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Apr 182014

For your Northwest members’ consideration:
Do you have a Vintage Travel Trailer you’ve been planning on finally spending some money on that’s in need of restoration, remodeling or repair?  Would you like to see it all happen on prime time TV?  Flyte Camp Vintage Trailer Restoration in Bend, Oregon performs the finest quality trailer restorations in America — and now they’ve got their own television series on GAC — Great American Country, premiering this fall!  Let Flyte Camp turn your trailer into the ultimate Vintage Glamping palace!  Contact us right away or visit ( for more information on what Flyte Camp can do for you — and how your trailer can become a TV star!

“Ready to spend some money to have your Vintage Travel Trailer restored, remodeled or repaired on TV?

Contact ( for more info!”


Rebecca C.S. Varga
16135 Roscoe Blvd
North Hills, CA 91343
818-333-3714 Direct Line
818-487-2713 Fax

 Posted by at 7:11 am
Apr 182014

10 Vintage Trailers up For Sale just in time for a Summer Road Trip


16TH APR, 2014


See, you’re just like me– you see a picture of a vintage trailer and you click on it! And that pretty much sums up how I ended up on my latest internet treasure trove,Tin Can Tourists. A true appreciation society for vintage trailers, Tin Can Tourists was actually founded long before the internet came around, at a Florida holiday trailer park no less, in the year 1919. Committed to the celebration of classic RVs, they’ve been organising annual gatherings and information exchange ever since. With summer plans on the mind and road trip wanderlust in the air, I found the website’s classifieds section particular interest. Trailers of all shapes, sizes and budgets are listed for sale here to drive your imagination wild.

Here are my top ten picks from the classifieds…

 Posted by at 7:09 am
Apr 082014

Nice article regarding the TCT Rally at “River’s End Campground & RV Park”


Tin Can Tourists Converge on River’s End Campground

A typical Tin Can Tourists vintage RV.

A typical Tin Can Tourists vintage RV.

Nostalgia will permeate River’s End Campground & RV Park the weekend of April 25-27 when approximately 100 vintage RVs from across the East Coast will converge here.

Members of the Tin Can Touristsassociation have booked virtually the entire campground for the weekend but will open their units to the public following that morning’s Tybee Turtle Trot. (See last week’s blog for the Trot details.)

This is the largest rally since the city of Tybee acquired River’s End Campground nearly eight years ago and likely the largest in the campground’s long history, according to Kim Fickes, the campground’s social media supervisor.Tin Can Tourists logo

The public will be invited to view the vintage RVs from 11:30 to 4 on Saturday, April 26. The admission fee is $5 per adult and $3 per child with the proceeds going to the Turtle rescue effort.

The association will hand out awards for the best in four categories: the best vintage RV by era (pre 1959, 1960-1969 and post-1969), best display, fan favorite and the tin can challenge trailer sign. Fifth percent of the sign must be composed of tin cans, food drink or other metal.

So, even if you’re not camping at River’s End Campground for the weekend, you can still stop in, get a close-up view of these classic RVs and help a worthy cause.

Book Now

River’s End Campground & RV Park is located in the heart of the island and is a good place to visit during the Turtle Trot and the Tin Can Tourist rally. So, visit to watch the current video about our park. And be sure to visit our blog each week where you will learn more about our unique park. For more information, please visit our website at or call (800) 786-1016.

 Posted by at 6:55 pm
Mar 242014

By Hunt Jones

We have great news at long last for those of you who have been searching for Agreed Value Physical Damage for your vintage rv/trailer! That’s right…Agreed Value! Not “Actual Cash Value” (ACV), which means virtually nothing regardless of the amount you see on your policy’s Declarations Page, and not “Stated Value,” which is open to considerable interpretation by a claims examiner in case of damage, but Agreed Value, the amount you and an appraiser determine what your rig is worth before you actually receive coverage. This means you have full coverage for that amount should you incur a total loss. We have been searching for an insurance company/broker who is willing to write this type of coverage for 15 years! If you think you’re covered now for Agreed Value Physical Damage, please read your RV policy. I would bet the coverage is ACV, and the Actual Cash Value is zero for a vintage rig because unlike antique automobiles, there are no books to determine what your old rig is worth. A few may have Stated Value which is what you believe it may be worth, but not necessarily your carrier, as that amount is open to interpretation.

