First Date

HOTCUWe’re about to have our first date with the Heart of Texas Camping Unit, our local affiliate of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International. We’ve been anticipating this event for months–a weekend campout at the City of Hico’s Bosque River RV Park. We’ve been assured that the Heart of Texas unit is a laid back group, absent some of the expectations of other units. We’ve agreed to immerse ourselves in the experience, so we bumped our Date Night and took time off work to better take the plunge. We plan to leave around 7 a.m. for the 90-mile trip. Once we’ve set up our rig, we’ll make our way to the other Airstreamers and introduce ourselves.

We’ll join the Happy Hour on Friday and the “pickup supper” afterwards. Saturday’s breakfast, we’ve been told, is a community affair, as is Saturday’s Happy Hour and potluck supper. Cliff, wanting to make a good first impression, has prepared his delicious potato salad for Friday and his legendary chili for Saturday.

The folks who know us can attest to our love of history. We don’t know much about the history of the Heart of Texas unit, but we’re eager to learn–and share what we learn in this forum.

Our only regret? We won’t be able to see the final three episodes of The Roosevelts, Ken Burns’ amazing documentary, until we return. When Jon worked at The Dallas Morning News, he wrote a story about President Franklin Roosevelt’s dedication of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in a Dallas city park, and he’s had an interest in the nation’s 32nd president ever since.

As Jon researched the event, he learned that President Roosevelt had only agreed to one other statuary dedication in 1936: the rededication of the Statue of Liberty on its 50th anniversary. Roosevelt was well aware of the enduring division between North and South, and he thought a tribute to the Southern general would help heal the nation’s wounds.

To this day, it remains a little known story of Roosevelt’s great desire to be a president for all Americans.