Whenever I wrap up a book tour or even one of my shorter road stretches, I find I’ve accumulated a collection of disparate gifts and mementos. Books, notes, green-shelled eggs, tomato plants, snickerdoodles, funky magnets, a fine pair of slippers with cow appliques (those were actually mailed — thanks T!), t-shirts, rooster sweatshirts, inexplicable hoodies, fire department patches, truck mirrors (yep, you bet)…each thoughtfully presented by a reader somewhere out there. During book tour – especially if I am flying and traveling light – I often have to box them up and mail them home, so they’re waiting for me here in my office upon my return. When I’m driving myself, I keep a box or two in the back of the car and pile the goods in there.
After a couple of months of heavier touring I still have a few of those boxes to sort. I thought it might be fun to show you a photo of an item I just dug out, and how it represents (in this case, literally) a story.
This was the gift (when someone hands me something that says “International,” it’s a pretty good bet they’ve read Truck):
And here was the note accompanying (click to expand).
The references to asphalt mileage and “never been shifted into third after 1943” are terrific.
The thoughtfulness I encounter so regularly is the greatest gift of all. Please consider this my thank-you in general. I will say that gratitude notwithstanding, one has only so much shelf and floorspace (don’t get me started on the pole barn!), so at some point there may need to be a charity auction, but I’d never do that without announcing it first. The snickerdoodles are long gone, by the way.
Want to be the first to know when Mike has a new book, or is coming to your area? Please sign up for the email list.