2013 Fall - GMCMI


Wow! GMCMI had educational sessions, vendors, food and the Live Entertainment Capital of the World! Read about the convention and check out the pictures on this website under the “GMC Gallery”.

>> Convention Number

143 | Is the number of total attending registrants; of these 6 registered on-site, 2 were partial attendees, 9 without motorhomes, 26 first timers plus 24 additional day passes!

16 | Is the number of hours of technical sessions, including an “Ask the Experts” and a round table and a update on Fuel Delivery.

18 | Is the number of blankets made at the convention. Since the ladies started making blankets, they have made a total of 854! Fantastic job ladies!

7 | 1973 GMC Owners received from GMCMI a license plate frame in honor of the 40 year old vehicle!

>> Article Submitted by Janet Frey

It was a celebration of the old and new as we gathered in Branson, Missouri to enjoy our GMCs. The old was, of course, our classic GMC motorhomes with the 1973s enjoying their 40th anniversary. Another “old” were the friendships formed from many years of attending the GMC Motorhome International Conventions held twice a year. The new was the new environment for many of the first-time visitors to Branson. Another “new” was the many first-timers in their GMC motorhomes. These new owners enjoyed the chance to chat with the veterans who have kept their classic motorhomes on the road for many of their 40 years. Some “newbies” had thoroughly researched their purchase while others were eager for information on maintenance and remodeling. We also welcomed the GMC Eastern States and Midwest Classic members that utilized the GMCMI Convention as their fall rallies.

For some of us who had never been to Branson, it was a revelation as we entered the Ozarks. The beautiful “knobs” and dramatic rock formations created a stunning entry into this area. Some ventured down the “strip,” and encountered the legendary traffic. The slow pace enabled visitors to admire the many theatres and shops, and a chance to familiarize themselves with the town for later excursions.

At the campground, the hosts were friendly and efficient as they helped with the parking. The majority were GMCs, although some s.o.b.s (some other brands) were welcomed, too. The beautiful facilities kept us pampered all week. And, the weather cooperated so that some members could enjoy the pool and hot tub.

Our convention manager, Kim Weeks, had many events planned, and they included some hillbilly activities. Teri Gregg lead the Hillbilly Follies that included dressing in overalls, etc. and completing an obstacle course of toilet paper toss, stacking cups and marshmallow guns. Under Lucy Weidner’s direction, a underwear clad drill team (with folding chairs) performed at our Hillbilly Dinner where we used our previouly craft-made hillbilly goblets with red Solo cups and a candle holder. Many attendees were dressed in Hillbilly attire. It was a hoot!

Attendees also enjoyed many seminars of a technical and non-technical nature, group activities, and excursions to several of the many shows offered in Branson. A special presentation by the Dutch Oven cooking team of Barry and Dennis was conducted. They showed us how to cook and bake in cast iron cookware, and even provided some yummy treats! This well-run convention allowed us to thoroughly enjoy the area and each other. Kudos to Kim!

Consider coming to a GMCMI Convention. There is information on service and parts, and fun and fellowship at the two conventions each year. For more information, go to www.gmcmi.com

>> Notes From the Convention Manager

Well, we had a great time in the beautiful hills of Branson. We took over the entire KOA, conducted our normal convention schedule along with two afternoons open for attendees to explore Branson! Attendees experienced some wonderful shows such as the Oak Ridge Boys, Mickey Gilley, Six, the Titanic and had lots of fun.

Technical Line Up
With such a busy schedule, we still were able to conduct 16 hours of tech sessions, just one hour short of Dothan! A special thank you to the following presenters for making the informational technical sessions possible: George Beckman, Albert Branscombe, Bob Drewes, Jim Kanomata, Rob Mueller, Dick Paterson, Tom Hampton, Alex Sirum, Dan Stuckey, Randy Van Winkle and Richard Waters. Topics covered were: Electronic Fuel Injection, Taming the Noisy Beast, Choosing Brake Calipers for Your Reaction Arm Brake System, Vapor Lock Issues, Rebuilding Engine (part one & two), Oil Flow Path, Tire Pressure Monitoring and “Ask the Experts” panel.

Education didn’t stop there….A big thank you to Ken Henderson who agreed to continue the mentoring program for first-timers or anyone that would like a mentor during the Convention. Ken and his team were very much appreciated.

Fantastic Food
A big thank you to Byron & Martha Songer for organizing Martha’s Famous Pancakes. Even the owner of the KOA, Ralph, got into the act and made pancakes! (photo on first page of newsletter) Always a hit, were the Ken Frey & Friends Omelets to Order. A special thank you to old and new organizers and volunteers for our other food offerings.

