We Would Like To Offer You-
(THOUGH WE'RE NOT HERE,, WE STILL ARE)
***This page needs a massive update. I'm far behind....***
Hi, I'm Robert, that's me on the left, and we're the LOWER ARLINGTON VAN CLUB. This is our story>>>> Starting in the early '70's, quite a few people in our area bought vans. After years of going in circles, we finally got it together... The club was founded in 1977. Most all of the original members lived in Arlington, Va., on the South side of town - hence the name of the club. Over the years, we've had many camping trips together, held many parties, and been to about a dozen "Van Festivals" (kind of like a Woodstock on wheels). Twenty-four years later, and we're still going! Turn out for events can get a bit thin at times, but we're still TRUCKIN'. The once mighty membership of active truckers has gone from a high of around twenty-five, down to a low of about five today. I guess getting old (too many years, too many beers) had a lot to do with it... Our ages have gone up, just like the price of gas. But ahhh,,, there's still nothing like a VAN! It's not a means of transportation, it's a way of life!!
(Hey!, the price of gas is coming down, but my age is still going up!! What's going on here?? - No. No. Gas is now going up, just like my age. I feel better. HUH??)
Of course most people know, that when it comes to vans, GM RULES! I can't help it, it's true.. But really, it's not that important what you drive, as long as you have a van, you're one of us! Dig it, dig it,, it's 50/50 on whether GM rules, but you can bet, it's 100% on VANS THEMSELVES RULE!!
SUVs? Big deal. When you go somewhere in one of those, you get there, provided some drunk farmer hasn't shot you, and you're sitting in a car.. BOR-ING. I'm telling you, when I go somewhere in my van, I always have one of my favorite places with me! (Invite drunk farmer in for another drink,, talk rifles..!)
(what sucks more? AOL or SUV??)
AOL!! it's like a set of training wheels! (never used them...)
It's been more than once, around town, when I'm out shopping or whatever, that I get real tired and wish I had a place to crash, right now.. Problem? AS IF!! I just jump into the back, and chill.. I figure,, if I can do it on a mountain top, I can do it here, in this parking lot, and let the world go on by! Works every time.. To steal the title of an album by Marshall Crenshaw, "My Truck Is My Home". I'm not telling you vanners anything you don't already know, and I'm speaking the truth to the rest of you, when I say: VANS GET IT!!!
(for Short Timers, it's a Fashion - for True Truckers, it's a Passion)(Even though now,, some of our people just use their vans as "grocery getters", if they still have them!) (SISSIES!!)
VANNING (FOR US) ORIGINALLY- Oh, to be young,, stupid,, with no future whatsoever... THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!
October 29, 1998 "VAN" Rhodeside Grill, Arlington, Va., about ten minutes away, Alene (wife) and myself went. Not a "van" thing, but a "VAN" thing! Lisa and company kicked! They were so good.. (update 1/2000 - seems they have disbanded,, that's what happens when I like things...)
HEY!! In May of 2000, DEAN MOORE will be holding a "VANFEST" in Richmond, Va., see the link up on the top of this page, left side. UPDATE- This has been called off. Some people raised a stink because it was being put on by an individual, and not a club. What can you say? -He had the best FESTs. **
See you on the road.. Trucking! - While we monitor CB channel 19, we use channel 21. A quick two above the norm, w/ no bleed over.
> ACTIVE MEMBERS / THEIR VANS <
*** Me? (Resident Computer Dude, Charter Member) (First Van Fest, "Remember Butler", Butler Pa., 1974) Sorry, but you won't find any extra chrome, spoilers, etc., on my truck. Raised roofs? Not for me. When it comes to vans, I'm a purist. Just give me a bare van, and let's see what happens.. There's nothing on my van to hurt. It may look Spartan on the outside, but it's comfortable in the back, where it counts! ..Guess I was never part of the "Look At Me!" generation...! Mini vans? They do get the job done,, but I can't relate.. I'm 6'4''! Need a full size van for a full size man! (Update.. Lately though,, I have been thinking about a CHEVY ASTRO for the future. - Mid life crisis? Or what??) I got my first car when I was 16. Had it for a year and a half. Since then, it's been nothing but vanning.. I put my disposable dollars into investments, like real estate. Picked up 10 acres in the Va. foothills last year (my own private Idaho!). The place is great! Break out the firearms!! - - MAJOR UPDATE! As of 8/31/99, I have a son! Another vanner!! (From VW Van Memiors(link above) - OUR CHEVY VAN LOVERS HAVE A SON ....Robert and Alene Watson's baby boy arrived August 31. Joel Robert weighed in at 9 lbs. 6 ozs. and we just know he's going to love vans too. (Get that boy a VW!) )
'71 Chevy. 1973 - 1987. Gave carcass away.
'87 Chevy. 1987 - Present. ...Want to keep this one forever. 14 years old, and still kicking more than hard! That's GM for you! Only 76K miles on it, that's what happens when you live only 6 miles from your job. (This was not an accident!) People ask me: "how's your commute?". I tell them: "I don't commute, I just drive across town!". Life is too short to spend it going to and from work. Do the math...
