Wednesday, August 29, 2007

RVers Help Keep Tradition Alive

Burlington Hawk Eye - IA,
Call them "Sooners," but they're not from Oklahoma.

They're the folks who arrive weeks before the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion and stake a claim to prime land in the campground.

Then, like all true pioneers, they set to work.

Clair McBride has earned the right to call himself a local.

The Farmington IA, man and his wife pulled their camper into town July 26th for the 40th straight reunion. (They first came in 1960, but didn't begin camping until eight years later.)

Since putting it in park, McBride, the new head of campground operations, has been cleaning shower houses and overseeing other maintenance in his little fiefdom.

"Do I love it?" he said. "If I didn't love it, I wouldn't be here."

The campground sprawls across 60 acres. It's an egalitarian place where, in McBride's words, "$6 Wal-Mart tents" share real estate with "three-quarter-of-a-million-dollar mobile homes." There's fresh water, electricity and trucks on call to pump out overflowing septic tanks.

"We build a little city down there of 1,500 to 1,800 units for a week to two weeks," McBride said.

The Old Threshers Reunion officially kicks off Thursday morning.
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