Thursday, May 7, 2009


When I first arrived on Cape Cod and started working at the Soundings Motel in June of 1976 I often worked at the front desk with Debbie Manning. Debbie was and is married to Dick Manning and at that time the Manning family owned and operated this oceanfront motel. Debbie and I were both born on the same day and year (November 2nd) and she is about two hours older than me.

Debbie and I used to have brochure stuffing contests as we would both start out with the same number of motel brochures, rate sheets, and package plan inserts and see who could finish first. This made a somewhat mundane task more interesting with the thrill of the competition. Debbie said that if I beat her in the brochure stuffing contest she would give me the Soundings motel as a prize. Now this was quite a prize as the motel is located on five acres of ocean front property with over one hundred motel rooms, two swimming pools, and a coffee shop. This prize would be worth in the millions even back then over thirty years ago.

I don't know if she checked with her husband and the rest of the Manning family before offering me this potential prize. Alas, each time we had this contest I came in second to Debbie as I could never beat her no matter how hard and fast I stuffed my pile of brochures. My dream of being a motel mogul back then was not realized and remained just a dream.

I don't know how Debbie did it but at least it was fun to try to beat her in the contest. She probably won because she was a little bit older than me plus I don't think she wanted to have to explain to Dick and the rest of the Manning family that she lost their motel in a brochure contest.