Monday marked the day before the start of a new adventure on Route 66, this time to the International Route 66 Festival where we will meet with old friends, make new ones, share the love for an old stretch of asphalt with several thousand fans, and kick off the new book, Ghost Towns of Route 66 I fully expected it be a stressful one as there were still a multitude of loose ends to resolve but there was no expectation that it would be worthy of an ancient Greek play where comedy and tragedy intertwine as the fates have their way with the mortals.
While my wife prepared the homestead for the house guests, including a playmate for the cats, a diminutive little thing that is proclaimed to be a dog but appears to be some sort of evolutionary blending of rodent and canine, and packed, I set off to tie up loose ends at the office. The fun began almost immediately.
In spite of a several acre return lot, and a large sign at the key drop asking that the driveways be kept clear, there were several large trucks blocking the primary driveway. However, before they could be moved I first had to employ Barney the Wonder truck to move a trailer left behind the trucks.
While I worked on clearing the log jam, a small string of delivery and customer vehicles began to form. As a bonus it put me behind in opening the office which in turn made the first half dozen customers a bit unhappy.
After the computer completed its morning ritual, I set out to rectify the delay caused to the folks who had a very stressful day of their own scheduled. It was with customer one that I discovered the electronic signature pad was inoperative.
So, it was on to play “B”, a time consuming task of reprints and manual signatures. In spite of the set back, the flow of customers went smoothly and soon people were on the road to all corners of the nation and most everywhere in between.
At least it went smoothly all the way to customer number three. That was when the printer shut down, its display screen as blank as the list of elected officials in Washington, D.C. who have kept campaign promises.
So, now I was left with printing contracts on the old machine that also serves as the fax. It is painfully s-l-o-w, or at least it was before running out of ink.
All of this set the scene for the rest of the day. Running out of change, fixing both printers, a power surge, a 3:00 lunch, and a few hundred small details that ensured the tension level simmered somewhere between scream and sit in a mud puddle, naked as a jaybird, fart, and laugh.
In between were a few highlights that added hope I would survive the day. One of these was a brief visit from Micahel Campanelli, the renowned Route 66 photographer that was on his way to Amarillo. He added to the rapidly growing collection of promotional material available to travelers by leaving brochures delivered from Pontiac and Tucumcari.
After a day like Monday, the evening was rather anti climatic. There was a quick stop at Big Lots and then loading the Jeep.
Now, its time to take to the road, renew the spirit and the mind, and rediscover the wonder and magic of legendary Route 66.

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