When I first started in the company my dad and I would hit the road together to see our customers. I look back on these times and remember seeing myself as a youngster with no experience walking into dealers having no idea how to fit their needs with my product line. 10 years later, this has changed.
JC is from another generation. He would map (actually use a map) his stops ahead of time and visit them accordingly. As you can guess, times have changed. This past weekend gave JC and I the chance to hit the road to Rhode Island for a tradeshow. Not so fast.
The morning we were planning to depart it became apparent that JC didn’t have his car key. The key is a FOB and we weren’t sure if the key was left at (for some crazy reason you can drive without the key in the car once it is started) work or misplaced at home. We spent the first 3 hours of the morning searching and couldn’t find it. We made Jeff drive from Philly with my car so we could depart. Good start.
We got to Providence without any problem and checked into the hotel. JC gave the doorman a $13 dollar tip to bring the bags up to the room which seemed a tad pricey. I received a text a bit later from my mom that she found my dad’s key within 30 seconds of searching for it in his room. Wonderful.
JC had been alcohol free for 90 days and decided to celebrate the occasion with his oldest son of breaking the streak. I wasn’t an advocate for this but certainly wasn’t going to stop him. Within 3 minutes of having his first sip of alcohol, he tries to pour some sour cream on his baked potato and ends up fumbling the small serving bowl on his lap. Could have been a sign. Wonderful.
We get through the meal and hit the sac for night 1. We woke up the next morning and set up our booth for the show. It was a relatively painless process. Afterward we toured the streets of Providence where JC used to go to Bryant college back in the late 60’s. JC told me that Brown absorbed Bryant and Bryant had moved. We were driving around looking for Bryant and he wasn’t sure why he couldn’t find much of what he remembered. Turns out this absorption happened in 1971. JC tracked down a cop who he asked about Bryant and we got pretty close to where it used to be. Fun times.
The next day was the trade show which was 9 long hours standing at a booth. Everything went well. After the show we watched the Nova game at a nearby Italian restaurant in an area called Federal Hill. The next day was the trade show again and we left as soon as it ended. It was good experience in trying to get further distribution through a master wholesaler.
As I was driving home after dropping JC off at his house, he texts me “is my wallet in your car?” At this point my car is packed with stuff leftover from the trade show and I can’t see anything. I search a bit but tell him I can’t find it. He thinks he must have left it at a rest stop. The next day I end up finding it in a compartment of my car I’ve never even thought to look in. All is well that ends well.
JC is a bit of a hurricane but he certainly keeps life interesting. As the years go on we won’t have as many opportunities to go on trips like this together so it’s fun to spend the time together. He can drive me a little crazy because he packs like he’ll be away for a month when it’s 3 days. He brought 8 different button down shirts to give you an idea. He is also never on time which is the complete opposite of me. This can be a funny scene because I also walk a lot faster than him so when we are rushing some place because we are inevitably late, I’m leaving him in my dust. Either way, we had a good time and I’ll probably laugh at this post sometime years forward remembering this small details.