FCIS (Farm and City Insurance Services) in Forest City Iowa is an insurance agency/broker licensed to write a policy with Agreed Value Physical Damage and other important coverage’s for your vintage rig. Policies are written through four major carriers in all states except Massachusetts and Hawaii. The all-important Physical Damage (Comprehensive and Collision) is Agreed Value. Other important elective coverage’s for vintage rigs include Vacation Insurance (for Open House to cover bodily injury for liability for the public when your trailer is unhitched), Personal Effects, Towing and Labor, and Extra Expense for lodging when your trailer/rv is laid up while on the road. Further options are also available, and a list of more applicable coverage’s can be chosen for Vintage “Full Timing” where the rig is used as a primary residence. An entire package is offered for vintage motor homes too.

The premium for these coverage’s is surprisingly reasonable.

To qualify, you will need to call 1-800-331-1520 and let the menu direct you to the correct department to answer some questions for an application. Or, you can go to FCIS’s website for a quote. Either route will subsequently require photos of all four sides of your rig plus the interior. You will also need a typed appraisal on letterhead from a trailer/rv restoration specialist or ask FCIS for a certified appraiser in your area/state.
This is a rare opportunity for all of us. Take advantage of it through!

Vintage RV Restoration Shops/Appraisers

This list is the first compilation of those vintage rv restoration shops/services or vintage rv appraisers personally recommended by those responding to our recent request. Appraisals are required to qualify for the Agreed Value Physical Damage Insurance
program through the FCIS Agency. As more referrals are received, we will add them and forward to FCIS. FCIS also uses an outsourced appraisal service in most states.

  • Hindley’s Garage (Ken Hindley) Union, Ontario 519-631-1055 shop
  • Heintz Design Vintage Trailer restoration (Tim) Panama City FL 1-850-632-4246
  • Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations Plattsburgh NY (518) 578-7772.
  • CanAm RV (Andy Thompson) London, Ontario 1-866-226-2678
  • Retro Restoration (Larry Hill) Canon City CO 303-746-3189
  • Blue Moon Caravans, Missoula MT 406-212-3672
  • James Polk (appraiser), Ojai, CA 805-646-7293
  • Woodland Travel Center (Craig) Grand Rapids MI 1-800-968-8688
  • Doug Rowbottom, St Paul’s, Ontario 519-313-5078

Special thanks to Hunt Jones for his tireless work on informing TCT members concerning important insurance issues regarding vintage trailers and vehicles.

Neither Hunt or TCT is receiving any financial remuneration for our work with the insurance companies. They may be asked to support TCT through a banner ad at the site or by sponsoring the North American Vintage Trailer and Motor Coach Concours.
 Posted by at 9:14 am
Mar 122014

Tin Can Tourists has been very fortunate to have Hunt Jones serve TCT by writing informative articles regarding vintage trailer insurance coverage.

Hunt has an article in the upcoming spring edition of Tin Can Tales containing a step by step process to obtain an Agreed Value policy.

The information requested below is extremely important to TCT and those wishing to purchase such coverage. Competent appraisals are extremely important to the success of this insurance program.

The Vintage RV Insurance Project

We have excellent news to be released shortly concerning Agreed Value Physical Damage for your vintage trailer or motorhome.  This is a long awaited, much researched and requested type of coverage that has eluded us for decades.  Available from some insurance carriers for antique automobiles and trucks, it has not been offered for vintage recreational vehicles until now.  It is truly Agreed Value, not Actual Cash Value, and not Stated Value, but full coverage for the very amount as indicated on the appraisal document.  This means no arguments, no dickering, no third party umpire for either Comprehensive or Collision coverage should your rig suffer a total loss in an accident, fire, or tree/building collapse, etc.  The agency that is brokering this policy through four different insurance companies does require a written appraisal on business letterhead as well as interior and exterior photos.  The appraisal can be from an established RV restoration shop as well as those from certified appraisers the agency outsources.  The outsourced appraisal service is primarily for antique cars and trucks, though some have experience with vintage RV’s.  We want to augment that system with appraisals from business people in our own hobby, those who are familiar with restoration, maintenance, and vintage RV resale prices.  This list will be shared with the agency.  What we need from you is a personal recommendation of these vintage rv service businesses (not a listing of those found on-line or in print) and whether the owners are willing to perform an appraisal, for a fee of course, at their place of business or where the vintage rig is stored/parked or somewhere in between.  As the list grows and is shared, the comfort factor for us and the agency/insurance companies will increase, and the value of our rigs will be confirmed.

