Thread Number: 35716  /  Tag: Conventions, Mini-Meets, Parties
Clay Floyd has died
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Post# 383385   1/1/2018 at 14:16 (290 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        

I just received word from Clay Floyds sister that he passed away this morning, Clay was the authority on all things Rainbow and was the best vacuum repairman I ever saw, he was one of the original group of collectors I met in the 90s, He will be missed .

Post# 383386 , Reply# 1   1/1/2018 at 14:17 (290 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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So sorry to hear this! May Clay rest in peace now!


Post# 383387 , Reply# 2   1/1/2018 at 14:35 (290 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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Such a shame! I'm real sorry to hear. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Post# 383389 , Reply# 3   1/1/2018 at 15:04 (290 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
My condolences.

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although I never met him, I 've heard so much about him.
Was he also a member of The V.C.C.C. at some point?

This is a horrible way to start a new year.
Rest in Peace, Clay.

Post# 383394 , Reply# 4   1/1/2018 at 15:30 (290 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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I met Clay back in 2004 at the VCCC convention in Itasca Illinois. I remember having a long conversation about Bison and his experience. I learned a lot about Bisons and Rainbows from him. I always enjoyed talking to him, we always had a good laugh and interesting conversation, he will be missed.

Post# 383396 , Reply# 5   1/1/2018 at 15:36 (290 days old) by Mpbyrd (Connelly Springs, NC)        
This truly breaks my heart...

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Clay was the first person to teach me about some of the mechanics of vacuums and gave me my first Hoover Concept one when he had his store in Lenoir years ago. He was one of the most kind hearted knowledgeable people I know. When he closed his store and left town is was hard to get used to not going to see him in my routine visits to his store. Rest In Peace Clay. You will truly be missed.

Post# 383400 , Reply# 6   1/1/2018 at 16:21 (290 days old) by vacuumdevil (Denver)        

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That's really sad. rest in peace clay!

Post# 383419 , Reply# 7   1/1/2018 at 21:58 (290 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
Clay was

One of the most intelligent people I ever knew, Clay was one of those people who most either loved or hated,He was BRUTALLY honest, many couldn't handle it, but one thing is for sure, he told it like it was in no uncertain terms, sometimes he might have gotten it a little wrong, but one thing for sure, you knew where you stood, and NO ONE I ever met , knew more about old vacuums.

Post# 383439 , Reply# 8   1/2/2018 at 10:26 (289 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Clay Floyd

Very sad.I met Clay at the first VCCC meeting I attended.Later I helped unload the truck when he first moved from Denver to NC and also helped move to a 2nd location and then as he moved to SC.He was very generous with 2 rare vacs I wanted and extra parts I needed for this.In addition to vac knowledge he had some great stories of the characters at Rainbow & Kirby offices as well as Dog the Bounty Hunter who he met in the Bison days.He was also a car guy with fond memories of DeSotos and a cat lover.RIP

Post# 383441 , Reply# 9   1/2/2018 at 10:33 (289 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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Post# 383444 , Reply# 10   1/2/2018 at 12:50 (289 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
some people pass away, and there's so much to say about

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It's great when a person dies, and everyone tells how kind he was, how respectful he was, never making a nasty, biting, bitter, prejudice comment about anyone. Not making racial slurs, ethnic slams, etc.
I hope that's what's being said about Clay by those who knew him best.
Let's hope the same can be said about all of us. Right?

Post# 383448 , Reply# 11   1/2/2018 at 13:25 (289 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        
No one is perfect, and some might not appreciate his humor,

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But there wasn't an ounce of hatred in his heart, one could never say he was fake, he was very much a what you see is what you get kind of person. I appreciated his honesty about things. I enjoyed hearing his perspective on the history of the vacuum industry, how he felt about various vacuums based on working on them, and his crazy customer stories, and there were never a shortage of crazy stories! I usually ended up on the phone with him for at least an hour...

Post# 383450 , Reply# 12   1/2/2018 at 14:23 (289 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
Oh Clay could definately tell off color jokes

And he was definitely not politically correct, What you saw and heard was what you got, BUT You got something most people never give you, TOTAL HONESTY, honesty in how he felt and honesty in all business dealings,He was the most honest, straight forward person I ever met, If he didn't like something you did, he told you, ! That kind of person is rare.

