Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brazilian Supertravelers

Just a quick photo emailed to me by Dolor and Angela, the Brazilian couple Marly met at Afton Station the other day when I wasn't there. I've forgotten the exact statistics, but I know they've been riding their motorcycle for something like 250,000 miles without interruption and have been gone for over two years. That's what I call intrepid travelers! Marly is with them in the photo.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Time, or lack thereof

I was so inspired by the incredibly beautiful sunrise this morning that I started wishing for some free time at Afton Station today so that I could do a little writing. I've been too busy to do anything of a creative nature lately and, sadly, today was no exception. On one hand, I pine for those long winter days at Afton when a lack of visitors provides me time to write, draw, think. On the other hand, nothing makes me happier than a busy day full of friends, old and new.

Today was a typically busy summer day. Marly and Kenny were hard at work on the new showroom, Tattoo Man dropped in for several hours, and newer friend Jon Edwards stopped by. He explains his frequent visits to Afton Station as a function of a "pull" that Route 66 has upon him. He just can't stay away, and that's just fine with us.

What's not to like about someone who brings you fruit? This gentleman, Jack Fanning from Leawood, KS, came in for a visit and left by giving me a gorgeous, ripe cantaloupe. In between, we had a great conversation. What a very nice guy! He's a former Tulsan, but has moved around a lot in his life. I trust he'll come back for another visit soon.
Other travelers who chose to spend a bit of their travel time with us were from Corry PA, Albany OR, Tahlequah OK, Johnson City TX, Chicago IL, and Barberton OH.

I took this picture of "my" corn field this afternoon. If you look closely you'll see developing ears at the bottom of the plants. Shouldn't be long before we have corn! Well ok, not "we". It's not my field nor is it my corn. I'm just its chronicler. :-)
I can't resist one more photo of this morning's sunrise. A riot of color!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

And now for a little irony. . .

It was lovely to have a relatively non-chaotic day at Afton Station today. Ron M. joined me there again, and our guests arrived in a rather well-spaced manner, so although we had a good number of visitors, we had time to spend a little quality time with each of them.

A wonderful statistic is this -- we had four families who arrived (separately) with small children! I think that's a new record for one day at Afton Station. As I've indicated previously, most of our guests are of the "older" variety -- those who are driving Route 66 to relive childhood memories. Younger folks with even younger kids are somewhat rare. . . but not today! Furthermore, all of the kids were well-behaved and seemed interested in at least some aspect of Route 66. Several kids wanted to use the pressed penny machine. One little girl was terrified by the Snake Box until her mother very gently showed her that it was harmless. One lucky little boy got a ride in that awesome '57 Chevy golf cart that Marly was working on today. It was definitely Youth Day at Afton Station!

Here's Marly taking a little spin on the golf cart before adding a canvass " sun roof" at the request of the owner.
Visitors came from Irving TX, Miami OK, Tulsa OK, Centerton AR, Ft. Lauderdale FL, Sequim WA, Vinita OK, Kiowa KS, Blue Springs MO, Minneapolis MN, and good 'ol Afton, OK.

The guy on the left was taking his maiden voyage on his brand new motorcycle. His cousin (on right) was giving him some riding tips. They left from home in Miami OK and came to Afton first. Now those were two happy guys, especially the brand new biker. We hope he had a great ride!

Now, about the aforementioned irony. . . I hired a guy to detail my car today. In four years and 148,500 miles the poor thing had never been detailed or waxed. (Yes, I know. . . I do tend to ignore the exteriors of my beloved "daily driver" automobiles.) So, several weeks ago a very nice guy came to Afton Station and asked to be hired for the job. Since Marly has way too much on his plate for me to heap another burden on him, I hired the other fellow. He came today and spent several hours spit polishing every inch of the car, then adding a coat of very good wax. Fine. He did a great job.

Flash forward.

Less than three minutes after he finished the detailing (in the blazing sun), as we were pulling out of the Station to drive home, the heavens opened and absolutely torrential rain poured from the sky. And, that same torrent followed us almost all the way home! In fact, for the most part, it was coming down so hard that everyone was driving with emergency flashers on because the visibility was so bad. Sigh. . . So much for my beautiful detail job! Oh well, at least the interior is still beautiful. And I do apologize to to anyone who was stuck in the storm, because clearly my detailing was the catalyst for the rain. :-)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's been a while. . .

