On the Road with the Thomases

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

As the president prepares to speak at an RV manufacturing plant in Elkhart, Indiana, we wanted to talk to some real-life RV enthusiasts about life on the road. The Takeaway is joined by Ginni Thomas. She and her husband, Clarence Thomas, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice, head out on the open highways of the nation every summer. They join us from somewhere in the Adirondacks.


Ginni Thomas

Hosted by:

Amy Holmes

Comments [77]

K Beam

I think it is wonderful that you act like ordinary people and travel this GREAT United States. I hope you get to visit Alabama sometime. Good luck with your travelling and have fun.

Nov. 08 2009 10:41 AM

I totally agree with you. You are right on. When will this mentality going to change? I am a native american indian and sure I get mad about the past but thats in the past .I do believe however, that if anyone race is going to feel that justice is still effecting them is the native americans in their country and that is because so many broken treats and the Indian healthcare needs help. I am glad that you commented on something that is real and so many people still can not see how they are using the gov and the gov using them.

Nov. 05 2009 03:38 PM
Ginni Thomas

Nice to read you all here! Amy, who interviewed me said there were lots of comments. If it helps a few of you, we only stay in Walmarts between campgrounds when we are in route and we do a little shopping and they seem to love that! We stay in 5 star, 2 star and 0 star campgrounds too; KOAs and private ones - hope you all find it enjoyable too, or will! Cheers, Ginni

Aug. 11 2009 08:44 PM
Melvin E. Holliday

Rest areas along the interstate don't allow overnight parking even in a car. However, I have stopped many times for a few hours nap and never been bothered. You park an RV for more than a few hours I expect the park custodian will tell you to move. Some parks have dump stations but I have never found one with electricity as long term parking is discouraged.

Aug. 10 2009 02:43 PM
Melvin E. Holliday

It is refreshing to know that extrodinary people act like ordinary people when that have a little privacy. I have traveled the entire country sleeping in my car in gas stations, roadside parks and about any other safe place you could imagine. I didn't have, and couldn't afford an RV at the time but I don't begrudge those who can travel that way. That is how you get to meet and see real americans and part of what this once great country used to be all about. I would still be doing it today if I could afford it and gas wasn't so high. You have my admiration Mr. Chief Justice.

Aug. 10 2009 02:22 PM

I still believe Anita Hill.

Aug. 10 2009 01:40 PM

Uh, it's General COUNSEL. Pick up a dictionary before you call someone an ignoramus there slick.

Aug. 10 2009 10:28 AM
K.C. Iles

This corporate stooge and his wife may be enjoying the life of leisure on the open road but the fact remains
which is responsible for millions of cancer deaths from pesticides and future deaths from Endocrine Disruptors
being put in food under the rubric of BIOTECH.
GO MAKE A ROUNDUP SHAKE ! its to die for ! you are a bunch of ignoramuses

Aug. 09 2009 09:51 AM

I love hearing how our officials kick off their shoes and do average American things.

Aug. 08 2009 02:27 AM

Every once in a while, you stumble upon a gem; your comment is one such gem.

Aug. 07 2009 09:53 PM

Take your “great offence” (btw; it's spelled “offense” {secret: there's a thing called spell check}) elsewhere. I doubt that you own anything much more that the roll of toilet paper that you use. Here's another tip, very top secret and hush hush, it's called capitalism. Sink or swim baby, if you do own a campground, you adjust your marketing to be successful in your market area. If Wal*Mart is hurting your business, I suggest you give something of more value to your customers instead of “Thank you for your money, get the heck out by noon”.

Justice Thomas is an incredibly intelligent person. I would want to see him leave his post for only one reason; to become POTUS. Then we could have a black (for those that care) Commander In Chief that we can be proud to serve (oops, did I give away my military influence?).

Why is it that so many people are convinced that they are entitled to stuff?!?!

Alas, what the heck do I know; I'm just another pasty white cracker.

Aug. 07 2009 09:50 PM

I would say he is duty-bound to carry a firearm. In fact, until November 2012, I would prefer if he left the RVing to the slack-jaws and stay at home where he's safe. These conservative justices are the most important heartbeats in the country as far as I'm concerned.

Aug. 07 2009 08:09 PM
M John

To Maya's Mom, I am a white middle aged male who was born and raised in the south. Several years in the military changed my perception on race. At my fisrt job I worked with and became very good friends with a black man. So much so I asked him to be the best man at my wedding. He and I have had many conversations over the years concerning race relations in America. A number of years ago I changed jobs and we don't get a chance to talk much, your comments echo his and remind me of friendship. Thank you for your comments and giving me a chance to think about my friend.


