Our friend Jim Lewis says that Miss Terry’s cooking is going to ruin him. I’ve known Jim for over 30 years, and he never has been a big eater. But that was before he was introduced to Terry’s cooking. Now he cleans his plate, and often has seconds. Yes, it’s that good.
Yesterday she made a delicious Mexican dinner that included her shredded beef tacos, refried beans, Spanish rice, pico de gallo, and fresh tortilla chips, all made from scratch. Jim said he thought his taste buds had died and gone to heaven.
Besides making wonderful meals for us, Terry is also busy proofing my new book. So far, she seems to enjoy it. That’s always a good sign. While she is working on the book, I need to get the new issue of the Gypsy Journal finished and sent out to our digital subscribers. I usually try to have it out by the end of the month prior to the issue date, for example by the end of December for the January/February issue. But I have to admit that between the holidays, having a house guest, working to finish this new book, and yes, a certain amount of goofing off, I’m running late. There’s a possibility it may not get out until a couple of days after my self-imposed deadline.
We were talking yesterday about the early days of publishing the paper and the difficulties of finding printers in different parts of the country to get each issue printed, then finding enough postage stamps in the right denominations to put on the envelopes, and getting everything mailed out. And we did it all from a motorhome.
There were a few adventures and misadventures along the way. Like the time we hired a mail service in Lancaster, California to handle the mailing because we were going to be vending at an Escapees RV Club rally there and didn’t have time. The guy who ran the company assured us that it would be a piece of cake, then he dropped the ball completely and Terry and I found ourselves standing on the loading dock of the post office in the fading light, putting labels on the envelopes and stuffing them into various canvas bags in a rush so they could make it to the distribution center in another town.
Another time, we were a small town somewhere in Wisconsin and purchased the hundreds of dollars worth of stamps we needed to put on the envelopes and picked up a bunch of the plastic mail tubs that we put everything in to take back to the post office. But when we returned the next day with a truckload of the tubs full of addressed and stamped envelopes, the postmaster refused to accept them. He said that was way too much work and we would have to find another post office someplace else to drop them off. I argued that it was stamped First Class mail, that they were all in postal bins and ready to go, and that this was the post office, so he had to accept them. His response was that until a postal employee put their hands on an envelope, it wasn’t mail and therefore it wasn’t their responsibility.
Now, some of you folks may not know it, but beneath this jolly, chubby exterior, there resides a fellow named Bad Nick. It’s best not to rile Bad Nick. I told the postmaster that yes, he was going to take those envelopes and send them on to the local distribution center for sorting. He smugly shook his head and told me that it just wasn’t going to happen. Want to bet?
Terry and I drove through that town and found every blue mailbox we could find on street corners, in front of stores, and in shopping centers, and we filled each one of those mailboxes to the brim with stamped envelopes. I don’t think you could have gotten a postcard inside of any of them by the time we were done. So instead of merely having bins full of envelopes that all they had to do was pass on to the truck headed towards the distribution center, now the local post office had to collect all of those envelopes from all of those mailboxes, put them in bins or bags or whatever they did with them, and send them down to the distribution center anyway. All the guy did was make more work for himself and his people.
Yes, life is a lot easier now that we are publishing just a digital edition. But as much hassle as it was at times, looking back from a distance, some of those memories were fun.
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Thought For The Day – Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill.