Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Chairman of the Open Road: Nebraska Banker Succumbs to Call of the Winnebago

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Chairman of the Open Road: Nebraska Banker Succumbs to Call of the Winnebago

Article excerpt

Would you trade a five-bedroom home of 3,600 square feet for life in a 40-foot Winnebago Journey? One year ago, Larry and Mary Ann Marik did, and they couldn't be happier. "When we owned the house, we didn't have a king-sized bed," notes Larry. But they do in the motor home. They also have a considerably larger back yard--America--but one where Larry doesn't have to worry about mowing grass or shoveling snow.

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Actually, this is a longer story than you'd think--66 feet long. That's the distance from the front bumper of the Winnebago to the bicycles racked on the back of the couples' car, which the Mariks generally tow. That's one-fifth of a football field, weighing in at 15 tons. Average miles per gallon of diesel: 8.

"You are basically moving your house," says Larry Marik, chairman of First National Bank of Columbus and Norfolk, Neb., and chairman of the Nebraska Bankers Association.

As Larry began thinking of retirement after a 30-year banking career, the Mariks started considering the future. Both liked road travel. Larry at one time hit the road as a jazz musician, playing woodwinds like the sax. The goal: To see all they could in ten years. More specifically, "I want to do presidential museums and libraries," says Mary Ann, "and Larry wants to do blues bars."

"Larry initiated the idea, but I bought in immediately," she says. Much as selling their home of 25 years was wrenching, "it was a good-sized house and we were tired of taking care of it."

The couple announced their decision at Thanksgiving family dinner. The silence was broken by Larry's younger brother, a full-time farmer: "Let me get this straight. …

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