State Of The Club Jan 2005

“Our Club” …       State of the Club – Comments from the Pres…

Which brings us much closer up to date to the present. It’s a new year, with some new officers for the club. Ilene L. apparently hasn’t learned her lesson yet, as she consented to be elected for secretary 2nd year in a row. After 3 years of yeoman work as treasurer, Rick K. stepped down, passing the reins (and the checkbook) to Jeff D. Mark “Dirtball” after having been out of office for a number of years, hopped back on the leadership train, and stepped into the role of vice president. (Yep – when I think of president of the vice, I think of Mark.) And Moose (yep – that’s me – aka Tom J.) moved from VP to Pres. (I give everyone permission to remind me if I start talking about myself a little too much in the 3rd person. It’s weird when Garth Brooks does it, and it won’t be much better if I start to take up that habit…..) Of course – if I was making Garth’s money, I don’t imagine I’d give much of a hoot one way or the other!

For those of you who didn’t make last month’s meeting, I made these comments about the club – a reminder of who the Tamers are, what we do, why we should care. I want everyone to hear them, just because I think what happens in this club is special stuff.

You know – I’ve been in this club about 8 years or so, give or take. I remember being a stranger. Even though I had an abiding long term love of Jeeps, I actually didn’t know much about wheeling, and was fairly sure I’d never fit in. That was 2 rigs, and many wheeling trips ago. But kinda like crabgrass, moss, or athlete’s foot, this club has had a way of growing on me. Through a number of folks stepping up and providing leadership through the years, I’ve seen the club grow in number of members, and vitality. We have done regular things (at least one run per month, if not more) pretty much without fail. And, we’ve done some bigger trips – to Rubicon, to Moab.

Initially – I was just here for the wheeling. No need to really get to know anybody – just want to go on the trail – oh yeah – being a diabetic, I thought that little safety net of people around, just in case something goes wrong, might be kinda handy too. But an interesting thing happened – time on the trail means either you break stuff, or someone else does. And then there’s time to help or be helped. Or hang out and talk, and tell bits and pieces of your own story. And I started learning a whole lot more about wheeling than I ever thought there was to know. And started caring for and enjoying the people I was seeing on the trail.

Now – having been here initially just for the wheeling – I will say – that first and foremost – make no mistake – THIS IS a WHEELING club. We have quite the depth of technical skills in driving, building, repairing, and maintaining these rigs under conditions that would make many people give up and go do something way easier. I’d hold up the collective technical building and driving skills that create and wheel rigs in a way that are equal or superior to anything seen in the wheeling magazines.

There is another major part of the club which complements the technical side – and that is the fact that I find the people in it likeable. I like wheeling with them. I like camping with them. I like traveling with them. I trust, without question, that if I have need of assistance, some way, somehow, it will happen. And I have no reservations about offering the same in return. In the best sense of the term, this club is my chosen extended family. And as family, not only do we wheel together – but we’ve picnic’d together, seen weddings, divorces, and deaths. And also care for people who have been ill or injured, watching little babes grow into bigger kids – it is a place where the natural flow of life can be gauged and observed.

So – as you have honored me by allowing me to be in a place of leadership – here is what I want to see as the business of this club – what it should be about. We are a wheeling club, number one, and for our future, I want to hold up the need to preserve access of our trails, wheeling in a style that will help us win support, education of how to responsibly wheel, and to do this in a spirit of friendship. And as for the future of the Timber Tamers – I want to continue to do everything I can to keep the club fun, technically excellent, and just a good place in which I live a large part of my life. Please join me in this, that wheeling, and everything attached to it, can continue to be something worth doing.