So this weekend saw a WHIRLWIND of activity in both work and home, actually stretching in to yesterday, so I have a lot to cover.
Went into Saturday, semi full up, and it paid off. But again, in a most odd of ways. The morning was very still, but between two and three PM we moved out seven rides to new homes! And one of them was a triple "ten minute rule"! And yes, the first two folks to "wait and think about it" came back in later only to question why it wasn't still here! Never ceases to amaze me!
Sunday was the kicker!
A few years back we had a young gent, River, who worked for us for a time, but was always an aspiring musician. He left our employee, in further pursuit of this dream, but Angela never lost touch. We were able to see him play a small gig at a skate park last year, that had it's troubles. Band drama, bad sound tech, the like. But his passion and enthusiasm continued to drive him. Through a series of events he ended up moving to Hudson last year, and he and a friend underwent an endeavor to build their own recording studio. I casually followed it's progress through Angela, who really kept up to date with it. Having worked on it since October of last year, and seeing only a few pictures he posted, I was expecting a rough hewed "sound room".
Well, Sunday was the "Big Reveal" as they sent out invites to family and friends to come and see the finished product.
Well, being in Hudson (about an hour away) this had it's own challenges. As many of you know, we do not OWN a vehicle, and as a cab would be WAY to expensive, Terry, our scrap guy, was gracious enough to lend us his truck for the day.
Come Sunday morning, color me frantic! Riddled with anxiety, we set out around 2 pm for the trip north on US 19. Yes, the crazy road, littered with construction. Mind you, I have not driven in over two years, and then only 2 mile jaunts back and forth between the old and new shop. This was FAR different. Angela was very supportive, grasping my hand from time to time, saying in soothing tones "it's OK" as we came up on a rapidly moving cluster of traffic. Eventually, around New Port Richey my "Boston" kicked in, and I was relatively relaxed. Although at one point, turning into a convenience store, having the car in front of me stop unexpectedly, causing me to swerve, just as a police car was sitting by the road side, I had another brief moment of heart failure. But we made it!
I breathed a heavy sigh of relief, when we got to the turn off, leading us onto a two lane road leading into "cow country".
Mind you, I had NO idea what to expect, but this was NOT it. Standing alone on the side of the road, were two run down looking warehouse's, with a faded hand painted "you store it" type sign. Within, were housed a smattering of small utility and repair shops, with no sign of a studio. At first, I thought I might have gotten it wrong, but at the end of the drive stood a lone figure, looking somewhat like a valet, in black slacks and a red short sleeved polo shirt. Pulling up, we announced our destination, he directed us to park in the "yard" behind the facility. Of course, Angela, having worn a comfortable pair of open toed Roman type sandals, was forced to walk through the sand.
Again, having NO idea what we would find when entering, we opened the door, and stepped into a small entry hall. There at the door stood River's younger sister, no longer the little girl I had met once, but now dressed a tad bit to.....hmmmmm... adult? She bid us welcome and opened the door to the right and......HOLY SPIT! What they built!!!! Words can not describe the amazing work they did! Unfortunately, we were told explicitly NO pictures, as they had a professional photographer documenting the day. At this point...I became a tad bit curious, but I'll get there later. BUT WHAT THEY BUILT!!! Mind you, except for help on the carpet and a little electric expertise, these two boys (with help from family) did EVERYTHING!!! From electric, to plumbing, ac, professional stage lighting, sound equipment EVERYTHING! And almost ALL from recycled materials! The shower in the men's bathroom was an old fiberglass stall they found in a field! A completely professional suite of offices, lounge, two bathrooms, a dressing room a full stage, sound booth and recording studio!!! AMAZING!
Now, here's our qualms and reservations, but with full credit to Angela for picking up on it first, given her propensity for reading people, and being far more observant then I for such things. I was far to interested in the craftsmanship to pick up on it at first.