Please send the names/addresses of your referrals as soon as possible.  We want to take immediate advantage of this great opportunity.

Email the referrals to Forrest Bone Copy Hunt Jones

We will be working together to compile a complete list of recommended appraisal companies.

 Posted by at 7:39 am
Mar 042014

We are working with the Harley-Davidson museum on setting up a trailer display for one of their events this summer. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to and provide your name, address, make/model of your trailer/RV. They are looking for units in the 1960s and earlier to go with the era of the bikes that will be featured. We will have a selection process to ensure that we have a good variety of eras, makes, and sizes to display.

Here is the email we received that outlines some of the event details and we are working on making sure that the trailer participants will have some benefits of participation – food and potentially other benefits…

In follow up to our phone tag I wanted to get you the details on our inquiry about working with your Tin Can Tourist organization.  As explained to Dan Piper, the Harley-Davidson Museum is showcasing an temporary exhibit this summer around the American Road theme and vintage travel such as your group’s campers are a perfect tie.  As our curator Jim Fricke reached out regarding the exhibit I am inquiring if your local chapter would be interested in showcasing their equipment/assets at our ‘Wild Ones Weekend’ Event.  The event is all weekend July 10-12however the main day of activity is Saturday July 12th from 9am-5pm.  Would anyone in your organization be interested in setting up a ‘Tin Can’ Camper display outside for a few hours in promotion of your organization? We have a crowd of up to approx. 1,000-2,000 people throughout campus (based on past attendance figures) that are looking to celebrate all things vintage.


H-D Museum Wild Ones Weekend

Date: Saturday, July 12th

Event Time: 9am-5pm

Location: Harley-Davidson Museum (400 W Canal Street, Milwaukee WI 53203)

7.12.14 Saturday Sample Schedule of Events…

9:00 AM                               Vintage Bike Show Check-In / Museum / Shop / Cafe Racer Open

10:00 AM                             Concessions Open

11:00 AM                             Stunt Show #1 on Seeboth Street

12:00 PM                             Best Westerns on Main Stage (tentative)

1:00 PM                                Stunt Show #2 on Seeboth Street

1:30 PM                                Motorcycle Field Games on South Lawn

3:00 PM                                Vintage Bike Show Awards / Field Games Awards / Raffle Tickets Announced on Main Stage

3:30 PM                                Jp Cyr & His Radio Wranglers (tentative)

*Other vintage displays throughout the day on South 5th Street and in the Grass Space. 

 Posted by at 11:23 am
Mar 042014

Hello!  I thought you and your club members and/or website followers would be interested in this:

Flippin’ RVs
 is a new television show about the incredible world of vintage and collectible travel trailers.  Featuring Justin and Anna Scribner from Flyte Camp Vintage Trailer Restoration in Bend, Oregon, Flippin’ R
 follows our trailer-obsessed husband and wife team around the country as they seek out rare trailers, and then hangs out in their custom shop as they meticulously restore some of these beauties to better-than-new condition.  Welcome to the ultimate world of vintage homes on wheels – this is Flippin’ RVs.
Premieres Wednesday night, March 5th on Great American Country (GAC) at 8:00PMwith a reairing at 10:00PM.



Rebecca C.S. Varga
16135 Roscoe Blvd
North Hills, CA 91343
818-333-3714 Direct Line
818-487-2713 Fax
 Posted by at 6:39 am
Feb 162014

(written by TCT Member Rhonda Gelstein)

In August I was invited to attend a convention geared toward event planners.  The convention itself was fantastic, and the educational classes were, well, educational.  One of the classes really helped solidify some of my thoughts about classic car clubs, declining membership, and how to bridge the generational gaps.

When we joined our first classic car club I was in my 30s.  Neither my husband Mark nor I come from car families.  We just liked them, and jumped in with both feet when we purchased our 1950 Packard, and then 1958 Nash Metropolitan.  Around the same time we purchased a 1956 Benroy teardrop trailer, thus beginning our adventures with a vintage travel trailer club, Tin Can Tourists.  That was 13 years ago, and while we’re still active with both the classic car hobby and the classic trailer hobby, the differences between the two styles of organizations really highlights the differences in approach to gaining, and retaining membership.

