The Story So Far…
On Tuesday September 11, 2001, I was riding to work with my business partner Irv when we heard that a plane hit the North Tower of The World Trade Center. He exclaimed, “Oh my God, what a terrible accident.” About twenty minutes later when we heard that a second plane had hit the South Tower, Irv said, “I think we are at war.” This was particularly worrisome for him, as he had a son on a Marine Corps amphibious attack ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Jack, his son, was a sergeant in the Marine Corps. We listened to the TV all day as we pondered what to do with our upcoming Daytona Festival of Magic, scheduled for 9/14/2001. Due to the attacks, all airline flights in the country were cancelled. We had to get Harry Lorayne down here from NYC by train. We had to replace some artists with people who could drive to the convention, we honored all cancellations. Forty conventioneers short and with replacement talent, the show went on. People told us it was the first time they laughed in a week.
I thought… “Will we survive this? How will it change our everyday lives? Will Irv’s son go to war?” “WE SURVIVED!” There were many permanent changes to everyone’s lives. Have you gotten on an airplane since the World Trade Center and Pentagon were hit by airplanes? I get searched now when I go to the theater in Orlando. That probably has as much to do with the “Pulse” nightclub massacre in 2016 as 9-11. Terrorism has affected every American citizen since September 11th, but as a nation, “WE SURVIVED!”
In October 2016 about 10-12 days before our convention the people from our hotel came into the shop to discuss our upcoming Festival of Magic. We thought that they were finalizing the menu for the banquet. You see, we had been hit with a massive hurricane just months before in August that caused extensive dame to beachside hotels and they were quickly trying to remodel and get everything in place. However, due to all the damage done and despite their best efforts to open in time for our convention, they had to come and deliver the bad news that they could not open the hotel!
Daytona is a city full of hotels, so, with less than two weeks to go, off we went trying to shift the convention to another venue. Unfortunately, every Hotel that wasn’t still damaged was booked. What to do??? We ended up renting part of the “Daytona International Speedway,” at a cost of about $30,000.00. We also rented a small hotel’s breakfast room for our Sunday Auction and moved everyone into different hotels… But the convention went on as planned. “WE SURVIVED!”
So here we are dealing with the Covid-19 virus. As I told you in my last blog, four of us are still coming to work every day. I am working the phones up front, Pete is working the website in his part of the store and Becky is doing her part in the office. Her father, my former partner, volunteers to help with the packaging. My old shipper Tyler, comes in for a few hours every day to get stuff out. Toby and Greg are safe at home. Everyone is being paid their full salaries.
We haven’t got our application for the payroll assistance yet. Wells Fargo tells us we are on the list. It amazes me that they can open accounts that people don’t even know about faster than they can give us an application that must be summited on-line. Every other bank tells us that they must take care of their own customers. I hope and think we will eventually get the loan if Congress gets off their butt and approves the additional monies needed. I’m done venting…
We are all in this together. As the USA, I know… “WE WILL SURVIVE!” By the way… Wash your Hands!