Post# 383452 , Reply# 13   1/2/2018 at 14:31 (289 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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Its the kind of person I'm trying to be, no point in sugar coating life or being fake-nice. And its how I'd prefer people be around me as well.

Post# 383453 , Reply# 14   1/2/2018 at 15:04 (289 days old) by vacman1961 (North Babylon, New York)        

Rest in Peace Clay.

Post# 383499 , Reply# 15   1/3/2018 at 12:20 (288 days old) by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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I first met Clay Floyd when I was one of only twelve members of the VCCC. Alex Taber had just 'reignited' the club after being dormant for a number of years. Clay drove from Denver to St. Louis. He picked me up and we drove to Naperville, Illinois (which is where Alex Taber lived - he hosted the Convention). Clay and I had each brought with us about 20 vintage cleaners that we donated to anyone who was in attendance. This was before the internet, ebay, vacland, etc. I wound up being best friends with Clay for the past 24 years.

Along the way, we attended ALL the VCCC conventions, Clay became a VCCC board member, and even hosted a Convention in North Carolina. That was the year I convinced Electrolux to let us (the VCCCC) into the factory and where I was given the Commemorative Edition Electrolux by the President of Electrolux.

By 2007, Clay and I (along with a good number of people) were no longer a part of the VCCC. It wasn't the same club as it was when we joined. Neither of us liked all the changed the new people brought to the club. So, we all started having our Convention (still in June) at various places around the country. Clay's home became one of those places - it was so popular we had 2 Conventions there. Of course, Today we hold the Conventions at the Vacuum Cleaner Museum in St. James, Missouri

I miss going to Clay's house in South Carolina. He had a Frigidaire Flair range, which I very much enjoyed cooking on for the group. I brought him a Sunbeam Mixmaster so I could bake for everyone while I was there. His house was kind of a shrine to the Rexair as that was his favorite machine of all times.

I spoke to Clay very recently, to wish him a Happy Kwanzaa, but he didn't sound the same. That's the shame about stokes, you never really recover.

As the executor of his will, it's my job to help clean out the house. He had maybe 40 vacuums in the house that were very dear to him. They all had a sentimental value (his mother's Hoover 634 for example). Those machines will come live in the Vacuum Museum (along with Stan Kann's collection, which is now all here at the Museum) and will be enjoyed by the public. My upcoming 'last' trip to his home in SC will be a very bittersweet one.

I really loved that man. I loved his off color jokes, I loved his stories of horrible customers at his vac shop over the years (there are ALWAYS bad customers in any business). I loved his responses to people who were wrong. He made liberal use of the "C" word if you made him angry. He could string cuss words into sentences - I learned so much from him.

But most of all, he loved Rexair and the Rainbow. He always made me promise to suck up his ashes into a Rexair at a VCCC convention. The VCCC is long gone, and the ashes would just blow out the exhaust anyway. He taught me everything I know about working on Rexairs, and I continue to make money with what he taught me.

Rest in Peace my friend. Those of us who knew you, really miss you.

Post# 383507 , Reply# 16   1/3/2018 at 14:34 (288 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        

Tom, You, Clay,and several others were the first friends I made in the VCCC when I joined in 94, and I'm still friends with the ones still living from then, I hope we can come down and help you at Clays, you have always been there for me down thru the years, I need to call Billy Lippman and Roger Proehl and tell them about Clay , they are two more we knew from the old days when we had so much fun.

Post# 383553 , Reply# 17   1/4/2018 at 15:17 (287 days old) by vacerator (Macomb Michigan)        
the Luncheonette

video was not quite Pink Flamingo's, but close. Girl can't help it. Buy her a drink.

Post# 383554 , Reply# 18   1/4/2018 at 15:23 (287 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I'll be sure to add his name

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to our "In Memoriam" book. It is a book belonging to The V.C.C.C. listing those members, and former members who have died.
The V.C.C.C. is still very much alive, and, this book will be on display at our next convention this summer.
I'll be happy to add his name. Those who knew him will be pleased.