Aug. 07 2009 07:47 PM
Bill J

Amen and have town meetings on health care wherever they go.

Aug. 07 2009 05:25 PM

Black people hate him because he is not liberal. In my opinion, black people are enslaved by liberalism. One would think that they would long for independence and free markets instead of depending on government programs for freebies.

Aug. 07 2009 05:01 PM

It's not that he doesn't want to spend money in campgrounds, he gets recognized. As a former teacher, I used to see my students outside of class all the time. Sometimes you need peace away from that.

Aug. 07 2009 04:59 PM

Their camper would get towed away if they camped out at the Walmart store in National City, CA. The sign says "No Overnight Parking,"

Aug. 07 2009 04:32 PM

My husband is a professional OTR (over the road) truck driver and since they are closing so many of the rest stops across the country he has NOWHERE SAFE to park many nights if he does not get into a truck stop before 4:00PM.
WALMART and SAMS CLUBS DO NOT allow big truck parking anymore. They used to but not now. How come RV's are allowed and the men and woman who are just trying to do their jobs and move American goods for us to use are denied parking but RVs are. Some are just as big as big trucks....

Aug. 07 2009 04:17 PM

Why shouldn't he park at Walmart? It's free, if they need to do some shopping before dinner, well, everything is handy. Every RVer I know does the same thing and spends twice as much as they would at a local RV Park. How's that for helping the economy?

Aug. 07 2009 02:45 PM
Marian W

Oh my oh my, how ugly our citizens can be. Jealously and greed drives the ugliest of behaviors. The last time I walked down the street, I saw white women married to black, yellow, brown men. White men married to black, brown and yellow women. You my man are a bigot.

Aug. 07 2009 02:39 PM

Because he's a class act.
He is intelligent, articulate, successful, and despite Anita Hill's attempts to discredit him, he's not known for scandal.

He generally does not support the "pity me I am a victim" mentality that so many blacks have, and he seems to recognize that you cannot have entitlement and equality at the same time.

So they hate him...where's the surprise?

Aug. 07 2009 02:29 PM

I must really be a minority now. I like Sharpton, Jessie Jackson and Clarence Thomas. And I know a lot of people that feel the same, black, white and other races. I know others that don't care for him and/or Jessie and Rev. Al. To each his own, as long as it is born in fact, not others opinions.
I think it is cool that he and his wife RV annually. I think this shows that their relationship is going well and they enjoy their time together. As far has them staying at Walmarts, I thought the idea of RV'ing is that you can stay where ever you can park, as long as it is allowed. And they are rolling the classic Airstream. I love it!
Travel safely, my brother and sister. And put North Carolina on your list if you have not made it here yet.

Aug. 07 2009 02:03 PM
jack lee

I agree with you 100%. However, one note here: You MUST read Uncle Tom's Cabin before you use that phrase to identify it with Clarence Thomas. You might be surprised to discover that what Uncle Tom really did was NOT turn his back on his folks. But rather than explain all this let me sugget you read the book, then come back and describe Judge Thomas as more like a satan advocate with no compassion for the human spirit. He is one to be afraid of, very afraid.

Aug. 07 2009 01:53 PM
jack lee

Justice Thomas is a racist. No news here. He only likes white folks & thats ok. But he belittles his own people & As for he ^ wife riding around the country in RV - so what. I mean who really cares. It's a great way to travel, and it has to enlightening to see these great United States. But when the trip is over you are all stillo stuck with a bigotted individual who, were you his family & in financial trouble, he would NOT b there to help you or support you in any way ever.

Aug. 07 2009 01:50 PM
fulltime RVer

if campgrounds weren't so outrageously priced (many cost more than a decent motel room !), then you wouldn't be whining ! ... YOU are why many WalMarts are forced, by their local town councils, to stop the overniting on their lots ...

Aug. 07 2009 01:49 PM

Kenny G, you are a blind minded, knee jerk elitist, fault finding, hateful snob. You enjoy the filth you spew. May God bless you as you don't deserve!

Aug. 07 2009 01:32 PM
Kenny G

As the poorest US Supreme Court Justice, this just shows how cheap Clarence Thomas is by driving a used 1999 RV and sleeping in Wal-Mart's parking lots for free; what a bum. White folks love him becasue he's their chief butt-kisser. Black folks despise him becasue he's a racist "Uncle Tom". But no matter what, he still has his lil' white wife by his side.