Non-Technical Line Up
Our non-tech had it’s regular items, but some new ones as well. Check this out: GMCMI Geocache Bash, Tips for Healthy Living, Bookworms and Their Diet, GMC Part Exchange, Craft & Flea Market, Open House, Etsy.com Online Shop, Greater Ozark Dutch Oven Demonstration and the “Plum Purty & Peachy Keen” ladies social. Thank you for a great job ladies! (see “Ladies Page” for additional information) and Bingo!

Here is what Lucy Weidner had to say…

The Hillbilly theme was carried out all through the week with attendees making their own solo cup wine glasses for the special dinner on Tuesday night.

We had Hillbilly Follies (games) compliments of Teri Gregg and her creative ideas with lots of participation. The Hatfield’s were victorious over the McCoy’s and received local products of jellies, molasses and custom Hillbilly T-Shirts made for our Convention as prizes.

The Hillbilly dinner was lots of fun with folks dressin’ up in their best “bib and tucker” to drink their beverage of choice from their new “glasses”.

The highlight of the evening was a special appearance by a new act coming to Branson. The Greater Midwest Classics Drill Team, with Randy Johnson, Roger Stearns, Wayne Hasek and led by Bob Miller put on a wonderful exhibition of marching and chair presentation that was incomparable! Dressed in wild shorts, tank tops, striped socks, and hats, they strutted their stuff with abandon. Their final position of “Sit Down” brought the audience roaring to their feet to applaud them and of course laugh heartily as well. A big heartfelt thanks to these great and wonderful guys for being willing to share their talents and for all their hard work in learning this” show stopping act”. I’m humbled by their willingness to share themselves with others, be strong enough to enjoy the laughter, and not saying no when I asked them.

In Closing
We would like to thank everyone that attended, volunteered, supported and enjoyed the convention. Keith and I appreciate the opportunity to meet and serve you all. We both look forward to sharing time with you at the  Spring Convention in Montgomery, Texas!

>> A Big Thank You to Our Vendors

A big thank you to the vendors for all of the time and support that your give our clubs! When looking for that part or information, check out this list and give them a call.

Albert & Sheila Branscombe
Park Brake Cables, Disc Brake Conversion Kits and Actuators

Ken & Doree Broostin
GMC “T” Shirts

Gene & Joan Dotson
Windows, Radiators, Butyl Tape, Macerators and GMC Glasses

Ken & Janet Frey
GMC Service and Parts

Tom & Nina Lee Hampton
Grandview Motorhome – Service and Restoration

Ken & Elaine Henderson
Windshield Wipers and Misc. Items

Frank & Jeanne Jenkins
Fiberglass Parts for GMC

Jim Kanomata
Applied GMC – Full ServiceSupplier

David & Mary Lenzi
Steering, Suspension and Brake Parts

Blaine & Diane Merrell
Windwings, Cockpot Screens, Lower Radiator Guards and Thru-Bumper-Hitch

Dick & Jan Paterson
Ignition-Carburetion and Misc.

Kerry & Carolyn Pinkerton
Misc. Parts, Metal Shapings and Manny Brakes

Ken & Jeanne Robinson
Gas Struts, Tail Lights, Steering Wheels, Lots of other New and Used GMC Parts

J.R. & Jeanne Slaten
Air Valves, S/S Oil Cooler LInes, Misc. Parts.

Dan & Ginette Stuckey
New Galvanized Mainframes, Fan-tastic Vents, Onan SS Mufflers, Macerator Kits

>> Tech Session Lineup

Early Bird Roundtable – Randy Van Winkle & George Beckman
Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) – Roundtable Discussion

NVH (Noise, Vibration, & Harshness) in the GMC—Taming the Noisy Beast – Dan Stuckey
Choosing Brake Calipers for Your Reaction Arm Brake System – Albert Branscombe

Vapor Lock Issues– Jim Kanomata
GMC Parts Exchange

Rebuilding Engine | Part One – Dick Paterson
Oil Flow Path of 403 and 455 Oldsmobile Powered GMC – Rob Mueller
Tire-pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) for Dummies – Richard Waters

Rebuilding Engine | Part Two – Dick Paterson
Ask the Experts – Panel Discussion

Protecting your OEM Air Bags – Rob Mueller

>> From the Ladies Page of the GMCMI Newsletter

Hello Everyone,
Now for a report on the terrific convention we had in Branson, Missouri. It was one of the best….excellent facilities and seminars, excellent food and best of all….wonderful friends to visit with. What more could one ask for?

Anyway, we started off each day with the coffee hour of donuts, bagels, waffles, fruit, oatmeal and English muffins. Our honorary chef, Ken Frey, had omelets made to order and Martha’s famous pancakes and sausage were great. We also enjoyed two catered meals, ice cream socials and a presentation put on by the Dutch Oven Society where we sampled several desserts. I heard the two gentlemen were award winners!

