Lone Star Chapter
When the FMCA held its national rally in June of 1966, in a small Minnesota community, most of the coaches attending were converted highway, city or school buses. Pinky
Barry, Lone Star’s first secretary, had a second-hand converted Dodge Motor Homes (before the name Travco came into being). Brand new the cost was $12,500. It had a
regular home air conditioner, taking up half the closet floor with ducts the length of the coach, head-high along one wall, which was very inadequate for the passengers but had
the coldest closet around. Electricity was a must for the attendees, particularly those from the Northeast, so the local Chamber of Commerce erected poles in a field, and
coaches were parked like spokes in a wheel around each pole, with some coaches plugged into other coaches.
Following this rather auspicious beginning, a decision was made to form a chapter in Texas. In September 1966, a meeting was held in San Antonio to effect this formation.
Thirteen coaches were present. There were several subsequent meetings and by March 1967, there were 30 member coaches and dues had been established at $2 per
year. In March, the members were asked to suggest names for the group. In addition to Lone Star, Los Tejanos, Texas Gypsies, Long Horns, Texas Bluebonnets and Texas
Rangers were suggested. The FMCA granted Lone Star its charter in September 1967.
It was interesting to note that various members offered parking places on their properties. In these early meetings, entire families participated. One couple attended in a
converted mail truck with their 10 children. At one meeting each coach was asked to donate $5 for the purchase of a tent and cooking utensils. A couple of names stand out at
these early meetings – E. Ray Freeman and Lee Pundt Morea. A little later, the names of Ben Magness and Jim Mayes appear at active members.
Big Bend National Park, but each individual had to make his own reservation with the park – what confusion. Even back then, it was difficult to find a place large enough to
accommodate the number of coaches attending.
The first few years, rallies were held in many different locations. Seldom were the sites repeated. Activities were planned for the kids, with Lori Pundt (Lee’s daughter) ram-
roding many of the activities. The teenagers formed a chapter of TAT (Teenage Travelers).
THE FIRST 35 YEARS 1967-2002
By 1970, membership had grown to 75; four rallies were held each year. At a 1972 rally in San Antonio, parking for coaches was on a School District Parking Lot and registration was $2.50 per coach to cover a
security guard, garbage, etc. in June, the chapter used a public address system for the first time. The membership voted on a chapter flag, which would sell for $5. A trailer to transport the chapter’s tent,
cooking utensils, etc. was acquired. Another of the 1972 rallies was held in Tyler during the “Festival of the Roses.” Membership had grown to 167 member (not coaches). A song, written by Minnealea
Ferguson, was adopted as the chapter’s official song. That year also brought about some rule making as to loud and boisterous parties and dog-walking and leash rules – a normal part of a growing
organization. Attendance at rallies continued to grow throughout the 70’s as did membership. Full hook-ups during the early 1970’s were $2.50 to $3.00 per day.
In 1975 a member donated a calf for a barbecue at a future rally, and a committee was appointed to make the entire “hoof to the table” arrangements. Members were reminded to check the tent for
announcements concerning rallies. There was a reminder that three blasts on the President’s horn indicated that everyone should turn on their CB radios to Channel 14 for announcements. One of the
activities at these early rallies was looking at members’ new coaches. New brands were appearing with some rapidity. Early arrivals roasted wieners and one of the duties of the Wagonmasters was to build
the fire and keep it going. Evening campfires were enjoyed at the October rally in Waco, and apparently the first cold spell of the season occurred because there was a report of geese flying overhead. At one
rally, the exact site not mentioned, a fishing contest was held, with prizes for the most fish caught and for the largest fish. (Blanche Moffett’s name is not mentioned as a winner so she must not have been
present). Finally, the hands at the ranch barbecued the calf donated by a member.
At a rally at Traders Village in Fort Worth two booths were set up for the Chapter members at the flea markets to sell their “treasures,” the earnings from which were earmarked to buy a new Lone Star trailer.
