On the way home from Afton, I was listening to an NPR show about misconceptions. Although it concentrated on global and national misconceptions -- the kind that people just can't stop believing, despite proof positive that they are indeed not true (example: that Obama is a Muslim) -- it got me to thinking about the misconceptions that are being exploded just about every single day since I became the proprietor of Afton Station.
Before moving to Oklahoma, when my dream of having a visitors' center on Route 66 was not yet fully formed, I imagined the kinds of people I'd be meeting and greeting every day. Just about every idea I had then has proved to be a misconception. I visualized scads of happy little family groups. Some, but very few, of those come to visit. I expected to entertain more children. Not so. I imagined a parade of visitors far younger than those that actually visit. I had no idea how many truck drivers would be interested in Route 66. I had heard, but had no proof, that lots of foreign travelers would visit. I underestimated how many folks would want to share details of their personal life with me. I imagined having my visitors' center being in a friendly, vital little town rather than a virtual ghost town that offers no support for my business.
Don't get me wrong. I'm as happy as can be with what I have, and with the people I've met. I'm actually glad that most of my misconceptions weren't accurate. There is a mere handful of folks I've met that I haven't appreciated. But, in life, we just don't know what we're getting ourselves into until we're in it up to our necks. As for me, I like what I've found, and I'm definitely up to my neck in it!
Today's visitors -- 24 of them -- were quite the mixed bag. We (Tattoo Man and I) started the day with a family of 5 from Johnston, SC. They actually DID fit into my early conception of traveling families. Mom, Dad, and three sweet little girls! Then came a trucker from Carthage, IL, and boy oh boy, did he like to talk! A Harley arrived carrying a nice young man from Dubendorf, Switzerland.
I expected we'd have some Gold Wing visitors coming back from Tulsa. The first two were on their way back to Richmond, VA and Chester, VA. They stayed a while as they dried off from an rather unexpected rain shower. Later, a couple from Alpha, IL on their pretty silver Gold Wing came in.
A couple of Harley riders from Webb City, MO came in and told me they didn't want to do any more of their trip on Route 66 because it was just "too rough". Somewhat shocked, I told them that people come from all over the world and rent Harleys just to ride Route 66, and I've never heard any complaints! They were very nice, but they remained unconvinced. Upon leaving, they peeled out of the parking lot laying rubber, and exited town with a mighty roar, going approximately double the posted speed limit. Then, I got it. They're just NOT Route 66 types!
Three interesting vehicles arrived during the course of the day. Since all three parked in front of the gas pumps, I found out I could take pictures of them out the window and never had to move my lazy butt out of my chair. So, here they are (should enlarge with a click): [Sorry, they seem not to want to click to enlarge.... grrr!]
1966 Rambler American from Mahomet, IL
1972 Maverick from Moundville, MO
1956 bright yellow Ford Ranch Wagon from Fayetteville, AR. This was so jacked up that the slight young woman passenger had to hurl herself in the air to get in her seat.
Finally, there were visitors from Nowata and Broken Arrow, OK. Everybody was talkative today. I'm tired, and look forward to a quiet evening.
I took this picture this morning. I like it!