Passport Service

In honor of my 100th post on the Sugarlump, I want to share a very special part of my childhood.

When my cousin Lauren and I were little, we loved to play in Papa’s old office, which was attached to the garage at my grandparents’ house. He used to run a State Farm office from this location, so there were desks, a copier, an old, disconnected phone as well as various office supplies for us to use.  We always went to Rite Aid to get more office supplies when Papa gave us a little spending money.

With this old office as our playground, we developed a game we called “Passport Service.”  In talking with my cousin Lauren about this recently, we decided that this unconventional game was likely inspired by my family getting passports one year.

As I was cleaning out my old playroom in my parents’ house before I moved to Tennessee this spring, I stumbled upon this gem, which instantly brought a smile to my face.

Please note the date on these items.  These are from almost 14 years ago.

I spent a good while looking through the contents of this file and came across some things I had forgotten about, such as the name of our passport business. We decided to call it “Dyer Destiny.”

I still think it has a nice ring to it.

Our geography skills were still a little rough at this stage in our lives.  For any of our customers traveling outside the U.S., we were only able to specify the country as a destination, not a particular city in that country.  Best of luck to you in finding your way once you reach that country.

We also didn’t exactly grasp the names of the various time zones across the globe, but we knew there were different time zones as I grew up on Eastern time and cousin Lauren grew up on Central time.  We indicated the time zone by adding “here” or “there” after the time of arrival or departure in each location.

(Interestingly, we have now traded time zones in our adult lives.)

It looks like our fees weren’t exactly competitive.  There are a lot of zeros after the first few numbers on most of our receipts.

We were, however, very thorough in producing itineraries, which might have contributed to our exorbitant rates.  Please note the month, day, year, hours and minutes spelled out for each flight.

We also included helpful reminders on our passport packets…

…and assured our customers that we would take care of them for all of their travel needs.

We also had very sophisticated folders for our customers’ paperwork.  Look at what magic you can work with a piece of paper, some post-its and a stapler!

As savvy businesswomen, we decided to develop a recession-proof business portfolio.  In addition to our passport service, we also ran a video rental business.  Because if people aren’t traveling, they’re at home watching movies.

Pure brilliance.

Our main customers, my sister Eugene and my little cousin Kristen, came in frequently to rent Disney videos.  We encouraged them to stop by because I loved to punch numbers into Papa’s old calculator, which was one of these that had the roll of paper on it.  As a child, I really wanted to be a cashier just so I could scan things and punch numbers on a keyboard.

I don’t know what that says about me.

On slow days at the office, I would pick up the disconnected phone and carry on a conversation, pretending that some lady was calling about her clogged toilet thinking we were plumbers.  I don’t know where I came up with this borderline disturbing idea, but I had this conversation on a regular basis with this imaginary lady on the disconnected phone.  It never failed to send cousin Lauren into fits of laughter.

I was a strange child.  If only I were as imaginative now as I was then.

Cousin Lauren and I passed many an enjoyable summer day playing Passport Service.  Man, those were the days.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?


14 thoughts on “Passport Service

  1. Priceless! How lucky you are to still have all that material, as well as the memories. Wish I’d have known about you then–you would no doubt have done a better job than some of the travel agents I have known, and certainly offered a better service than the ‘main’ Passport Service. Loved it! MM
    Now, about that plumbing problem…. LoL

  2. It looks like you might have forgotten the international date line on some of those China trips –

    Also, do Chinese cities really have a Chinatown? Isn’t the whole town Chinatown?

    275 dollars to fly to China seems pretty reasonable. I see the decimal point, I’m not sure why there are 4 digits behind it. If those are not decimals, there would be three and not four, and you need pennies somewhere.

    Sounds like a lot of fun!

  3. Congrats on your 100th post. That is awesome. It’s great you had that material from your ‘passport office’. Great memories. cheers Judy 🙂

  4. How adorable! I recently found a notebook I had in first grade with “I love Bo Duke!” written all over the inside cover! Wasn’t life so simple then?

  5. Pingback: Inspiration Day | ThreeCatYard

  6. A very fun read. Reminded me of the PI business I had as a kid. 😉

    RPRT Photo

    PS I’m waiting with baited breath for my new passport to arrive since I’m going to Canada next month. Would so much rather have YOU renew it (and get my $110)! 😉

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