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Archive for Monday, November 27, 2006

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, RV

KU fans create home away from home

November 27, 2006

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Bob and Julie Luce weren't about to let a four-hour snow delay in Chicago ruin their streak.

The couple had a flight in October scheduled from Columbia, S.C., to Kansas City, Mo., with a layover in Chicago. They had to get to Lawrence for an important event.

"We haven't missed a Late Night in 18 years," Julie, 59, said.

But the snow was so bad in Chicago that the airline canceled their flight. To make matters worse, a later flight had about 70 people standing by - good luck finding a seat.

So Bob and Julie made alternate, more adventurous plans. They took a flight to Denver, then continued to Wichita.

"We then drove a car up to the Kansas City airport, turned it in, and then we had our car parked in the parking lot, so we came back down here," Bob, 68, said. "But we made it."

That's putting it mildly, considering they originally were scheduled to arrive in Lawrence at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 12. The clock read 6 a.m. the next day when they finally arrived. Thankfully, they had a few hours to rest before Late Night in the Phog - the start of Kansas University's basketball season - tipped off at 7 p.m. Oct. 13.

Home on the road

For about six months of each year, Bob and Julie Luce try to attend every Kansas University home game in many sports. Because their home is in South Carolina, they spend much of their time living and working in a 40-foot motor home in North Lawrence. "We're going to do this for as long as we can," Bob Luce says.

For about six months of each year, Bob and Julie Luce try to attend every Kansas University home game in many sports. Because their home is in South Carolina, they spend much of their time living and working in a 40-foot motor home in North Lawrence. "We're going to do this for as long as we can," Bob Luce says.

Most Kansas University sports fans primarily support the men's basketball and football teams. For three years, the Luces have made it a priority to attend nearly every KU home game, regardless of the sport.

The Luces, who reside in South Carolina, make their way to the Sunflower State for six months out of the year. At the beginning of each football season they drive a white motor home, called Alfa, 16 hours from South Carolina to the KOA Campgrounds in Lawrence.

Bob said the motor home was considered a motor home/RV, but you might as well make an "MTV Cribs" episode out of the living quarters.

The white RV, which is 8 1/2 feet wide and 13 feet, 3 inches tall, has white, maroon and gold patterns along the sides. It doesn't look like much from the outside, until you walk in and notice leather seats, an expandable unit that turns into a hallway and two computers with wireless Internet capabilities.

The motor home will remain in Lawrence until March. The Luces don't live in it continually, but they do visit it often as they commute back and forth to South Carolina.

Bob mentioned three primary reasons why he and his wife of 21 years come to Jayhawk land so often.

Bob and Julie Luce call themselves loyal Jayhawk fans. They live in a RV at the KOA Campgrounds in North Lawrence for most of six months so they can attend KU games.

Bob and Julie Luce call themselves loyal Jayhawk fans. They live in a RV at the KOA Campgrounds in North Lawrence for most of six months so they can attend KU games.

"Well, we're three-quarters retired right now," Bob said about his ownership of the Law Offices of Robert L. Luce. "So we have time. We have a daughter who is a flight attendant for United, so we get to fly on standby. Then, when they changed the ticket policy here three years ago with regard to basketball, it made it so we could get season tickets."

Serendipity

Bob was a Jayhawk fan from his days growing up in Ottawa. He attended KU and graduated with a law degree in 1963.

Julie grew up in Los Angeles and attended the University of Denver, where she studied sociology and psychology. She said she became a KU fan after watching and attending games with her husband.

Being from different areas of the country, their first meeting in December 1979 was a simple coincidence.

"We met in Connecticut, which makes it even more complicated," Bob said. "I was the general counsel for a company in Darien, Connecticut, and she was working for the travel agency that did the travel for us."

Julie, as well, vividly remembers meeting Bob.

"He came in my office to book flights. And I had just come back from training in Dallas. But he wanted to look in the airline guide. He didn't want anything on my computer, and I had all of this new stuff that I learned," Julie said, laughing.

Jayhawk pride

It's relatively simple to spot the Luces' motor home. They proudly display a "Jayhawk Fans Only" parking sign and a small Jayhawk statue in front of the motor home. The inside of the RV contains several KU banners and flags.

"And there isn't much Kansas attire that we don't have," Bob said.

Although Bob and Julie are equally zealous, they show their passion for the Jayhawks in different ways.

"I had to take throat lozenges for the Arizona game," Julie said of KU's 2003 NCAA Tournament victory. "I have lost my voice more than once. I've got the thing sort of perfected where I can do it without losing my voice. But at the last Colorado football game, I had trouble. At one point, I opened my mouth to scream and nothing came out."

Bob, on the other hand, is more reserved when supporting the Jayhawks.

"Julie will rival the students as far as enthusiasm," Bob said. "I'm a little bit more laid back. She gets me to jump up and down sometimes by nudging me. I'm enthusiastic, too, but in my own way."

Bob and Julie said it is convenient for them to come to Lawrence, even when they need to get work done for the law office. Julie, who works as the office manager, said the computer enabled them to work on the road.

So the Luces expect to be around Lawrence for a while, whether at KU games or Free State Brewing Co., their restaurant of choice.

"We're going to do this for as long as we can," Bob said.

Comments

gontek 8 years ago

Well, I think it is a pretty cool story, and I must say I hope my wife looks that good when I'm 68.

BigAl 8 years ago

Sounds to me like they have a great life. Doing as they please, whenever and wherever.

Shardwurm 8 years ago

So...you're telling me they have no life right?

ike0000 8 years ago

"For three years, the Luces have made it a priority to attend nearly every KU home game, regardless of the sport."

Does this include women's volleyball?

Confrontation 8 years ago

gontek- A Lawyer's salary, plus some nip and tuck work, and you'll have a wife that looks that young.

Teapot9 8 years ago

this article made me want to get to my englishe class early

don_burgess 8 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

don_burgess 8 years ago

Why was my comment removed?

The first entry says they have no life! Another says the woman is attractive due to surgery!

I try to give some friendly advice to keep these fans safe in their vehicle and I'm censored?!?!?!!?

How does mentioning another fan-related bus tragedy keep me banned? Is this Russia?

Mr Ramierez? - what did you say?

Ken Miller 8 years ago

Look, these folks can do what they want in retirement. But my question is this: Wouldn't the RV get a little cold in the winter in Lawrence? I hope they are bringing a lot of Ad Astra ale back to the RV with them in order to get by.

don_burgess 8 years ago

I'l bet you were something before electricity!

ARe you on drugs, Danny?

PORTERHOUSE! Look at the wax buildup on these shoes!

suesay 8 years ago

What is "Is this Russia? This isnt Russia is it?" all about? I don't get it....

Teapot9 8 years ago

dont worry about it suesay the "world needs ditch diggers too"

mom_of_three 8 years ago

The woman is 59 years old, and I bet she hasn't had any work done. My mom is 61, a size 7, and looks like she is 50. No work done, just a good life, and no smoking.

Ken Miller 8 years ago

There's a pond, and a pool. The pond would be good for you.

Teapot9 8 years ago

"This is a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff."

You think Lawrence CC or Alvamar could ever plant Carl Spackler's hybrid???

SoundMind 8 years ago

"Wouldn't the RV get a little cold in the winter in Lawrence?"

No. RVs like this propane heaters for a heat supply. Judging from the interior and written descriptions, I'll bet this is at least a $300,000 diesel pusher.

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