Day 4: June 22, 2008
E-Group Breakfast
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I spent my morning eating at the Business of the Year, taking advantage of a group pose of the New Business of the Year people arranged by the Person of the Year, then had my own picture taken by the Will Rogers Award recipient. High level stuff, eh? There was lots of great food, plenty of great prizes, and scads of great chatter with friends. Mike Ward made MCing and crowd control look easy (We all know it isn't!) and made sure everybody won at least one door prize. I got a cool Mother Road T-shirt. Somewhere in the middle, Nick Adam came up with a surprise.

As Nick tells the story, he got a phone call "at least ten years ago" telling him of an upcoming USA Today story that featured the Ariston along with some other restaurants. The caller offered to supply bumper sticker mentioning the story. The restaurant had no bumper stickers at the time and the price was attractive. Nick ordered the stickers and they arrived in a matter of days but no story ever appeared in the paper. The stickers sat in Nick's office until today when each breakfast attendee received a very nice but not quite truthful souvenir that you won't find in any roadside gift shop.

And there was another surprise for some of the crowd. Somewhere along the line, Doug & Jennifer Babin came up with this crazy idea of getting a neon sign made for the 4 Women on the Route. It must have been just crazy enough because roadies chipped in to help pay for it and Doug & Jennifer did lots of leg & mind work then transported the sign from Michigan. I took advantage of the PotY arranging the NBotY behind the counter of the BotY by grabbing my own picture. If there were Most Surprised or Most Appreciative awards, the 4 Women would be deserving of those, too.

All that remained was for the WRA winner to take a group picture which he did. He has also provided it for all to use. I've included a small version (to save you bandwidth) here and a copy (to save Swa bandwidth) of a larger one here.

It was raining when things broke up so folks could tell this picture was out of sequence even if I didn't 'fess up. It was actually taken as I followed Tow Tater to breakfast but it just seemed like a pretty good picture to end with.

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