The whole day was far to contrived, staged, coached and professional. Apparently, a little while back River and his band mate had met their "benefactors". A couple, seemingly knowledgeable of the industry, had offered to help make their dream a reality. Now, perhaps I am overly suspicious, but as a relative outsider, with little to no prior involvement in the evolution, I was a tad bit skeptical of what followed. First tip off, was after arriving, having drove for over an hour, Angela inquired at the door where the bathrooms were, and was informed "there were none"? This struck me as odd. In the middle of the boondocks, to have a professional studio...with no bathrooms. As we went outside, waiting on the music to start, and have a smoke, I inquired of the lot attendant, if there was a bathroom in the facility. He directed us to the front of the units, but before we could go, the sound man from inside bid us return as they were fixing to start. Not wanting to miss their music, Angi said "don't worry about it" and we went in. Well, as it turns out, it was not the band that started it, but the couple coming to the stage, in a sort of "Q and A" session, that sounded more like a time share seminar. Yes, they did speak of River and Matt and the work they had done and a little of their history, not to mention the families involvement, but more time was spent talking about them, their history in the entertainment industry, why they moved to Florida, how they met Matt etc, etc. Once their schpelle was finished, they invited everyone to enjoy refreshments and "use the bathrooms" if they needed too?! In effect, like a time share seminar, the audience was intended on being "there" for the whole thing! At this point they invited the boys to the stage, who came out in a very contrived "rock star" fashion. They then played one song (while at this point being joined on stage by the same couple singing harmony and he accompanying them on acoustic guitar) which Angi almost missed for the sake of her back teeth floating! Later it was told to her that they didn't want to "ruin the reveal" by allowing anyone into the office area before they were ready! After playing the one song they have on their web site and everyone has already heard, we were ushered into the offices, where we were treated to a slide show of the progression of the work they did, and it was amazing, but again, narrated by the same gentleman, their manager.
Angela, having tried to find out if she could purchase a copy of the new CD, or a T-Shirt, or ANY kind of merchandise to help support the band, was rebuffed by the managers wife, being told that all their expenses were handled.
This...left me wondering. Just who will be benefiting from all this in the near future.
As the slide show, dragged on, we went into the studio area, bid our respects to River and made a hasty departure.
I hope we are wrong, and these boys get everything their hard work desires!
At this point we made the journey home. As I had allotted enough money for Angela to get some merchandise, which did not come to fruition, I opted to take her to dinner at our favorite spot, Flanagan's Pub, in downtown Dunedin. Unfortunately, ever since the owner, Noelle suffered a stroke, he has been somewhat unable to spend any length of time there. The last two visit we have made there, have not been up to it's regular pleasant experience. This time around, as we entered, there was a VERY loud, obnoxious, unruly group of drinkers at the bar, obviously having come in inebriated, and were SO loud, we were unable to carry on a conversation, even being seated at the farthest point from the bar! As we sat, waiting to be noticed, a few other groups came in, heard the noise and left. The bartender and wait staff didn't seem intent on quieting them down. We ordered a drink and our meal, as we loudly joked with the group sitting next to us, about the noise. The drunken idiots didn't get it.
FINALLY they left, just as we finished our meal and were prepared to have another round, when they started up Karaoke?!?!
OH no, that was the final nail in the coffin, we had to leave the caterwauling!
We choose to call it a night and settle down to a flick Angi picked out. "Winter's Tale". I'd seen the previews, and thought it a "chick flick" but as it was her evenings choice, I was happy to sit and watch. And MAN was I EVER impressed! Not only a killer cast but one of the most IMAGINATIVE films I have seen in a LONG time!!!! Definitely one to check out!
Then we made it to Monday! Still somewhat shaken from Sunday, I got to the store, doing damage control on a few things, then went to work and was able to put out one new ride! The Trek road bike we got in went to a happy new home, as did one of the "As Is" specials to the "Key Man" having FINALLY retired his well worn and dilapidated cruiser!
Now, Monday was also the day we got to meet Elijah's new girlfriend. Uncle Chippie hooked the two up, noticing that they both had a lot in common in the personality part. But THAT is about where the similarities end.
Backing up for half a mo. Elijah, like most of our kids, did the whole "playing the parents" to get the whole evening underway. True, I suggested, once we found out he WAS dating and wanted to introduce her to us, and suggested dinner Monday. But that was the extant of it. He concocted a scheme in his head to have her come over in the afternoon and have her "sleep over" as she had no way to get back home (to Holiday) in the evening. He asked me, and I said "no" but you will have to clear it with your Mom, who he then went to and asked, saying that "Dad said to talk to you". She then stated we would have to discuss it, but this never came to pass in time until yesterday when I called him to find out when she would be there for dinner, at 1 pm, to which he responded, "I'm at the mall now picking her up." When pressed, he stated that he had not heard any different and thought it was OK she spend the night. Obviously praying on the fact that we are not cruel people to deny it this far into the game.
ANYWAY, she did in fact spend the evening on the couch.
As mentioned, the similarity were outwardly, limited. Now what they share in person is currently known to them, Elijah being rather tight lipped, but the pairing is ODD. Elijah is 6'3" weighing about 260, and she is roughly the same height and weight of our nine year old daughter Rozlynd!
BUT, he seems GENUINELY happy, so all my best wishes!
ALL RIGHT! Now THAT brings you up to date! And at the behest of my boss who has told me to get offline and get some bikes built, I'm gone!
See ya soon!!
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