. . . but I'm back. My daughter Sarah has gone home and I'm sad about that, but it was great to get back to Afton Station today. The fort was held down by Marly and Betty B. while I was gone, and a fine job they did indeed! Betty B. was enlisted when Marly had a phone call which caused him to have to leave on Thursday, and "Super Salesman" Betty sold lots of merchandise while she was there, as well as offering her friendly smile to quite a few visitors. And as usual, Marly was the perfect host, with his combined knowlege of Route 66 and automobiles. Things were in good hands!

Sarah and I took a little trip to the Talimena Drive, which is a scenic mountain jaunt between Talihena, OK and Mena, AR. Talimena Scenic Drive in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The last time I was there, the fog was so dense that it was impossible to see beyond the hood of the car. This time, it was beautiful!
We spent the night at the lodge at Robber's Cave State Park. More beautiful scenery and great accomodations. Robbers Cave State Park - Oklahoma's Official Travel & Tourism Site
We made a pilgrimage to Lovera's in Krebs, OK, a fabulous Italian market that specializes in Italian cheeses and sausages made on site. We bought a lot of cheese. Yum! Welcome - Lovera'sThe next day we visited the Heavener Runestone State Park (also in Oklahoma) where we learned about the Vikings who visited Oklahoma (yes, really!) and how their writings on stone have been preserved for centuries. Heavener Runestone State Park - Heavener, Oklahoma
Finally, we made a quick visit to Fort Gibson, OK, a pre-Civil War fortress perfectly preserved as it was when it protected the citizens of the western frontier. Fort Gibson Historic Site - Fort Gibson, Oklahoma

Ok, so back to Afton. . . Today was busy and varied, and I was very glad to be back. Ron M. went with me, and Betty W. and Tattoo Man were both there for a good bit of time, too. Additionally, we had visitors from Lawton OK, Alamagordo NM, Wichita KS, Tulsa OK, Blue Springs MO, Locust Grove OK, Pierce City MO, British Columbia Canada, Grove OK, and Cashion, OK. The folks from Cashion OK, the Greenwoods, were on their 25th Anniversary trip, and seemed to be enjoying their vacation and each other.
A group of six motorcycle riders from Tulsa stopped by, and their motorcycles looked really nice parked in front of our building.We were finally able to raise the American flag given to me by Betty B. It looks wonderful. Thank you so much, Betty!
Ron Hart, the Executive Director of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce and his wife stopped by and told us about his plan to create a mobile Route 66 Information booth that can be moved from place to place in order to spread the word about the charms of the Mother Road. Route 66 Chamber of Commerce homepage

And finally, at the very end of the day (in fact, I was locking the front door at the time) friends Richard, Suzanne, and Duncan Moeur drove in. They're doing a BIG Route 66 trip from their home in Arizona, and it's far from the first. Little Duncan gets taller every time they stop by. Wish we could have visited longer, but I was in a bit of a rush to get home for a previously planned engagement.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My daughter Sarah is visiting for the week, so I don't really have much time for blogging. And yet, I still want to let you know the stats for Afton Station today.

Lots of visitors. . . coming from Bristol TN, Paola KS, Oak Grove IL, Dayton OH, Blanchard OK, Marietta OH, Chickasha OK, Springdale AR, Mesa AZ, and good ol' Afton itself.

Mike and Sharon Ward stopped by on their way home to Arizona from the Festival. Jon Edwards stopped in to give me yet another of his excellent CDs (he's a great musician). Betty W. hung out for a while, as did Tattoo Man.

The guys poured the floor of the new showroom today.
And the corn in "my" field continues to grow.

Sarah and I are taking a little trip tomorrow afternoon and Thursday. We're exploring Talimena Drive (Talimena Scenic Drive in Oklahoma and Arkansas) and checking out the town of Krebs, OK (Krebs, Oklahoma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) where a settlement of Italian folks insures that the Italian fare is top notch all over town. Marly will be minding the store, so please stop in and see him.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Incredible Weekend!