The car clubs we belong to bemoan the fact that there is declining membership, lack of interest, etc. with the following excuses:  “People buy the cars they wanted and couldn’t have when they were teenagers”, “Young people aren’t interested in old cars like ours”, “We just can’t seem to get young people interested in our cars, they don’t care about the old stuff.”; and so on.   A big amount of blame is placed on the internet.  “They don’t need to join clubs to get information anymore like we did.”   All of the car clubs we’ve been associated with have declining counts and an aging membership.  National meets are shrinking, with fewer people attending.

Conversely, Tin Can Tourists, which is targeting the exact same demographic, is booming with membership skyrocketing.  Events are being held all over the globe, with sell-out attendance and thousands of spectators attending to tour the trailers.  The Facebook group has over 8,000 members, with more joining every day.  So, what’s the difference?

A class I took at the convention talked about dealing with volunteers from different generations, and how each generation approaches something in a different manner.  Everything that was discussed directly applies to the car club culture, and the problem with gaining new, younger membership.

There are currently 4 generations in play; the Traditionalists, the Baby Boomers, the Gen Xers   and the Gen Ys.  The Traditionalist Generation was born between 1925 and 1945.  As a group, their qualities tend to be:  Team Players, Indirect Communication, Loyalty to the Organization, Respect Authority, Dedication and Sacrifice, Duty before Pleasure, Obedience, Respond well to directives, Leadership, Seniority and Age and Adherence to Rules.    This is the war generation.  They respect organizational charts, they like meetings and hierarchy.   And, at this stage, they’re reluctant to change.  They don’t see why things need to be done differently.  For example, the local AACA club bemoans the fact that they can’t gain new membership.  But, they hold their meetings in the afternoon during week days, right when younger members are at work.  They refuse to change their ways, and hold meetings at times more convenient to younger members.  So, they are not going to gain new members.

Baby Boomers are an often-discussed generation, born between 1946 and 1964.  As a group they tend to have the following qualities:  Big Picture/Systems in Place, Not as hung up on Titles, Dislike Absolutes, Optimism, Team Orientation, Uncomfortable with Conflict, high on Personal Growth, Sensitive to Feedback, Health and Wellness oriented, and looking for personal gratification.   They created new ways in their youth, but still have influences of the Traditional Generation at their core.  They’re big on committees, group decisions, and discussions.

Generation X is born between 1965 and 1980.  Their traits tend toward: Positive Attitude, Impatience with Structure, Goal Oriented, Multi-Tasking, Thinking Globally, Self-Reliance, Flexible Hours, Informal Work environment, Technology Literate, Work/Life balance, Likes to stay busy and have freedom to complete a task their own way and will be impatient and will walk away from situations where they’re told “this is the way we’ve always done it”.

Generation X is really the generation that Car Clubs should be catering to.  This is the generation actively getting into hobbies, traveling and spending money.

Looking at the car clubs we belong to, they consist almost entirely of Traditionalists and Baby Boomers with the exception of one club.  That exception is the Micro and Mini Car Club.  The clubs have structures of Board of Directors, Regional Directors, local clubs, etc.   Each decision requires a multitude of steps to gain approval, or to have everyone put their stamp on it.

Tin Can Tourists, on the other hand, has a demographic that spans the generations, even into Generation Y.  It’s actively embraced in droves, with attendees at a function ranging in age from 90 to 9.

I’m going to use my own experiences here.  I am a Generation X member.  I fit the standard Gen X profile very well.   Frankly, the tried and true car club organizational structure makes someone like me crazy.  An idea needs to go to the appropriate “committee”.  That committee then gives the idea to the Board of Directors.  The BoD then discusses it, may make changes, and back and forth.  At this point, I’m over it, and have moved on to something that I can accomplish without all the hassle.    My generation wants the most bang for our buck.  We don’t need to jump through hoops with clubs to get information.  It’s at our fingertips via the Internet.    We are networked via Social Media.  We often work from home, or even from the road.  When we go to events, I get online and can be working from wherever we are.  My generation enjoys a level of flexibility that other generations did not have.  However, many still work traditional jobs, have set hours and limited vacation time.

