With 2022 coming to an end, we have some very exciting news to share with you! Three years ago, Dal Smilie (TCT Representative) wanted to recognize those that were considered the first sparks in the vintage trailer movement. His idea was to see if it would be possible to get Forrest and Jeri Bone inducted in the Recreational Vehicles / Motor Home (RV/MH) Museum Hall of Fame. He did the research on what was required and began the journey.
The first step was to work on the required documentation. The museum has a list of criteria, eligibility requirements and a complicated process. What made it more complicated is that this nomination was going to be atypical of the normal submission. All but one of the HOF inductees have been RV inventors, engineers, manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, or trailer park operators and only .002% are club/community leaders. Also, their inductees are for individuals and not for a married couple who shared the responsibilities and work.
Undeterred, Dal gathered the supporting information. He received support and references from vintage trailer community leaders including Steve Hingtgen (Vintage Trailer Supply), Tim Heintz (Vintage Trailer Restorer and Historian), Chuck Cayo (Avion Coach Corporation and Cayo Incorporated) and Hunt Jones (Tin Can Tourists Historian).
The Hall of Fame nomination submission was completed and submitted in 2019, the year Forrest and Jeri retired as leaders from the Tin Can Tourists after having led the club for 21 years culminating in the centennial celebrations (1919-2019). Then we waited and waited, while keeping this all a secret from Forrest and Jeri.
In 2020, we were respectfully informed that the nomination was declined but we were told that rarely does anyone get in the first year of nomination and that the submission was good for 5 years. Dal felt that the time was right and based on some conversations the RV/MH were warming up to the idea of recognizing club/community leaders.
A few weeks ago, Dal surprised us with an email that Forrest and Jeri Bone will be part of the 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees with a ceremony on Monday August 21st at the Recreational Vehicle / Motor Home Museum in Elkhart Indiana!!!! Tickets for the dinner will be available by January 31st – so mark your calendars and buy your tickets for dinner!
In typical TCT spirit, the plans are already in the works to have a celebratory rally during the induction weekend and really enjoy this moment. We are hoping to be able to pack the hall for the induction dinner. Watch the website and look for emails as we share the plans, and we hope that as many TCTers as possible can join us and share in the fun!
We personally want to thank Dal Smilie for the pushing hard for this and for his persistence. Thanks to Steve, Tim, Chuck and Hunt for their support and encouragement.
My parents are beyond excited and have plans to spend a couple months in Michigan this summer, so it will be a short drive to Elkhart!