Wow, what a weekend at a Route 66 Festival! Oh, I always have fun at these, but this one was special. Since I just got home from the three-day event, and since my daughter arrives tomorrow for a week, I'm going to have very little time for blogging about much of anything for a while, but I don't want to pass up the opportunity to show you a few photos.

On Friday, I worked at Afton Station for the afternoon before heading for the Downstream Casino in Quapaw where the Festival was taking place. Before I knew it, friends who were also heading for the Festival were walking in the door at record speed, just like Thursday. The party got an early start right there at Afton Station.
Barb Pfister, LaSandra Nickson, Brad Nickson, Jim Ross, Shellee Graham, Fred Zander, and Lulu Bagdon on the floor

When I finally left for the Downstream around 4, I had a leisurely drive of about 30 miles in order to get there. I was thrilled with my room at the hotel, which is an elegant highrise (about 10 floors, I believe, overlooking the spot where three Route 66 states converge -- Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.) Here's the view from my 5th floor room.

Having no interest in gambling, I never did see the casino, which I have heard is large and also lovely.

Friday night's gathering of well over 100 Route 66 fans was a party next to the beautiful hotel pool. I managed to find myself a seat at the bar and, despite not drinking a drop of alcoholic beverage all night (wasn't in the mood) I managed to have one of the best times I've ever had at a party, and ended up closing the bar at around 11:30 when they started turning off the lights and "inviting" the last 5 of us to hit the road. Here are my bar-closing cohorts.Gordo Radford, Lyn Bagdon, Croc Lyle, Ace Jackalope (whose name is actually Greg)

Saturday morning dawned early with the breakfast exclusively for Yahoo EGroup members at 7 a.m. Aphoto of most of the group can be viewed at Denny Gibson's site at I'm there somewhere, peeking out from behind, which is where I belong! I was quite excited about being presented wonderful old framed Route 66 maps by Mike Ward at the breakfast, one of which has a reference to the Eagle Service Station in Afton on the back. That is now Afton Station, of course. Way cool, and thank you, Mike! Here's another photo from Denny.

In the afternoon, it was all about booths set up by vendors, Route 66 associations, authors, artists, and various exhibitors. I spent most of the afternoon gabbing with friends and sitting in at some booths while folks took breaks or went to lunch. It was another great opportunity to hang out with friends. I also got a Native American Flute lesson from friend Larry Kinsey, who is actually very good at it and, knowing I was going to be bringing my flute, toted along four or five of his own. I managed to produce a half decent scale, and that's about it. I'm hopeless. But thanks to Larry for giving it a try.

Flute lesson from Larry

Chatting with Marian Clark and Michael Wallis

Ron M., moi, Akii (from Japan, comes to the Festival every year, and has written several books about Route 66) and Marian

Last night was the big Will Rogers banquet, at which awards are awarded, speeches are delivered, and dinner is consumed. Like every other year in every other venue, it was a joyous gathering of friends. I'm running out of steam, so I'm going to urge you to go to Ron Warnick's excellent review of the event, along with the list of award winners. Congrats to one and all!

I got up this morning early (again!) and headed for Afton Station since I had some folks coming to visit on their way home from the Festival. That's an understatement! The entire day consisted of friends dropping it. . . party time once again! Here are some photos. . .
Joe Sonderman, Joy Avery, Robert Schulz, Jim Conkle

Being the Master of Ceremonies, Jim Conkle always wears his tuxedo to the Will Rogers Banquet, and of course gets teased about looking like my penguin. Wish he'd had the tux on for this photo

Jerry McClanahan, last night's big winner of the coveted Will Rogers Award, the highest honor Route 66 bestows. Artist, author of the iconic EZ66 Guide, and my friend.

Two authors: Ron M's friend Jack Fitzgerald with Jerry McClanahan

And to top it all off, all day today solar powered cars passed by Afton Station on their yearly "race". I'll talk more about that in another post. They're sure fun to watch!

Oops, forgot to give the daily roundup of guests:

Friends: Tattoo Man and Roz (Bartlesville OK), Dave Emerson and son (Kansas City), Drew Knowles (Texas), Joe Sonderman (St.Louis), Joy Avery (Tulsa), Jim Conkle (Phelan CA), Robert Schulz (Illinois), Ron McCoy (Tulsa OK), Jack Fitzgerald (Palm Springs CA),Brad and LaSandra Nickson (Tulsa OK), Jim Ross (Arcadia OK), Shellee Graham (Arcadia OK), Bob Swengroh (Arkansas), Dave Willman and daughter Lindsey (Denver CO), Jerry McClanahan (Chandler OK), . . .

