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Today at 04:39 PM THE 42nd NATIONALS by Knighty

We have just returned from the recent natz at Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich NY, hosted by Vanners For Vanners....This was a GRRREAT (as Tony the tiger would say) event...even the weather co-operated this time...We arrived Sunday before the event and found a field half full as people arrived for the warm-up portion of the event.... When all was said and done we had an attendance figure of between 590-600 vans ......

What is it that makes a national event so special ? Much of the format is the same as many other runs. There are games, shows, bands, contests, and a group of happy campers ....but they are on a smaller scale. The nationals consist of probably 3-4 times as many participants...vans and vanners arrive from all points across the country as well as a smattering of some of the foreign countries ....They travel at great expense just to take place in our events...For many it is an adventure of a lifetime....

As many of you know it takes a LOT of work to put on a van run and when it is the natz the work is tripled...I won't name the folks who worked so long and hard to host this event...If you were there you know who they are and if you weren't then it's too late ..........

There were a few truly outstanding vans lined up in the van show including Coop's amazing Dodge shorty, Scott Croft's radical mid-Ford with the cathedral interior, Mike Mosher's stunning Dodge "Machina",Don Noone's perfectly built Ford "Pirates of the Caravan" and many more. But the van that drew the most attention {it was parked n vendors row) was Marty Soobie's latest creation..It features such things as an interior with a toilet, bed and shower and much tech hardware but it's main attention getter is the fact that the whole front of the van tilts forward ! Not just the hood, not just the engine compartment but the whole van cab and all!!!! Marty has built a number of sophisticated customs over the past years...His first being Utopia and this one- his best effort so far...He also builds high class hot rods in his shop in Texas, and I am sure we will be seeing more of his creations in the future.....

The one thing I enjoy most is getting to visit with old friends who I usually see only once a year...I have been doing this van thing since 1977 and have made many friends in that time...I was very happy to see my long-time friend George Kettell receive the "Vanner Appreciation award'..George wrote articles for many years in the van magazines of the time and in 1977 he penned the definitive history of the 2% movement....I have a copy here in my tiny office.......

I spent a lot of time - since I was not a member of the staff - visiting some of my many friends over the 7 day period. This was accomplished by hanging out along vendors row, enjoying some treats from the vendor booths and listening to the bands....

My thanks go out to the many people who worked so hard to make this an OUTSTANDING National event....As George Bush would say- MISSION ACCOMPLISHED .....TIETIS

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July 21st 2014 10:38 am thanks! by Astro

First, I would like to thank everyone that but t shirts and stickers last week. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Secondly, thanks to everyone that tuned and watch the virtual nats last week. Every year has its unique challenges, but I think we get better every time we do it.
I was very happy with the upgraded software and hardware that I used, the new website was a lot better, much better and a lot less dropped connections.

I have been informed that next year there will be ample internet in multiple locations so that I can stream from the other areas around the grounds.

I will be posting some of the photos I took once I have time to start editing and going through them.

55 Views · 2 Comments
July 10th 2014 2:48 pm Suzie's Flamingo Knest! by Suzie-BGfNY-IN

Let’s see..where did we leave off? Oh yeah..end of March! This year Easter and several birthdays in our world were the same day..4/20. That meant a trip to visit the in-laws to celebrate Dad’s 80th. If I had the energy he does , we would be at every eVANt listed! But, we don’t. We did, however make it to Bluegrass’ Van Jam the next weekend to celebrate some more birthday—mine---and friends, including Queen T from Midwest! The weekend after that was our wedding Vanniversary, then Spring Back. We had 2 visits from loved ones during this next time frame and that took up our next week and weekend. Following that we attended Midwest Truck-In. Thinking we needed a weekend to recover, we did manage to stay put the beginning of June, but that only lasted until I went to VanFest and we followed it up by going up to Baker’s for the first time. We will try to get there again..depends on the schedule. We again had a weekend off before the 4th and company for the race that was delayed. Now, we have friends in town to visit tonight and Vanner company for a few days arriving tomorrow. We will be getting ready for the Nats during this time also! I want to offer bits of information about each eVANt so far and let those of you unable to attend the Nats to feel you are with us anyway…..so enjoy with a lovely beverage of your choice!

Bluegrass’ Van Jam! The ‘Cousins’ as they are to me sure do pick some great themes to work with. And they incorporate it throughout the eVANt. This year is was SuperHeroes! US very tall Vanners had a blast with this theme and we were all SuperHeroes in our own way. Steve-o and Donna by giving a couple of Bad Girls shelter, Charlie by driving his ‘SuperVan’ , Scotty for fessing up to the error in information, me for driving on my birthday, Steve for making it all better! And Bluegrass for the games and giggles. One day….that band will play what I am asking for instead of using a ‘filler’ tune! Hee hee This is a nice eVANt, not to large, things for the kids to do, and the adults and a nice flat grounds, right by the river! They hold it each year the last weekend in April in Friendship IN and there in never a long want if you need something. If you have never been, I say put this one on your ‘get to someday’ list.

