Hundreds of Airstream trailer fanatics are cruising into Madison this week, parking their shiny, tin mammoth-mobiles and joining in the 2009 Wally Byam Caravan Club International Rally festivities. It's the opening day of the 52nd annual convention, which means it might be smart to steer clear of the Alliant Energy Center for a few days. Unless you're into the whole vintage trailer thing, that is. And Canadians.
Somewhere in the midst of the Airstream maze on Monday, Don McKelvay tidied up his trailer. He and his wife, Kathy, represent the northeast United States branch of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International. Together, they're in charge of about 18 caravan units, each ranging from about 10 to 400 trailers. It's a pretty big responsibility for a man who never thought he'd own a trailer, never mind an iconic Airstream.
"I had never intended on buying an Airstream," says Don. Now, he couldn't be happier. "The Cadillac of travel trailers," he calls it, pointing to his collection of convention stickers on the trailer's back window. His newest addition: a sticker with a red border and Wisconsin's capital building.
Voice of Don McKelvay, Region 2 President of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International, recorded at Alliant Energy Center in Madison on June 22, 2009.