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.
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.
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.”
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.