Sunday, October 19, 2008

Remember Ronco ?

The guy's name is Ron Popeil and I guess he has invented at least half of all the neat gadgets that you will ever see advertised on TV in those now famous infomercials. The rotisserie grill, the steak knives that never need sharpening, hairspray, jerky machine and dehydrator, and yes, the pocket fisherman- a rod and reel combo so small it fits in your glove compartment. To tell the truth, I've been using the dehydrator ( I actually have two of them with extra drying racks) for decades now and I wouldn't wish to face life without them. That may be a bit of a stretch, but hyperbole makes great points, don't you think? Any way, I don't bring up the Ronco deal because of the products but because of the "slogan" of the product line: "Set it and Forget it!"

And I got to thinking about this phrase as we drove from Pennsylvania to Dayton, Ohio, for the GPAA Gold Show at the Coliseum at the Montgomery County Fair Grounds. The Dutchstar was hauling a new combo behind. While in PA attending to all that needed attending to we also traded vehicles so instead of the trusted and trustworthy Honda Odyssey that we have towed for the last two years, we are now towing a full size Chevy Express 4X4 van. It alone weighs in at something like 2000 pounds heavier than the Odyssey, an addition to the load not to be ignored. Then into the back of the van we drove (not to ever be without a Honda) a new Rincon 4X4 ATV which adds another 600 plus or minus pounds. Would it be too much? Would it slow us down? Would it take an already frightful fuel mileage stat and make it ever the worse??? No, No, Nanette. Everything remained the same over the two day drive from there to here. In fact, everything went perfectly smoothly. It felt good. It was comfortable and reassuring. And it meant that Marilyn, the more conservative of the two of us on this matter of change, was not presented with the opportunity to say, "See?" At least not yet. I always allow for the possibility (though I may deny it publicly) that she will be, sooner or later, more right than I! But the point was: Nothing bad happened. There was no element of "down" in the trip. The weather was good. The road was good and straight. Even the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the road I have long blacklisted as America's worst highway, had a new toll booth that I could actually drive through to get my ticket without having to put vaseline on the outside of the rear view mirrors on the coach so I could squeeze the beast through the turnstile. Everything went right. Cruising! And I thought to myself, "Just like Ronco! Set it and forget it!"

But back to Ohio. Captain Larry, Carol, Jim, Phoebe, Rick, Judy- the Ohio/Florida friend set. No more truth to the "no blog posts from Ohio" thing! We're here. The Gold Show was a smaller operation than some of the others we have been to, but the day was great no matter what. Here in Ohio we met up with Don and Balinda, prospecting friends we met in Michigan. Bill and June too from Athens, Michigan. Then we palled around with a whole bunch of other friends that we made in Georgia, North Carolina and other places we have prospected. Our friends from Mississippi, Marge and Dutch, couldn't make it to the show, so we gave them a call from the hall and made the connection. Yes, we love looking for gold! Some people think it is a mineral. True, but as we say in the GPAA, the real gold is not in the dirt, but in the people we meet and the friends we make and keep.
Tom Massey, his wife Cindy, all the kids and much of the national crew were in attendance. Ken Rucker, general manager of GPAA kept things moving nicely. What a fun guy. And what a memory. He remembers not only the name of everyone he ever met on sight, but also where and when he saw you last. It's an amazing skill (wish I could do that) and one which serves the organization well. Between Ken and Tom- every member of this organization feels pretty darn special about their membership.

Since we cover the gold shows and regular outings of both the GPAA and the LDMA on a regular basis, I'll throw a slide show up for you rather than single shots. Enjoy:

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