Where Tin Can Tourists succeeds, and the car clubs that we are familiar with have failed, is in how they reach out to the generations.   TCT does not have an extensive hierarchy.  Its organizational history is it was formed in the early 1900s, and eventually died out.  One couple, Forrest and Jeri Bone, revived the club and have guided it through its growth.  As it has grown, there are Regional Directors that help with the work.  The club is now being handed over to their son, Terry and his wife Michelle.  Terry has done a superb job making TCT “relevant”.  TCT is very Internet savvy, with a dynamic website, a huge social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Yahoo Groups) and has created a massive photograph and information database.

The Bone’s understand that organizations are about people and the item, in this case vintage travel trailers, is the catalyst to bring people together but they stay for the social connections.  Dues in the formal membership are nominal ($25/year).  You must be a member to attend formal TCT events.  However, you do not need to be a member to belong to the Facebook or Yahoo groups.   They recognize the value of people understanding the culture of the group, and then they will join.

If I want to host a TCT event, I don’t need to jump through a lot of hoops.  I make a proposal and if approved, the event is mine to run.  They provide assistance with trophies and such, offer insurance coverage and advertise the event through their newsletter and social media channels.  Because it’s easy to do, the task of hosting an event is not overwhelming, and people are quick to offer to host one once they see how much fun other people had at their events.  There is no “we have always done it this way” attitude in the organization.  They are constantly changing and adapting to new technology, and how people connect.

A large percentage of TCT members have classic cars as well, the common factor being a love of retro, vintage, well-made items when design was a highlight.  So why are these people not flocking to car clubs, when the culture is much the same?

While at the convention, I spoke to someone who was representing a hotel chain.  I mentioned that we belonged to the Packard Club and she lit right up.  “We have a Packard”, she told me.  It’s a late model Packard that her husband inherited.  When I asked if they had joined the Packard club she said no, that it was only old people who didn’t want them because her husband has tattoos and the car has a modern drive train in it.  What a shame.  Because the Traditionalists in that club are hung up on originality, they’ve successfully turned their back on others who enjoy the car, love how well it was made, but have also personalized it as their own.  Shouldn’t there be a place for all in a club?

One huge draw with TCT is that it is open to all types of travel trailers.  It’s not brand-centric.  While there are brand-centric clubs, such as the Airstream Club, they do not boast nearly the attendance figures that TCT does at functions.   We currently own 4 vintage travel trailers.  Each one is different from the next.  One of the great things gained from going to a function is seeing the other trailers, talking to the owners, getting tips and tricks on maintenance, repair or even decorating them.    Many times smaller groups such as an Avion owners group or Cree Coach group will gather at a TCT event and share a meal, etc. but all are fully participating in the main group’s activities otherwise.

Women enjoy the hobby as much as the men, and many single women attend the events and participate with full gusto.  Sisters on the Fly is an organization similar to TCT that is a women’s only outdoor adventure group.   I’m a proud member of SOTF.  It is another organization that is growing by leaps and bounds.

So, what do car clubs need to do to reverse the trend, and see explosive growth like TCT or SOTF?  First, I believe the time for marque specific events are coming to an end.  People like variety, and variety draws more people.  As a friend of mine said after the 2003 MOCNA International Meet that I hosted, “It’s kind of like attending a party where all the women are wearing the same dress, just in different colors with different accessories.  Its fun for a while, but eventually you realize it’s just the same dress.”   When I go to a multi-marque event, I learn about other brands I may not have been familiar with or grow to appreciate my own car more.

Many classic car owners own more than one type of car.  So, with marque specific events they may be forced to choose which event to attend, given time and money constraints, and the other events fall by the wayside.  How much better would it be if they could bring more than one of their cars and communicate with others with similar vehicles in one place?  There are many benefits to this.  More people attending an event results in greater negotiating horsepower when booking venues.  There is a bigger pool of volunteers to draw from.  The show may be a joint show, but each separate club could hold a “club night” or have separate club-centric awards, etc.  Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity to showcase your club to people who do not belong to your club.  Maybe the clubs take turns hosting a hospitality room, one club each day.  Or, each club hosts an event, or tour, or provides an early registration gift.  It makes the whole event much more attractive for attendees, and the clubs get far more value for their dollar and time.

