Land Yacht Harbor of Melbourne (or LYH as the residents call it) is an RV park in the Orlando area of Florida. I use the term RV park loosely, as it is really more of a close-knit snowbird community built around RVers. Airstreamers built the park in the 1970s, and up until a few years ago, only Airstream brands were allowed to stay. They have since relaxed their rules and let in SOBs (Some Other Brands) — their words, not mine — but over 80% of units at LYH are Airstreams. There is another rule: the minimum age is 50. Well, some rules were meant to broken, and I was given special dispensation to spend some time with the “old folks.” I think it helped that I was mentioned in Airstream Life magazine and that I was, in fact, an Airstream owner. I’m so glad they let me in. Seriously, so glad.
Within the first week, I found myself going from Airstream to Airstream to help people with their computer problems–getting online, removing viruses, helping with iPads, setting up email, saving photos, etc. In fact, there was so much interest I held a couple of seminars in the club house. So many people showed up that I turned it into a weeklong tech event. I just may have to take that concept on the road with me.
I absolutely loved listening to everyone share their personal stories. Some were retired teachers. One was a high school principal. One was the personal photographer for JFK and LBJ. One was a seaplane pilot. One was a Canadian aircraft mechanic. One helped build submarines. One couple lived on a sailboat full-time. One even won an Oscar. One fought in Vietnam. One still teared up when talking about her late husband. One was a mail carrier. One was an electrician. One was a corporate executive. One was a baker. (If I stayed longer, I am sure I could have found a butcher and a candlestick maker.) They came from all walks of life with all levels of income, but they all had one common bond: an Airstream.
Land Yacht Harbor of Melbourne is a special place. And that is because of the special people who call it home for half of the year. Dick and Marilyn, Dick and Barb, Bobby and Jane, Katrina, Janie, Pete and Marsha, Patty and Cotton, Don and Fran, Bea, Claude, Bobby and Faye, Overton, Pat, Joan and Bill, Judy and Chuck, Waco and Moni, Reno and Gerry, Jim F., Jim P, Jack and Barbara, Warren and Sharon, Doreen, Maxine, and countless others: you let me into your lives and treated me like your very own son or grandson. I will always have fond memories of my three months with you. And I hope to see some of you on the road!