Variety Show
By Kip Cushing, Variety Show Chair

There will be a sign-up sheet for the Variety Show. If you can sing, dance, tell a Tall Tale, or if you have a skit you’d like to perform, come prepared with everything you will need. If you would like to e-mail me, that would be great and get your name on the list. [email protected].

Yee-Haw! Retiree Rally Flea Market
By Richard & Frances Jackson, Flea Market Chairs

Yee-Haw! It’s time to plan for the Retiree Rally Flea Market. Booth space will be provided, including table and chairs. Bring items you want to sell. There is no fee for the booth, and you keep all of the proceeds. So giddy-up, and get items together to bring to the flea market!

Games In Mineola
By Shari & Craig Weber, Games Chairs

Giddy up! Gallop into Mineola and “horse around” playing games at the rally. There will be several table games at the rally in addition to outdoor games. We try to make sure all games can be enjoyed in a reasonable amount of time. Continue watching ‘Camping Today’ for more information.

Those table games you have come to enjoy will be played. This month we are featuring Card Bingo. This game is played with regular decks of cards. A group of 4 players share one deck of cards. The deck is dealt to each player until all cards are dealt. The caller has his own regular deck. The caller will draw a card from his deck and call it. All players who have that card remove it from their set of cards. When all cards are removed, the player calls Bingo!

The outdoor games also draw eager players. Ladder Golf will be featured this month. It is played with goals with three rungs like a ladder. The player throws 3 golf ball bolas (2 golf balls joined with a nylon rope leaving the balls 13” apart) which are thrown from 15’ (or 5 paces) from the goal. Players throw alternately with opponents. Scoring is achieved by wrapping the bola around one of the rungs on the goal. Points are scored 3 points for the top rung, 2 points for the middle rung, and 1 point for the bottom rung. At the rally the game is modified to allow play in a timely manner by having each player throw 10 times and accumulate their score.

Corn Hole was featured in the December issue of ‘Camping Today’.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

Introducing Blue Mudbone
By Reba Ray, Entertainment Chair

The Friday Evening Entertainment for the 2024 Retiree Rally in Mineola is Blue Mudbone which was formed in 2019 and is made up of all Mineola High School graduates. The band performs locally (churches, various music venues, and special events) and is currently the House Band for the Beckham Hotel in Mineola. The band is made up of Jay Horton (guitar/banjo/vocals), Joe Williams (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Roy Dean (bass guitar, vocals), & Ken Smith (harmonica, vocals). The band recently added Carter Mize (Drums and vocals). Carter is also a MHS graduate and is employed as a journalist by Christian Health Service Corps. The band’s music is made up of 60’s and 70’s acoustic rock, blues, bluegrass and country. Horton is a retired Methodist minister and has played professionally for several years including several years with his band in Houston, Sundog Weaver. Williams, a retired bank holding company CEO/owner, has been performing for over 50 years including many years with his family gospel group. The Williams Family Trio, and later with the Canaan-Heirs Gospel Quartet. Williams has played in church bands for many years. Dean and Smith, both are retired railroad employees. Dean is relatively new to music performance and Smith has performed locally in churches and civic centers. The bank emphasized fun and audience participation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvz-Hi0ndO0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8ttLw8OELE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_g-hJG3xto

Round Up Your Doggies Pet Parade
By Donna Powell, Your Roundup Wrangler

Our pet parade will have the following categories: Theme – Round Up Your Little Doggies; best talent; look alike owner/pet; best behaved; best of show! So, get your thinking caps on. Let’s have some fun and great showmanship!

I will have treats, certificates and prizes for the winners! Also, anyone willing to help with the parade; more hands are definitely welcomed! Round up your pets. Let’s have a great pet parade! Mineola is a great place to camp and visit; meet your friends and make new ones!

FCRV International King & Queen Info
By LaNelle & Leon Ishmael, King & Queen Coordinators

The deadline to get your application in for the Retiree king and queen has passed. We would like to thank the two couples who have stepped up to keep this tradition going. We hope many of you will attend the rally in Mineola and show your support. If you didn’t get your application in this year, we hope you will consider it next year. Tune in next month to see who your candidates are.

Join the Singers – Retiree Choir Info
By Kip Cushing, Choir Director

The Choir will be singing on Thursday and Palm Sunday. There will be a sign-up sheet at registration.

Book Exchange
By Kip Cushing, Book Exchange Chair

If you have some books you would like to contribute/exchange at the book exchange, please feel free to bring them along.

Retiree Rally 2024 – December Update

Registration Info

By Millie Pauwels, Registration Co-Chair

When filling out the registration forms, please print clearly, answer the questions about being a veteran, 1st timer, how you want to receive your confirmation letter, and if you  have special needs. A lot of folks don’t mark these boxes.

