Thursday, May 20, 2010

RED BAY, ALABAMA again

Red Bay, Alabama - where just about everyone claims to have known Tammy Wynette (who was actually from this area) and everything about her.

About 3 years ago our coach was born in Red Bay, Alabama, at Tiffin Motorhomes, so a couple of times a year we return to the plant to take care of "things". We do some "accessorizing", and meet lots of new people who own Tiffin coaches and have many of the same concerns that we do. Depending on what day of the week you arrive you usually have the pleasure (not) of dry camping for a couple of days before you are assigned a site that has full services; i.e., sewer, water and electricity.

We arrived on a Tuesday morning, without an appointment, and the campground was packed! We were asked to temporarily park our coach on the back road in a holding area in back of the service bays, and they would get to us as soon as a full service site became available. In other words, don't call us, we'll call you. When we finally got to bed that evening, since we had no electricity, we raised the windows in the bedroom, and awoke about 4:00 a.m. to the most incredible aroma of sausage cooking nearby. It was all we could do to stay in bed until morning. We knew when morning arrived we were going to find the origin of the scent, and buy a couple of those tasty sausage biscuits. When morning arrived we went to the campground office and told the hosts that the smell of the sausage cooking was awesome! They laughed and informed us it was the dog food factory, Sunshine Mills, one of the biggest industries in Red Bay. We continued to smell the factory aromas throughout the week; however, we changed our minds about pursuing our craving.

In another blog last year we detailed the Red Bay procedure...well, it hasn't changed much. However, we did have some off-site "accessorizing" as well as diesel/generator maintenance performed. We were assigned to an "Express" bay in the service facility, and were in and out of Red Bay in about a week. This gave us some time to enjoy all that Red Bay and the surrounding area had to offer! We went shopping at the discount grocery store, Silver Dollar, in Golden, MS, where you get bargains galore! Everyone "pigs out" at the Piggly Wiggly Deli in Red Bay at least once or twice during the week. Thursdays are pretty special in Red Bay... Swamp John's, a local restaurant and formerly a service station, offers fried catfish and shrimp for lunch. During the week we enjoyed several potluck dinners with new friends on the runway (to refresh your memory, the entire service facility is an old airport, and the campground is on the runway). - how con-veeeeeen-ient! Since there are about 4 rows (approximately 100 plus sites), filled with all makes and models of Tiffin coaches, you get to know your neighbors quickly and see their new custom items. We installed a reticulating arm for the outside tv entertainment center, installed 2 new Moen bath hooks, replaced some of the lights that had burned out in hard to reach places, and had the windshield and entry door re-sealed. Nothing major, thank goodness.

We spent a very worthwhile afternoon in Tupelo, MS, about 35 miles away, at the Tupelo Automobile Museum. There are over 100 cars from the 1800's - 1900's in a 120,000 square foot museum, valued at over $6 million. Two of the cars in the collection were personally owned by Liberace and Elvis Presley. The collection began in 1950, by connoisseur and NBC broadcast executive, the late Frank Spain of Tupelo. (also at one time a partner to Bill McGowan of MCI).

There was also a traveling exhibit called "SPARKLE & TWANG" owned by country music legend Marty Stuart, from Philadelphia, MS, with some of the most unique collectibles imaginable...like Hank Williams' glasses, stage costumes/custom boots worn by Roy Rogers, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline ....and much, MUCH more! It was so enjoyable we would go and see it all over again!

Our next destination is Florence, AL, about 50 miles away (don't laugh....we've driven shorter distances). So our next blog will be an update of a beautiful old city we enjoy visiting for many reasons.
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