*** Brian (Resident Photographer, Charter Member)
'73 Ford. 1973 - 1986. This truck was a true tribute to Ford. One of the FEW!! The more you kicked it, the more it came back for! Rumor has it, that this van was the inspiration for "Rust Never Sleeps". -Hmm, could have been..
In the end, this van was almost purchased by a dude sporting a mohawk, who upon bouncing on the bed a few times, said, "Yeah.. I like it." at which time his girl piped in, "Don't you think you should DRIVE it??", "Oh... Yeah." said he. -Yes, yes,, the youth of America!!!
'86 Dodge. 1986 - 1990. Window van. Attempt at being subtle. This failed.
'74 Dodge. 1992 - 1999. In his family since 1974. Recently departed. Okay, time to move on to a GM,, YES!!
Currently truckless... Get that man a VAN!!
We keep kidding Brian about his daughters, ages - 7 and 12, "just wait Brian, soon a guy will come beating on your door to take out one of your girls,, and, he will say, yeah, that's my VAN out front"... "NO WAY" says Brian..
*** Rick (Resident Wrench, Charter Member) Rick has 5 acres of land near Skyline Drive, in Va. . He has hosted many a gathering there.
'64 Ford. 1974 - 1975. Old phone truck. Hand painted (with a brush,, move over Picasso!).
'67 VW Microbus. 1975 - 1976. Ran 'til motor blew. Put in another motor, along with a "For Sale" sign.
'77 Dodge. 1977 - 1987. Great "Party Truck". Finally fell victim to rust, this made the driver's seat into a "rocking chair". Try that one!
'82 GMC (Get My Cash) Conversion van. 1998 - Present. The trucking continues.
*** Tommy (Resident Drummer, Charter Member) "Motivationally Challenged", just TRY and CALL him! (Tom,, life is PASSING you by!) When camping, Tom's specialty is Coleman gas stoves... KA-BOOM!! (Sitting there,, beating his face out, what a riot!!) Tom has now graduated to Coleman lanterns.. If you see a flash of light in the nighttime sky,,, observe a moment of silence, and say a prayer,,, "for the man".
*** Jim G. (Charter Member, Instructor)
'75 Dodge window van, 1977 - 1983. Lot of trucking times here. This machine also went coast to coast across the U.S. and back. Yes, Jim was once young...
'77 Dodge transvan, 1986 - 1988. Kind of an RV thing.
'79 Chevrolet conversion van, 1989 - 1991.
'94 GMC conversion van, 1999 - present. Hang on to this one. Please.
*** Richard (Long Time Member, Water Purification Dude) That stuff's mighty tasty, eh? Richard had a full size Dodge van, that he did the interior in. Then, a Chevy ASTRO. Now, some type of Ford mini van, family wagon, thing. The incredible shrinking man! Er,, van!! Oh well, it happens..
*** Mike C. (Appliance Repair Guy, Associate Member) Your frig. keep beer cold enough? You can bet his does!
*** Jim D. - "KOJIM". Has that "Kojack" look about him, that's where the name comes from.
*Passed away in 2001. Was a nice guy.*
'93 Ford Aerostar 199? - Present.
Jim was first an L.A.V.C. guest on a camping trip to Rick's Ranch, in Oct. of '98. Enjoyed this trip so much, he bought a van and joined the club! Man, Jim could throw a mean FRISBEE at 2:00 in the morning!
We've all been around the block a few times.. We're so good,, we make it look easy!!
Lately, too many members have been making this the "Lethargic, Apathetic, Van Club"!
Or, maybe L.A.V.C. stands for "Losers of America Van Club"!
Also, too many truckers have sold their van, just don't truck, or maybe the old lady won't let them come out and play!
Oh, well... Smaller PARTY ON...!
Forever Vanners. Vanners Forever. Get With It!
Stray thought: "Where there's a will,,, there's a death."
Another: "I can't be that smart,, THEY must be that stupid.."
"Man, a line of trucks heading down the road, tunes blasting, CB's going, co-pilots climbing into the back to get some food, or perhaps a beverage... Can it get any better?? I think not." - Robt.
- - -
"HAVE VAN WILL PARTY"
"HAVE VAN WILL CAMP"
"LOVE TO VAN-IT >< VAN-IT TO LOVE"
"if this carpet could talk" - Brian
- - -
"I guess for most people, this "throwback" of a pastime is all but over.With the price of gasoline, the old monster vans of the 70's are now a rare sight. Still, there's something to be said for going on a trip in the self-contained/efficient manner afforded by a V-A-N." -- "Vans & Vanning" Web site. - Amen!
* * *
**WHAT?? YES.. One of the wives had a problem with the fact that the women folk were not mentioned on this page. I said to her, "but, my dear, you are", "you guys are the co-pilots", "a very important position". (Well,,, those of you that can read a map that is....!)
If this sight is not constantly under construction, then you know it is dead.
Okay, enough. Always up for comments/suggestions, drop us a line, we will respond.. DOCWATSON26@hotmail.com
Page Last Updated: 8/10/2002
YES!! Special thanks to all the pages that have linked to us!
Bookmark us.. Y'all come back now, y'hear??
Robert Watson - Trucking Non-Stop, Since 3/73.
So far, people have gassed up here! Now,, if they each would have left a dollar...