Traveler reports from Alpine Shop
Traveler goes where the people are. On the first weekend of March, the people were at Alpine Shop in Kirkwood for their canoe and kayak sale. We were invited to come and set up a table for the weekend by Alpine Shop staff, and so Jo took “the kids” –aka Trav and Rascal– and set out to introduce St. Louis paddlesport enthusiasts to Traveler.
Jo’s husband, Eugene, graciously helped her haul and set up Traveler gear on Friday night. You wouldn’t think setting up a table with copies of the newspaper, and our famous-through-the-Midwest Missouri Guides and Outfitters would be a heavy burden (and it isn’t) but it does take time. Eugene, in the midst of buying a replacement car, also spent a little time midday on Saturday, giving Jo a mini-break to wander around the other exhibitor’s tables, and brought her lunch. The price for his cooperation was letting him give Trav some exercise.
Being as raccoons are world-famous for hanging around streams and washing their food, you wouldn’t think they would have any use for canoes, kayaks or paddles. Well, you would have guessed wrong. In between asking passersby if they wanted a newspaper, a Traveler magnet, or to start a subscription, both Rascal and Trav tried out paddlesports themselves. Rascal paddled her “plastic-built, flat-bottomed gigging canoe” (her words, not mine) furiously across the table with the only raccoon-sized paddle possible– a kitchen spatula she stole from a campsite when it was covered with Dutch oven cornbread batter.
Trav and his cousin Rick took over the “RMS Emery” not long afterward. (RMS, if you didn’t know, stands for Royal Merchant Ship.)
While the raccoons were carrying on, Jo answered lots of questions about Traveler, Missouri rocks, met some old friends, some subscribers and advertisers, and some new people…including three she had “friended” on Facebook, but never met, and she gave out papers.
We don’t like to “hard-sell” Traveler because we believe it sells itself, but someone has to get it out there for people to look at, and give the people a chance to make a personal connection.
At one point, Jo looked up and noticed that Trav had snuck off by himself, and was riding in the seat of a fishing kayak a few tens of feet away.He claimed the boat attracted him because it smelled like fish guts…Jo didn’t believe this, since the boat was impeccably clean….
Alll in all, a weekend well-spent.