Our Bootmobile has had quite the summer, and the drivers have great stories to boot (pun intended). Here are Bootmobile driver Keith’s top five moments with the boot-on-wheels.
A Driver’s Bootmobile Moments
There once was a news show called “On the Road with Charles Kuralt” that reported from the back roads of America. Kuralt, in search of the overlooked, believed everyone had a story to tell. While driving across America during this anniversary year, I’ve come to realize that there’s something extraordinary about the L.L.Bean Bootmobile – it possesses a mysterious, magnetic charm. It draws busloads of smile and thumbs up, and triggers horn honks. It incites laughter and supports causes, and often even inspires hope. Thousands of people of all ages have engaged with the Bootmobile during the Million Moment Mission. Here are five moments that inspired me.
The excitement generated by Bootmobile store visits is palpable; for L.L. Bean employees, it can be almost festive. During our King of Prussia Retail Store visit, we encountered an employee, Eugene, who embodied company pride with contagious enthusiasm. Eugene arrived at the Bootmobile for photos wearing his L.L.Bean Boots and toting a second pair, along with some more Bean gear.
Another appropriate stop for the Bootmobile was Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center Family Fun Day (at the top of Crawford Notch in the White Mountains). Here, we saw how nicely our “Discover Something” message aligned with their awesome outdoor Playscape.
The AMC Playscape is designed to introduce kids of all ages to features found on trails in the White Mountains. All day long, kids were discovering the outdoors through the Playscape…and discovering the Bootmobile, too.
In the Massachusetts Dept. of Correction system there’s a program called the Prison PUP Partnership, through which inmates teach pups the skills they need as service dogs. On the weekends, the young dogs are fostered by families so they can gain socialization skills. This includes introducing the dogs to new objects – like tall trucks. So during our stop in Burlington, Massachusetts, we did our part to help them out.
Famous Maine author Donn Fendler, who wrote “Lost on a Mountain in Maine” is someone I consider a Maine legend and national treasure. While he was at our flagship store, I invited him out to see the Bootmobile. While visiting with us, one of his fans shouted, “Give him the keys!” Donn smiled as I said, “I’ll hold on to the keys. There won’t be a ‘Lost in a Bootmobile in Maine’ sequel.”
During a retail store stopover I met a young girl who was sick with cancer, but in great spirits. She knew ahead of time that the Bootmobile was going to be visiting and came with her dad to see it. Her dad shared with me how much the Bootmobile fascinated her. Battling cancer at such a young age is never easy, but the Bootmobile helped to lift a young spirit that moment.
“Yes, there’s something extraordinary about the L.L.Bean Bootmobile,” says Keith. We agree. What’s your favorite Bootmobile moment of the summer?