. . . and 21 other NEW friends, from Toronto, Canada, Vinita OK, Joplin MO, Afton OK (newlyweds... got married yesterday!), Eau Claire WI, Johannesburg South Africa, Waterloo IA, Dramier Norway, and Lincoln, NE. Wow!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Parade of friends, new and old

The Tri-State Festival began today, but I chose to keep Afton Station open instead of going there, and I'm glad I did. I'll go tomorrow, but for today I was fortunate enough to meet and greet some old friends on their way to the Festival, as well as some new and interesting folks from here, there, and everywhere.

Allow me to elaborate. . .

The guests came from New Braunfels TX, Coatesville PA, San Francisco CA (actually from France, but recently transplanted in SF), Liberty KS, Kobe Japan (and here they are). . .
Japanese friends

. . .Chamonix France, Olathe KS, Los Angeles CA, Euclid OH (photographer and Facebook friend David Schwartz,who is traveling to the Festival and will be selling his cool Route 66 calendars and other photos there). . .
David Schwartz lines up a shot

. . .Vinita OK (the curator of the Eastern Trails Museum there), Fall River MA (in their neat '69 Barracuda heading for the Festival) . . .
The cool Barracuda which will be in the Festival car show

. . .Tahlequah, OK (third visit by Jon Edwards, brought me one of his CDs, which is excellent -- he's a fine musician). . .
Jon Edwards album cover

. . .Chandler, OK (my friend, author of the iconic EZ66 Guide and awesome artist Jerry "McJerry" McClanahan on his way to the Festival), and Gravois Mills, MO (Bob Swengrosh, also heading for the Festival.

McJerry and Bob chatting about . . .?

The Station looks great. Kenny worked all day washing windows and scrubbing floors, and Marly came later and supervised the pouring of concrete out back. Tattoo Man stopped in briefly on his way to the Festival, and Betty W. spent some quality time with me today, too. Wonderful day at Afton Station!

I'll be away from this blog until Sunday night, at which time I'll have a Festival report. Have a great weekend. I intend to do the same.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Almost Festival Time

It's obvious that the International Tri-State Route 66 Festival is near (this weekend, in fact) because Route 66 friends from all over the world are migrating to the Joplin, MO area where it's being held this year. Several such friends came to Afton Station today. I'll be seeing the rest of them over the weekend.

I met Denny Gibson from Cincinnati, OH at Clanton's for breakfast this morning. The smile was for the sausage omelet, I think.

After an hour of catching up there, we proceeded to the Station, where Denny stayed for a while and we had a good visit. It was his first time at Afton Station. Hard to imagine that.
Later in the day, Mike and Sharon Ward from Mesa, AZ stopped by and we chatted for a couple of hours. The last time they were there, we were just a card table and folding chair in a not-yet-restored mess of an abandoned gas station. It's always so good to know that at least once a year a group of like-minded friends (perhaps better described as Route 66 fanatics) are able to get together somewhere in this country, and it always seems like no time has passed at all between visits.
Mike and Sharon

During the middle of the day, there was the usual assortment of travelers from here and there. They came from Hutchinson KS, Austin TX, Grove OK, W. Dundee IL, Monkey Island OK, Syracuse NY, and Japan. The three men from Japan are caviar buyers, at Grand Lake to buy the rare paddlefish roe which is harvested there by the OK Dept. of Wildlife.

I had a very strange, almost surreal experience this afternoon when a couple arrived (I won't say where they came from), and while the husband went into the showroom to look at the cars, the wife spent ten minutes telling me what a "boring" and "disappointing" place Route 66 is. They got as far as Afton, having started in Chicago, and were going to turn back as soon as they left the Station because, with the exception of one or two places, they found the Mother Road to be nothing more than a succession of "boring" small towns with absolutely nothing to see whatsoever. If I hadn't been certain that she was just having a bad day (or perhaps that she was just ornery by nature) it would have completely bummed out my day. However, after getting past the rudeness of her walking into a Route 66 museum and telling the proprietor that she has committed her life to a terrible thing, I came to realize that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and I wasn't going to let it get me down. The rest of the day was way too good to let her spoil it.

