I'm not too fond of pointers.... and I'm not talking about hunting dogs or helpful hints. Here's the thing. There's a lot of traffic that passes Afton Station every day. Despite Route 66 having been decommissioned as a federal highway and bypassed long ago by the evil Interstate, it's still fairly heavily used by locals, long-haul truckers, short-haul truckers and, of course, Route 66 tourists. Now, if travelers are in a hurry, or aren't interested in old gas stations or antique cars, then I have no problem with them just driving right past the Station. I don't even have a problem with people who slow down and snap a few pictures and then, for whatever reason, hasten on down the road. It's just the pointers that make me a little crazy. They'll slow down, look, point, slow down a little more, look a little more, point a little more, then step on the gas and roar past.
I guess I take it way too personally. Folks have a right to react to Afton Station any way they wish. It just makes me sad when I almost got to meet and greet people who apparently weren't as excited about meeting me. I always blame it on the travelers not using guidebooks. "If they only had a copy of the EZ66 Guide (or any guide...fill in the blank) they would have read about how incredibly interesting we are here in our little old filling station", I grumble.
Sometimes we attempt to lure folks into the Station in some very obvious ways. We're not as good at it as Harley and Annabelle in Erick, but we're getting pretty adept at putting on our own little show. On nice days, we sometimes sit outside on the apron in front of the Station and wave people in, sideshow-barker style. If Ron's there, he will even don his oversized red,white, and blue Uncle Sam hat and get right out there on the side of the road. It works like a charm, although I'm sure that more than half the people who pass by think we're a couple of wackos with a lot of time on our hands. That's ok. All I want to do is meet people.
We've discussed the matter of signage a lot lately. I have two big OPEN flags that fly from the columns, aneon OPEN sign in the window, and a sandwich-board type sign that reads MUSEUM OPEN (with a Route 66 shield). I'm beginning to think that I've forgotten one thing... the magic word -- FREE! The next sign is going to indicate that there's no charge for what we're offering -- information, ice water, popcorn, and a lot of cool stuff to look at. Perhaps that's the answer.