Our church service on Sunday morning was well attended. Thank you to Dan Stuckey, Carol Baxter, Byron Songer, George Beckman and the entire choir. Great job!

We ladies had a variety of non-technical sessions, starting off with the Geocache Bash. Here is a report from Mary Colie: Along with Teri Gregg and Margie Van Winkle we cooperated once again to offer Convention attendees the opportunity to play at geocaching. We hid 16 items ranging in size from tiny (size of a pencil eraser) to large (ammo box) on the grounds of the KOA. About ten participants found all or most of them within four days of searching. A few of the cache-hunters were experienced at this task, but some were novices who had never heard of this game before the convention. Participants all went home with a certificate and some useful prizes for the next time they venture out hunting for hidden treasures. If you wish to learn more about geocaching before the next Convention, visit the website geocaching.com for lots of background and practical information.

Sharon Hudspeth started off our session with “Let’s Get Acquainted”. We learned a bit about each of us who attended and we have some very interesting ladies in our group.

Marlys Drewes looked after a very successful book exchange… lots of great books. Those that were left were donated to a local shelter.

While on the subject of books… thank you to Nina Hamption and Sharon Hudspeth who lead the Bookworms and their Diet session. Here is Nina’s report: We had an opening discussion on “bad hair days” before moving on to the 50 some books that make up the Branson Book List.  One of our group mentioned a book she felt was total trash and not worth picking up.  It was suggested that we should  let libraries, friends, and book stores know our feelings  about “really bad books”. Plans were made to have the “Book Worms” that can, email their good reads before the next convention.  This will make it easier to create the convention book list.  (More information will be included in the spring registration brochure.) See you next time for fun, fellowship and good reading.

We always enjoy doing crafts and Jeanne Robinson did an outstanding job of organizing this for us. Here is her report… “The Craft Classes were enjoyed and well attended.  Doree Broostin brought supplies and taught us how to make a 14-carrot necklace.  Really!  It’s made of carrots!  Painted, strung with beads and made into a lovely necklace, the “stones” looked like turquoise.  Priscilla Wartman brought beautiful beads and gave instructions on making  lovely Shamballa Bracelets.  Jeanne Robinson showed everyone how to make a Halloween pumpkin using a roll of toilet paper – after Halloween,  just de-decorate and… Teri Gregg demonstrated a very slick way to de-seed a watermelon.  So quick and easy!  Then everyone ate the results!! A big Thank You to all the ladies who prepared and presented classes and to all the ladies who participated. If you have, or find, a craft that you would like to share, or just an idea for one that can be taught at a Convention, please contact  Jeanne Robinson at 231-944-8145 (cell) or 231-929-9544.

A couple of new non-tech sessions were lead by Jane Hasek and Kris Whisler. Jane lead a discussion on “Tips for Healthy Living” and Kris helped us learn how to buy and/or sell on Etsy.com. Both were very interesting! Thank you so much for your time and talents.

Now onto the the always anticipated “Ladies Social”.  Here is Mary Colie’s report: With the ladies of the GMC Eastern States chapter as hands-on guides, the attendees of the Ladies Social in Branson, Missouri made our dining hall as Plum Purty and Peachy Keen as it could be. Inside of one hour, ladies dressed all the dining tables with rustic charm using brown craft paper runners, calico place mats, mason jars filled with wildflower arrangements as well as tea lights, raffia, and bowls full of ripe, fragrant apples. Even the entry to the dining hall was decked out in homespun style with washing lines full of colorful quilts, red long johns and such. The backdrop of the event was a display of old-fashioned, hillbilly household paraphernalia including some antique canning jars, a butter churn, moonshine jugs, and a hillbilly bird feeder. A log cabin quilt hung on the wall, a colorful reminder of the cozy comforts of a country home.

After the work was done, the ladies enjoyed some simple refreshments and time to visit with their neighbors. Door prizes – kitchen towels, pot holders, handmade jewelry and more – were awarded to many of the ladies. Everyone left with a smile on her face and a bookmark souvenir of a morning well-spent. This ladies’ event marked a change in the manner in which ladies’ socials have been conducted and may offer suggestions for future such gatherings.

What can I say about the Open House. It was a beautiful day to stroll around the beautiful park and check things out. Great time to meet up with old friends, make new friends and see what they are doing with their GMC motorhomes!

And let me tell, the Flea Market was a big success. Many handmade items for the ladies and even a couple for the men!

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who volunteered in any capacity. The Convention would not be the success without your participation. We look forward to seeing you all in Montgomery, Texas in the Spring.

P.s. I heard the Ladies of the GMC Classics will be hosting the ladies social.