Looking Back

 Posted by at 12:19 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 282016

Our friend Jim Lewis says that Miss Terry’s cooking is going to ruin him. I’ve known Jim for over 30 years, and he never has been a big eater. But that was before he was introduced to Terry’s cooking. Now he cleans his plate, and often has seconds. Yes, it’s that good.

Yesterday she made a delicious Mexican dinner that included her shredded beef tacos, refried beans, Spanish rice, pico de gallo, and fresh tortilla chips, all made from scratch. Jim said he thought his taste buds had died and gone to heaven.

Besides making wonderful meals for us, Terry is also busy proofing my new book. So far, she seems to enjoy it. That’s always a good sign. While she is working on the book, I need to get the new issue of the Gypsy Journal finished and sent out to our digital subscribers. I usually try to have it out by the end of the month prior to the issue date, for example by the end of December for the January/February issue. But I have to admit that between the holidays, having a house guest, working to finish this new book, and yes, a certain amount of goofing off, I’m running late. There’s a possibility it may not get out until a couple of days after my self-imposed deadline.

We were talking yesterday about the early days of publishing the paper and the difficulties of finding printers in different parts of the country to get each issue printed, then finding enough postage stamps in the right denominations to put on the envelopes, and getting everything mailed out. And we did it all from a motorhome.

There were a few adventures and misadventures along the way. Like the time we hired a mail service in Lancaster, California to handle the mailing because we were going to be vending at an Escapees RV Club rally there and didn’t have time. The guy who ran the company assured us that it would be a piece of cake, then he dropped the ball completely and Terry and I found ourselves standing on the loading dock of the post office in the fading light, putting labels on the envelopes and stuffing them into various canvas bags in a rush so they could make it to the distribution center in another town.

Another time, we were a small town somewhere in Wisconsin and purchased the hundreds of dollars worth of stamps we needed to put on the envelopes and picked up a bunch of the plastic mail tubs that we put everything in to take back to the post office. But when we returned the next day with a truckload of the tubs full of addressed and stamped envelopes, the postmaster refused to accept them. He said that was way too much work and we would have to find another post office someplace else to drop them off. I argued that it was stamped First Class mail, that they were all in postal bins and ready to go, and that this was the post office, so he had to accept them. His response was that until a postal employee put their hands on an envelope, it wasn’t mail and therefore it wasn’t their responsibility.

Now, some of you folks may not know it, but beneath this jolly, chubby exterior, there resides a fellow named Bad Nick. It’s best not to rile Bad Nick. I told the postmaster that yes, he was going to take those envelopes and send them on to the local distribution center for sorting. He smugly shook his head and told me that it just wasn’t going to happen. Want to bet?

Terry and I drove through that town and found every blue mailbox we could find on street corners, in front of stores, and in shopping centers, and we filled each one of those mailboxes to the brim with stamped envelopes. I don’t think you could have gotten a postcard inside of any of them by the time we were done. So instead of merely having bins full of envelopes that all they had to do was pass on to the truck headed towards the distribution center, now the local post office had to collect all of those envelopes from all of those mailboxes, put them in bins or bags or whatever they did with them, and send them down to the distribution center anyway. All the guy did was make more work for himself and his people.

Yes, life is a lot easier now that we are publishing just a digital edition. But as much hassle as it was at times, looking back from a distance, some of those memories were fun.

A lot of you did some of your Christmas shopping online by clicking this Amazon link or the Amazon Search box at the top right sidebar of this blog. We appreciate that, because when you purchase an item on Amazon any time of the year from one of our links, we earn a small commission, which helps us offset the cost of publishing the blog.

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Thought For The Day – Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Looking Back”

  1. Nick you got postal workers to pickup your mail from the blue-boxes in Wisconsin, but it was probably some other ‘postal workers’. When I put the mail in the blue box in Cloudcroft, NM it’s some (all?) times post marked El Paso, TX; my brother in Pittsburg, TX has no rural home mailbox and the blue-box-drop usually has it stamped Shreveport, LA and when I drop mail in the blue-box outside the front door of USPS-Quartzsite, AZ it frequently (always?) stamped Phoenix, AZ. Then friends call/email me and ask what I’m doing in Phx and not Q? USPS is antiquated and status-quo..

    Joe/Kay Peterson (founders of SKPs) said at the Gillette, WY Escapade that USPS from the city of Houston brought a few of their postal employees to SKP hdqtrs in Livingston, TX to see how automated and efficient their SKP mail-forwarding was.

    Happy New Years.

  2. Thanks for the chuckle this morning ๐Ÿ™‚ I laughed out loud reading your story about the US Post Office. All in al they do a great job, but sometimes I scratch my head when seeing or hearing what they do for efficiency. No wonder they run in the red for so many years.

    I worked many years for a major California news service in their IT department. We had many discussions of how the 800 plus contractors drove by every driveway in Orange County between the hours of 4 am and 6 am, only delivering and getting paid for a fraction of the residences at a fraction of what the post office did and they stop and every address. Of course we made money back then and lots of it! Go figure.

  3. I think that i would have told the guy that i was going to call the Post Master General and see what his thoughts on the matter were! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. So enjoy your blog!

  5. I laughed at your PO solution. I have done a fair bit of mailing newsletters and they weren’t first class, but banded by zip. Not fun when Toastmasters International sent me address labels for 3,000+ newsletters for Florida that were not sorted by zip one time. They got an earful!

  6. We laughed at your solution for the PO in that small town!! Do you think all your magazines were actually mailed and delivered? Well, often workers, esp. ones working for the govt (and my hubby retired from a govt job so I can say this) are the most lazy creatures on earth!! It takes an act of congress to get them fired, you know. My hubby was a hard worker so even though there were several mechanical engineers and many civil and general engineers with him usually the lone electrical engineer in his office…he was constantly being called out to do work in those other areas!! I used to ask him if he was the ONLY ONE with any brains in that outfit??

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