Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bookfield, Nowhere Road - Part 1

At the previous sales meeting, I received the Parchment Gold Award for working 75 hours per week and giving 30 demos a day. The gold medal was about the size of a silver dollar, octagonal and one side said, “ Parchment Gold Award – 30 Demos A Day – 75 Hours A Week” and the other side said, “INTEGRITY, GOALS, COMPETITOR, TEACHABLE”. There was also a medal for working 80 hours per week, and a medal for working 80 hours a week in two consecutive years, that my twin sister Evie received. I would have gotten the 80 hours a week one, but I had ruined my chances of that by taking time off to see Evan. Well, at least it was worth it.

Everyone who received one was putting them on the flats of their elbows and then flipping them up to grab them as one’s hand came down. The theme music of that meeting was, Take it Easy, by the Eagles. I learned all of the lyrics:

Well, I’m runnin’ down the road, tryin’ to loosen my load,

I’ve got seven women on my mind:

four that wanna own me, two that wanna stone me,

one says she’s a friend of mine.

Take it easy, take it easy,

don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

Lighten up while you still can, don’t even try to understand,

just find a place to take your stand and take it easy.

Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona,

and such a fine sight to see:

it’s a girl, my Lord, in a flat bed Ford

slowin’ down to take a look at me.

Come on baby, don’t say maybe.

I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me.

We may lose and we may win though we will never be here again.

So open up I’m climbin’ in, so take it easy.

Well, I’m runnin’ down the road, tryin’ to loosen my load,

got a world of trouble on my mind.

Lookin’ for a lover that won’t blow my cover,

she’s so hard to find.

Take it easy, take it easy,

don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

Come on baby, don’t say maybe.

I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me.

Oh, we got it easy,

we ought to take it easy.

It’s kind of like a jingle that stays in your head, and you can’t stop singing it. The beat of the song helps with keeping up a steady pedal cadence too.

Back in my territory, as I rode out of town early one morning, I noticed a sign on my left that said, “Nowhere Road”. Nowhere Road was dirt, not paved, and dusty to boot. I couldn’t see any houses, but I turned down it anyway. What happens when one moves into a place on Nowhere Road? Does one become the nowhere man? My curiosity was piqued I rode quickly to see what was down that road.

After a short while, I saw some ramshackle looking shacks. Looking more closely, I noticed that they were neat and tidy, as if appearance mattered to somebody very much even though they lived in shacks. Some African-American children were running around, dressed in their Sunday best. Little girls were wearing pink and light blue frocks, ankle socks, little patent leather mary jane shoes, with matching ribbons in their neatly braided hair. I glided to a stop in front of the nearest house. The porch was mere slats of broken aged looking wood, but swept clean. The roof on it was only two-by-fours, not even with proper posts. The house itself was listing to one side. The children gathered around me, as if they had not seen a visitor in a long time. A motherly looking woman came to the open door with a fan and asked me to come in, without my even doing an approach.

As I sat in her home, I noticed that the roof was only corrugated metal, the brownish sheet rock walls had water stains, and some interior doors were merely hanging bed sheets. The furniture was broken down, stained, and looked like it came from the dump. Flies were everywhere, as there were no screens in the windows to keep them out and the front door was also wide open. Otherwise, the house was neat and clean. It was a hot sunny day and the air was stagnant. As I explained that I had something to show the kids, she called them in. I went through my demos, and the kids eyes lit up and went wide. Then, suddenly, she asked them to leave. They went back outside without a word or a sullen look. I looked to her for an explanation, and she said, “Don’t worry about them none, honey. They know we don’t have money for them books. I just thought they would enjoy the show.” She offered me a cold drink and told me about her older daughter who had kids in junior high and high school and then left them with her. The daughter had run off someplace, no one was sure where. Afterwards she showed me out.

Now I understood why the road was called Nowhere. The people living here were pathetic, no money for books, living in rundown shacks, it was all so sad. But they still had pride and love. I made a quick decision that at the end of the summer, I would come back and leave my demo books with them. And I did.


Ryan said...

heart felt post good 4 u leaving something that u didnt need anymore. i love getting songs like that stuck in my head makes the day go by!

Sue said...

Thanks Ryan. That song sure did.