ABA Banking Journal - April 2011 - (Page 52)
First person | larry and mary ann marik
Chairman of the open road
Nebraska banker succumbs to call of the Winnebago
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 Larr y doesn’t have to worry about mowing grass or shoveling snow. 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 footAfter he hung up his president hat, bank chairman Larry Marik and his wife, Mary ball field, weighing in at 15 tons. Ann, decided to sell their home, buy a Winnebago, and see more of America. Average miles per gallon of diesel: 8. Larry must report to the bank for “You are basically moving your house,” says Larry Marik, chairman of board meetings—some work he does First National Bank of Columbus and Norfolk, Neb., and chairman of the by conference call—or attend NBA Nebraska Bankers Association. events. One evening the stop may be As Larry began thinking of retirement after a 30-year banking career, the a Walmart parking lot—the retailer is Mariks started considering the future. Both liked road travel. Larry at one very RV friendly—the next may be a time hit the road as a jazz musician, playing woodwinds like the sax. The goal: fancy motor home park. To see all they could in ten years. More specifically, “I want to do presidential “The beauty of this is the jourmuseums and libraries,” says Mary Ann, “and Larry wants to do blues bars.” ney,” says Mary Ann. “Not the des“Larry initiated the idea, but I bought in immediately,” she says. Much as tinations.” selling their home of 25 years was wrenching, “it was a good-sized house and Both Mariks drive the Winnebago. we were tired of taking care of it.” Larry grew up on a farm and drove The couple announced their decision at Thanksgiving family dinner. The a school bus when he taught music. silence was broken by Larry’s younger brother, a full-time farmer: “Let me Both took a community college RV get this straight. You’re going to sell this home. And you’re going to live in driving course. But it’s Larry you’ll that motor home? Are you going to join the circus too?” generally find behind the wheel. The Mariks downsized considerably. The couple’s three grown children had “Driving it isn’t hard,” he explains. their pick of furniture, but even after that and some sales, the Mariks still filled “Stopping it can be harder.” three storage units. Mary Ann allows that now if something comes into their lives, “He’s a bit of a back-seat driver,” something else goes out. (Except their dog, who sleeps on the dash at night.) says Mary Ann, tactfully. More typicalLarry and Mary Ann didn’t jump into this lifestyle cold. Larry says ly, “he drives and I read out loud.” n they rented a motor home first, to see, he jokes, if they could stand living — Steve Cocheo, executive editor together so closely all the time. They could, and the Journey was bought in More photos on www.ababj.com 2008 and the home sold in 2010. Now, the road is their home, except when
52 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | april 2011
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