Last Sunday night I had to smile as I left Love's Travel Stop. It was late, and I was exhausted from a long week at The Augusta National Golf Club.
But Cassie, Annette and Ginger made it all better. The three were working the front counter of the convenience store as Miriam and I picked up a late night supper at Love's Travel Shack.
They asked how we were doing, how we enjoyed the tournament and the area, and wished us well on our journey home - not knowing home was less than five minutes away.
And that's the whole point.
They didn't know if I was a Fortune 500 CEO, Joe Average golf fan or some guy who spent Masters Week selling velvet golf art on the side of Washington Road. They were cordial and left a lasting positive impression.
For years, I've begged folks to remember that Masters Week is exceptionally important to our community. Why else do you think organizations like the Georgia Chamber of Commerce would roll out their red carpet to business bigwigs from all over the world that week? As for McDuffie County, one peek at the impressive fleet of planes at the Thomson airport should have shown the firepower that traveled through McDuffie County.
Now, do I think my annual reminder to be extra upbeat Masters Week had anything to with Cassie, Annette and Ginger's attitudes? Nope. I think it's something they probably do day-in, day-out. (In fact, everyone I've ever dealt with at Love's, especially Gloria, has always been great.)
But I also think they could be an example of what to do when the spotlight of the world shines on our area for that one week out of the year.
Speaking of lasting impressions, one roadside vendor on Washington Road sure left one on me.
Legsdontwork.com - yes, Legs Don't Work dot com - set up shop at the corner of Berkmans Road with a working example of one of their power wheelchairs. The company markets extreme mobility to customers with wheelchairs that allow them to play golf, travel off-road (think four-wheeler meets dune buggy) and participate in various other activities.
On display alongside Washington Road was the ParaGolfer. Strapped into the machine, a disabled person can actually stand and play golf. The cart can move around the golf course with ease, even allowing players to hit out of most bunkers.
Of course, I was a little taken aback by the company's name, but can't argue with their mission: "To educate, motivate and inspire people into action. To stand up and play!"
When it comes down to it, that's sort of what we all want out of life - the opportunity to stand up and play. For some, it may take a cool, motorized golf contraption. For others, it just takes the courage to try.