Kathy, at Cedar Pond, asked for a post on my vintage canned ham, a 1968 Serro Scotty Sportsman Goucho; look here for the layout and here for lots of photos of (clean) Scotty’s of various types and colors. Membership in the National Serro Scotty Organization is nominal, a one time fee of $25.00 but, really, can a price be put on fun? This great group of people have camp outs, cruising, rallies, etc. I’ve not been on any of those, indeed, there’s a story behind my Scotty and you’ll read about it below…if you keep reading.
My little Scotty is 13 feet long and boasts a living room, three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, closet and a fair amount of storage. Amazing! you say? Yes, with a little imagination all that is accomplished in only thirteen feet. You will notice my Scotty is dirty, extremely dirty, and that’s because it’s been kept in the barn since November 19, 2011. I still haven’t gone camping but am planning an inaugural trip next year, perhaps to the National Cornbread Festival which is sponsored by the 100+ year old Lodge cast iron cookware. Lodge is a favorite around Thistle Cove Farm and any Southern cook worth her, or his, salt knows about Lodge and has a skillet, or dozen, in her, or his, kitchen.
The camper themes are patriotic, cottage and rooster with the central pillow stating my allegiance to the King of Kings. That little pillow says “The King Lives Here” and so He does. During the day, this area at the camper back is the living room and becomes bedroom at night. I still have much to do to get it ready for comfort but believe I’ve got a good start. The white cushion, underneath the red, is a five inch foam custom fit for that area. It needs a bed ruffle…I have one in mind that I need to take from the house…but it’s Very Comfortable, both to sit upon and for sleeping. I do have a sweet little duvet for my feather comforter and a couple of nice bed pillows for sleeping. All in all, I believe I’ll be quite comfortable especially after I figure out what I’m going to do for curtains at the three back windows.
oops…looks like I neglected to take a photo of the loft bed…it’s above this “room” and you can see how the ceiling slants. That’s because the loft bed is chained in an upright position to allow for more head room and is used solely for storage. It’s supposed to hold around 90 pounds but I’m not comfortable sleeping, or even sitting below, and having that much weight as a potential/possible crash on top of me. Nope, storage it is and storage it’ll remain.
John Serro came up with the idea of a “mini” camper and Scotty’s were built from 1957 until 1997 in a plant in Ohio and in Georgia and my camper is original save for the refrigerator. I’m not crazy about the pink paint; actually, I despise pink but until I’ve put a lot more thought into it, pink it’ll stay. At least the outside and stove are the original turquoise, which I do like. In 2007, a PA business man bought the Scotty name and began manufacturing new, vintage looking Scotty trailers. If you’d rather buy new, click here; the new ones are nicely laid out and a big advantage over the vintage is the floor…it’s one flat piece. In my vintage Scotty, there are almost more levels than Carter’s has liver pills (a Southern saying that’s been around a coon’s age). When I step up, into my Scotty that’s one level; second level is a step down into the kitchen; third level is a step up into the dining room and the final level is a step up into the living room…that’s a lot of levels to manuevar, especially at night when sleep is close should nature call.
My coffee table and night stand have two shelves, making it doubly useful. Most of the camper lights are electric but there is one propane gas light as you enter.
My clothes chest is a vintage Hartman leather suitcase and will hold all the clothes needed for a weekend or week and is stored on the loft bed.
The bathroom is behind a closed door and doubles as a storage closet when in transit. While it’s true it won’t flush, it’s also true I won’t have to traipse around an unfamiliar campground at 0’dark thirty…safety first, last and foremost! The ‘I love Lucy’ sign came with the camper; perhaps she looks shocked at being in the bathroom…eh?
In transit, the bathroom becomes storage space for the three directors chairs, American flag to be flown on site and a few other odds and ends to make life easier. Why three chairs? As Thoreau said, “one for solitude, two for companionship and three for company.”
The dining room will make into a bedroom and sleep one comfortably, two cozily and four may dine, elbow to elbow. In all fairness, this little camper is designed to sleep and feed three people, max. (I forgot to put on the tablecloth or set the table with my Emma Jane dinner ware…sorry.) I never intend to have more than one other person or, should more be invited, a pop-up tent will be used outside.
When velvet curtains are drawn, the mood is sweetly romantic. There are solid red velvet curtains at either side of the table and all are a good block against the chill of the night. I do have an oil filled radiator heater that will be called into use when the nights turn from chilly to cold.
Above the stove and sink is the double cupboard holding necessities for cooking, baking and making beverages. So much of what is contained in this camper is vintage, both from my childhood and collected over the years. A teapot, variety of teas in sealed tins, aluminum pitcher and tumblers, aluminum ice bucket and even aluminum custard cup holders and glass cups, to be used for ice cream, and other things wait to be put back into loving use.