Let’s Giddy Up And Go

By George & Karen Reynolds, Rally Coordinators

We are in full swing of our Holiday Season, and we should rejoice in the knowledge that one of the best things we have is OUR FCRV RETIREE RALLY. It allows so much joy in our lives to see each other, to rejoice the past years’ activities together. Let’s really work hard to make this year a Special Get-Together and truly enjoy our friends.

Having said that, LET’S GIDDY UP AND GO to Mineola in 2024.

Many of the Chairs have started their work to make you enjoy this Rally. We have all the entertainment contracted and close to finishing the arrangements for the food venders and the sales vendors. Please make your plans to attend and be entertained together.

The volunteers have started to contact us to help at the rally. Please just email me at [email protected] your name and contact information if you’re interested.

Please look at being with the FCRV Family in March at Mineola HORSING AROUND TOGETHER REGISTRATION FORMS are available at: https://fcrv.org/retiree-rally-2024/ .

Games In Mineola

By Shari & Craig Weber Games Chairs

Giddy up! Gallop into Mineola and “horse around” playing games at the rally.

Cornhole is the featured game this month. It is a game played on two angled boards with a 6-inch hole in each placed 9 inches from the top and 12 inches from either side. The boards are 27 feet apart (older and physically impaired players may throw from 21 feet). Players stand on one side of the board and toss bags filled with corn toward the board opposite them. Points are scored for bags that go in the hole (3 points) and bags that stay on the board (1 point). We will have 10 throws for each player. We will switch ends after 5 throws. All points will accumulate. There will be first and second place awards. Please refer to the rules for play at www.fcrv.org click on Members in the menu bar, then Programs, then Adult Activities, then Cornhole

Since the retirees do not have boards, we ask that you bring boards, we will need several sets. Please make sure they are built as described in Adult Activities. The only way we can play is with your help in ensuring we have boards. If the boards are out at your site, you just might get drop-in players.

Next month we will feature some of the table games.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us. Webers at [email protected].

Retiree Rally WARNING!!!!!!

By Bill & Dianne Buggeln

Watch out for the Sheriff & his Deputies! Court will be held, jail and bonds at the judge’s choice. More to come next month.

Special note – Is the Judge a ‘Hanging Judge?’ ‘Hanging judge’ is a colloquial phrase for a judge who has gained notoriety for handing down punishment by sentencing convicted persons to death by hanging, or otherwise imposing unusually harsh sentences. Intrigued? Join us in Mineola, Texas to discover what the Buggelns have planned!!

Calling all Cowboys and Cowgirls

By Bill & Diane Buggeln, Chairs

A breakfast for the guys and a salad bar for the gals. A Cowboy doesn’t wear a hard hat; his working hat is a Cowboy hat. Western gals wore all sorts of hats. Bring your favorite.

Yee-Haw! Retiree Rally Flea Market

By Richard & Frances Jackson, Flea Market Chairs

Yee-Haw! It’s time to plan for the Retiree Rally Flea Market. Booth space will be provided, including table and chairs. Bring items you want to sell. There is no fee for the booth, and you keep all of the proceeds. So giddy-up, and get items together to bring to the flea market!

Retiree Rally ’24 Arts & Crafts

By Dora Lewis, Chair

We’re all looking forward to another Retiree Rally. All the committees are working hard to make it a great rally. There are many activities being planned. Arts and craft will have three projects. More information to follow about the crafts planned for this year. Make your reservation and join in all the fun.

The Purple Hulls

By Reba Ray, Entertainment Chair

The Purple Hulls singing group will be performing on March 19, 2024 at the Retiree Rally in Mineola, Texas.

They are a Bluegrass and Bluegrass gospel group with a Texas Swing! Talented identical twins Katy Lou & Penny Lea Clark, raised on a working purple hull pea farm near Kilgore, TX., perform across the country and abroad as a 3-piece band, delivering a variety of sounds that most people at first listen confuse with a 5-piece.

The Purple Hulls spent a number of years in Nashville honing their craft, writing for Sony Publishing, touring with various artists as side musicians, and doing session work. Since back in Texas, they have toured extensively with the Quebe Sisters and Asleep at the Wheel and have released four studio projects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TDCTlCAf_8

King & Queen Info

By Leon & LaNelle Ishmael, King & Queen Coordinators

Ho,ho, ho Santa just whispered in my ear that there is one of you wanting to run for International Retiree King and Queen but are being shy about it. Come on, step out of that shell. Ask any member of the royal court how much fun it is. January 1 is the deadline to send the application; so, do it now. Contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] to get your applications!