Second – car clubs need to get on the social media bandwagon.  Make websites dynamic.  Offer webinars for tech tips, how-tos, or live stream from events.  Do you have an active database for research?  Are members allowed to post their own photos, link to their blogs, etc?  TCT sells banner ads on their website for $100 a year.  A bargain!  Their daily site hit counts are astronomical, and it’s the best advertising value that I’m aware of.  I’ve been advertising with them for years.    If you want to engage younger members, let them take control of these areas and fly with it.  DO NOT MICROMANAGE.  That is the fastest way to lose younger members.   Trust someone and let them go.  Let them take ownership of the task.  If, after a certain amount of time, nothing has happened, then by all means step in.  But, when people become invested, they stay involved.   Does your club have a Twitter account?  Instagram?  Skype?  YouTube? That’s where the people are.

Third – how are you reaching potential members?  Advertising in print is not the only answer.  You may gain a few members that way, but where is the bang for your buck?  What is that publication’s readership demographic?  Today’s Gen Xers and Ys are internet based.  They are looking at websites on their smart phones or iPads.  Is your website mobile friendly?   A club is better off investing on building the technical infrastructure.  Look at where your club is showcasing itself, and then look around at the attendees.  If your club is looking to gain members by having a booth at an event like Hershey, what is the attendee demographic?  Are the majority of the people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s or is the majority of people in their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s?   Who is manning the booth?  People gravitate to others like themselves.  If your booth is manned with older members, that’s generally who will be attracted.

Fourth – make it easy for people to participate.  If someone wants to host an event, give him or her general guidelines and support and then let them run with it.  Don’t make it difficult.  Events build community.  A sense of community is what makes people stay.  Also, if you’re targeting a younger membership, remember they may still have children in school so their vacation time is restricted to the summer months.  Likewise, when organizing your event, make sure there are activities for a variety of age ranges.

Fifth – it’s time to let go of the membership requirement for accessing information.  Some clubs greedily hoard information for its “members only”.  The world is at a person’s fingertips.  I can go to YouTube and find how-to videos on almost anything I need to do.  There is no need to belong to a club to find out how to fix my carburetor or find a parts supplier.  I do believe clubs need to maintain the membership requirement to attend events.  I feel strongly that events should be insured, and an insurance company is going to require membership.

Sixth – getting back to multi-marque events, I recommend hiring a person to chair the events with club input and feedback.  Putting on a successful meet is hard work.  When they are not well run, people will not attend another one.  Negotiating with a hotel, or event venue, can be an overwhelming task for someone not familiar with the process.  If a single point person is in charge, they can handle those things no matter what part of the country the event is held in.  Then, the local clubs can help with adding the local flavor.  This will keep events at a high level of quality and consistency and free up volunteers from continually needing to create an event from scratch.  There are a lot of different ways to approach paying an event coordinator, it doesn’t all need to be done “cash up front”.

I truly enjoy the classic car hobby.   We have made dear friends through the various car clubs we have belonged to.  I have a deep appreciation for the culture, the history and the people behind the various marques.  How else would I have met the original designers of the car, or the people who brought a part of it to life?    I believe there is no reason that car clubs should die away.  There is currently a massive surge in appreciation for all things “retro”.  Clothing, furniture, cars, travel trailers, and a simpler way of life all have a huge upward trend among Gen X and Y as they look back when things were made to last, and not be disposable like today’s items.   With a hard look at the way things are run, and some changes in perspective, there is no reason why the car clubs we enjoy cannot grab this swing and start growing once again.

Returning to the convention I attended; venues desperately want our car clubs there.  I spoke to hotels and locations all over the country that would be amazing locations to hold car shows.  They’re willing to work with the clubs, even help provide funds to put on the event if the counts are high enough.  The desire is there, and they’re willing to help with media contacts, transportation needs and more.  It’s just a matter of connecting all the pieces.

Thanks for reading my unsolicited advice.   I don’t want to see classic car clubs die a slow death, as there’s really no reason for it to happen.  It will take a willingness to try things a new way and listen to new points of view.  But in the end, it could increase interest and bring wonderful new members to the hobby.

Rhonda Gelstein

 Posted by at 7:53 pm