Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Mornings

Normally, on the Thursday before the long Memorial Day weekend, I’d be waking up in some non descript Chicago hotel, having flown in the night before. After much stumbling about the room and bad coffee the day, the first of 5 bone crushingly long days would begin. Today we would setup the booth, of course this meant traveling all over the Chicago metropolitan area to locate the various items needed, retrieving the hundreds of pounds of stock pre-shipped, and working frantically to fix whatever might have been damaged, lost or forgotten along the way. Eventually the day will end, collapsing in an exhausted pile on the bed, the booth will be ready for the onslaught of customers to come, the only thing left to do is try and get some sleep before they arrive.

That, that I really do not miss.

Nope, this morning as I finish my coffee and listen to the minion joke back and forth as they go about the Abbey prepping rope and pile of orders I’ve set out for the day, I find myself missing the volunteer staff. The crews of folks whose job, quite frankly, is harder than mine. The nice folks who, upon seeing me lugging a crate into the show space, would drop what they are doing, hop on a radio and announce “Monk is here, can we get him some help loading in?” Next thing I know there are a half dozen smiling faces asking, “What can I do to help?” The security guys who kept a 4 day vigil making sure nobody bothered the show attendees and were always ready to provide an escort if needed should someone need to hike out to their car in the middle of the night.

These folks, the ones giving of their time and talent, they are the ones I’m missing today.

So to those of you who have yet to depart for the event and are reading this, do me a favor. First off, travel safe today. Second, when you get to the event make a point to say thank you to one of the volunteer staff and let them know that Monk sends his love.