|Posted on January 31, 2018 at 6:45 PM||comments (6)|
I have a few memories of the Blizzard of 78
I lived in North Cambridge, just off Mass Ave, a couple of streets down from Porter Square heading toward Arlington.
I went to Boston State College at the time, I was 20 years old and had a couple of part-time jobs to support myself. One of the jobs was shoveling snow at St. Johns Church so people could get into church and the other was driving delivery for a grocery store (Dover Market), mostly to older folks who didn’t get out much.
I had hurt my knee at school in the fall at school and had scheduled my surgery for the middle of January. I had asked a couple of friends if they could cover my part-time jobs while I recovered. My friends had to shovel snow for both big storms, January's 21+ storm, and the Blizzard in February. I had told them to make sure you give you hours to the janitor because he will make sure you get paid well by adjusting the hours because the Pastor would only pay $5 an hour for back-breaking work (city block, many stairs, and 1 snow blower). Unfortunately, one of the other workers ran into the Pastor and gave him the straight hours – for the bulk of the snow shoveling, so my friend's real rewards we're destined to be in heaven. We did stay friends, although when we went out, I did have to pick up the tab on more than a few occasions and it took a few years before I stopped hearing about it.
Personally, the 1st couple of days after the Blizzard were spent shoveling at my house, and my neighbor's houses, mostly walkways and clearing off cars. Once we were done with the neighborhood it was time to venture out. It was probably Wednesday after the storm when a couple of my friends and I decided to walk down Mass Ave to Harvard Square. About halfway down we decided to stop at a Liquor store to pick up a six-pack of beer. We walked into the liquor store and it looked decimated – empty shelves and papers on the floor. I spotted someone who I thought was the manager or owner. I asked him if he had any beer? He started to lose it yelling at us to get out of there – he had nothing left, nothing and he didn’t know when he would have something, there are no deliveries, I said how about a soda – He said nothing, Get Out! He started calling us “Carpetbaggers – you are all Carpetbaggers, get out of my store”. He started coming toward us, red-faced, so we laughed and left. As we made our way done Mass Ave toward Harvard Square most stores were closed or in the same shape as the liquor store minus the angry owners.
At this point I thought I had a good idea – let's go down to the Charles River and see if we could walk across it. Like most of these stories, it did seem like a good idea when I thought about it. There were a lot of cross-country skiers on the frozen river making their way back and forth, so I started to venture out across the river by the footbridge. I was being cautious as I walked out and there didn't seem like there was anything to worry about until I got to the middle of the river – then the ice started to crack. Decision time, keep going and make it across or retrace my steps and go back to the same shore. There were still a lot of cross-country skiers on the ice but not where I was, in fact, there was no one where I was – my friends had waited at the shore not wanting to chance it. The only thought that crossed my mind was that the cross-country skiers might be in better shape than me because they were displacing their weight over a larger area of the ice than I was. So here I was in the middle of the Charles River, on the ice by myself, listening to ice crack. I was in the middle, so it seemed that if I kept going toward the opposite shore the ice would most likely get thicker once I got out of the middle and I would be safe. So, I asked myself what was it I was it I was trying to accomplish, which was to be able to say that I walked across the Charles River. The decision? Since I walked halfway out and I have to walk halfway back that would be good enough for me, two halves make a whole so, I safely retraced my steps to the shore and called it “The Day I walked across the Charles River”, the story I lived to tell another day
My delivery job was Thursday – Saturday. My knee was good enough to do the delivery. Now during the week after the Blizzard, you were not allowed drive anywhere unless you had a pass and because we delivered food we were given a couple of passes. So, during the week when all vehicles were to be off the road except for emergency vehicles, I had a pass to drive and drop off groceries. I also used the pass to get to and from work. North Cambridge was a great place to spend the Blizzard. We had a pretty good college-age population, lots of places to eat and drink (once they got their deliveries). We would walk down the middle of Mass Ave to get to our bars of choice, The Ground Round or the College Grille both on Mass Ave about halfway to Harvard Square. We would laugh with friends, listen to the Jukebox, play arcade-type video games or pinball machines and meet new people. Because everyone had something in common to talk about starting a conversation was quite easy. We met new people every night during that week when no one was supposed to be driving. Because I had the driving pass from my delivery job I would go home and get my 65 Mustang and give people rides (mostly girls) home. Most of those nights were spent giving rides, doing donuts in parking lots, avoiding any police that would get mad at me and find a place to park without getting towed. Good times!
