Since he purchased a Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite recreational vehicle in 1987, town resident Willie Blue and his family have visited each of the contiguous United States.
The 33-foot RV logged some 120,000 miles through years that Blue recalled with a smile on a recent morning, and the vehicle itself remains in very good condition—with a 2001-installed motor and well-maintained interior.
Returning home with his wife and four kids through those years—as they moved up from Center School and then South School, to Saxe and New Canaan High School—Blue would park the RV behind the garage of the modest Hoyt Street ranch-style house he purchased in 1972.
Then two years ago, the Summer Street antique that backed up to his property was purchased, demolished and replaced by two new townhouses, and the developer told Blue that the RV was an eyesore.
Understanding, Blue re-parked the RV alongside his garage, and officials told him that it needed to be covered, so he purchased a $2,400 canopy cover for it.
Yet though (mostly) covered, the vehicle juts forward of the house itself, into a front yard setback, and appears to sit in a sideyard setback, too, prompting town officials to issue a “Zoning Fine Warning Notice” that could see him penalized $150 per day.
Now 72 and (mostly) retired from the Master Cleaning Service business he launched not long after arriving in New Canaan in 1963, Blue said he is eager to sell (for $8,000, though he’ll come down to $5,000) or—if he finds a worthy and willing charity—donate his well-used RV.
“I wanted to get it fixed so I could either give it to my daughter, because she’s in Oklahoma, or sell it,” the Alabama native told NewCanaanite.com. “I tried to give it to a church, tried to give it to Feed the Children, tried to give it as a donation. What they want is, if I sell it, then give them the money. But they have no place to store it.”
The RV runs and though it needs brakes and a muffler, Blue said, “There is nothing major wrong with it.
“I have got all the papers,” he said.
Blue is known to scores of locals as he continues to work for the New Canaan Field Club, New Canaan Library and “a couple of churches here in town,” he said.
“I used to do a lot of work for residents but I don’t do as many any more since I had a hip replacement,” Blue said.
Blue said his four children— Edward, Portia, Marilyn and Christine—all are grown, that the RV has served his own family well and he would like to see the vehicle land somewhere where it will get good use.
“I really loved to travel,” Blue said of his family outing days. “We have been in every state in the United States. We have been all around. When the kids were small, we really enjoyed it.”
He added: “I think it’s too good to junk. I really think it’s worth more than to just junk it. If I can get something out of it or give it to somebody who could use it, rather than taking it to the dump for them to tear apart.”
Mr. Blue can be reached at 203-952-9038 for those interested in inquiring about the RV.