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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Under the Chinaberry Tree

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Monday, April 8
Fran Houser Adrian Midway Cafe
Tuesday, April 9
Peter Avila San Benito Conjunto Museum
Wednesday, April 10
Suzanne Theis Houston Car Parade
Thursday, April 11
Dorinda Millan Pecos Museum
Friday, April 12
Troy Grusendorf Brownwood Harmonica
Complete Schedule for April

In Print: On News Stands Now


by Tumbleweed Smith

When I walked up to the registration counter at the Holiday Inn Express near Hulen Mall in Fort Worth last Friday, there was a man checking in. The clerk looked and me and said, 'I'll be with you in a moment.' I told him not to hurry. When the man finished his check-in, I told the young man behind the counter that I had a reservation and gave him my name. He smiled, handed me a bag of goodies and said, 'You're our guest of the day.'

I asked him what that meant.

'It means you get a huge upgrade to our Jacuzzi suite,' he replied. 'The Jacuzzi is in the bedroom, not in the bathroom. And you get this bag of goodies, which contains a bottle of water, a bag of popcorn, some hard candy, a chocolate bar and a certificate for a free movie.'

Well, I was thrilled. I thanked him, took the bag out to my car, handed it to my wife Susan and said, 'I'm the guest of the day.' She was thrilled, too and considered herself mighty lucky to be traveling with such a person of prominence.

We put our luggage on a cart and walked through the front door. I saw something I had missed on my first entrance into the facility. A sign just to the side of the registration counter proclaimed my good fortune to be guest of the day. I knew it was going to be a special time. Susan took a picture of me standing by the sign with my name on it. I was smiling.

It's something I'm sure will go on my curriculum vitae and I will use it in my introduction when I make my next speech.

Possible no one has enjoyed being Guest of the Day more than I did. We went to a meeting that evening and I told several people about my sudden elevated status. Some of them laughed, others looked at me funny. All during the meeting, I kept thinking about getting back to our Jacuzzi suite and enjoying the popcorn and candy while watching a free movie. Once we decided which movie to watch, Susan put the bag of popcorn in the microwave and it popped to perfection. We drank the free bottle of water and ate the free chocolate. We drifted off to sleep thinking good thoughts.

The next morning when we checked out, I noticed the sign with my name on it was still up. Such a good feeling! I handed the girl behind the counter my free movie certificate and she asked me if I enjoyed being guest of the day. I told her it was a real highlight in my life.

I don't care if my name was chosen at random from the reservation list; it sure made me feel good. I still have some of the hard candy and occasionally I'll get a piece of it and relive my experience as guest of the day at the Holiday Inn Express.

more articles by Tumbleweed Smith

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