As winter approaches, our hours of operation at Afton Station become shorter. We're still trying to stay open 7 days a week, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. I hope we can go on this way until the end of November, after which we will close in December and January. Because I can't always be at the Station, I have amassed a great group of folks who are willing to work for me for a few dollars above nothing or, in some cases, for no salary at all.
My Number One volunteer is Ron M., whom by now most regular readers of this blog will be well acquainted. Ron does everything for me and there is no way I could run Afton Station without him. He fetches my wheelchair, puts out the flags, opens up the showrooms, cleans, cheerfully greets visitors, and keeps me sane. He is with me every single day at the Station and often his ideas of how to display merchandise or publicize the museum are welcome and sensible.
There are three others too, and I feel lucky to have crossed paths with them. In a small town like Afton, it's amazing that I could find three folks who want to help out with keeping us open seven days a week and all of them are good with visitors.
Robin is a real worker bee! She is willing to do just about anything I ask of her, including restocking the soda pop and paper products in her free time and working almost every day I request. In addition, she is now making a line of beautiful jewelry out of the pennies from our squashed penny machine (with added beads and bling) which she sells at the Station. She has lived in Afton all her life, so she can answer just about every question concerning local directions and other matters.
Sue is Marly's wife, and although she has been away for the last month or two, she will soon be back in town and ready to work a day or two a week. She is great with tourists. Husband Marly is also a helper around the Station, and he can do all kinds of repairs which are often needed in an old building like ours.
Our newest helper is Rann Lee, who is a long-time friend of Robin's. He too, is great with customers and he has one asset the rest of us don't have -- deeper knowledge of antique cars and the ability to answer questions about them that might be asked by visitors. He collects Hot Wheels himself and has done so since he was a kid. He also holds down two part-time jobs -- Afton Station and a local restaurant.
Betty W. is in a class by herself. She is always ready to help in any way she can, and she is a self-starter. She doesn't need to be asked before she springs into action when needed. She is always smiling and friendly to the visitors. Everyone in town loves Betty since she owned the famous Dairy Ranch for 41 years and served burgers and limeade to every Afton citizen. Additionally, she brings us some incredible home-baked goodies!
Because of this great bunch of folks, I feel entirely confident that, when I'm not at the Station, visitors will be treated well and questions answered as accurately as possible. All of them are Route 66 fans, and that helps too, of course. So, come for a visit soon and meet some of these fine people.
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