Round Up Your Doggies Pet Parade

By Donna Powell, Your Roundup Wrangler

Our pet parade will have the following categories: Theme – Round up Your Little Doggies.  Categories will be; Best Talent; Look-Alike Owner/pet; Best Behaved; and Best of Show! So, get your thinking caps on. Let’s have some fun and great showmanship!

There  will  be treats, certificates and prizes for the winners! Also, I’m looking for anyone willing to help with the parade; more hands are definitely welcomed! Round up your pets. Let’s have a great pet parade! Mineola is a great place to camp and visit; meet your friends and make new ones!

Athens, Texas‘ Black-Eyed Pea Capital’ & Home of the Hamburger

By Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

Intrigued? About 50 miles from Mineola, Texas, site of the 52nd FCRV International Retiree Rally to be held in March, 2024, is the city of Athens. As noted in the title, Athens is known as the ‘Black-Eyed Pea Capital’ and is the official Home of the Hamburger!

According to the article “Black-Eyed Peas: An Athens Original” update in The County Line Magazine on Feb 27, 2020, “Everyone knows the tradition that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck, but few may know that they originated in Athens. As the story goes, in 1909 an Athens businessman named J.B. Henry sought a way to help farmers rid the area’s legume crops of weevils by drying them in ovens. Next came the discovery that what was considered livestock feed also appealed to human tastes. Henry was soon dubbed the ‘Black-Eyed Pea King of East Texas. News traveled fast and before too long; Athens was busily supplying black-eyed peas far beyond East Texas. Canning plants opened in the 1930s and ‘40s to meet the demand. By the 1970s, Athens had gained the title of ‘Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the World.’ The city hosted a pea festival that continued for many years until demand and production lessened. Area farmers and backyard gardeners still grow the peas and Athenians (and millions of others) still pass the bowl of yummy vegetables at mealtimes — all efforts that harken back to the humble legume’s glory years in Athens.”

Official ‘Home of the Hamburger’? Athens’ history claims that a man known as Uncle Fletcher Davis created the first hamburger in the late 1880’s at a small café on the town square. Who knew?

Athens was established in 1850 as the county seat and was officially incorporated in 1902. “Athens was named by a step-daughter of one of the founding fathers, Dullcette Averiette, who had a vision that Athens would become the cultural center of the county and named Athens in honor of Athens, Greece.”

With this intriguing history, what attractions await you in Athens?

First, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, 5550 FM2495, Athens, combines outdoor education with a production fish hatchery. The center houses a hatchery, laboratory, aquarium, and education center focusing on underwater wildlife in the state’s freshwater streams, ponds and lakes. It serves as home base for the ShareLunker program, which invites anglers to donate trophy-sized largemouth bass for research and breeding purposes. The Toyota ShareLunker Program is one of the most important developments in fisheries management in the last half-century. Anglers who catch largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more can loan or donate the fish to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to be used in a selective breeding program. The program aims to increase the size and number of big bass for anglers to catch.

 

The round tanks in the Lunker Bunker house the big bass during the spawning season from October through April. Eggs produced by the big females are hatched in the jars immediately below the window, and the fry are kept in the long troughs along the far wall until they are big enough to be stocked in the hatchery ponds outside. There they are reared to stocking size, either 1.5 or 6 inches long. Take a virtual tour by visiting this link – https://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/visit/virtualtour/ 

The East Texas Arboretum, 1601 Patterson Rd, Athens, comprises 100 acres of natural East Texas with nearly 2 miles of trails through the woodlands. “Camouflaged frogs, insects, and even deer often scurry away as you pass. Make your way along winding, spring-fed streams connected by a 115-foot suspension bridge.” Visit the Wofford House Museum on the grounds. The house is the oldest home in Henderson County being built in 1850. It was moved to the arboretum and is now restored and fully furnished, complete with culinary and medicinal gardens. Experience early East Texas when you visit the museum. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g30193-d3361441-Reviews-East_Texas_Arboretum-Athens_Texas.html 

The Athens Scuba Park is your ultimate Scuba Diving and Snorkeling destination! An all-inclusive dive facility that provides sales, service, classes and travel! With 20 + sunken wrecks and 10 diving docks around the lake, explore and enjoy! The park is one of the only dive resorts in the United States that has a full -service dive shop, classroom, training pool and an open water lake all in one location. https://athensscubapark.com/ 

The area is apparently conducive to the growing of grapes. https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=wineries&find_loc=Athens%2C+TX  lists the 10 best wineries in Athens. Check them out and plan your visit.

