Wednesday evening, shortly after I arrived in Bend, Jack Sherman drove downtown to pick me up and begin playing host to me. Jack is a World War II veteran; a highly decorated World War II veteran, from what I understand. (I'll probably reveal more about Jack whenever I get the full scoop.)
I had met Jack a couple times before, when he and his wife Phyllis visited my mom and dad in Ohio, but I really didn't know either Jack or Phyllis (Phyl) when I showed up here. I just remember Jack being very personable, and I remember that the first time I met him was right after I received the award for my first honor score in bowling: a 298 ring. (I shot 300 twice within the next year.)
Like always, I was a little nervous about staying with someone I barely know. If you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty raw, no-bullshit, rough-around-the-edges kinda dude. A lot of people don't like that; that's their problem. I was worried that Jack and Phyl might be a little too squeaky clean to deal with my personality for very long, but I found out pretty quickly that they are VERY down-to-earth. They're pretty much no-bullshit people; I like that.
Soon after my arrival, my mom and dad both called me to bug me about my equipment situation. They wanted me to ask Jack to help me get some of the stuff I need, for which my parents would pay him back. They said it again and again, as if I didn't hear them the first time or the second time or the third time. Frankly, it got pretty aggravating because I'm not 7 years old.
I had no intention to let the Shermans buy me anything significant, but they ended up saying the right words. I can't even remember what they said, but they offered to buy me some new gear, and I felt like they had the right motivation. So we've spent some time looking around at a few sporting goods stores and I already have some new boots from REI. Oh my god, these new boots feel so nice compared to my old ones.
Before we got the boots, on Friday, I sent a letter to REI regarding a potential partnership between myself and them. I hope they respond because I would really like to put out the REI word. I've only known about REI for three or four weeks, but I'm so impressed with the company. Their employees are knowledgeable and their web site is ultra helpful. They have something really good going, and I would love to promote them. Of course, I'm not just going to do it for free. It would be more than worth their while to team up with me. Now can they figure that out?
I've been meaning to say a lot more lately, but it's tough getting computer time without being a bad guest. I'll try to catch up before I leave.
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer