Jackson Center, Ohio is home to the “Mothership” or the Airstream factory that has produced these gleaming aluminum beauties since the 1930’s. I named mine Veronica (meaning “true icon”), because an Airstream is a piece of Americana. The exterior design hasn’t changed much over the years, and many vintage and restored Airstreams are still on the road.
This week Airstream owners of all generations are gathering at the 10th annual Alumapalooza Rally in Jackson Center, Ohio. With a schedule full of informative “how to” presentations on maintenance and renovation of Airstreams, and a social schedule featuring a Gong Show for charity plus music and barbecues, this is a time to celebrate all things Airstream. It also turned out to be a time of trust and gratitude.
This is my first rally experience as a travel trailer owner. We are parked like neat rows of wingless airplanes in fields near the factory. Due to rain, a tractor was used to tow some of the Airstreams to their resting place for the week.
Proximity as well as group activities ensure that you get to know other Airstream owners. This year that experience was intensified for early arrivals. The evening before the rally began a line of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes passed through Ohio. Neighbors woke each other and we spent some time together taking shelter in the concrete bathrooms inside one of the Airstream factory buildings.
Very intense rain, high winds, and lightening appeared intermittently for a period of a few hours, accompanied by tornado warning announcements on our cell phones. As I met several other Catholics we used our sojourn in the restroom to pray the Rosary and invited others to pray with us. After the weather radar showed the storms had passed, we all went back to our trailers across the field. The experience made our appreciation of the beauty of the skies the following day all the more intense. My neighbor told me she felt that our prayers helped save us from any damage, like praying the Rosary at Lepanto to turn back danger. One never knows the mind of God, but all prayers are put to good use.
I’m grateful no tornadoes touched down in Jackson Center. Dayton and Celina and other areas were hit hard. Please keep them in your prayers. Donations are being accepted and volunteers may sign up to help in cleanup and recovery efforts at Samaritan’s Purse. Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley is accepting donations for purchasing food for those in need in the wake of the storm. Additional information can be found here regarding relief efforts.