Do craft breweries interest you? Be sure to visit the Athens Brewing Co. in the heart of downtown Athens at 01 E Tyler St., in an old historic building on the town square. The info says they have 8 brews on-tap. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g30193-d10587482-Reviews-Athens_Brewing_Co-Athens_Texas.html 

Add Athens to your ‘to-do’ list when you are East Texas for the 52nd Retiree Rally in March. Visit the attractions listed above, or just wander downtown historic Athens. Hopefully, we’ll see you in March in Texas! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPKen_lk5h0  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZW6oA78-Fw

Retiree Rally 2024 – November Update

Retiree Rally Registration Info
By Joanne Rich & Millie Pauwels, Registration Chairs

The Registration Chair & Co-Chair are asking that info on the registration form be printed, especially email addresses! Also, please volunteer on the ‘We would like to volunteer’ line. Thank you.

Mineola Texas Retiree Rally
By Karen And George Reynolds, Rally Coordinators

Planning is underway and many of the details are coming together because the rally will be a great opportunity for the attendees to enjoy the rally even better by volunteering to assist our chair’s to provide specific tasks to meld the rally together. Please consider the opportunity.

Positions to volunteer for: registration, arts and crafts, book exchange, C.A.M.P. Exercise, door prizes, flea market, mail and information, assist parking, pet parade, red hat luncheon, hard hat luncheon, security, food bank and lap robes, games, locator board.

All the various positions have chairs that will make the advance and on site arrangements but they need people to assist, maybe just for an hour or half a day.

Send us your selection and we’ll pass it to our chair and thank you in advance! Contact us via [email protected]

Just horsing around no stables to clean this trip but giddy up and go

FCRV International Retiree King & Queen
By LaNelle & Leon Ishmael, King & Queen Coordinators

Tick tock, tick tock. Time is running out. Don’t miss your chance to possibly be our next FCRV International Retiree King and Queen. Please don’t let this tradition die. Deadline to get your application in is Jan. 1, 2024.

You do not have to be nominated by a retiree chapter. The nomination can come from your provincial or state organization.

The next step would be to contact us for an application form and information covering the do’s and don’ts of your campaign. Prepare a letter of introduction, telling us about yourselves and your involvement with FCRV that will be read at the rally.

You will want to have your state or province help you host a hospitality. The only requirement of the couple elected is to return the following year to relinquish the crowns barring unforeseen circumstances.

Ask any of our previous royal couples, and they will tell you how much fun they had with their campaigning. Come make new friends.

Looking forward to hearing from you.
[email protected]
[email protected]

Games in Mineloa
By Shari & Craig Weber & Joan & John Jordan, Games Co-Chairs

Giddy up! Gallop into Mineola and ‘horse around’ playing games at the rally. There will be several table games at the rally in addition to outdoor games. We try to make sure all games can be enjoyed in a reasonable amount of time. Continue watching Camping Today for more information.

Those table games you have come to enjoy will be played. This month we are featuring 5 Crowns. This game is played with a special double deck of cards. The deck has 5 suits, but no aces or 2s. It is a rummy-style game where you make runs and sets. The game begins with a deal of 3 cards and progresses to 13 cards when the Kings go Wild! The number of cards dealt indicates the wild card of the round in addition to the jokers included in the deck.

Cornhole is a game enjoyed by many. This game is played with two slanted boards with a single hole. Each player throws 4 bags (filled with corn, thus the name). Points are scored by having the bag stay on the board (1 point) or going in the hole (3 points). We play 10 rounds and accumulate our score. Since the retirees do not have boards, we ask that you bring boards; we will need several sets. The only way we can play is with your help in assuring we have boards. If the boards are out at your site, you just might get drop-in players.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us. Webers at [email protected]  and Jordans at [email protected] .

Visit Nacogdoches While in Texas
By Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

Texas in March! The 2024 FCRV Retiree Rally will be in Texas at the end of March! FCRVers, are you planning your trip? Perhaps you’ll be in south Texas and will travel to Mineola, site of the 52nd rally, or you’ll be traveling from various other parts. Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, would be an interesting place to visit when you’re in Texas, either prior to or after the rally.

Nacogdoches (NAK-ə-DOH-chiss), located in East Texas, was founded in 1779 as a Spanish mission, Misión Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, by Don Antonio Gil Y’Barbo, “to prevent Anglos from the United States from flooding Texas. The Mexican Government passed colonization laws and granted impresario grants to individuals to settle families in Texas.” From https://nedco.org/about-nacogdoches, “Our name is long, but memorable. Known as ‘The Pineywoods’, you might have heard our name once before in a Josh Abbott Band lyric, ‘Her eyes are green like the trees in Nacogdoches.’ Or perhaps you have heard of our Hometown Hero, Clint Dempsey, and the Captain of the U.S. Soccer team during the 2014 World Cup.”

