HAPPY (OK) WANDERERS HISTORY
An organizational meeting was hosted on February 21, 1991 by Manuel and Ramona Jackson at Brassfield’s RV Dealership in Oklahoma City. The Happy (OK) Wanderers were chartered in February 1991 with 35 coaches. The chapter name was chosen from a suggestion by the Founder Manuel Jackson, who used the moniker, Happy Wanderer, when he presented his seminars to interested RVers. Red, white and blue were selected as our chapter colors.
The 1991 Charter Officers elected included President Manuel and Ramona Jackson, East Vice President Ron and Marge Owen, West Vice President Jim and Lyda Walker, Treasurer Gene and Barbara Seagrove, Secretary Emily and Jack Parker, Wagon Master Earl and Mary Powell, National Director Glen Key (a former FMCA President) and Alternate Director Carl Stitt.
In the early years, our seven rallies were enjoyed mostly in OK State Parks. We also had at least one rally out of state each year. We have been to Branson and Carthage, MO, Breckenridge and other sites in CO, Santa Fe, Chama to ride the train, and Albuquerque Balloon Fest in NM, Eureka Springs and Hot Springs, AR, Vicksburg, MS, Kerrville and many sites in TX, the Mennonite Relief Sale in Hutchinson, KS, to the Steam Engine Festival in Pawnee, to dig for crystals at the Great Salt Plains State Park and many other wonderful locations in OK.
In the beginning, our rallies began on Friday evening and adjourned on Sunday morning. Now our six rallies begin on Thursday evening, and we often have a large group at the rally site on Monday and Tuesday before the rally. Our Christmas Rally began using our coaches and evolved into a Christmas Luncheon without coaches. Since we now have Associate Members who no longer have coaches, we have added a monthly OKC and Tulsa Area Luncheon so we can still enjoy those members.
Our rallies have been busy with product and coach seminars, crafts, entertainment, service projects, travel information, games and tournaments, wonderful devotions and choirs, historical tours, attendance at shows and events, and always includes wonderful meals. Our rallies are all about fellowship, traveling and seeing the sites, good food and friendships.
In our early years when we were enjoying the State Parks, our chapter provided a service to the OK Parks Department by enclosing a pavilion at Quartz Mountain State Park, at Greenleaf State Park, and another at Ft. Cobb State Park and erected playground equipment at Natural Falls State Park. In addition, one of our members created a children’s fishing pond and extended the sites at Greenleaf State Park.
Our members have prepared quilts for donation to the South Central Six State Rallies for numerous years and have sent gift packages to soldiers serving worldwide. Most importantly, we have always had members generous with their talents and time who are ready to help other members with repairs and concerns while at rallies.
Our chapter has volunteered to support or work the FMCA International Rallies in Baton Rouge, LA in 1994, in Las Cruces, NM in 1998, in Oklahoma City in 2001 and in Hutchinson, KS in 2002. In addition, we have volunteered to support or work the South Central Six State Rally in Shawnee in 1998, in Claremore in 2002, in Sedalia, MO in 2007 and in Shawnee in 2012. The work includes parking, security, family registration, food service, door prizes, trams, and information and anything as needed. It’s work but great fun, too.
One of our members served as FMCA National Vice President, and six of our members have served in the South Central Area Six State Rally Association as President, Northern Area Vice President, Senior Vice President and Rally Master, Chaplain, and Treasurer. We have had numerous members serve in the leadership positions in the South Central Six State Rally Association such as Seminars, Crafts, Program Book, Door Prizes, Signs, Quilts, Golf, Entertainment, Display Coaches, and Timekeeper and several committees.