Chapter I: Romney Family Vacation
This shaggy dog story, courtesy the Boston Globe, begins with the beginning of annual 12-hour family trek from Boston to Ontario.
Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
Then Romney put his boys on notice: He would be making predetermined stops for gas, and that was it. As the oldest son, Tagg Romney, recalls
Think about it. A 12-hour drive and the only time we stop is to get gas. When we stop, you can buy your food and go to the bathroom, but that's the only time we're stopping, so you'd better get it all done at once.The ride was largely what you'd expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the "white whale."
Tagg commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.
As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway.
It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free problem-solving & crisis-management.
Chapter II: The Explanation