Tennessee is only about 120 miles long from top to bottom, but it's 440 miles wide. In spite of this, members of FMCA's Tennessee Primetimers chapter cover it all.
By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
FMC magazine, July 2007
Tennessee is only about 120 miles long from top to bottom, but it's 440 miles wide. In spite of this, members of FMCA's Tennessee Primetimers chapter cover it all. As chapter president Chuck Roam said, "The uniqueness of the chapter is that we're so spread out."
The chapter was chartered in September 2005 and currently has 22 member families. They welcome all Tennessee newcomers. Chuck said the group was started with the idea of uniting FMCA members from across the entire state.
"We wanted a club where we could have a rally in the Smoky Mountains, and maybe the next one in Memphis, rather than a group that stayed in one place," he said. "And it just worked out that way. Turned out to be a kind-of far-flung group, and it makes the club more interesting. We've basically got people from all over Tennessee.
"When we have rallies, some people have to drive farther than others, but we try to mix it up," he said. "Those of us who have to drive to Gatlinburg don't have to drive far when it's our turn to have it in our backyard." Also, Chuck noted that rallies have been held in Nashville, a central location for all.
The chapter has a wide range of ages among its members, but they settled on the name "Primetimers" because everyone is in the "prime of life."
Rallies this year have been scheduled for June, August, and October. "We try to get together every two months," Chuck said. The June rally took place at the Agricenter International RV Park in Memphis. In August and October, they'll meet elsewhere.
Chuck said rallies are always held on the second weekend of the month, but what members do once they get there "depends on where we're going." In Gatlinburg the group divided up and went shopping in the area. "If there's a farmers' market that is fairly close by, then we try to go on a trip together for something like that. The last October rally, the host had a friend that did some entertainment — a singer did a little show for us."
If most members don't live in the rally location area, someone in the chapter probably does, and can recommend places to see. It gives a homey flavor to the visit. Chuck and his wife, Patricia, live in Memphis, and although it's not his original hometown, he does know enough to show fellow chapter members Elvis' first home — before the entertainer bought Graceland.
In the winter months several chapter members head south, so the folks who stay in Tennessee meet at a restaurant or "do something just for fun," Chuck said.
Chapter dues are $10 per year. For more information, contact FMCA's Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622; e-mail: