Route to savings
FOR HER 66th been an obvious effort to
birthday, Costco member attract tourists, most of the
Carol O’Mara, of Deckerville, route is surrounded by abandoned
Michigan, planned a “sixes” theme: a relics. “There is a rich trove of history
on Route 66
6,600-mile trip along historic Route 66. beneath the surface, if you know where to
But she and her husband, Jack, almost deep-sixed look,” she says. Carol, a retired high school science
the trip, which they had been planning for nearly a teacher, compared Costco’s
year, because of soaring gas prices. Then Carol gas prices with those of com-thought of a cost-saving measure. petitors and says she and Jack
Give us a
COSTCO MEMBER Mark Miller
has been tickling the ivories for
more than 25 years, and giving
jazz piano lessons for nearly 20.
Not only does Miller teach students in his hometown, the
Chicago suburb of Barrington,
Illinois, he also has students as
far away as South Carolina and
England. But Miller isn’t racking
up an enviable number of fre-quent-flyer miles; instead, he
offers lessons over the phone.
When it’s time for a lesson,
Miller calls the student and
both put on headsets. The student plays, and Miller listens,
follows the arrangement on
his computer screen and
“My ears are my eyes,” says
Miller. “I can hear the quality of
the chords [over the phone].”
Miller uses his Web site
www.pianoweb.com) to send
students drills, arrangements
and audio files to let them know
how they should
sound. He also encour-
ages students to e-mail
him questions at any
time. His replies come
much sooner than the
typical week between
Not only does Miller
teach piano from thou-
sands of miles away, he
has a blind student in
Arkansas and has writ-
ten several arrangements for a
student who lost the use of her
left hand after a brain aneurysm.
He teaches his students
chords instead of using rote
memorization, which is used to
teach classical piano. By the
end of the first lesson, students
can play one entire song.
“It’s a feeling of accomplishment,” says Miller.
—Stephanie E. Ponder
California on October 9. “We also enjoyed savings
“This trip was a truly amazing look into a way of after the trip, because we charged all fuel, lodging and
life that has gone by,” explains Carol. She highly rec- food on our American Express True Earnings Card,
ommends historic Route 66, but suggests consulting a which we got through Costco,” she explains.
guide before leaving because, except where there has “As Executive Members we earn a 2 percent reward
on most warehouse purchases.
Adam@Home by Brian Basset Through our True Earnings
card we got a 1 percent rebate
for gasoline purchases and a 3
percent rebate for eating out.
“I got the idea to do what I do at home: save by realized average savings of 19
shopping at Costco,” says Carol. “We checked with cents per gallon. Costco’s low
the service counter at our local Costco and left with gasoline prices were only part
a state-by-state list of Costco warehouses with gaso- of how their membership
line stations.” made the trip affordable.
On September 28 they hopped into their 2000 Each time the O’Maras filled
Cadillac DeVille and headed to the old two-lane up, they enjoyed lunch at the
highway (also known as the Mother Road) that Food Court or took a pizza
runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. They reached back to their hotel room.
SPECIAL TO THE CONNECTION. ADAM IS © B Y BRIAN BASSE T, UNIVERSAL PRESS S YNDICATE
What began as a way to save
money on fuel became an integral part of our vacation.”
IF YOU HAVE a note, photo or story to share (it should be about
Costco or Costco members in some way), you can send it to
“The Member Connection,” The Costco Connection, P.O. Box
34088, Seattle, WA 98124-1088, or e-mail to connection@
costco.com with “The Member Connection” in the subject line.
Submissions cannot be acknowledged or returned.