But, there is evidence that the settlement dates back 10,000 years! “It is near or on the site of Nevantin, the primary village of the Nacogdoches tribe of Caddo Indians.” Evidence suggests that a local Caddo tribe called the Nacogdoche later went to East Texas around 800 A.D. “The Caddos are considered to be travelers and traders, and they built log cabins and burial mounds between the Banita and Lanana Creeks.” Who were the Caddos? “The Caddos are descended from the prehistoric Fourche Maline and Mossy Grove people who settled this area between 200 BCE to 800 BCE. They were the most advanced Native American culture in Texas. They lived in tall, grass-covered houses in large settlements with highly structured social, religious and political systems. The Caddos raised corn, beans, squash and other crops.” Is the Caddo Tribe still around? Yes! The Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe with its capital at Binger, Oklahoma with nearly 5,000 enrolled members of the nation.

According to Wikipedia, “Nacogdoches has been under more flags than the state of Texas, claiming nine flags. In addition to the Six Flags of Texas, it also flew under the flags of the Magee-Gutierrez Republic, the Long Republic, and the Fredonian Rebellion. People from the United States began moving to settle in Nacogdoches in 1820 and Texas’ first English-language newspaper was published there. However, the first newspaper published (in the 1700s) was in Spanish. An edition of the newspaper (in Spanish) is preserved and shown at the local museum.

“In 1832, the Battle of Nacogdoches brought many local settlers together, as they united in their stand to support a federalist form of government. Their successful venture drove the Mexican military from East Texas.

“Thomas Jefferson Rusk was one of the most prominent early Nacogdoche Anglo settlers. A veteran of the Texas Revolution, hero of San Jacinto, he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and was secretary of war during the Republic of Texas. He was president of the Texas Statehood Commission and served as one of the first two Texas U.S. Senators along with Sam Houston. He worked to establish Nacogdoches University, which operated from 1845 to 1895. The Old Nacogdoches University Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

“Sam Houston lived in Nacogdoches for four years prior to the Texas Revolution (1836) and opened a law office downtown. He courted Anna Raguet, daughter of one of the leading citizens, but Anna rejected him after finding that he was not divorced from his first wife Eliza Allen of Tennessee.”

As you can read, Nacogdoches has had an interesting history. But, as a tourist, what might attract you to stopping in Nacogdoches when you’re in Texas in March? Check out https://www.visitnacogdoches.org/things-to-do/ . The following are just a few of the things to do, perhaps just enough to ‘whet your appetite’ and place Nacogdoches on your ‘to-do list’!

Caddo Mounds: 1649 State Hwy 21W, Alto, TX 75925. The park offers exhibits and a .7-mile interpretive trail through its reconstructed sites of Caddo dwellings and ceremonial areas, including two temple mounds, a burial mound, and a village area.

Durst Taylor House and Gardens: 304 North Street. Durst-Taylor Historic House and Gardens is an 1830s wood-frame house interpreted to the 1840 to 1860 time period when the Blackburn family lived there. The house is the second oldest structure still standing on its original site in Nacogdoches. Visitors will start their tour at the Visitors Center and then will be guided through the house and grounds. The grounds include a blacksmith shop, smokehouse and historic gardens.

Fortney Home: 310 N. Mound St. Fortney Home defies description. Some say it is the most “fun shopping experience” they’ve ever had. Antiques, oddities, unusual fine furniture, Western decor, worldly relics, architectural treasures, contemporary art, gift items, whimsical items and outdoor sculptures. It’s more than a store; it’s a spectacle. Previously a landmark in Austin, Fortney Home is now located in a historic Victorian home just a few blocks north of Main.

Historic Town Center, 200 E. Main Street, Nacogdoches. The Historic Town Center, also known as the Charles Bright Visitor Center, is home to the Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau, located in the heart of historic downtown. Here you will find some wonderful information about the history and legends of Texas’ oldest town – from stories of early settlers to historical artifacts. This is an excellent place to start your tour of Nacogdoches.

