Couples bring AirStreams back to Vidalia RV park

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; About 60 members of Region 6 AirStreamers cruised into Riverview RV Park in Vidalia Wednesday to hold their annual rally.

AirStreams, a brand of travel trailers, have become widely popular over the decades and as a result the AirStreamers Club was founded. AirStreamers is an international caravan club divided into 12 regions, each of which has its own officers, that travel all over the United States.

&uot;I think that’s remarkable that they’ve been coming to Natchez for 30 years,&uot; Karlyn Ritchie of the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau said. &uot;It’s like an old friend coming back.&uot;

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AirStreams are a brand popular of travel trailers that were originally designed by Wally Byam.

Region 6, which includes members from Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and the central time zone of Florida, relaxed in their antique and modern AirStream trailers before the opening ceremony in Riverview’s clubhouse.

Lois Kalthoff, vice president of Region 6, and her husband, Don, have been living in Airstream trailers for 51 years.

The Kalthoffs said they spent two weeks traveling through Rane, La., Lafayette, La., St. Martinville, La., and Abbeville, La., on the Cajun Caravan touring swamps and unloading crawfish.

&uot;We’re honorary Cajuns,&uot; Don Kalthoff said about receiving certificates for the honor while touring Louisiana.

The Kalthoffs said they joined AirStreamers &uot;to see and explore different areas of the country.&uot;

District 6 will be exploring Natchez and Vidalia during their stay by taking a car tour of Natchez and Port Gibson, having lunch at the Eola Hotel and touring the Natchez City Cemetery, Frogmore Cotton Gin Plantation, Old South Winery, and more.

This is the first time for Monna and Bob Short of Michigan to visit the Miss-Lou area.

The Shorts said they have traveled everywhere in the U.S. except Hawaii and are looking forward to the festivities planned during their stay in the Miss-Lou.

This is John and Yvette Landry’s second trip to Natchez and they are looking forward to taking the city tour of Natchez and eating at the Eola Hotel.

The Landrys have been members of AirStream since 1995, which is also the time they traded up from an older AirStream to a 30-foot 1993 Classic Travel Trailer.

To become a member of AirStream, members must own a travel trailer and be willing to volunteer for numerous activities, the Landrys said.

For example John Landry, is the international band director for AirStream, organizing a concert band and 14-piece dance band for the International Air Stream Rally.

The international rally will be held in Burlington, Vt., in June and will end July 4 because that was Byam’s birthday.

As the sun started to set over the flags displayed on the officers’ trailers, the Kalthoffs, Shorts, Landrys and other AirStream members gathered in the clubhouse to begin the opening ceremony.

Larry Chauvin, one of the park’s owners, joined Natchez Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith, Natchez Tourism Director Walter Tipton and Vidalia Chamber of Commerce Director Aissa Wiggins and other dignitaries in welcoming the AirStreamers.

Chauvin said that hopefully next year some improvements will be made to the clubhouse and surrounding area.

The AirStreamers will be touring the Miss-Lou through the end of the week.