Alumapalooza, Day 2

The Alumapalooza routine has set in again:  up at 6 a.m. with the sun rising into a beautiful blue sky, quick blog entry, breakfast, on the walkie-talkie by 6:30 (in case I’m needed) and out doing whatever needs to be done by about 7 a.m.  The hardest part of each morning is getting Emma out of bed so that she will go to bed at night at a reasonable time.  Being 12 years old, she really doesn’t like waking up early

The orange-shirted staff are running things so well that Brett and I sometimes find ourselves filling the time by counting attendees to seminars (to see which ones are most popular), selling books, refilling the ice chests, and troubleshooting little problems that come up.  It’s so much nicer than last year for us.  Of course, now certain members are referring to us as management—or even more inaccurately, “Central Intelligence.”  We’re really more like tropisms than intelligence.

Eleanor, Emma and I were scheduled to do a talk about “life aboard an Airstream” from a family perspective, and I was pleasantly surprised to find 84 people in attendance.  We did a 60 minute Q&A session with the folks there, answering questions about full-timing, where to go, maintenance, campsites, traveling with a kid, selling the house, and many other things.  A 42 minute slide show ran in the background while we talked, with photos of us starting in 2005 when we first began full-timing, and going through early 2008.

All day long I kept getting buttonholed by people with interesting questions and great personal stories. This event is generating quite a few leads for future articles in the magazine.  I think that honestly I spent more time talking to people than doing any sort of physical work, which is quite a bit different from prior years.  Again, that’s because the team is really hustling.  The parkers (Lou, Larry and their team) fit in another 25-30 trailers yesterday, working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Matt was everywhere from the sound board (for the stage) to the grills (for Dutch Oven class and Open Grill).  Alice & Tim were making the water/electric job look easy, and Beth and Lori had Registration completely handled.  Lisa and Eleanor are still on the Injured Reserve list but both are functional now and doing light duty.

The only problem seems to be the cursed Garbage Pickup job.  Lisa was supposed to drive the Gator around every morning at 7 a.m., but that was before she was injured.  We recruited Al & Shinim to take over, and they did a great job yesterday.  But late in the afternoon, Al showed up with a large hemotoma on his leg from bashing it against something.  Elly (a veteran of the Vintage Trailer Jam and an LPN) diagnosed it and sent him off with ice and orders to stay off it, so that wiped out our second team.  A third team has been recruited and they did the job this morning, but we have given them fair warning about the history …

OK, quick summary because I’ve got to get out of the trailer and onto some jobs this morning.  We had 13 ovens going at once during the first Dutch Oven cooking seminar, and huge leftovers (fruit cobblers) for everyone to sample.  Open Grill was a big hit.  People cooked for hours in a steady stream over the three big grills we set up. The ice cream leftovers from the Kids Social got wiped out last night by the grillers, so that’s good. Roving Happy Hour was a big hit too, and we’ll do that again tonight. (Photos today are all courtesy of Lisa Forsyth, Injured Reserve.)

This morning HGTV will be here to tour the factory and interview the staff for a show they are going to produce this fall.  I’m on the interviewee list, but probably won’t appear in the final show.  But that adds a complexity to this morning that I really didn’t need, so it’s rush-rush-rush to get everything done.  Off to work—I’ll update tomorrow.