Aug. 07 2009 12:58 PM

Hey wolfcrawl, He will outlast Sotomayor! Thank God!

Aug. 07 2009 12:44 PM
Dale Roberts

If you read the article you would know. They don't want the attention they get at camp grounds so the put up with parking lots to get some privacy.

Aug. 07 2009 12:15 PM

The word "hate" didn't take long to rear it's tolerant head.

Aug. 07 2009 12:09 PM


Aug. 07 2009 11:59 AM

Why can't journalists learn the difference between "mobile home" and "motor home" or "travel trailer"? A mobile home is parked for keeps in a trailer park!

God bless the Thomas' for living the good life. And God bless Wal-Mart, my #1 choice for spending the night when RVing around the country. Thanks, Sam!

Aug. 07 2009 11:57 AM
Robert T.

Way to go Judge!!
I too sleep at Wal-Mart (the BEST store this country has got) when traveling. It's so enjoyable not to get ripped off by high prices when vacationing.

Aug. 07 2009 11:38 AM
James Sizemore

Why is it that no matter what someone does there is always someone like Angela Hoy who finds a way to put a dark cloud around it. The president picks Bud Light and people say he should have picked an American beer, meanwhile Bud Light is the beer actual Americans choose in overwhelming numbers. The justice sleeps in a Wal-Mart parking lot and now he somehow doesn't support "local economies." Everyone's a critic.

Aug. 07 2009 11:29 AM
James Sizemore

Why is it that no matter what someone does there is always someone like Angela Hoy who finds a way to put a dark cloud around it. The president picks Bud Light and people say he should have picked an American beer, meanwhile Bud Light is the overwhelming beer of choice of actual Americans. The justice sleeps in a Wal-Mart parking lot and now he somehow doesn't support "local economies." Everyone's a critic.

Aug. 07 2009 11:27 AM
James Sizemore

Why is it that no matter what someone does there is always someone like Angela Hoy who finds a way to put a dark cloud around it. The president picks Bud Light and people say he should have picked an American beer, meanwhile Bud Light is the overwhelming beer of choice of actual Americans. The justice sleeps in a Wal-Mart parking lot and now he somehow doesn't support "local economies." Everyone's a critic.

Aug. 07 2009 11:27 AM

Justice Thomas has been an awesome Justice, it's unfortunate that to this day he is still vilified by the MSM. It's great to hear a little bit about their personal lives.

Aug. 07 2009 11:18 AM
Ken Pugh

To Maya's Mom, I want to thank you, because you are a breath of fresh air to me. I hear so many party line blacks and it gives me a jaded view of blacks everywhere since non-liberal blacks are a very rare thing. I tried responding to you but it was blocked for some reason. May God bless you.

Aug. 07 2009 11:18 AM
Ken Pugh

The rest areas allow overnight parking but in some areas they are gay breeding grounds. I had a man stick his head under the stall wall in a rest are in CA and acted offended when I told him to shove off. Strange people everywhere.

Aug. 07 2009 11:14 AM
Ken Pugh

I drove a tractor trailer for 18 years and was allowed in 90% of WalMart lots but there are some that will boot or tow you for parking there for 10 minutes but it all depends on who owns the shopping center.

Aug. 07 2009 11:09 AM
Ken Pugh

I think he should continue to guard our rights as long as he is physically able and my hats off to him for the job he is doing.

Aug. 07 2009 10:49 AM
thomas veseely

sounds like presidential material?

Aug. 07 2009 08:26 AM

i like the guy

Aug. 07 2009 08:03 AM

Doesn't every Supreme Court Justice get some sort of secret service protection? Where are those guys camping?

Aug. 07 2009 07:22 AM
Jerry Hightower

So, Justice Thomas tours the US of A in a mobile home huh? That's pretty hard to do. I know what the author meant. This is a free country and as long as no laws are broken he can park where he wants. Maybe congress needs to rent an RV and tour their district/state talking to real people.

Aug. 07 2009 06:54 AM
marine mom

Much respect for Judge Thomas, met him at book signing at Quantico, very nice experience. Believe he appreciates this great country more than most from DC.
Wish the Thomas's happy RVing.

Aug. 07 2009 01:36 AM

Yeah I've noticed. The elite wh
ite liberals never moon over non white success stories unless they've been useful or somehow vindicate their ideology.

Aug. 07 2009 01:28 AM

Have always liked Mr. Thomas, now like him even more. This was very interesting to me as I plan to go full time RVing come Dec. this year. Had already heard about Walmart, and learned a lot from the posters. Noticed he did not mention (nor did the posters) about the RestAreas along the Interstates. Do they allow overnite parking? Assume they do not have electrical hookups. Hope to meet CT one day.