|Posted on November 16, 2017 at 9:50 AM||comments (0)|
One of These Things Is Not Like the Other
One of the fun things I get to do in my world is to play music (DJ) to entertain people while they are attending different events and / or branded promotions. Even though I’ve been collecting music for years and I stay current with popular music, for various reason I always download something that I don’t have to make sure the people in front of me are hearing what they want to hear. I may or may not play it considering what is going on (audience appropriate content) but I’ll still download a copy to expand my library of music and to have something the next time someone asks.
Below is a list of music I downloaded at an event this weekend at a ski area – I have all the pop hits and classic rock and dance tunes to keep a crowd engaged so this is the other stuff that I didn’t have at this specific point and time
What is interesting about this list of music is that the music is all over the map (style and taste). Even though the music is varied, all of these people asking for the music do have something in common – they are all a locations customers.
So even though you think you know why the people are coming through your door (ski, food and drink) you can always learn more about your customers, to serve them better and grow your business. All you have to do is take the time to ask (creative promotions), listen to the responses (capture the data) and develop a plan
That Was A Crazy Game of Poker - From the album The Wanderer By: O.A.R.
Colder Weather - From the album You Get What You Give By: Zac Brown Band
We Owned The Night - From the album Own The Night By: Lady Antebellum
Young - From the album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems By: Kenny Chesney
Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound - From the album Hank Williams Jr.'s Greatest Hits By: Hank Williams Jr.
Red Solo Cup - From the album Clancy's Tavern By: Toby Keith
Can't Find My Way Home - From the album Blind Faith By: Blind Faith
Bridge Of Sighs - From the album Essential Robin Trower By: Robin Trower
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man - From the album Ultimate Hits: Rock And Roll Never Forgets By: The Bob Seger System
Midnight Special - From the album The Complete Collection (Digital Box) By: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Photograph - From the album Very Best Of By: Ringo Starr
Little Wing - From the album The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble By: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Long As I Can See The Light - From the album Cosmo's Factory By: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Home Sweet Home - From the album The Greatest Hits By: Mötley Crüe
I Won't Give Up - From the album I Won't Give Up By: Jason Mraz
Turn Me On (Feat. Nicki Minaj) - From the album Nothing But The Beat By: David Guetta - Nicki Minaj
|Posted on November 16, 2017 at 9:30 AM||comments (0)|
I’m 99% Sure…
Sometimes we are convinced that we know certain facts with unwavering certainty, as certain as death and taxes.
Sometimes there’s an inkling of doubt, and we are not so sure. How many times have you heard these certainties:
… Pittsburgh will definitely beat Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos
… They’re just video games.
… There is always snow on the ground in Southern New Hampshire in January.
… I never get in accidents.
… A book is a book, a phone is a phone, a TV is TV and a computer is a computer.
… Why would anyone text when they could talk?
… I’m always lucky.
… Allocated money has to go here or my business won’t grow.
… I know why my customers come here and why other people don’t.
… I understand my business.
… Guys would never do that.
… I know where to invest my money to grow my business – I’ve been doing it for years; it’s what I do.
… Gas will never go over $3 a gallon.
… I don’t need any fancy new software or that social media stuff to run my business.
… My employees would never use that technology – they’re too old.
… You can’t get a measurable ROI from social or promotional activity.
Now it’s your turn. Please add to the list in the comments below; we’d love to hear from you!
Now about that playoff game: Patriots / Denver…