Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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Looking back on a promise of a free All-Clad pan that Martha suggested for simply taking a test drive in a Volvo

What did come first? Chicken? Egg? Martha Stewart? Volvo? For me, it was the promise of a free All-Clad pan that Martha suggested for simply taking a test drive in a Volvo. I zoomed down I-80 to the dealership in Albany, California, somewhat nervous to be driving a foreign car around those busy streets. Two salesmen were chatting outside and barely glanced at me when I asked if I could test drive a Volvo. "Oh, you must want that pan. I'll get you one. No need to test drive." Whew ... that was easy I thought later that night as I sautéed three shallots in my new acquisition.

It came with us to Oregon in 1997 when Martha contacted me again with an invitation to test drive a Volvo and the chance to win a one week's trip to New York plus $1,000. So with husband and son in tow, we drove to the Volvo dealership on Burnside and approached a salesman. Yes, we were very eager to test drive a Volvo, and test drive we did — husband at the wheel, salesman in passenger seat anointing the features and advantages of purchasing one, son and me in back. It lasted forever. Back in the lobby, we thanked him profusely as I handed over my New York sweepstakes form asking, "Please put it in your hopper for that Volvo/New York sweepstakes." He looked perplexed, then annoyed and had no idea what I was referring to.

We left, heads bowed, and I just knew it had been a wasted effort on everyone's part. Until ... until ... months later when a machine recording announced that I was the grand prize sweepstakes winner compliments of Martha Stewart and Volvo (or was it Volvo and Martha Stewart?) for a trip to Manhattan, a free one week's stay at the Grand Hyatt and $1,000 for two. My son (his inaugural visit) and I had the time of our lives. Never did hear from Martha or Volvo again, but I sure use that six-inch All-Clad pan almost every day.


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