Sam has requested we write his article for him this month as he is very busy with work and has run out of time!

In April, we had a fire in our coach, which took out the washer/dryer and refrigerator plus all the cabinetry. Luckily we were awake when the fire broke out about 9:00 pm. By the time the fire department got to us, which was not very long at all, the fire was all but out, thanks to our on board fire extinguishers and our neighbors in the park.

The good news was that the damage was repairable and the bad news was that it took them 63 days to complete. The source of the fire was determined to be the refrigerator, even though recall work had been done on it.

We were lucky in so many ways, not the least of which was that we parked in a campground less than 2 miles from our daughter’s home. We just moved in!! She and her husband survived our stay for the 63 days (bless their hearts) and actually said they were sad to see us go. We had to repack the coach and re-clean everything from the roof down, including the storage bins!  No matter how clean the smoke remediation folks say they get the coach, it certainly doesn’t come up to our (Jackie’s) standards! We did not want any smell left of burned soot.  (there wasn’t any but wanted to make sure!!!)  We collected our mail at our home base and took off through East Texas.  What beautiful country!

The Maddox’s always seem to have a problem now and then… and just after getting on the I-44 toll road in Oklahoma, our coach began to whistle and make all kinds of alarming sounds.  We nursed the Eagle to a Service Plaza and called our roadside assistance for help.  Operator: “It is Sunday and no way to get anyone to you today”.  Operator:  “You are on a toll road and we cannot authorize travel on toll road”.  Another lesson learned, don’t breakdown on a toll road and definitely don’t break down on a Sunday!

We spent the night at the service area. At least it had a Subway and a McDonalds, so we didn’t starve (little chance of that happening anyway!). On Monday we called a Tire & Service Center that we had passed just before we got on the Tollway. They sent a truck out right away.

There was no coolant in the site glass of the reservoir, so we put in 3 gallons of coolant. Still nothing, so we put in 2 more gallons before coolant appeared in the site glass. The problem was we could not determine where all that coolant had gone. There was none on the ground and no water in the oil. The service guy said we should watch the site glass and temperature carefully and get to the nearest Cummins dealer as soon as possible.

He was about to walk away when he asked where our cockpit heater hoses were. We pulled out the generator and coolant was running all over the place! We followed the service guy back to his shop and while we were having breakfast next door all repairs were made and we were good to go. If you are ever traveling in eastern Oklahoma or western Missouri on I-44 and have problems, I strongly recommend Big Cabin Service Center in Big Cabin, OK. They are very friendly and did great work at a very reasonable price (I think a labor charge of $85.00/hr. is MORE than reasonable). Oh, and they provide emergency service 24/7. Go figure!

Once we finally arrived in Independence, MO it was a hands down rush job to get planning underway for a Maddox Family Reunion.  We had already made reservations for a banquet hall but food, decorations and catering had to be completed.  Besides the reunion, it was a joint 50th Anniversary Celebration for Rob’s brother and his wife, but also ours (a month early).  We had a great time and had approximately 65 in attendance.

Rob’s brother has lung cancer and there is nothing more they can do but keep him comfortable.  He is a fighter and has set new goals to achieve.  While being here with them we also did a little sightseeing and touring.  Of course Independence, MO is the home of President Harry S. Truman and we once again toured his library and home.

Another side trip was to Arrow Rock, MO, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark. The town was established in 1829 on a bluff over the Missouri River.

Across the river is Boonslick, where Nathan Boone, Daniel’s son, produced salt for the world market. Jackie’s Great Grandfather’s, H.J. Blanton, newspaper desk is on display at the Print Shop.  The desk was donated by the Missouri Press Association to the display.  H. J. Blanton was editor of the Monroe County Appeal in Paris, MO and was depicted as the Country Editor by Norman Rockwell paintings in the Saturday Evening Post in 1946.  The original painting hung in the National Press Club in Washington DC until recently when it was sold to a private collector. He also wrote two books “When I was A Boy, Vol. I & II”.

We are headed east to our hometown of Shelbina, MO for a week to visit and on to Indiana for some work on the coach. It’s impossible to pass through Indiana without stopping for work of some kind.  We will catch up with the NE Chapter for their fall rally in Old Mystic, CT and then head out to see our Grandkids in Virginia play some hockey.

Keep your eyes open, we may see you “On The Road Again!”  Be safe out there!

Jackie and Rob Maddox