Bad News Travels Like Wildfire

Today would be my favorite grandmother’s 117th birthday, or something like that.  She often said “Bad news travels like wildfire; good news travels slow”.   Some things you just don’t understand until you get old, and that proverb is one of them. John D. Loudermilk wrote a song with that line as its base, but he didn’t get rich.  Loudermilk’s version may be on Youtube, but I doubt it.


Today I got the news from my employer of many years ago that he’s going to close down his upstate New York movie house.  It makes too much sense not to.  The books I keep for the theatre dance around the breakeven line on cash flow, and I always thought Bob kept it open because his grandpa built the joint, and because Bob had a home in Lyons where he grew up, because he wanted to be a force for good in his old home town, and because he still had a few coins hidden from the home building crash of 2008.   Turns out he was also paying $55 grand a year for the refurb job he did ten or so years ago, of which the local movie market seems oblivious.   In the good old days, that was peanuts for Bob, but now, it’s a cross to bear.  He needs to give it back to the bank.


Now Playing
Now Playing

I’m going to lose my favorite accounting client, and maybe one grand per year.  But it kills me to see this fellow give up something he took up for his home town, and his heritage.  Bob laid me off, along with the other 98% of his workforce of 300 back when home building collapsed, somewhere around 2008.  I’m a bean counter who was close to the problem, and I understood that he had to.  He should have cut us sooner, but everybody in homebuilding is by nature an optimist.  We all thought things would turn around.  And they did, it  just took six years.


Interior of the Renovated Ohmann Theatre
Interior of the Renovated Ohmann Theatre

All I’ve told you so far is that I worked for old Bob, who incidentally, is a month younger than me.  What I haven’t told you is that when I got my malignant cancer diagnosis, back in 2007, all I had going for me was The Steadfast Kat (who would show no fear), and Bob, who, when I told him “This has a fairly good shot at killing me” just shook his head and said “No way.  You’re tough.  And when you get well, you get your ass back in here.  I got a lot more work to do than people to do it.”


Coming Attractions
Coming Attractions

My health is, so far, so good.  Kat and Bob helped me find the courage to fight it.


I just wish I knew how to help him.

3 thoughts on “Bad News Travels Like Wildfire

  1. I’m so sorry your friend has to close down his family’s beautiful, historic landmark.

    How sad to see this theatre struggling.

    Maybe if he puts something about it on his site, and to promote a fund-raiser for the theatre?

    It’s not my area of expertise by any means, but maybe some kind of Twitter campaign to get the word out?

    A #SavetheOhmann kind of thing?

    Some other sort of fund-raiser?

    By the way, I found Loudermilk on YouTube, but not performing that song.

    There is a version of it there by Johnny Cash, and others.

    Happy to hear your health is good. Kudos to Kat and Bob for their support.


    1. We all have our pride, and once you’ve had access to mayors, governors, and Congressmen, it’s hard to try your hand at fund-raising. When we were in Jackson Center, OH, last summer the town supported a $35,000 fund-raiser to install digital projectors (film is so passe). The town in Bob’s case is poorer, and the need is six times that of JC.

      But Bob’s life is not over, and he can always become trailer trash, like us. In fact, he threw that idea out this morning when we last spoke. It just might be a good way to spend the most active years of one’s retirement. And I kinda think it is.



      1. Understood, but it’s still sad to see such a venue have to shut down.

        At the same time, life is all about change, growth, and one never knows what the next phase might be for Bob’s theatre.

        I came across this today over on one of my other favorite sites:

        While living in NYC (with part of that time in Brooklyn), I am disappointed that I never saw the inside of this place.

        Be sure to take the tour on here:

        As for a life on the road such as yours and Kat’s, one need only take a look here to see what fun and adventures can be had. 🙂


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