Saturday, July 28, 2012

Truckin' to Lone Star XXXIV

Lone Star Vans held there 34th Van-In on April 20th-22nd 2012. There were 21 paid Vans through the gate. It was held at Burns run West Campgrounds, in Cartwright , OK on beautiful Lake Texoma. 

Vantasia took two Vans down, and 8 Vanners: Patti Zweigel, Keith Gray, Jack & Carol Lynch, Bill & Karen Wickersty and Don & Becky Noone. We left on Thursday after Becky got home. Drove to Bill and Patti's that night and spent the night with them. Bill is recovering but wasn't ready to take the trip. Patti went with us and the neighbors keep a eye on Bill. 

Friday we were off to see our fellow Texas Vanners. This trip was a little depressing, due to the death of Ray Whittle 6/17/47--4/19/12. I had just talked to Ray and Star a week ago and he was so looking forward to seeing everyone. Charlotte called me over the weekend and told me that they had rushed him to the hospital. His leg had swelled up. They had to do surgery on him for blood clots. He survived the surgery but complications set in. Ray will be missed by many for sure. Our Prayers go out to Star and her family. This weekend at the truck-in we all talked about memories we had with and about Raymond. One that was shared with me over the Internet was with Cinnamon at a Van Nationals where some members of the Nat's Board were arrested. Ray was the one that went down to get them out. 

On Saturday night at the annual pot luck dinner that Lone Star puts on, Donnie from Lone Star said Grace along with some words about Ray and then a moment of silence. There were many tearful eyes among the crowd. 

Back to the truck-in Friday it was little cool compared with what everyone had been seeing this spring. It was in the 60's and 40's at night. I played music until a little after 10 PM. The park has a quiet time. It didn't stop everyone from visiting each others campsites. 

On Saturday everyone woke up to warmer temps. It turned out to be a beautiful day in the upper 70's. They had some great kids and adult games. Donnie form L.S.V. put on the games and had a lot of participation. There was a show-in-shine where yours truly was asked to do the judging. Hope everyone was happy with the results. At 6PM everyone was to bring their dishes for the pot luck dinner. The meat was cooked by Marty on his Texas style smoker he made. It not only looked good and won best trailer, it smoked the ham, chicken, sausage and  brisket meat to everyone's delight. Thanks Marty. Everyone else brought their dishes & desserts up for a great dinner. After dinner it was Show Time. Time to hand out the awards. After dinner everyone scattered to their  campsites to take back their dishes. I told them to come back and party cause there was the 10PM curfew on the tunes. Well it didn't take long for everyone to come back up. Especially when Art & Jenna and Bud Man Vans hauled their cooler of Jim Beam back to the pavilion. We were also celebrating Bob Dunbar's birthday with cake and lots of shots. The Park ranger showed up at 10 and said if I could turn it down some he would let us go for awhile. Thanks Ranger Rick!! 

Sunday it was time to pack up and head home. 450 miles one way back home. Gas prices ranged from $3.65 to $3.49. True we may have spent more money to go this year than last, but how do you put a price on friendship & fun? Isn't that what Vanning is all about? If you just sit around home talking about gas price's you will go crazy. Thanks to all the Texas Vanners for your Southern Hospitality. Nooner. 

Ray was put to rest at 2 PM on Sunday in Mesquite, Texas. If anyone would like to donate you can do so to the Scottish Rite Children's Hospital 2222 Welborn St. Dallas, Texas 75215-3993.

Please do so on behalf of Ray Whittle.

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