I wasn't in Afton, as you may remember, either Sunday or Monday. Marly took over on those days, with some help from Tattoo Man, and they had quite an array of visitors. Wish I'd been there! On Sunday, the 50 visitors came from Missouri, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Zealand, Utah, Kansas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Alabama, Australia, Georgia, and England. On Monday, 20 visitors came from Baxter Springs KS, Scottsdale AZ, France, Afton OK, Sloam Springs AR, Topeka KS, and North Carolina. Thanks so much, guys!!!

The heavy rain yesterday revived "Lake Afton" in our side driveway. The birds have their birdbath back!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


No Afton Station today for me, and not much time for the blog, but I just want to post a few photos. After a quick tour of Bartlesville and a delicious lunch at the famous Murphy's Steak House there, it was off to the Tall Grass Prairie, my favorite place on earth. It was a good bison-watching day. A HUGE herd was in the road, so looking them right in the eye was no problem at all. We ended the day by visiting friends in Pawhuska.

Here's Ron M.'s houseguest Jack digging into the iconic "Hot Hamburger" at Murphy's. . . bread, beef, fries, topped with brown gravy. I'd never be brave enough to tackle that! None of the following pics were taken with a telephoto. That's how close our bison friends were today. Gentle animals, but WAAAAY big! They're losing their winter coats now, so they're looking pretty shabby, but the babies are cute. They'll get out of the road if you just drive very slowly and give them time. After all, it's their prairie, not ours.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A visit from Jack

Our special guest at Afton Station today was Jack Fitzgerald, Ron M.'s friend from California who is staying with him for a while and spent all day with us today. Jack even got to do a little "work", since he's fluent in many languages and served as a translator for our guests from Bologna, Italy. Here's Jack (sitting) chatting with visitors from Italy.

And Ron took him for a ride in the '65 Chevy.
It was a busy morning, but there was a lull at noon so we were able to enjoy a nice lunch (we rarely have anything formal for lunch -- usually just some carrots and dip, but today I made sandwiches and deviled eggs) -- and then the number of people coming through the door increased in the afternoon. It was actually a pretty great day. Besides the aforementioned Italian gentlemen, we also had visitors from Elmont NY, Grapevine TX, Palm Springs CA, Parsons KS, Wichita KS, Sanamonville PA, Sarnia Ontario Canada, Anderson MO, and Langley, Vinita, Miami, and Choteau OK. Friend PJ from Miami, OK brought me a CD of photos he took of the putting up of the big DX sign last month. I will post some of them here another day.

Marly had an excellent day yesterday, too. He had visitors from Oak Hills CA, Chico CA, West Springfield MA, Chandler AZ, Houghton Lake MI, Springfield MO, Toronto Canada, Whiting KS, France, Ohio, New Mexico, England, and Missouri. Great work, Marly! He also beat our one-day record for sales!

Speaking of Marly, tomorrow I'll be taking my first day off for ages and Marly will be in charge all day at the Station. I'm leaving Afton Station in good hands. No, GREAT hands. Ron M., Jack, and I are going up to Pawhuska, Bartlesville, and the Tallgrass Prairie. Yippee! I don't know if I'll have a blog post tomorrow, but I'll be back on Tuesday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Fun With Pests

When I got to Afton Station today, the first thing I saw was everything from my file cabinet spread out all over everywhere. Fortunately, Marly was there to assure me that we hadn't been vandalized or burgled overnight. It seems that before they left last night, David and Marly saw a parade of ants entering and leaving the file cabinet, and by following them they discovered the culprit -- a couple of candy hearts left over from Valentines Day which had fallen to the bottom of the cabinet. While removing those, they observed some mouse-nibbling evidence in there, too. So, they sprayed to remove all the bad guys and set a mousetrap under my desk. It ain't easy keeping up with the invading pests around here, and even when we're scrupulous about keeping all food put away, something slips through the cracks. Literally. Sigh. . .