$200 worth of merchandise was sold. The Treasurer’s report in November 1976 indicated a balance of $742 with a balance owing on the trailer of $500.
Late 1976 and 1977 brought on a dispute regarding the management of FMCA and an open letter to the membership and the FMCA Board of Directors. The letter was signed by some 30 Lone Star members,
the displeasure was noted with the opening paragraph of the letter stating “…we are in disagreement with the idea that five disgruntled members may run an organization of some 22,000 members to suit their
petty whim and disagreement.” It concluded with “…we don’t like the high handed, bulldozer techniques of these five members” and “we don’t think FMCA can afford the leadership of these men. We are in
favor of returning to a family oriented organization with the dirty politics left to Washington where they get paid for it.”
In April 1977 Lone Star celebrated its tenth anniversary with a rally in San Antonio – appropriate that the 10th anniversary should be held in the same city in which the first organizational meeting of Lone Star
was held. In August a joint rally was held with a brand new Oklahoma chapter, the Rollin’ Okies in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Registration fee was $2 per coach. 150 people showed up in the hot weather with only
a few blown fuses. One of the big chores at these rallies was setting up the tent where activities were held. Dues for Lone Star were $7. Committees were organized to help the old faithful members stage the
rallies. These committees were Tent and Trailer (to see that the tent was raised and taken down and the trailer was properly packed), Kitchen committee (to make pancakes and sausage and other cooking as
needed); Clean-up committee; and Greeting and Fellowship committee.
January 1978 brought the purchase of a new 20 x 32 tent, with the old tent to be treated. Then as now, efforts were made to hold a rally at the Astrodome in Houston but this could never be accomplished. The
chapter voted to pay 10 cents a mile for anyone pulling the trailer. The treasurer’s report in February 1978 showed a balance of $3,912 with a balance owed on the tent of $435. A committee was appointed to
consider solutions to the rapid growth of the chapter. New plastic nametags, as well as the old type metal tags, were offered for sale. In August a rally was held in Rusk and featured a ride aboard a restored
steam engine, representing the golden age of railroading, through the piney woods of deep East Texas. Registration fee was $17.20 per coach and water and electricity hookups were $3.60 per night, with full
One of the projects of 1978 was a repainting of the “White Monster” trailer, with stripes and identification on each side. There was a recurring problem with the public address system. One rally held at Lady
Bird Park produced a unique problem. Wrens made nests in the furnace exhaust systems of some coaches. Caution was issued before the firing up of your furnace – you may have a fire and a nest full of
birds. A fine of 25 cents for failure to wear a nametag was instituted.
On a lighter note, in the April 1980 newsletter an item in the Longview Daily News was quoted. It read as follows: “One of our local citizens discovered he was not getting enough mileage out of the gasoline he
was buying for his car and motor home and felt an outsider was helping him use his gas. Sure enough, he heard a noise one night, turned the lights on, rushed to his driveway in time to see someone running
away from his motor home. Investigating, he found a bucket and a siphon hose still in his sewage tank, and a lot of spittle everywhere. That is proof the would be borrower was not a motor home owner or he
would have known the difference in a gas tank and a sewage tank. I wonder if the culprit will be so quick to tackle another such job. More than likely he still is using a breath deodorant.”
The fifteenth anniversary was celebrated in 1981 at a rally in Hempstead with recognition of charter members by presentation of plaques. A woman-less wedding was held. Members approved retention of a
$5 fee for late registration at rallies.
Rally fees in 1982 were $30 and parking was $4.75 with electricity (water and dump sites available). Members approved sending $2 per member to FMCA for a legal fund. Life membership in Lone Star for
past presidents was approved. Membership was 197 coaches.