Post# 383721 , Reply# 19   1/7/2018 at 01:08 (285 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Just to clear up a misconception

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There still is a V.C.C.C. Some people have asked me when/if it disbanded. It never did. It went a little dormant for a while. Yes, Alex Taber, John Lucia, etc tell the story about it's humble beginnings.... in North Canton, Ohio, at the Hoover Historical Center, now part of Walsh University's museum studies major. Some members are long gone. May of the members have passed away. Others quit or left. Others were banned from the club. Yes, over the years, it has undergone numerous changes, but the reason, mission, etc remains the same.
I am fortunate to have known some great folks who were members. Others, I've only hear legends. In our memorial book, one can find interesting stories about some wonderful, and, at times, colorful past members. A lot of the newer members don't even know some of the old gang.
I'll add Clay, and our very revered Glen, and a host of others into that book.
sadly, the pages in this book are growing.
John Long, Vice Pres, V.C.C.C. the original vacuum cleaner collectors' club.

Post# 383735 , Reply# 20   1/7/2018 at 09:42 (284 days old) by Dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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I was just discussing this with Hans the other day. The VCCC that Clay joined way back in 1994 is long dead. Today’s reincarnation is little more than “the new Mickey Mouse club“. Thank God I had a chance to belong to the club when it was real, and to have led it through the best of times. Those days, and those people, now belong to the ages. Clay absolutely hated what the club that he loved so much had turned into, and many of the “old timers“ haven’t a good word to say about it since. Personally, I don’t care about “vacuum clubs“, as I get to share the history of vacuums with the public. This thread is about Clay Floyd, and remembering him and his life. His friends and I were savvy enough to record a video of him pontificating about the “New club“. It’s a riot. I’m glad we have it for posterity.

Post# 383759 , Reply# 21   1/7/2018 at 15:55 (284 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I have long since

Resolved any differences I had with certain people, but we really did have fun years ago, very few had computers , we all talked for hours on the phone, our conventions were long on substance and fun, but were affordable and laid back, I think the vacuum knowledge that was shared at those early conventions was something we who were there have never forgotten, I remember the cut off date for a machine to be called vintage was 1960,I personally believe 1970 should be the cut off date now, I still think Hoover Elites and Eureka Bravos, along with such things as Fantoms Dysons etc are just used vacuums, NOT vintage collectables, I have machines from the 70s and up, but they are just old vacuums, not in the same league as a Gold model D Rexair, a Electroulux model G, or a Hoover 63 etc, I truly believe now its less about imparting the real history of the vacuum cleaner,than just getting together and talking about newer stuff

Post# 383819 , Reply# 22   1/8/2018 at 08:33 (283 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Has anyone heard about some kind of service

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for Clay? I have no idea if he was a religious/spiritual man.
At the VCCC convention, at dinner,(the last one, sometimes called a banquet), we have a blessing, and it is then that we remember those who have passed... both current members and the past members.
Morgan did a very nice thing in Portland , just after Terry died. Of course, Terry was a very active member, trustworthy and faithful member. A lot of new people, sadly, never got to meet him or know him. Truly, he was one individual whom it was impossible to dislike. Amidst adversity, he'd always take the high road, a most valuable lesson. I was asked to fill his spot (never his shoes), as the membership coordinator, a true honor for me.
That convention was truly one of Morgan Frazer's "finest hours" as our president. I've seen him rise up to the occasion numerous times, a very different "style" in doing things from our current president, most capable, Chad Cunningham, who adds his own style to running things. We're fortunate, indeed.
Taking that high road, I'll wish Clay "peace". He didn't know me, may not have wanted to, who knows? But, he was a true to friend to some, and that's all that matters.
Still, our VCCC will succeed, thrive, progress, endure... despite negative comments, etc from some. Some who don't even know most of the members, only through some close friends who still are members, still attend the conventions. If one didn't enjoy them, I'm sure one wouldn't attend.Childish slams, etc have no place in this thread, or in my life, for that matter. WE cannot be responsible for the conduct of anyone other than ourselves.
I'm not going to sidetrack from the original purpose of this post more than this.
So, perhaps offer a little prayer, or even a quiet thought for your dear, departed, friend, Clay. I can imagine the reunion with the other past members this week must have been a riot, based on what I'VE heard.
Sleep in peace, Clay.

Post# 383821 , Reply# 23   1/8/2018 at 09:01 (283 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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I remember Clay very well,
At my first convention we talked a LOT!!!!
I got to hear a lot of his stories and got to witness some of his humor that people talk about. He was our Bison and Rexair expert for sure.
I'm truly sorry for the vacuum communities loss of a wealth of knowledge.