Foretravel Motorcoach, 1221 NW Stallings Dr, Nacogdoches. Nacogdoches is the home of Foretravel Motorcoach. Foretravel has been the RV industry’s premier luxury motorcoach manufacturer since its beginning in 1967. Several years ago, we had the opportunity to tour the factory as the guests of the head of the Foretravel Motorcade Club. He was a former Ohio NCHAer. We met him at the Louisville RVIA Show. He told us when we get to Texas he’d arrange for us to stay in the camping area and tour the factory. We took him up on his offer. We were impressed, knowing we’d never be able to afford one. Construction and innovations were top-notch. As a side note, after meeting Gordon in Louisville, he tried to get us to work for the Foretravel Motorcade Club with the idea of taking his place running it. Jim was FCRV national president at the time. We didn’t feel we could leave that and be on-the-road for the amount of time required. The big perk was using a Foretravel motorcoach! Our lives would have been different had we accepted, that’s for sure. We are glad we didn’t make that choice, by the way. Tour the factory via YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcUCCs73i5w. Website link: http://www.foretravel.com/

As a final note for this article, are you registered for the 52nd FCRV International Retiree Rally? If not, please do so! See you in Mineola at the end of March!

Nacogdoches – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1xJz30HD4A Nacogdoches – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6clmR-8c1U The Battle of Nacogdoches – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWlJMBNjM9M Groucho & Nacogdoches – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieF7qx-KQ9Y

Retiree Rally 2024 – October Update

FCRV Retiree Rally Registration Deadline

Registration deadline: March 1, 2024. Included in the fee: Full hook-ups, (30/50 amp), ice cream social, 2 dinners, and entertainment. AND, fun & fellowship with your FCRV family. Note: All are welcome! You don’t have to be retired!

Food Bank and Lap Robes Info

By Karin Snyder, Food Bank/Lap Robes Chair

Looking forward to the upcoming Retiree Rally!! My name is Karin Snyder, and I am the new committee chair for the Food Pantry and Lap Robes. I am flying by the seat of my pants so here we go!! Excited to move forward with this.

Excited to pick Rose Hill Community Pantry as the recipient of March 2024 Rally contributions!! More info to follow!! Amazing story how this couple has dedicated so much to benefit other people!! God Bless!!

We are excited to find out about Mineola Caring and Sharing. They collect aluminum cans in their trailer behind Brookshire’s, a local grocery store within walking distance from the camping area. The funds are a significant contributor to their annual budget particularly as prices for food and other items continue to rise. Their primary focus is to provide food, gifts, toys, and household items each year at Christmas to several hundred families in the area. We are very impressed with what this organization does. Please remember to save those cans for them!!

I would like to encourage everyone to start saving their pull tabs from pop cans, beer cans etc… not from vegetable cans as they are not aluminum!! Of course ,these will be donated to Ronald McDonald House. We will have a little competition so start saving up and ask your friends and family to do the same!!

We are still working on finding the recipient of all the beautiful lap robes you all make!! Thank you to all the talented people that donate their beautiful creations to this cause. Remember that lap robes can be knitted, crocheted, quilted, made of fleece, or purchased. Typical size for wheelchair patients is 27″X36″ . Lap robes sizes chart: Small-36″x45″, Medium-30″x60″, and Large-45″x60″. God bless all the busy hands at work!! Thank you again!!

More info to follow!! If anyone has any suggestions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out!! [email protected]

God bless!! Thank you to all!!

Game in Mineola

By Shari & Craig Weber & Joan & John Jordan, Games Co-Chairs

Giddy up! Gallop into Mineola and ‘horse around’ playing games at the rally. Bring a fun attitude and competitive spirit to join us throughout the week as we play and compete in a variety of table games and indoor/outdoor games. Watch for updates in future issues of Camping Today.

Cornhole is a game enjoyed by many. Since the retirees do not have boards, we ask that you bring boards. We will need several sets. The only way we can play is with your help in making sure we have boards.

FCRV Retiree Rally Pet Parade

By Donna Powell, Pet Parade Chair

‘Round Up Your Doggies Pet Parade’ is the 2024 Retiree Pet Parade. There will be a pet parade for our ‘little Doggies’ and all dogs, cats, or pets if you want to enter our parade. I will have more information in the coming months. If anyone is interested, I could use a helper or two, also!

Mineola Texas Calls For Campers Roundup

By George & Karen Reynolds, Rally Coordinators

It’s time to gather for our annual round up the ‘herd’ of members in FCRV campers.

We would like to invite new people to come to the retiree rally. At our rallies we offer 2 meals, ice cream social, entertainment every night, dancing, and a lot more. Remember you do not have to be retired to come. Anyone can attend and bring along a guest and let them see what we are all about.

The planning for this upcoming get-together is well underway; please get your ‘horsepower’ ready for the trip out west. We will have a great ‘stall’ with full hook-ups for your steed. Chuckwagon and nightly entertainment, lots of great hospitality after entertainment nightly.