Aug. 07 2009 01:07 AM

I bet the judge does carry a firearm for protection when RV'ing...he's not stupid. And btw, he's been a supporter for the Right to Bear Arms...this is enough to make some idiots dislike him..Judge Thomas, God bless and have fun camping this summer, especially in my beloved Adirondacks.

Aug. 06 2009 11:52 PM
Jerry Gregoire


Maybe they like a good deal like all the rest of us!

Aug. 06 2009 11:33 PM

Camping at WalMart and Sams Clubs is common for many RVers since many KOA type campgrounds on the weekends won't allow staying just one night.

Aug. 06 2009 11:11 PM
Pat Hurley

Ahhhh, I get it. Justice Thomas should spend money when he doesn't have to. Would you hate him less if he did something that stupid?

Aug. 06 2009 10:18 PM

We need more people like this from DC. It doesn't matter what side of the isle you are on. Maybe if they all would leave their ivory towers they would actually learn about the American people.
Judge Thomas is a great American.

Aug. 06 2009 10:00 PM

I would suggest you learn about RVing and you will answer your own question.

Aug. 06 2009 09:34 PM

Tonya it is true that some Wal-Mart stores do not allow overnight parking but they represent a very small number of stores. The reasons are usually because Wal-Mart does not own the parking lot, a local law does not permit overnight parking or the store is located in an extremely popular recreation area (think Florida beaches among other similar place). I have never found a store where I wasn't welcome.

Aug. 06 2009 09:33 PM

Just one problem with your theory... he isn't breaking the law. A Wally World parking lot is PRIVATE property, and there is no LAW that pertains to private property other than trespassing, and that is only if the LANDOWNER elects to push the issue.

Nice try...

Aug. 06 2009 09:22 PM

Every WalMart I have ever been to has signs up saying that rv's are not allowed to park overnight and can be towed. It can cause prices to go up if they took electrity or had to have more security to deal with this issue. I moved recently and could not park my Uhaul in my neighborhood because of HOA rules and I took it to Walmart. They yhreatened to tow it if I didn't move it. Funny a judge would be breaking the law, huh?

Aug. 06 2009 09:08 PM

So do you

Aug. 06 2009 08:01 PM
Rusty's Confused

What is wrong with you?

Aug. 06 2009 08:00 PM

You learn a lot about a man from listening to his wife. Judge Thomas is a good judge of the consititution and women too.

Aug. 06 2009 07:59 PM

Mr. Commercial park operator.... if many of your colleagues in the RV park business would clean up the litter in their parks, get rid of the permanent “campers” with all of their junk laying around, fix the broken connections, enforce quiet hours and stop cramming people in like sardines in a can you probably would not need to worry about Wal-Mart. With few exceptions, we avoid commercial parks whenever possible preferring to stay in state and federal parks. They are usually clean, quiet, the connections work and I don’t need to worry about bumping into the next rig when I walk out of my door. The last time I checked RVing is a recreational activity not a charity that exists to keep poorly run and unpleasant parks in business. Why should I pay $40 or $45 just for the privilege of parking for six or eight hours while listening to someone’s kid crying, dog barking, or television turned up to high? …… To Wal-Mart, I say thank you for your hospitality.

Aug. 06 2009 07:05 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with Ron. I have been an RVer since I was a kid. My husband and I have RVed through our relationship and frequently use Wal*Mart parking lots as you describe. We are very careful to be a "good neighbor" and we also frequently purchase items from them before we leave.
Many times it is past campground hours or they are full, so having Wal*Mart is a great and safe alternative. It benefits them as well, because of the extra business and the goodwill they generate in the RV community. (PS--they know the RVer's are there and cater to them--they always have a well-stocked Camping department with lots of basic RV-friendly items).
I think it's cool that Justice Thomas RVs--hope to see him on the road someday!

Aug. 06 2009 07:00 PM

What obligation does Justice Thomas or any other person on the planet have to make sure you're not "struggling"? Offer a product or service that is valuable to others, and they will pay for it. Just because you provide a "service" doesn't obligate other to use it. Bet I can guess who you voted for in the last election. Wait long enough and Obama will bailout campground owners too.

