Monday, December 28, 2015
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
A Special Message from Ron Lee
A personal note to our friends,
As we enter this holiday season here at Country Coach, we also enter a season of change. As most of you know, I have spent most of my adult life growing, nurturing and eventually rescuing the Country Coach brand that I love. I am very proud of what Country Coach came to represent, but I am even more proud of work the core group I assembled after purchasing the intellectual property of Country Coach has accomplished. From the start my goals were to resurrect Country Coach in the spirit in which it was created - to produce the finest motor coaches available, to bring economic vitality and growth to Junction City and to develop stable jobs for our employees.
As you know, we have continued to work on the next generation of Country Coach product in the design and prototype stage and to transfer that work to reality of a product, actual production requires much more. To do that I needed to find the right resources to augment and grow what we have started. To that end, I have been working diligently for the past two years. Of the options I had to choose from I have made what I consider the very best choice for Country Coach for both service and production. I am pleased to announce that, effective today, I have sold the Country Coach Campus and intellectual property to Winnebago Industries. I have worked with Winnebago to ensure that Country Coach moves forward and work will begin in earnest to assemble the infrastructure that will lead to Country Coach production. Winnebago will also bring production of some of its current diesel motorhome offerings to Junction City. Please note that future Country Coach products will not be rebranded Winnebagos, but products specifically designed and built to the exacting performance, amenity and standard levels that have always defined Country Coach. Obviously this process will take time but everyone involved is committed to making Country Coach the premier motorcoach offering available.
I made this decision because I believe that Winnebago is the best fit for Country Coach and that their, culture, dedication to design and build quality closely mirrors the standards I have set. This transition includes a change for me also as I will step down from the day to day operations. But rest assured, I intend to be the leading Country Coach brand enthusiast so you can expect to see and hear from Cookie and I from time to time as we travel around the country in our 2016 Country Coach Allure.
As I write this, I am recalling designing the first Country Camper Class A, I used a lower front from a Winnebago Class A to mock it up, we have come full circle.
Until the next time we meet!!
Posted by BusBloggers at 7:56 AM
Sunday, August 9, 2015
We had a nice contingent of SECC members in attendance at the Shipshewana CCI rally including Richard and Deborah Benoit, Jack and Marylou Cassingham, Jack and Gerry Conway, George and Irene Harper, Bob and Carolyn Hendrickson, Joe and Lynn Mikan, Robert and Lois Nielsen, Michael and Mary Sage, Rick and Tammy Toalson, Reid and Dorothy Wentz, Myron and Dorcas Whitley, and Lee and Jeanne Zaborowski. We also are pleased to pick up two new prospective members, William and Rita Sax from Belleville, IL and Al and Billie Stewart from Midland (Columbus), GA.
Here are some pics from the SECC get-together hosted by Jack and Mary Lou Cassingham.
Below is a group pic of rally attendees taken at the Cooks’ Bison Farm. We ate lunch there – including bison, of course – as well as taking a wagon ride to see the bison herd. Notice the quilt pattern on the barn in the background, a common sight in this Amish area with its tradition of quilt-making.
Everyone seemed to enjoy a wagon trip into the fields to see and feed the bison. Some of the bison came up to the wagon with tongue out for a treat, supplied by the bison farm (3rd photo below). The little fellow in the bottom photo is only one week old.
Lee presides over a meeting. He announced CCI’s new CCI Buck program designed to benefit members. Members will earn 25 CCI Bucks credit for recruiting new members and for each rally attended. Earned CCI Bucks can be used to pay dues or for CCI rally fees. For all the details, see the CCI July Newsletter http://www.countrycoachclub.com/Resources/Documents/July%202015%20eNews.pdf
Tammy and Lee keep the rally going. The rally was well planned by the CCI Heartlanders chairmen who chose a number of interesting places in the area to visit, plus free time for shopping and sightseeing on your own. In addition to the bison ranch tour, the rally included making pretzels at JoJo’s Pretzels, a tour of the Jayco Factory where Integra coaches are made, dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus, and independent tours of the Menno-Hof History Museum.
We had a presentation by Master Tech RV out of Elkhart, IN. They also served a spaghetti dinner.
The “klop klop” of horse drawn buggies was an ever present sound. We enjoyed learning about the Amish, Menonites and Hutterites in the area.
