About Us

Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Visit to Pittsburgh, PA


We left the Lancaster area on Thursday morning to travel to Pittsburgh, PA.  We had three goals for the visit…….

1.  Pick up the replacement jack at ARS

2.  Visit RV friends, Dan and Sean Frohlich

3.  Visit old neighbors, Dick and Donna Mae Goldberg

We first met Dan in January 2012 at the “Ruff Happening” aka TRVN rally in the desert at Quartzsite, AZ.  Dan was parked next to us, and he helped me remove, rebuild and re-install a broken leveler jack (when I had an ‘older’ Attwood system on the Bus).  We subsequently met him and Sean at the TRVN rally in Brunswick, GA last Spring.  Then, at the FMCA rally in York, PA, Dan and Sean were walking out of a new Tiffin Zephyr display coach as I was entering.  At that encounter, we agreed that Patsy and I would visit them when we went through Pittsburgh.

When my leveler system jack failed on the last day of the rally, I called Dan to see if I could have the new jack shipped to his auto business.  He we gracious, and agreed!

Patsy and I left Ronks, PA (Lancaster) at about 10:00AM, and headed out toward Pittsburgh.  It rained almost all the way, and it cost us $60 to travel the Pennsylvania turnpike!   Although it rained most of the way, we did get a few mediocre ‘leaf color’ pictures……..


The turnpike was a divided highway all the way, and had several tunnels.  Each side of the highway had its own “one way” tunnel………. except for one that had construction in one of the tunnels.  We ended up with two way traffic through a long tunnel…….


We arrived at Dan’s shop at a little after 3:00PM, and parked the Bus…….


Dan founded this business in the 70’s, and recently turned it over to his daughter and son-in-law to run.  It started out to be an automotive repair shop, but now it is 20% repair, and 80% body work.

After visiting for a while, we installed the new jack on the Bus.  It took us a little longer than we expected because we had to straighten out the mounting bracket that had to be re-used. 

We got the jack installed, and because the wives were ready to go out for dinner, I decided that I would wait until Friday morning to re-set the Attwood computer and test the jack.  We then went out to an “Outback” steakhouse for a nice dinner.

Friday morning, I reset the computer and tested the jack.  I found two problems…….. the new jack did not retract all the way up, and the other front jack now was not extending to level the coach!!  I called “Mike” the Attwood Engineer, and he talked me through some tests over the phone.  The problem with the new jack was on my end…….. when we straightened the bracket, we put it back on the new jack upside down.  That caused me to use different mounting holes to attach it to the frame, and the jack was installed too low!!!

The problem with the other front jack (original) was not determined!  Mike thinks that I may have a controller problem!  He is traveling next week, and will be in Ohio not far from where we will be, so I am going to meet him at the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, OH on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Before we ‘fixed’ the bracket problem, Dan and I decided that Patsy and I would drive over to his daughter’s house to see the large ‘shed’ that Dan built to store his 43’ motorhome.  When he built it, he also attached a house on the front which was deemed his “Shed House”.  When finished, it may be used for Dan and Sean to live in when they are not on the road in their RV.  The shed is plenty big, so he also built a ‘party house’ in it which has been named the “Charlie Horse Saloon” and is built much like an old western saloon.  They have had many parties there.  Here are pictures of the shed and his daughter and son-in-laws home……


Here are some inside pictures showing how much extra room there is with the coach in the shed.  The ‘saloon’ is built on the house side of the shed while the motorhome is on the back wall.  There are still other vehicles temporarily parked in between….….


Their son-in-law, Chris, did almost all of the woodwork in the saloon including the bar and surrounding area.  Sean did the wood staining and finish.

We returned to the shop, and had lunch.  Every Friday, the shop furnishes lunch to all the employees, although, there were several vendors and others there when we arrived!  They had BBQ brisket and pulled port with all the fixings…… and it was good!

After lunch, Dan and I re-did the jack mounting on the Bus to get it right.  It was a fairly easy job, and this time Dan did the ‘under the coach’ work while I stayed outside to hand him tools and parts.  The previous day, we had opposite roles, and poor Dan was standing out in the rain.  I also got to take a picture this time…..


We finished up about 2:30PM, and Patsy and I said our goodbyes, and headed up the road to a Wal-Mart near our old neighborhood.  I transferred to Pittsburgh with ALCOA in 1980, and we lived there for three years before moving back to Texas!

Dan was a super guy to us.  He gave us an address for receiving the jack, provided us with an overnight camping spot with electricity, fed us lunch, and helped me installed the jack…….TWICE!!  We really enjoyed the visit and the hospitality……. Thanks. Sean and Dan.   We appreciated everything and hope to see you again down the road!

We got parked on the Wal-Mart parking lot, got cleaned up, and did some shopping for supplies.  As arranged, at 6:30PM, Dick and Donna Mae Goldberg showed up and took us to dinner. 

Dick and I carpooled with another neighbor to downtown Pittsburgh ‘back in the day’, and I got to know him pretty well.  He is a lawyer, but I managed to look past that and like him anyway.  At the time, he was an Assistant DA for Allegheny County, and he used to keep me laughing talking about some of the ‘dumb’ criminals that he had to deal with!  I even give him credit for the management style that I eventually evolved into……… for those that don’t know, it is a ‘smart-ass’ style.  It worked well for me although it got me into trouble a few times!

We went to an Italian restaurant called “Di Pietno’s Risorante”, and it was a real delight.  Here is a picture inside the restaurant, and a picture of Dick and Donna Mae….


They also gave Patsy a bottle of Dick’s homemade wine, which she plans to use at our next Tiffin Allegro chapter RV rally.

Thanks for a great night Dick and Donna Mae.  We really enjoyed it!

We spent the night at the Wal-Mart, and left for the Ohio Amish area on Saturday morning.  That will be covered in the next post…….

No comments: