Our current Featured
FVC Member is Spooky Tooth and Maggi

 

Spooky Tooth and Maggie Mae 

 

My vanning experience all started in April 1978 when I purchased my neighbor’s 1976 Chevy Van. I had been reading all the vanning magazines that were out at the time – Truckin, etc. Times were good back then. A lot of van shops with flairs, running boards, sun roofs, bay windows, even Sears, got into the act by selling vanning accessories. Having 3 stepchildren and a dog played into how the van would be built. Went to a junkyard and bought a bench seat with brackets, had the brackets welded in and now the kids had a place to sit, and the best part was the bench seat was removable. Insulation, paneling and carpet were next, plus a full-sized bed in the back. The outside was painted black and two years of sitting out in the wintry weather did a job on the paint.

Had the van painted charcoal gray, added a sun visor and rally wheels – now I felt we were ready to go! But – go where?

I read about two van clubs that were close by – Three Rivers Vans (TRV) in Pittsburgh and Custom Coaches from McKeesport, PA. At the time I worked for US Steel in McKeesport so maybe this is the club. Waiting in line for the 3:00 whistle to go home, one of my co-workers was wearing a Custom Coaches shirt. We talked about the club and I told him about my van. By this time, it was the Fall of ’78. He told me about a van event that they were going to put on at the end of October called Halloween Holocaust. I attended and having won the 50/50 and a few door prizes, I was hooked! I applied for membership and was accepted. Wow – I’m in heaven! Halloween Holocaust II in ’79 and now I’m a member helping to put on this van-in.

Fast forward to July 1980 – growing tired of the cold and snow, we decided to vacation in Florida and see if this would be a good place to live. Hooked again! By September 1980, we had a place in Sunrise, kids in school, it’s all coming together. Now I need to find a van club in Florida. Eventually, I found Vans of Ft. Liquordale and joined the club. Our first get-together was July 1981 at Knights Key by the Seven Mile Bridge. Can you see my connection – Halloween event plus the Keys!

Over the years, I became the President of the Club putting on Keys ’83 with help from Broward Chapter at Fiesta Key, ’85 at Fiesta Key then ’87 with flyers out, we were informed that they didn’t want us there anymore. Long story not worth writing about, looked for another campground and found Sunshine Key home to the ’87 event and many more after.

Returning home from ’95 Nats, the 1976 Van with 200,000 miles was still running strong, stopped to get a beverage at a local store and picked up a copy of Cars & Trucks for sale. There it was – 1987 GMC Hi-Top loaded! Just getting back from the Nats is not the best financial time to buy a van. Cash advance on a credit card and it was mine. Gave the ’76 van to my step-daughter in North Carolina and continued vanning with my dog, Stormy, and myself.

Two years later, I finally asked a girl out from our local Pittsburgh Club. Her first experience with vanning was the Pig Roast in ’97. She was hooked on vanning immediately and that was the start of Maggi Mae.

Maggi Here

We’ve had so much fun since Rich retired a few years ago, making it to several Nat’s and CofC’s in New Orleans this year. Wow, did Florida show up. Everywhere we went from the trolleys to Bourbon Street to the Casino to the local restaurants near the hotel, we ran into vanners. Even funnier, we had a vanner from Ohio on our flight home to Ft. Liquordale Talk about a round-about way to get home to Ohio from New Orleans!

I personally have met so many wonderful people in vanning that I now consider true friends. I don’t know what I would do without you guys. Who knew I would thoroughly enjoy sleeping in a van and ‘roughing it’ in the middle of nowhere with a great group of people. Looking forward to many more years and memories.

 

Love you all, Maggi Mae and Spooky Tooth.

 

Previous Featured FVC Members
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2014 - 1  Dan'O

 

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