Music City

Upon arrival at the large convention center, I found several dozen Wanderlodges included Duane and Mae Jean’s coach. Theirs was the first one I duded-up back in Jackson. I became immediately busy. I lettered inscriptions, monograms and images of all kinds for their friends.

Because of the link to school busses, the Wanderlodge had a flat, front-end cap over the windshield with an area for a name to go. Similar to the phenomenon with boaters, these couples each dreamt up a name for their beloved coach. That meant work for me.

I lettered names like ‘Bird of Play,’ ‘No Reservations,’ and ‘Iron Bird.’ One coach name referred to its main color ‘Mauvelous,’ and there was also ‘Blue Thunder,’ and the ‘Blue Bird Inn.’  Those quarter million-dollar coaches were pure luxury. In spite of the obvious opulence, these ego-driven folks kept thinking of additional things to make their coach even more special.

My affluent clients wanted a monogram or a fancy coat of arms on the side and often requested gold leaf. The talents developed as a sign man, antique fire engine gilder, carnival decorator and airbrush artist came in handy with these folks with their appetite for custom works.

Each evening after the long day of delicate paint work, I attended the formal dinner prepared for all in attendance. This gave me an opportunity to network and meet new clients. Many of these couples invited me to come to their home to do the work. This became an emerging pattern of my service to these people. 

I found a new manner of living life revealed a little at a time as I responded to the requests I received from this group. When these projects were complete, I returned to Michigan to prepare for the Jackson County Fair.

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