Vans on the Run…Spring Back. This eVANt is over Mother’s Day weekend and I had never been. We do try to make a new one each year, so for me, this one counts. For the hubs…it was his very first eVANt and he hadn’t been back in quite a while. It sure was a treat to see faces I hadn’t in a while. Beautiful grounds with a lake…not sure if there is fishing or not tho….never saw any! Our reason for attending this year was to be at Goofy and Daisy’s wedding…a tye-dye theme of fun! The wedding was something to see! All blue and purple tye-dyes for the wedding party and then all colors of tye-dyes for the rest of us! There was more than enough cocktails for all, a dinner, cakes, and music for dancing! We drank until some of us couldn’t, then we rested!

Midwest Vans Ltd. 40th International Truck-In Celebration! So glad to have been a part of so many of these eVANts. A couple before I moved, the rest after, but these guys always look out for their Bad Girls! This year attendees decorated themselves and their campsites with some of the past themes and there were certainly some fond memories there. The pub crawl on Sunday was a hoot and with the help of a dear Canadian friend we made a dream come true. Breakfast buckets are yummy and made it to the Action Van’s bar for the pub crawl and Indy car race! Action won best bar drink with those melon balls Leanne made! Yumm Yumm! The bands kicked butt this year too! This was our third eVANt with family from Action Vans parking with us, and we are so very grateful for all the bonus time with them this year! There were several Vanners that came out to remember days gone by, and some to rejoin the fold. MVL has done many things over the years to set trends in our lifestyle that soon become the norm for us and to them and what they represent…I give them a huge Kudos! Love you guys for all you do for all of us!

VanFest!...didn’t think we were going, but the evening before it was decided I was going for sure! So exciting for me to get back to Canada to see so many of my Vanning Family I miss here in the Midwest! I arrived in 9 hours…good time and still had most of Friday to play! Found my Bad Girls, found my spot and off it was! The Friday (see…that is Canadian talk!), was the full moon on Friday the 13th and we surely weren’t sure what was to be in store for us. We had lovely weather, although for some they said a little chilly. Now, I know some of you don’t really like the idea of the mini p/us at this eVANt, but 19 years ago, it was a way for the Vanners to be able and host an eVANt and keep Vanning alive in Ontario. It has worked out well for all these years now. The p/u kids know it is a Vanning eVANt and they get to come and play…Vanning rules. The p/us have their own side of the grounds, and usually keep to themselves over there during the down times, so not an issue. Unless, you happen to park across from Econo-land! (ya hear me…right KH?!?) I would suggest you go at least once to see how it is put together and the size of the show field! Oh, yeah…they put the Vans on the outside and the p/us on the inside so we can watch them! Sunday came all too quick for me and we had a small issue of getting my VAN jumped! It didn’t want to start when my nephew put the cables onto my sister’s Van, or when Gord loaned me his jumper box, or when Judith brought her huge butt cables and Van over. Not until Geoff took the battery out and let it sit on the charger a while, then she started right up! Once Geoff got is started, he closed the door and with the security system on it, it locked automatically. I am not used to this and totally forgot to mention it to all my mechanic assistants, so now, here I was with a running Van and no way to get into it! All the doors locked! One more Vanner to the rescue….and the door was open. Howard made sure to open some windows right away to keep an ‘access road’ open..you know, in case! Hee I want to thank everyone who helped get things back to how they should be and to Stacey, Kevin and staff for working so hard so we could play so hard! GO TO VAN FEST in 2015…it will be the 20th—should be a grand time again!

One week later and we were off to Baker’s of Milford in Michigan! Got to Deb’s the night before and has a blast playing with even more Vanners! We had Alpine’s special hot dogs, beverages, time to visit, a peek a G-Man’s Van, time to talk Robert into bringing it and his the next day and I even got to the dance recital of a very special little friend of mine! Up early for the ride over to Milford in a lovely little caraVAN! We really did enjoy ourselves amongst the 80 plus VANs on the hill. I was very surprised at how many of us were there! It felt like a truck-in! Vanners from MI, IN, OH, Canada, KY were in attendance! There were vendors, and the restaurant had yummy food and clean rest rooms! A great tribute to GMan for starting this eVANt and great thanks to those keeping it going since his passing! My only itch here was that on the back side of the hill a couple of cars could pull right up into the Van area. I know they probably go there every Sunday, but if you see nearly 100 vehicles of the same type parked behind a sign that designates an area for ONE day…you really need to look around and realize you are in the wrong spot. Car Show! Loved the guy in the Ranchero on his lawn chair who seemed lost…and he was! I know..I sound like those that won’t go to VanFest I was referring to earlier, but this is a one day once a year thing and I think it is reasonable to keep it pure for the one day! Enough whining….onward!
We got to rest again before our round of company between the 4th and the Nats. No Pumraw this year, and next year may be reservations only…start thinking about it! Now it is time to get the Van packed up for the Nats and the rest of the season. I know what we have looking at us, but you will have to go somewhere to see if we make it. There is something nearly every weekend! No more, nothing to do, now where to go whines should be heard! If you don’t know what is coming up…the quick list follows, then check out the calendar, the eVANts thread, the Florida Van Council list, or get you a stack of fliers at the Nats next week!
After the Nats it will be, BVA, Next Gen, CITA, DIVC, Three Rivers, the Haves and Have Nots, Performance Inc, TIT’s Last Chance, SEVC in Cherokee NC. There are also a few New England eVANts in there and you may find one in eastern Canada also! So, get out there and VAN!!!!! I will update you all in a few more weeks of the wonderful adVANtures we are having in 2014!

