It’s hard for many of us from the Great Lakes regions to remember that we’re in the middle of winter when we’re fortunate enough to hunker down in Florida or Arizona…or even Texas, where we’ve remained snug as bugs in a rug. We don’t want to let these beautiful coaches sit too long, though, so the East Coast Regional Rally at Lazydays in Tampa provided the perfect opportunity to renew old friendships and meet lots of new folks, all while being fed delicious food mornings and evenings. Thank you, Southeast Chapter. You wrote the book on rally hosting and, once again, we certainly enjoyed ourselves.

Following the rally, the Florida RV Show opened its five-day run. This is the largest RV show in the country, so you need good walking shoes and a large shopping bag to cover even some of the exhibits and vendors. We always enjoy the American Coach area and this year didn’t disappoint. First the display – three American Dreams (one with a great new floor plan being introduced at the rally) and two Eagles, all with the new Select Drive to make driving safer and easier. The Eagles have added keyless ignition. So many new features! If you don’t have an opportunity to see these babies in person, be sure to check out the American Coach website to see all the new floorplans and options. While at the show, it was a real bonus to see three of our favorite people at the display – Janeen Gerke, Randy Hendricks and Jayne Fairley. Plus, we had a chance to visit with so many other AC owners we hadn’t seen for a while. Indeed, another memorable show!

Speaking of American Coach…when we were there some months ago, we ran into Rick Black. Rick has handled Decatur appointments for many years. Well, Rick is retiring on April 19th after 36 years of service. Certainly our loss, but we wish Rick great happiness in his well-deserved retirement. I understand there are quite a few other retirements, but I don’t have names and dates at this time.

We’re excited about our Great Lakes Chapter Rally Schedule for 2019. We’re visiting three states this year – Illinois in July, Indiana in August, and Michigan in September. More details in the rally section of this magazine, but get your reservations in early; as most parks have a limited number of spaces available during popular times.

In the meantime, on behalf of the Great Lakes Chapter, we wish all of you many miles of good health, good friendships, peace and love.

Bev DeAngelis, President