A dinner prepared by an Amish family in their home and a buggy ride from the campground to the dinner was a highlight of the rally. The lady of the house, her husband, daughters, aunt, and niece all helped serve the dinner. Also present was the niece's little daughter (in photo below). The food was served family style and included fresh bread, salad, fried chicken, ham, beef, potatoes, noodles, green beans, and a variety of pies. Nobody left hungry!
Arriving at the dinner:
Buggy ride back to the campground:
Jayco Factory Tour
If you associated Jayco with low end trailers, you were in for a surprise because Jayco makes the high end Integra coach. We toured their brand new manufacturing facility for the Integra line in nearby Middlebury, IN.
Lee examines the business end of a new Integra Spartan chassis.
Our factory representative starts the tour after radios are handed out.
Jack Cassingham feigns problems with his radio in order to garner the attention of an attractive young lady.
We saw various stages in the manufacture of the Integra.
Jack Conway raises a question about the "integrity" of the welds in the Intrgra roof truss.
The CCI Shipshewana rally included a great variety of activities, as seen above, and many opportunities to see the area, meet and spend time with other members. In short, it was a great rally!
George Harper, Webmaster
Posted by BusBloggers at 12:17 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
What happens when you mix Cajun spice with sweet Georgia peach? Answer: a power couple – Buddy and Ann Bordes, our hosts for the New Orleans Rally
Buddy is a New Orleans native who worked for Shell Oil. He started as a turbine power plant technician working on Shell’s Gulf of Mexico oil rigs. That’s right – the oil rigs are powered by jet engines. It didn’t take Buddy long to see that Shell’s acquisition and deployment strategy for the oil rig turbines was flawed and inefficient, a message he took to the company early on. Consequently he saved the company a lot of money and he wound up in charge of the entire Gulf of Mexico turbine power operations for the last 10 years of his career. During his tenure with Shell he had temporary stints in Brazil and Nigeria as well. So, Buddy kept the turbines on the rigs going. Interestingly, the turbines not only supply electric power to the rig, but are also used to compress natural gas for easier transport to shore, and to pump water at high pressure down into the well bores. The turbines can burn natural gas that is readily available from the drilling operations, but can also burn diesel if needed.
Ann is a Georgia peach from Fort Valley. That name will be familiar to a lot of us because we recognize it as the home of Blue Bird Motorcoach, manufacturer of the all-steel heavy weighs that some of our members have owned. Ann’s father was the town doctor and personal physician to the Luce family that founded the company. Ann studied interior design at Georgia Southern College in Statesboro, GA, but later taught elementary school.
So, how did Cajun spice meet sweet Georgia peach? It was a blind date. Ann’s sister was living in New Orleans, and Ann fatefully decided to visit. The rest is history, and oddly enough Ann’s parents also met on a blind date in New Orleans. Buddy and Ann have three grown sons, two who live in New Orleans and one who lives in Hattiesburg, MS. Oldest son Kevin has given them four grandchildren and middle son Tim a grandson all of whom they are happy to have living nearby.
Buddy had dreamed of owning a motor home for years. He typically made fifteen trips a year to the home office of the turbine manufacturer, Solar Turbines in San Diego. Solar Turbines is a subsidiary of Caterpillar. On his last trip to San Diego Ann was with him when they spotted their Country Coach which they immediately fell in love with. Buddy says it was a challenging experience driving the coach cross country never having driven a motor home before. The experience was made especially challenging when they woke up to a big snow in Flagstaff, AZ and couldn’t get the slides in. After that, they decided on a southern route back to Louisiana.
They have owned the coach about five years, and one of their favorite trips was to Cody, Wyoming, for the CCI rally. Ann says it was a great six weeks trip in which they visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. They did have one scary experience traveling from Dallas to Carlsbad Caverns. They topped a hill on a rain-slick highway and went into a hydroplaning skid in which the coach and tow wound up sideways in the road. Buddy managed to correct the skid and get straight again before stopping. A trucker immediately behind them stopped and said it was the worst skid he has ever seen and that Buddy did a great job of recovering a bad situation.
Buddy and Ann are looking forward to welcoming us to their wonderful city and have planned many interesting activities to introduce us to the Big Easy. They especially want to share the culture of New Orleans – the French Quarter, of course, but also City Park, street cars, and the new Road to Berlin section of the National World War II Museum. Buddy said that the city has done a great job on the museum. Ann summed it all up: New Orleans is a big city in a small area with wonderful people – like no place you’ve been.
Posted by BusBloggers at 6:14 PM