Post# 383842 , Reply# 24   1/8/2018 at 11:15 (283 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Then, Phillip,

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please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend. You're the only person close to me who is experiencing this loss.
He left a legacy for you, too. He taught you a lot.
From an old song, I learned a long time ago, "And the only level of your works and your deeds will be the love you leave behind, when you're gone".

This post was last edited 01/08/2018 at 18:19
Post# 383856 , Reply# 25   1/8/2018 at 14:35 (283 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
We have lost many

Fine people, Terry Lattz was a wonderful friend and as kind a soul as ever lived!

Post# 383861 , Reply# 26   1/8/2018 at 15:30 (283 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Without question.

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He loved our conventions. It was at my first, '08, Hoover's birthday, when Terry came up to me, gave me a hug, and said, "Hi John I'm Terry".
He'd never bash anyone or our group, ever. Upon looking at minutes from past meetings, I discovered a lot of things, events that happened at meetings, people put on probation, some asked to leave, etc. amazing reading. It cold explain a lot. Terry was present during all of that. I wonder what he'd think now.
But, he, too, is at peace, hopefully with the others. I have one of his Hoover Coffee cans. I'll treasure it always.

Post# 383882 , Reply# 27   1/8/2018 at 18:58 (283 days old) by Kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
Let's not forget

The walking vacuum cleaner encyclopedia we lost. Craig. Long. No one knew more and. Charles. Miller who was. Roger. Proehls long time partner then of course. Mike. Rogers from whom. I learned much. I really wish everyone could have gotten along years ago but that's ancient history and I for one intend to get along with everyone

Post# 383884 , Reply# 28   1/8/2018 at 19:10 (283 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
excellent points

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And, Hans, I believe that MANY upon MANY folks respect you as well. Never have I heard anything nasty, snarky, untrue, etc. ever been said about you. You're very fortunate.

Post# 383919 , Reply# 29   1/9/2018 at 08:18 (282 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I will say

I have a bad temper that I control much better than I used too...LOL

Post# 383920 , Reply# 30   1/9/2018 at 08:28 (282 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
As do I.

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After all, I am Irish! Luckily, I maintain a lot of self-control. Having had a very proper mother and an equally poised father (from the South), we were taught how to behave. Manners were paramount.

Post# 383931 , Reply# 31   1/9/2018 at 10:32 (282 days old) by vacerator (Macomb Michigan)        
Sorry, I disagree

this has become a mickey mouse type club because it pales in comparison to some other big boys clubs these days of which I won't mention. Some are bigger babies than the teen members here.
One aspect of someones life does not totally define them.
One good aspect of maturity is being non judgmental.
I often disagree but I try not to trash anyone's character, but some do that all on their own and it's obvious at times.
I watched a movie last night, The Honeymoon killers. Now they were degenerates.
Another which comes to mind is In Cold Blood, and Lady in a Cage.
Half a nice day all. May your glass be half full.

Post# 384025 , Reply# 32   1/10/2018 at 18:03 (281 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
A Funny Clay Floyd story..

Clay drove a fire engine red 61 Desoto two door hardtop for many years as his daily driver car, One morning on his way to work someone ran the light and as Clay had the green light he hit them doing about 35 or so, they were in a Subaru station wagon...It bent the left front frnder, the bumper and the parking light bezel got broken, Clay jumped out and Yelled many obscenities, and said, Do you know how hard it is to get a parking light bezel for a 61 Desoto!!

Post# 384055 , Reply# 33   1/11/2018 at 11:19 (280 days old) by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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I remember that story very well. Including the many and varied obscenities that were shouted. Oh to have been a fly on the wall that day......

Spoke with Clay's sister yesterday. I'm setting up a special place in the Vacuum Cleaner Museum for Clay's Hoovers and Rexairs. His Hoover 150 is gorgeous, like it just came out of the box. And his mother's Hoover 534 will get a special place of honor among them in the display.

I've been working on the Stan Kann vacuum display ever since the Vacuum Cleaner Museum acquired Stan's collection last month.

I know it's totally in keeping with their memories that we treat their collections with the love and respect Clay and Stan showed the vintage machines.

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