We were so fortunate to have Dale “Pee Wee” Schwamborn and his delightful wife Susan rally with us at the CBR. For anyone who doesn’t know, Dale is the first cousin once removed of Wally Byam and the son of Helen Byam Schwamborn who was the most instrumental individual in launching the WBCCI. Dale, or “Pee Wee” traveled on the very first caravan to Mexico and scouted the Capetown to Cairo caravan from ’59-’60. Not to mention many other Airstream caravans and travels with Wally and his mom Helen, and working at the Airstream factories.
The day I picked up Pee Wee for the DC caravan, Ms. Lulu Sugarfoot had wrangled a ¼ lb. of cheese off the counter and eaten it. This was more than Ms. Lu’s K9 innards could handle without some, uh . . . uhm . . . digestive consequences.
That evening as I opened the Tradewind door I was blasted by a fulminating stink. The dog was lying on the floor grinning at me. I slammed the door and looked at Pee Wee. I’m so embarrassed. What do I tell the guest of honor for the CBR who is the equivalent of blueblood royalty to Airstream aficionados?
“Pee Wee, we can’t go in there.”
I tried to think of a graceful explanation then gave up.
“Because the dog has been farting.”
A couple of mornings later at the CBR, I was sitting in the big tent gnawing on a bagel trying to wake up. Pee Wee was milling around the tent talking to folks and being his charming self. While taking my last gulp of coffee he sneaks up behind me like a Stealth bomber. Without a word he plops a book down on the table in front of me, then walks away with a devilish twinkle in his eye.
After I nearly spewed coffee through my nose laughing, Pee Wee let everyone in on the joke. Pee Wee had told me that Wally was a prankster who always loved a joke and that his mother, Helen, had a wicked and well-timed sense of humor. Well, apples don’t fall far from the tree. The Byam sense of humor is alive and well!