NOW is the time to make your plans to drive the stock to this roundup. Early planning allows the bunkhouse workers to provide the very best roundup so ……

GIDDY UP and Register to GO.
18-23 March 2024 (Early Days 15,16,17)

Visit Terrell, Texas

By Barb Turner, Retiree Rally Publicity Chair

The 52nd FCRV International Retiree Rally will be taking us back to Mineola, Texas in March. In 2022, Mineola was a new venue for us.

About 50 miles west of Mineola is Terrell, Texas, a ‘visit-spot’ during the early days at the rally site. Like Mineola, Terrell was settled as a railroad town with the construction of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Line in 1873 when ‘King Cotton’ was the cash crop. (Today, it is the principal commercial center of Kaufman County.) The town was named for Robert A. Terrell, a European-American pioneer whose farm was on the town’s western edge. Terrell and his bride Emily Love came to the area soon after marrying in 1846 when they built a log cabin which was located just to the south of the present house and raised their nine children. Terrell is reported to have said he “once killed a bear in their front yard, and he could sit on his front porch and shoot deer and turkey”.

He later built the octagonal house, called the Round House, on his property. The house was built possibly as early as 1860 when a master carpenter M. Goodfellow from New Brunswick, Canada was living in the Terrell household, according to the 1860 census. The architecture was a very new and innovative idea for the time. It was built that way for the light and the air circulation. The logs for the foundation were brought by wagon from East Texas and hand-hewn on the site. The octagonal house originally faced south and turned to face west in 1914 when the Texas Military College was established on part of the Terrell farm. It served as the mess hall for many years. The Round House is located on the campus of Southwestern Christian College which purchased the property in 1949. https://www.discoverterrell.com/places/robert-a-terrell-home

Terrell was incorporated in 1875. It’s noted that the first automobile appeared in 1899, which appears to be a momentous historical event!

While in Terrell, plan to visit the Terrell Heritage Museum (207 N. Frances Street) which is housed in the Carnegie Building which was built in 1904 with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie as a library. A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929. The Carnegie Building operated as a library until the mid-1980s. It is now the home of the Terrell Heritage Museum, displaying artifacts from Terrell’s past. Free admission! www.terrellheritage.org 

No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum (119 Silent Wings Blvd, Terrell Municipal Airport) is worth a visit as it is one of the only RAF Museums currently in the United States. The museum is located at the site of one of six British Flying Training Schools operated in the US during WW II. It was a civilian flight school dedicated to instructing

and training British Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots during the war. Why Terrell? “RAF officials sought to train aircrews outside of England, safe from enemy attack and poor weather. The cadets trained in the air on aerobatics, instrument flight, and night flying, while on the ground they studied navigation, meteorology, engines, and armaments, even spending time in early flight simulators. More than 2,000 RAF cadets trained in Terrell.” And, did you know that it is roughly the same distance from Terrell to Houston as it is from London to Paris!! In the Terrell Cemetery there is a plot where several RAF Airmen are buried who died in a training accident. www.bftsmuseum.org 

Books & Crannies, 209 W. Monroe Ave, sounds like an interesting visit. “Books & Crannies is an independent bookstore located in historic downtown Terrell. We offer all genres of books (mostly used), a locally produced line of skin care items (Susan’s Soaps and More), and we have an upscale ladies consignment shop in the same building with us. We also have a small movie theatre in the back of the store. We take gently used books in for trade credit.” www.bookscrannies.com and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNEEz-kMR4E&t=28s 

Downtown Terrell is a turn-of-the-century historic district complete with vintage lighting, wide brick sidewalks, and updated historic buildings with unique storefronts featuring great architectural details. Hand-painted murals add to the uniqueness of the area. Wayfaring Kiosks will aid your exploration of the historic district. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD0ewxms-pU 

As an added note: Jamie Foxx, two-time Grammy Award-winning musician and singer, and Academy Award-winning actor, lived in Terrell and graduated in 1986.

Judy Elenburg suggested a couple of places to visit while in Terrell where she lives. First, the Front Porch is an interesting gift shop owned by one of her former principals, at 304 Catherine St. And, Jake E’ Riding Roundup is another place that might be of interest. It’s an equestrian therapy for disabled children and adults. Its address is Kaufman but it’s just east of Terrell. (10626 FM 249, Kaufman , TX) She said you can visit and even volunteer to greet kids or groom horses. Their hours are Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm. She’s been there once with her Retired School Personnel group.

Planning on the Early Days (MARCH 15, 16 & 17th) at the 2024 FCRV International Retiree Rally? If so, plan on a day-trip to Terrell!

See you in Mineola!

Retiree Rally 2024 – September Update

GIDDY UP AND GO TO THE 2024 Retiree (SPRING) Rally at MINEOLA, TEXAS
March 18-23, 2024 (Early Days: 15,16,17)
By George & Karen Reynolds, 2024 Rally Coordinators

The Mineola Civic Center is the location, and we know it’s a premier rally facility from past performance.