There was good news from yesterday as well, however. In my absence, Tattoo Man and Marly hosted quite a good number of guests, some from as far away as Italy and Australia. Laurie and Jean from Australia left me a nice gift. . . a decorative towel (suitable for hanging) which explains the Aussie bread called "Jimna" which, it appears, is cooked over an open fire. Very interesting!

Today, the guest list was varied and interesting, too. They came from Cambridge England, Westminster CO, Wyandotte OK, Gulfport MS, Akron OH, Mandal Norway, Quapaw OK, Queensland Australia, and Miami OK. After emerging from our showroom, the man from Akron said, "Who needs diamonds and rubies when you can have cars instead?" I liked that.

This couple from Australia, Robert and Kathi, are traveling Route 66 for the 2nd time, but this time taking a side trip to Niagara Falls to celebrate their 27th anniversary there. They were a wonderful couple and I wish them all the best for at least another 27.
The concrete guys were here this afternoon, and the cement mixer stood at the ready. I had hoped to watch the pouring, but they weren't quite ready by the time I had to leave. By the weekend, we should have a foundation pad for the new building.
Some Afton kids came by on their bikes today and it got me thinking about bicycles. I got my first tricycle at age 2 1/2, when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio. I'll never forget the free feeling I experienced the first time my father let me pedal it down the street and back (probably only about 50 feet) without him walking right beside me. Even at that tender age, I remember the details of that moment of freedom and power. When I got home from Afton, I found this photo of myself on that bike and it brought it all back. The next bike I got was at age 7, and it was the almighty two-wheeler. Another big moment in my life. After that, it was my first car, a '64 Olds Cutlass convertible. I've always been a creature who feels best with wheels under me. That holds true to this day.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ups and Downs

It was nice that the Station was open and ready to go when I got there this morning at 8:45, thanks to Marly. It helped get me out of the funk with which I started the day, but it was emotional ups and downs all day for me. Lamenting a quiet morning with more people passing by or taking pictures and leaving than those that actually stopped in, I actually found myself crying once. I need to get over this. It makes me feel like the wallflower at the senior prom when I don't have tons of visitors. I take it as a personal affront. Ridiculous!

The day improved as it went on, and ended with a respectable 19 visitors. They came from Tahlequah OK, Mountain Grove MO, Tulsa OK, Houston TX, Purcell OK, Goldsby OK, Olathe KS, Harrisville PA, Topeka KS, Grove OK, and Lansing MI.

A guy disguised as a traveler turned out to be a politician. He didn't bother to tell me that until I'd given him the guest treatment, then he pulled out a card and started spewing politics. I guess he didn't know my policy of NO POLITICS OR RELIGION SPOKEN HERE at Afton Station. He wasn't a member of my political persuasion, but even if he had been I doubt I'd vote for him. He wasn't my type. :-)

A wonderful man from Tahlequah OK returned for a second visit. His first visit was last week and, in my absence, Marly gave him the tour. He was so taken with the place that he came right back this week and stayed for over an hour while we chatted. He's a retired musician and plans to come back again next week. That certainly cheered my day.

In the morning I received a "wrong number", someone trying to contact the Afton Post Office, the phone number of which is one digit away from ours. Later in the day, the lady who had made the erroneous call gathered up her husband and their two little granddaughters and decided to visit us, based on our quick morning conversation. Love it! They were great people and well, what a way to make new friends!

Another interesting visitor today was Anne Slanina, a children's book author from Pennsylvania. She's just put out a new book in her "Annie Mouse" series and was on her way to Missouri to meet a gentleman whose poetry was the basis of her latest book. I think she's also doing a bit of research on Route 66 for her next one.... hmm... sounds good!
Betty Baumann made a few of these shirts which she will be selling at the Tri-State Festival on the 19th of this month as well as at Afton Station. They're short sleeved denim shirts upon which she has stenciled the decoration.



We put the Model A out this morning to get some air, and it did a pretty good job of luring folks into the Station. By the end of the day, I was smiling and satisfied. But when I got home at about 5, there was a message on my answering machine from a fellow from Australia named Laurie. He and his wife are traveling Route 66 and I SO wanted to meet them. Apparently they arrived just minutes after I left. He was detained in Kansas, so I missed him. Just one more disappointment on this Up and Down day.