Basking in the post-annual meeting afterglow.

We’ve had absolutely no time since Shakedown to work with the press or invite the governor or other dignitaries to our workshop. Work to improve Seven has been daily and with a deadline that is screaming up fast.

There was no time to have the car professionally painted, so I painted it. My 12 year wedding anniversary with Kevin fell on a weekend, so we skipped the generally obligatory dinner and a movie so that the team could focus on the car. And on our 22nd year (as a couple) anniversary, what did we do? We displayed 7 in Chatham.

Tonight all members of Illuminati Motor Works reported to the Glenwood High School in Chatham, IL to be part of the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative annual meeting. Kevin and I are members of the co-op and they were kind enough to include us in their annual celebration.

We were a little late. I was sent ahead to assure everyone that Seven would be there. I immediately met a gentleman who was rooted to the curb, refusing to move until the car got there. “I’m here to see the electric car!” he informed me.

Instantly, I started dancing as fast as I could, answering his questions as best as possible and reassuring him the car would be there in 5 minutes.

When the rest of the team rolled up with Seven on the trailer, the crowd thickened. We rolled her under cover in front of the high school’s doors and then fielded questions for the next 3.5 hours.

It felt great to get so much attention. I had assumed most everyone there would give it a cursory polite look and then head in to the air conditioned school where the free pork chop dinner awaited.

I was wrong.

RECC members are interested in the future. They appreciate home-grown innovation. And they have a lot of questions that they’re not afraid to ask. It was absolutely delightful. No sooner had the car been put into display position than the hood had to be removed to show the audience the motor. We kept trying to put the hood back on her to make her more photogenic, but another group of farmers would come up and ask about the electric motor and…off again came the hood. Thank goodness it’s the lighter peel-ply hood!

Tonight cost us several hours of preparation for Knockout. But it was worth the time. We helped inform people about the competition and our efforts to create a fuel-efficient vehicle.

I think the most rewarding thing was that each member was able to field questions to small groups of people on his/her own. We all got talking time, pointing out things we did to make Seven what she is now. And we were all chuffed with pride.

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