Travel for two days and go 3000 miles to see old friends. Yes my High School Reunion.
Back in March, after much debate with myself as to do it or not do it I decided to go to my first class reunion. I don't know why I never went to one before but I guess it just scarred the heck out of me to even think of it. Mortality and all that stuff, you know.
Being quite proud of what I do, I also saw an opportunity to hook some of my old classmates up to my shampoo bars so I called my old friend Mike Ford who owns Knowlen & Yates in McCook, yes that is McCook as in Nebraska. He runs a wonderful, unique high-end kitchen accessory store there. This store is such an anomaly being in a small town with a total population of 7,463 people, it's hard to imagine. There must certainly be some well-stocked "professional" chefs living in that town. Check out this review of Mike's store: http://bit.ly/9u8azq
Anyway, I gave Mike a call and let him know that I had decided to come back for the reunion. At that point it was suggested that I ship him a bunch of my shampoo and other products to have on hand during the reunion for those not familiar with them. He seemed to like the idea so we put together an order and I had it shipped out.
My brother Ron picked me up in Denver (he lives there and also graduated from McCook Sr. High) and we were off on our grand adventure. Five hours later we pull into town and stopped immediately at "Mac's Drive In" for a couple of double burgers. This was the first trip down memory lane as Mac's used to be the turn around while "cruising" up and down Main Street. For those who have never grown up in a small town this was one of the highest forms of entertainment back then (and probably still is). Back and forth waving and honking at people in other cars, like it had been ages not laps since they had been seen last. Having a fast good looking car in a small Midwestern town is a real preoccupation for many (at the time, me too).
Next was Norris Park where they were having a concert for alumni and their families, lots of families. I knew no one! Not even someone who resembled someone. Finally I ran into a person with a badge on with a name that I recognized - an old classmate. I recognized the name but the face wasn't quite the same, then I guess with some imagination there were things that started to come back from far far away and after a short while it seemed he really hadn't changed much at all.
One person led to another then another and soon there were a group of old classmates standing around "remembering when" and catching up. What have you been up to (your whole life story in 120 minutes) over and over again. It was truly amazing how many of my old classmates had never made it much further than McCook, or had actually returned after leading successful lives elsewhere. Most were quite amazed when I told them I started a company almost 30 years ago that produced a line of Shampoo Bars - for your hair. There were many quizzical looks as if I had just mentioned that I lived on Mars. Yes Shampoo Bars for your Hair!
Well the next day class pictures were arranged. This whole process was directed by a very aggressive lady photographer who was not too high on people skills but very efficient at ordering everyone into conformance all being dictated by height, of course. That done a few memorable snaps of the shutter and all was documented for 2010.
Back at the table we were all sitting at, I broke out my computer and showed them our website and products then handed out a bunch of samples for them to try. All were amazed at how such a small bar could last for so long, and NO CONDITIONER!!!
We stopped into Knowlen & Yates to say hi to Mike and Laura his wife before leaving town and noticed the terrific display of our products that they had put together, right in the center of their store. There were a few people gathered around it so I jumped into my sales mode and started telling them all about the products. How there were no detergents, and why detergents are so bad for people and animals and the earth. What makes our products special and how I came to be making them. When I left there were several people with an armload of products heading off to the cash register to check out.
From all the samples I handed out at the reunion I have been getting a lot of rave reviews and it looks like I will be needing to restock Mikes store in the near future. So went a most memorable and enjoyable weekend in McCook, Nebraska. It really wasn't scary at all.
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