I was blessed with a 1960 Tradewind back in July of 2006. The interior was in great original condition and it was camping ready. It had even been polished. Pretty amazing for an unrestored coach. What a great little trailer, who could want more?
I was smitten with the disease. I started noticing all things aluminum. In summer of 2007 I began to feel the need for more. Another Airstream. Must be vintage. Bigger this time. The dogs need more room. A tandem axle has advantages. If I took my work on the road I could live in it and pocket the housing stipend. Think of the possibilities!
The rationalizations progressed to an intense systematic search. Combing through eBay, Craigslist, and countless other classifieds became a ritual. I followed through on several over the months but met dead ends.
“OK, this isn’t going to be easy. If I’m going to spend this much money, I need to hold out for EXACTLY what I want.”
In 2008 I narrowed my criteria to a 13-panel tandem axle at least 28 feet long. No luck. I knew these old beasts were out there. Airstreams don’t just disintegrate into the land fill. There must be one hiding under some Kudzu somewhere. One night in July I was surfing through Craigslist when the words came across my screen. AIRSTREAM 1956 33 FEET.
It was posted less than 24 hours before. I emailed the seller. Next day, “Yes, it might be shorter. I’m not sure how my husband measured it. We’re the 2nd owners. With six kids we didn’t have the time to fix it up like we wanted. But we’ve sure enjoyed camping in it.” Pictures followed, then nothing. Nothing at all. My attempts to contact were ignored. I sent one last desperate plea explaining how serious I was about buying and how badly I wanted the opportunity to restore it.
I prayed about it and let it go. Obviously, it wasn’t meant to to be. Six weeks later to my shock and awe I got the message, “The trailer is still for sale . . . Please call.” A series of crises, family events, and the failure of their Internet service had put things on hold for several weeks. In the enormous line of inquiries now in her mailbox, I had been one of the first and the “most persistent.” She wanted to offer the trailer to me before responding to anyone else.
You bet I did a dance! Got down on my knees, said THANK YOU! More exuberantly demonstrative celebration, some phone calls, another dance. We’re going to Dallas to pick up an Airstream!