Mineola is inextricably bound to its railroad history, and visitors can experience that sense of adventure in authentic and imagined ways. Jump aboard the Amtrak Texas Eagle, which stops in Mineola twice daily and travels from Chicago to San Antonio through major Texas cities. Of course, we know our FCRV “horsepower is the way to travel”. Mineola is also known for its Nature Preserve.

The RV sites are very special as they are in front of the Center that we meet in and form a double round ring that allows SHORT WALKS and also FULL HOOKUPs with BOTH 30 AND 50 AMP.

There are multiple facility amenities available to your attendance: a playground, a splash park, sidewalks for walking, and six lighted tennis courts for both tennis and pickleball. As an added convenience, shopping and restaurants can be found nearby. We are working on the Shows and Meal Plans and the complete program to WOW YOU!

Please look at being with our FCRV Family in March at Mineola, HORSING AROUND TOGETHER!

REGISTRATION FORMS ARE AVAILABLE IN THIS EDITION and at https://fcrv.org/retiree-rally-2024/

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FCRV International Retiree King & Queen 2024 Info
By LaNelle & Leon Ishmael, King & Queen Coordinators

Retiree Rally 2023 is behind us as is Campvention 2023. We imagine most regions have also had their rallies. Let’s turn our attention to the 2024 Retiree Rally in Mineola, Texas. As we stated at the 2023 rally, the king and queen contest has been part of our tradition since 1973. It is not a pageant. It is simply a fun way of choosing a couple to represent FCRV. As a contestant, you have an opportunity to get to know so many people that you may have only given a nod to or just said hi to if you were not campaigning. As for the ones voting, they are always excited to see what trinket you will be enticing them with next. When we think back through the years we have attended, the rallies we remember how hard it was deciding between the couples. We took careful thought as to what they had done in FCRV. Hopefully, it will also draw more people from your state or province to back you, thus increasing attendance.

When we were elected in 2012, we felt it a great honor to represent the organization. We made so many new friends that year that have been lasting relationships. We were able to add awareness to FCRV by being called on to speak at a local civic group.

Most people think you have to travel. Yes, you will get invitations to other state and provincial campouts, but you do not have to attend. The only thing asked is that you return the following year to the next retiree rally to relinquish the crowns.

Please don’t let this tradition die. Start thinking about running. First, get backing from your state or province . Once you are elected King and Queen of your state or province, contact us for an application. [email protected]  515-520-7958 [email protected]  803-341-2470

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52nd Family Campers & RVers International Retiree Rally 2024
By Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

The FCRV Retiree Program invites EVERYONE to attend the 52nd Family Campers & RVers International Retiree Rally at the Mineola Civic Center & RV Park, 1150 N Newsom St., Mineola, TX 75773 March 18-24. The grounds are available for early days on March 15 to explore the area. ($40 per night payable upon arrival.) The theme is “Horsing Around,” and coordinators George and Karen Reynolds promise, “This is one round-up you don’t want to miss! Let’s all giddy up and go to Mineola, corral the herd, and horse around together!” Remember, the rally is open to ALL, not just retirees.

The Mineola Civic Center and RV Park has full hookups with 30/50 amps on large, level, concrete sites with green grass. Fast WIFI! Shower facilities will be available. Visit https://fcrv.org/retiree-rally-2024/ for the registration form and other pertinent info. Mineola is at the junction of U.S. highways 69 and 80, eighty miles east of Dallas in southwestern Wood County. It came into existence when the railroads laid tracks through eastern Texas in the early 1870s. Interestingly, in 1873 it was a race between the Texas and Pacific and the International-Great Northern to see which could get to Mineola first. The I-GN reached Mineola 15 minutes before the Texas and Pacific Railroad! That would have been exciting! The city government was organized in 1873. A post office was opened in 1875. Incorporation came in 1877. In the 1880s a fire destroyed 18 buildings, but the city didn’t die. It rebuilt and flourished, and by 1890 there were seven churches, several schools including a free black school, hotels, banks, and businesses. The population reached 2,000!

East Texas was in the ‘timber belt’ which made railroad ties and lumber plentiful for the railroads. ‘In 1879, S. Zuckerman, a Mineola resident, filled contracts for 85,000 ties that were used in the construction of the T&P RR west to El Paso.’ Over the years, Mineola has remained a small East Texas town with several commercial endeavors. For more of Mineola’s history, check out this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineola,_Texas.

Plan on ‘Horsing Around’ in March in Mineola! ‘This is one round-up you don’t want to miss!’

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