In the “Making Friends Everywhere” chapter of our Be More Dog book, we discuss how our Chief Fun Officer Jerry helped bring us out of our workaholic shells. He opened us up to meeting more people, both online and in the real world.
No longer striving to grow a business solely for the sake of making money, their new mission got them excited about building the Tripawds community.
—Be More Dog Chapter 10, Making Friends Everywhere
In our early drafts of the book, however, went into much more detail about many more people we met on the road with Jerry.
By the time they made it to Michigan more than a month later, they had made more friends on the road than they ever did while living in a stick house.
– Be More Dog, Making Friends (Early Draft)
Early Draft Found for Voice from the Past
When sharing Rene’s blog post about our 25th anniversary on our Live Work Dream Facebook page, a voice from the past appeared in the comments. This is for you Don.
I was so surprised to hear from him, that I shared the link to Jerry’s blog post about meeting Don from our travels through Michigan in August, 2007. Then I thought hard and searched our book for the scene we wrote about that crazy recumbent cyclist we saw along Highway 2. I also wondered how he remembered us, after such a brief encounter so long ago.
Hah! Love that Jerry pawed a blog entry about us. And how on earth would we not remember you? Have loved following your adventures ever since. So glad you’re still at it!
— Don T.
Well, this particular scene didn’t make the final cut. But that meeting was memorable for us too. So much that we wrote about it in an early draft of Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now.
One afternoon while having lunch at a highway rest area, a skinny guy on a funny sit-down bike pedaled up alongside them. He was the same cyclist they had passed just a few miles back. The biker circled around the RV a couple times, trying to read the lettering Jim had applied on the RV, which read “tripawds.com” and “it’s better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.” Yeah, that marketing guy was shamelessly using their RV as a rolling billboard to spread the word.
— Be More Dog, Early Draft
Yeah, we had put all sorts of decals on our first rig. We still had access to our graphics shop, after all. And at the time we had no idea what we might be doing after our planned year-long road trip. Or, who we might meet along the way. So the marketing guy in me made sure we were seen wherever we went.
Removing RV graphics from our first rig was a challenge, but that belongs in a different book. I’m just glad they caught Don’s eye, and that he still remembers us.
More “Making Friends” Early Draft Excerpts
Jerry saw the guy too, but he didn’t bark at him to go away. Instead he waited at the open door with a happy gleam in his eye as his tail swooshed left to right and back again. This guy seems interesting. We should talk to him.
Jim and Rene put their lunch aside and followed Jerry’s lead. He wanted to say hello, and they weren’t going to pass up any opportunity to share his story. Plus, the man in the helmet and black tights appeared just as fascinating.
Without Jerry there, we may have ignored anyone scoping us out at a rest stop. But, I’m glad we followed his lead. He introduced us to so many interesting people we never would have met on our own.
Jerry led the greeting and Rene and Jim followed. They learned his name was Don, and he was also on a journey of discovery, much like their own. Only he was riding a bicycle across the country, while Jerry was enjoying scenery from the comfy back seat of his big truck. They were fast friends and as Jerry later shared in his blog, it felt good for the pack to connect with other like-minded souls…
For more about our encounter with Don, and what we thought Jerry was thinking, read the old Tripawds blog post titled, So Many Miles So Many Happy Faces.
I am sorry Don didn’t make the cut into our book. But that early draft was such a tome. I was so relieved when we completed the first draft. Then I realized we had penned the War and Piece of personal memoirs. At twice the final word count, nobody would have ever read it.
We clearly had to kill some babies.* And many more scenes ended up on the Cutting Room Floor. That’s actually the title of a Dropbox folder I created to keep the early draft chapters. Which I’m glad I did, for just such an occasion.
Discover all the scenes that did make the cut with your favorite format of Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now. Stay tuned, and we may just share more, ahem…bonus material.
*I always thought that quote about “killing your babies” originated with Hemingway. But it’s been attributed to many famous authors over the years, including Stephen King. The original phrase for perfecting the art of concise writing was “murder your darlings.” And, it dates back to a series of Cambridge lectures, “On the Art of Writing” by Arthur Quiller-Couch during the early 1900s.