The chapter in 1983 received $1,015 for work at Six-State. Excess funds in the treasury were used to reduce a rally fee. A bill was introduced in the Texas Legislature for an ad valorem tax on travel trailers, but
exempting motor homes. Members were encouraged to write representatives regarding the bill, the possibility being that motor homes would not continued to be excluded. A rally in Galveston was a traveling
one, with motor homes moving to a different location each day. A major revision of the bylaws was accomplished in 1983.
In 1978, FMCA furnished a Legislative and Legal Handbook to assist members and chapters in efforts to prevent passage of parking ordinances unfair to RV owners.
Plaques for the retiring secretary and past secretaries were issued in 1986. The March National Convention in San Antonio attracted 3,615 coaches. Lone Star members wrote letters to State Representatives
in support of a Senior Citizen Discount for State Parks.
In 1987, the bean bag contest was instituted. Yes, Blanche Moffett was a participant. No wonder she, Ben Magness and Jack Mohler are so good. They’ve been tossing those beanbags for 15 years. The
“White Monster” trailer and contents were sold. A contest of “Guess Who That Is Under Thirty” was held and prizes awarded to those who could correctly identify the most members from pictures taken of
members when they were under thirty.
In 1988 dues were established at $10. At one rally, dinner seating was by month in which you were born, meaning most couples were separated. No comment on this arrangement was noted.
In 1989 a suit was filed against the City of San Antonio for a RV ordinance which prohibited street parking and, in fact, parking in your own yard. Subsequently, a 90-day temporary injunction was granted
against the ordinance. San Antonio was the site of the National with 4,300 coaches attending.
In 1990 Lone Star was having very competitive beanbag competition. All of the club’s paper goods were auctioned and it was established that members would furnish their own plates and eating utensils to
lower the burden on Wagonmasters to purchase and/or carry these items from one rally to another. San Antonio persisted in trying to implement its RV ordinance which it was feared would spread to other
cities. There was a compromise on the ordinance and motor homes were allowed to be parked if 15 feet or more from the street and visitors could park on the street for no more than two days at a time, three
times a year. In December, the long awaited cookbooks were ready.
In 1991 the club continued to have difficulty with locating RV parks to accommodate its rallies, particularly with regard to electricity for the increasing number of modern conveniences. The club agreed to co-host
the Six-State Rally in 1992 after the financial advantages were pointed out.
One saying printed in a 1991 newsletter read as follows: “The clock of life is wound but once; and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop – on what day or what hour. Now is the only time
you have; so live it with a will. Don’t wait until tomorrow – the hands may then be still.” Certainly that applies to today’s uncertainty as it did more than ten years ago.
It was noted that for the Six-State Rally, Lone Star and Wes-Tex chapters put up front money – certainly one thing that has changed for the better since that time.
The 25th anniversary rally was held at Stone Creek RV Park in Schertz in May 1992. Lee Pundt Morea was recognized with an engraved crystal platter in appreciation of her 25 years of service as secretary,
treasurer, chairman of the nominating committee, national director, in charge of caps, jackets and nametags, and historian.
In February 1993 the Chapter was presented with a check for over $4,000 for its contribution to the 1992 Six-State Rally, which 811 coaches attended. 82 coaches were in attendance at the final rally of the year.
The treasury balance at the beginning of 1994 was in excess of $10,000, in part due to the stipend paid for the club’s work at Six-State. As a reward, each member in attendance at one rally was given two
nights’ free parking. Despite this member reward, the treasury balance remained at $10,200. In September, rising costs for RV parking was discussed and by a show of hands the members present agreed
that parking fees of $15 to $18 per night would be acceptable for better facilities and services. FMCA was considering the hiring of an executive director. Active membership in Lone Star at the end of the year
was 204. A proposal was offered, but failed, to partially reimburse the Chapter’s National Director and Alternate for attendance at National.