163 Views · 3 Comments
June 14th 2014 11:03 am PROVANITY by Knighty

PROVANITY 34..By Salt City Vans.......This event is one of the original few events we attended - or even knew about - back in those early times....When we first started attending Provanity it was held up on the side of a mountain (or at least a hill) and serviced by a dirt road which some times was a mud run....It was near Moravia....There was no electricity or water but the National Guard had the equipment we needed...............

In later years the event moved to the Cayuga County Fairgrounds in Weedsport and remained there until the sale of the grounds forced the club to relocate to the Riverforest Park campgrounds just a few miles up the road .....It's a different venue for us but there are some good aspects to it as well....For instance, besides a fair amount of water and electricity at the sites , there is a restaurant and bar on the grounds and some decent showers..

Flashing back---In those so-called halcyon days when everyone seems to remember only the good days , remember if you will what the shower/toilet scene was like in the old days...Showers were often plywood cubicles with a nice cold garden hose draped over the top , and the toilets were the same but with a shallow hole instead of a hose. They looked like S#*+, and smelled like it as well.....

So the grounds may be not perfect but we pretty much liked them... The RV folks seemed to like the vans (this is a van only event) and rode by often on their golf carts, took in the bands and shows and a good time was had by all.

One unfortunate happening was that the food vendor failed to show up. The restaurant on the grounds became a little more important...

The weather was nice and sunny as I remember it , and we spent some time just hanging out in our campsite with Lucy and I, Jeff, and Pokey from Ottawa. Lew and Agnes from Florida were next door and a good time was had by all ........Our vantage point gave us access to the goings on, and actually the metal building for the band sounded a bit better a little way away from the metal-sided building...These types of structures have never been the first choice for acoustics....Both bands were very good and the band leader spent a few times cozying up to Lucy....all that red in her face was not just sunburn ! During the day we watched many sky-divers from our site while we were enjoying a few refreshing beverages and during the light show 8 or 9 floating lights (Chinese lanterns ?) provided some entertainment...

A few weeks ago my friend Jeff Johnston sent me an addition to the "Hall of Memorabilia" in the form of one of his staff shirts from the early 80's when he worked at Truckin' magazine...You will remember his "Van Scan East' columns in that magazine...And just a big brag from me here - one months column was my article on "Thoughts that Come In the Knight' that I composed coming back from Joe Madonia's "Van In-Vasion in 1988. In honor of my friend I wore the shirt Saturday evening and it will now become a part of my little van collection...



Salt City Vans has always been a dynamic club and when they are not at or attending an event they are usually doing something together...The club is famous for their
expertise as game hosts and for how to run a party...While other clubs may be losing a few members now and then, Salt City is growing and is up several members from last year..

They tried to throw us off track a few years ago by saying the 30th would be their last event....Scott Croft also tried this trick by saying he was building NO more vans.....Yeah ! Right! I am pretty sure that there will be many more events coming from Salt City Vans , and of course Scott has already built "Paranormal"........

There are stories that the Cayuga Fairgrounds is being extensively remodeled by the new owners and Provanity might go back home next year...We'll be there - wherever.......TIETIS

148 Views · 1 Comments
June 02nd 2014 1:34 pm LMDW by Knighty

LMDW.....I am happy to say that the weather was much better this year...of course almost anything would top the nasty cold and rain that we had to endure last year...I was seriously thinking that if the weather was as bad this year we should consider the Lost in The arctic theme- complete with snow shoe races, mukluk throwing contest and Mr. and Mrs. wet parka contest....But it WAS better this year and we were able to do games and the van and light shows in the open. ( we do have interior space available if needed. In fact we used it last year)

There have been a few changes on the grounds and one of them is the showers. While the Ag building has good showers, the ones in the old complex near the water tower were torn up. The good knews is that they will be up and improved in time for the natz....

Attendance was down a little this year for whatever reason....But all in all it was another success for Concerned Vanners..Our all-volunteer staff makes a van event run very smoothly, and all their work is deeply appreciated...

The grounds are booked again for next year when the theme will be "Lost In Lost Vegas"

So now we are home and unpacking and repacking for Provanity which is going to be held June 6-8th at Riverforest Park in Weedsport NY.....www.saltcityvans.com.....See ya'there !

113 Views · 1 Comments
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