Aug. 06 2009 06:50 PM

I respect Justice Thomas even more for this low-key way to see this wonderful nation.
This is a fairly common practice to the RV crowd. Don't waste time Wal Mart bashing on this. During the big fires in San Diego County, Wal-Mart hosted RVer's and locals smoked or burned out and their animals in their parking lots for over a week and employees made sure everyone was taken care of. They even let hay get delivered. Because of that RV practice, everyone knew that it would be OK to head there and that was a great service to the community and saved resources around the cities and county. People shopping there generated tax revenue as well, rather than relying on the government dole.

Aug. 06 2009 06:34 PM

I'm glad to see them traveling in an RV and also glad to see they park overnight at places like Wal-Mart as do I. I have been an RVer for over 30 years and ever since this parking lot overnighting began RVers by the thousands have asked campground owners to allow overnight camping for a reduced fee when all we want is sleep and maybe electric. Very, very few have done this. They want all or nothing. Hotels give greatly reduced rates rather than have a room go empty for the night, but not campground owners. We don't want to avoid campgrounds but we don't want to pay top dollar just for a few hours sleep. I also, like they may be doing, am not going to go way out of the way to find a campground to sleep in. I never make reservations and never stick to planned route. I'm glad to see they are taking their time to see this beautiful country.

Aug. 06 2009 06:22 PM

I am a private campground owner and I take great offence to Justice Thomas "parking" at Wal-Mart. There are a lot of us struggling to make ends meet and then we see an article like this put out to the public. Justice Thomas and his wife should both be ashamed of themselves.

Aug. 06 2009 05:48 PM
Maya's Mom

Hi there Rusty Reed; being a Black woman, I can tell you why so-called mainstream black America hates Justice Thomas.
He is a man who "made it" on his merits and not his color. He didn't need the likes of Sharpton and Jackson blackmailing schools and businesses to give him a chance. He relied on his own acumen to get ahead in life.
The Democrats are terrified of educated, realized Black Americans like Justice Thomas and myself. We understand the insidiously sick game they are waging and we have the nerve to try to educate others in their ways!
Once people of color realize who the real enemy is there will be no use for them! A fine example would be the exchange Boxer had with that black executive over so-called green jobs! If that wasn't the proverbial brick wall falling, then what will it need to be?
Justice Thomas has been thrown into the category of Bill Cosby; he speaks the truth and people who are guilty of being part of the problem will try to vilify the person.

Aug. 06 2009 05:19 PM

I wonder if "the Judge" carries a firearm for protection? Hmmmmmm......maybe His Honor ought to remember those trips into "obscurity" the next time personal possession of firearms comes up before the Court. I know I would.

Aug. 06 2009 05:10 PM

Mr Thomas needs to retire and do this permanently....

Aug. 06 2009 04:52 PM

I thank Judge Thomas and Mrs. Thomas for highlighting the wonderful RV lifestyle and also I thank Wal-Mart for their hospitality.

Ms Hoy must own a commercial RV park or otherwise she doesn’t know much about RVing. Responsible RV people don't "camp" in Wal-Mart parking lots. We stop at Wal-Mart as a brief overnight pause while traveling from one point to another; usually when there is no commercial or state park nearby. In fact, responsible RVers are incensed when they see someone trying to "camp" (put out their slides, awning, etc) in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Such conduct often leads to RV's being banned from the lot. Responsible RVers will park on the edge of a Wal-Mart lot, blend in and don't draw attention to themselves, don't leave a mess behind and be on their way early the next morning. Also, responsible RVers will repay Wal-Mart’s hospitality by doing some shopping in the store before they resume their journey.

Aug. 06 2009 04:49 PM
Rusty Reed

Why do black people hate this man? He is a class act.

Aug. 06 2009 04:43 PM

I've always like Justice Thomas and this just adds one more reason. He is down to Earth and very intellectual/knowledgeable at the same time. All around great guy. I wish nothing but the best for him and his family!

Aug. 06 2009 04:33 PM

Angela, She says they do when they require the hookup to electricity--this is a normal routine for RVers--it is considered wasteful to "just use a campground" if the only real thing you need is a place to park...often times the local places are full and the great people of WalMart are the only option...what the Thomases may be guilty of is not planning and reserving a campground site--usually they are waiting list only...lots of what ifs when it comes to RVing....

Aug. 06 2009 04:31 PM

[Comment removed. No personal attacks.]

Aug. 06 2009 04:20 PM

[Comment removed. No personal attacks.]

Aug. 06 2009 04:20 PM
Angela Hoy

Why isn't the Justice supporting local small businesses (campgrounds) instead of spending no money in each local economy he's enjoying while staying in an ugly parking lot?

Aug. 06 2009 04:05 PM

I like this guy....

Aug. 06 2009 02:44 PM

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