By April 1995 membership had grown to 213 and the balance in the treasury remained at slightly over $10,000. The National convention in Los Cruces attracted 5,253 coaches. Texas Department of
Transportation regulations raised their ugly heads, ending the possibility of either Six-State or national conventions being held in Texas. These prohibited dealers from out-of-state from exhibiting and/or selling
motor homes and placed rigid restrictions on in-state exhibiting with significant fines on both the organization and the dealers for violation of the regulations. FMCA and Texas still are fighting these regulations
but until they are changed – no conventions in Texas. The secretary and treasurer were excused from paying rally fees beginning in May 1995.
Wagon master guidelines were revised in 1996 to give more structure to the recording of revenues and expenditures at rallies and to bring together the various recommendations and rules for holding rallies.
The membership approved a recommendation that the Nominating Committee seek candidates for National Director and Alternate willing to serve a two-year minimum. This would give greater recognition and
voice to Lone Star, one of the largest chapters of FMCA. A meeting of chapters making up the South Central Region was held to discuss area organization to put on the Six-State Rally. It had been agreed the
six chapters sponsoring the 1996 Six-State Rally would put in a percentage of profit for that rally, not to exceed $2,000, as seed money for future rallies. The membership cast an affirmative vote for the
organization of the South Central Region. Area organizations will allow smaller chapters to assist with rallies and realize profit based on the hourly work performed by members. In 1997, bylaws for Six State
were approved. Profit realized at future Six-State rallies will be distributed to participating chapters based on hours contributed after retention of 30 percent for future rallies until $50,000 (later raised to
$100,000) has been accumulated.
In 1997 chapter funds remained in the $10,000 range and membership was stable. FMCA expanded its liability coverage for chapter officers and discussion was underway to include chapter newsletter
editors. Rally parking regulations similar to those of FMCA were initiated. The May rally in Kerrville marked the 30th anniversary of Lone Star. It was marked with a night of reminiscing and information was
presented regarding the formation of the chapter. Members dressed in “the 60’s mode” and there was a “streaker.” A comment was made that no one could tell if he had on a swimsuit or if it was just
wrinkles. Lee Morea delighted the chapter with tales of traveling with her husband and five children in a converted transit bus, which they had purchased for $300 and spent a year converting, including bunk
beds in the back for the kids. They traveled in it for 17 years and her son still has “Pundt’s palace” and hopes to refurbish it one day. At one time someone offered to sell them spare parts which they stored
under the bunk beds. She stated that they broke an axle on the bus when they got stuck in the sand in Florida. Sure enough, among the parts was a spare axle. The bus was also put to good use transporting
neighborhood children to football games and other activities. Seven past presidents attended this celebration. Lone Star members served as greeters at the FMCA Los Cruces National where 7,258 coaches
attended, a new record.
In 1999 members contributed squares depicting some aspect of motorhoming for a friendship quilt for which a drawing was held later in the year. The chapter reaffirmed an additional $5 fee for rally
registrations not made in advance and enforcement of the 24-hour cancellation notice for refund of a rally fee. A survey of members was conducted; results were reported to the Board of Directors and
suggestions implemented where appropriate.
The turn of the century began with an out-of-state rally in Sulphur, Louisiana. The treasury balance had climbed to more that $11,000. Lone Star served as co-host for the Six-State Rally in Sedalia, Missouri,
which resulted in an increase in available funds. It was decided to allow the membership to benefit from these hard-earned funds by holding a free rally (to be decided by draw) and this was accomplished at
the September 2001 rally, where members were surprised by the return of their registration check. FMCA membership had grown to 119,000 active members. At the final rally of the year, more than 90 coaches
were present. This was topped at the Christmas rally in December 2001 when 114 coaches were present – a new record.
Despite holding the free rally in 2001, the funds available for chapter activities at the end of the year was in excess of $15,500 and membership at year’s end numbered 201. Lone Star continues to be among
the largest and most active chapters in FMCA; with an influx of some younger members who have recognized the freedom and fun as well as some difficulties of motor homing, whether they are full-timers, part-
timers or just occasional timers.