Newell’s “family” of customers includes many remarkable people who have combined hard work and success with a zest for the outdoors and the companionship of family and friends. Harry Hastings, Jr. of Little Rock, Arkansas, is the epitome of this spirited approach to life. “In our group of highly accomplished individuals,” says Newell President and CEO, Karl Blade, “Harry stands out as a true original.”
Harry’s love of camping was instilled 75 years ago when he started going on deer hunting trips with his dad, Harry Hastings, Sr. In those days, their microwave was a portable wood stove, their LED lighting was a Coleman lantern, their slide-out was a tent flap, and their air conditioning was the evening breeze.
The family moved from camping to RV’ing when Harry Sr. purchased an aluminum Spartan travel trailer immediately after World War II. It was the Newell of its day. Harry Jr. fondly remembers pulling it from Tulsa to Little Rock with his spiffy 1950 Chevy convertible. Luckily for him—and the Chevy’s 92-horsepower engine—there were no hills along the way.
From father to son
Harry Sr. imparted not only a love of the outdoors to his son, but also a strong work ethic and the ability to see and seize an opportunity. Harry Sr.’s successful ventures included a property-development business and a liquor and wine distribution company that is still in operation to this day.
When Harry Jr. grew up and completed college, he took over managing the family businesses. He did so with great flair, expanding and shaping them into his own impressive conglomerate of enterprises that included banking, industrial supplies and numerous other concerns.
In those years, Harry also met and married his wife Rosalyn (whom he calls “the love of my life”). They had three children who have also taken their place in the family businesses. At 86, Harry Jr. is still active in these companies, but his children now handle their day-to-day operation. The boldness, integrity and drive with which Harry Jr. has always conducted his businesses remain their core principles.
Contributions to Newell
In keeping with the Hastings tradition of enjoying their play every bit as much as their work, Harry and Rosalyn purchased their first Newell in 1982. Since then, they’ve purchased five more coaches, and each time, Harry has offered his own unique ideas to their design. Indeed, the Newell in its current form owes much to Harry’s contributions.
“In 1987, Harry asked us to raise the coach roofline six inches so he could have a walk-in closet over the rear engine,” Karl Blade explains. “Our assembly-area ceilings were too low, so we remodeled a building to accommodate his request. And we’re glad we did. Harry’s roofline design allowed us to develop our popular rear-bath floorplan and to also offer more headroom than our competition.”
Many adventures, lifelong friends
Harry and Rosalyn have been married 60 years and travelling with Newell for 30. “Rosalyn and I have seen the world,” Harry says. “We’ve had many adventures and have met many lifelong friends along the way. We’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but we both agree—there’s nothing like traveling in a Newell!”
According to Karl, this endorsement is hard to beat.