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Airstream and the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Since 2007, I’ve been on many journeys, making presentations and sharing my experiences with modern Airstreamers. I’ve gone from Texas to Maryland, and Wisconsin to Montana, with many a stop in between for a nice cold glass of milk. Topics range from Wally Byam, the founder of the company, to the Wally Byam Caravan Club. But it seems like the hottest topic, no pun intended, will always be the famous 1959 Airstream African Caravan. When it comes to that particular caravan, the most frequently asked question that always comes up is this: “The Caravanners traveling must have been very wealthy to afford

The Mysterious Order of the Trident

The 1959 Airstream Wally Byam African Caravan was the event not to miss. 41 Airstream families and 104 Caravanners made the journey to Africa, and every single one crossed the equator, either by sea or by air. Equator-crossing ceremonies were held, a tradition of many seasoned sailors around the world. King Neptune, the Supreme Ruler, Monarch, and Potentate convened the first-timers, nicknamed Pollywogs. They were duly initiated into the mysterious Order of the Trident, recognizing their first equator crossing and their induction into the Brotherhood of the Nautilus. Don and Genevieve Christie, Caravanners from Carmel, Indiana, went through the initiation as

The Hands That Built Airstream

Last week, Dale discussed his feelings upon returning to Jackson Center, home of Airstream, for Alumapalooza 2015. See last week’s article here. I remember leaving the Main Street factory in 1955 on the first Eastern Canadian Caravan. Traveling Route 66, and then rerouting to Ohio, opened my eyes. Jackson Center was a city center composed of decade-old wooden structures. After a tour of duty in the US Army, I went to work at Airstream in California. In 1965, I established the first personnel department at the factory. Ohio and California were working on an employee classification system with defined work

Return to the Mothership

Arriving in Jackson Center for Alumapalooza, fond memories reappear from the past. For me, visiting Airstream is a pilgrimage which reminds me of the many times I’ve been fortunate to visit not only the factory but the charming and wonderful Jackson Center village. Today’s Airstream factory has been enlarged to meet the domestic and international markets that continue to grow. Growing up, I visited Wally many times at his home in Los Angeles. I took for granted his garage: looking back, that garage is a shrine, his home a brain trust, for it is on those grounds that Wally designed

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