A few years back I was on a consulting engagement visiting a co-op in a very rural area of the Missouri Ozarks. The town only had one motel and I’m being generous calling it a motel. It was a fishing camp on a river and its marque board advertised water-beds in every room. I didn’t check into it, but I believe they might have offered an hourly rate.
As it turned out, the motel was one of the few things the town had going for it. The town was so small not only did it lack a stop-light, it had no restaurant either. So what’s a traveling consultant from the city supposed to do? Fortunately my planned stay was just one night. After a day of consulting the client offered to take me to dinner. I said, “Where are we going, there’s really nothing here?” Continue reading →
During the 1980s I was visiting my aunt and uncle in the LA area. My uncle told me about his fiftieth reunion which had taken place a couple of weeks prior to my visit. He said, “Betty and I got all dressed up and headed toward the nearby hotel where the reunion was being held, but as we turned into the parking lot I looked at her and told her I didn’t want to see those people. I wanted to remember them the way they were, not the way they are now. We turned out of the parking lot and went to a restaurant and had a quiet dinner.” This was surprising to me as they had been a power couple in high school and had attended all prior reunions – and enjoyed the events.
Yet, that’s how I feel about my class. In the early 1970s we were young, fresh, full of life, and the opportunities lying before us were unlimited. I want my memories to be of a bunch of fresh-faced seventeen-year-olds graduating from a brand-new high school. When speaking to my wife I still refer to that building as the new high school. My memories of the school are stuck in 1973 and perhaps it’s best for me to keep its people confined there as well. Continue reading →
With summer’s end, come the merchandise sales at the lake. Over the weekend I purchased a ball cap that I had my eye on for some time. That morning the $19.95 hat was in a large bin of hats offered for $5.00. As the young woman at the counter is checking us out she tells my wife Sue, “That will be $8.33.” Sue says, “That seems kind of high”, to which the sales clerk replies, “Well there’s sales tax”.
Mildly amused up to this point, I jump into the conversation. “ Do you agree the hat is five dollars?” “Yes”, she replies. “Is the Idaho sales tax rate still 6%?” Again, “Yes.” “Well then, the tax would be thirty cents and the total is $5.30.” At this point she presents us with a printed receipt and says, “But it says $8.33!” I offer, “Maybe if you tell it that the hat is $5.00 it will print the correct receipt.” She says, “Okay, I can override the price”. Me, “Really, they let you do that?” Oh my. Continue reading →