The four burner gas stove has an oven and the sink is just large enough to do a few dishes. I do have an enamel dish pan to be used for rinsing dishes or, along with a plastic dish pan, will be taken outside and put into use there. This area has a rooster and chicken theme…measuring cups, hot pads, storage containers, etc. all sport fowls. The tiny cookie jar says “In Thy presence is fullness of joy” and the two platters are used for transporting food and beverages from one spot to another. There are three lanterns, two shown here, that are hung on shepherd hooks, outside, with citronella candles for bug control and atmosphere. The camper has a stripped awning and I need to take a smallish, perhaps 5×7 rug, both for outdoor use.
Daddy gave me this Rayovac, “powering American since 1906” light and it fits perfectly with the vintage camper theme. Yes, I do have LED flash lights as backup but this is the go to light.
Sooooo, if you’re still with me, here’s my Scotty story…In October 2011 Dave asked me to take him to the beach; he was battling cancer, had gone through a lot of radiation and some chemo treatments and was so very weak. We rounded up a farm sitter…thanks, Melvin!…and off we went to Myrtle Beach, SC where, Sandra, or S2 as Dave called her, a friend of decades lives. Our plan was to stay for a couple of weeks, then go to Vicki’s condo in Florida; that’s Vicki of 2 Bags Full. Dave had been given his death sentence and it wasn’t long; bless God’s name, it turned out it wasn’t as long as we’d been given but, like babes in the wood, we had no clue just how short it was going to be. All that to say, he wanted to go to the beach and I was going to take him.
While in SC, my sister called and said, “I’ve found your camper”, then sent four e-photos. She was right; it was MY camper and Dave said, “If that’s what you want, let’s buy it.” So we did, sight unseen and based solely on Stephanie and her husband’s viewing and comments. We arranged for the money to be transferred and Steph and Walt, her husband, moved the camper from its old home to their home. Dave and I would retrieve when we were home from the beach but Dave told me, “This is your dream and I’m not going camping. The last time I camped, Uncle Sam paid me and it wasn’t nearly enough then.” It was similar to when he told me, “The farm is your dream; I’m not doing physical labor but will support you in your dream because I want to live there, too” and he did.
So, Dave and I left SC, went to FL and had a wonderful time…we didn’t do much…ate at wonderful restaurants, sat on the balcony and watched the ocean, rested…it was what we needed and all we needed.
We came home and two weeks later Dave asked me to tend to some business for him. It meant a few days away from home and he didn’t feel well enough to travel. I left him on Tuesday afternoon, with my trip to finish Saturday at my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary party and I’d return home the day after. On Friday night Dave and I spoke. He had plans to play nickel dime quarter poker with friends who came to the house and the last words we said to each other were…”I love you, be careful”. The next morning he died of a massive heart attack, probably due to his heart being so weakened by radiation treatments and certainly due to God’s timing.
Yes, I did host Mom and Daddy’s 60th anniversary party; it was what Dave would have wanted. He didn’t like histrionics or making a scene and I refused to disrupt my parents festive celebration by announcing Dave’s death. But Daddy did. After I finished my opening comments, I asked someone to pray and as I walked away, Daddy stepped up to the podium. In a voice broken with emotion he announced Dave had died, only a few hours earlier. It’s been said, and is true, when two people marry, they are at least six people marrying…the husband, wife and both their parents. It’s the same with death. When someone dies, there are so many people affected…family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers and the list goes on and on. People have to deal with a death in their own way and it might be offensive to some while others understand. Just be gentle with each other, be very forgiving and, eventually, you’ll get through it. I wasn’t offended when Daddy announced Dave’s death and now, three years later, believe it was a good thing. I had the support of people who loved Mom and Daddy, who cared about them and, by extension, cared, and care, about me.
The next day, Sunday, Stephanie and I hitched up the Scotty trailer and came home, to Thistle Cove Farm. Dave never saw the camper except in photos taken by someone else.
The Scotty has been in storage since but I do believe next year I’ll put it into use. I want to join Sisters on the Fly, here, knowing they’ll be kindred souls who hold each other in esteem. They ‘have more fun than anyone’ and some sisters meet at the National Cornbread Festival; I plan to join them. After all…’no men, no kids, no pets, be nice’ sound good as I, tentatively, dip a toe into the waters of life again.
Like I’ve said all along, “it takes as long as it takes”. I believe it’s time; what do you think?
Blessings ~ my Scotty Sportsman Goucho camper ~ the blessing of Dave ~ Vicki, a sister in Christ ~ my beloved sister, Stephanie and her husband ~ Lodge cookware ~ National Cornbread Festival ~ ~ the prayers of many ~ the grace, mercy and love of God ~