With the celebration of my dad and his 2nd wife's 25th anniversary less than two weeks away, I thought it'd be a good time to go back to before they were married, to when they were merely business partners.
In the early 80's, they created a company that rented Recreational Vehicles (RV's) to people who wished to have all the pleasures of RV'ing without having to actually own one. I can personally attest that there are few things grander than being able to evacuate while in motion. No having to stop at dirty gas stations. No man in the next urinal trying to see how big (or small) my package is. As long as you don't mind a lot of shaking and hardly enough room to work with, it's quite the treat.
Dad's business gave us the opportunity to make some bucks, mostly by cleaning the RV's.
On most occasions, girls did the cleaning on the inside while the boys did the outdoor stuff, kinda like the arrangement my wife and I presently have. One of the lessons you really wanted to pay attention to is when he showed us how to empty the solid waste that had accumulated in the vehicle into a drain. If you didn't snap that hose on tight enough, you were gonna be in deep shit.
I can still remember one of the peptalks he gave us that summer (1984). He took one of the 3-foot brushes, dipped it into the soapy water, and gave it his all as he worked to remove the dirt that had collected on the vehicle. As he did so, he said, "You gotta get IN there". My brother, Matt, regurgitated the phrase when he felt it would be helpful to us. A brillo pad was used to clean the tires.
On one warm afternoon, my youngest brother, Mike, was getting frustrated that Matt wasn't pulling his weight, so said, in a very frustrated tone, "Work!!" Overall, the work wasn't too taxing and there was a lot of horse-play (spraying each other with the hose, most notably). Doing the front of the RV was typically the hardest as there would be dozens of bugs that needed to be sprayed off.
Perhaps the most pleasant memory of that summer were two of my stepmom-to-be's grandchildren. Dressed in similar-looking tops and shorts, they were very close to my age, good-looking, and mighty serious when it came to doing their jobs. They had no fear of washing the outside of the vehicles and there were a number of moments when I wished that I could be the rear section of a recreational vehicle, if only for a few minutes.
They had this weird thing going where they would leave their shoes untied all day. It happened too much for it to be an accident. They were asked about it once, but didn't make any adjustments. That kind of thing just made them seem all the cooler.
Once an RV had been completely cleaned, my dad drove it to a gas station located a few miles away to fill it up. This also ensured that it was still running smoothly. We sometimes accompanied my dad during this trip, enjoying the air conditioning and listening to a few tunes (my dad was a big fan of country at the time, but sometimes let us listen to pop music).
Though Happy Times RV no longer exists, it brought a lot of smiles to a lot of souls over the years. Happy Anniversary, Dad.