Opening Night Jitters

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What’s it like to run a business? I found out last night. It took a lot of preparation and leg work to get everything ready. Up to last night, it was pretty much a one-man-show with me taking care of everything that needed to be done. But then others became a part of the life and story of the business.

What is the business? It’s a different kind of coffeehouse that, we hope, will bring community together and help build community especially around people with disabilities, autism, Asperger’s, etc. I was worried who and how many will show up. I was worried if we had enough food. I was worried if it would work for everyone.

But then help arrived to take some of the worries away. Ginny helped so much in the kitchen getting things ready and spent a lot of time cleaning up and doing the dishes. Chris helped Rick setting up the sound system and monitoring it as the performers hooked up to it. Even during setup, Rick had to run out to Home Depot for something. Steve helped out setting up the venue with carrying things back and forth, clean dishes and dirty dishes.

The musicians arrived and set up. First was Jessica, then Tim, then Bob and finally Brian. Their music was folky and mellow and was what the audience wanted to hear. It wasn’t too loud even though we were in a small venue, a basement.

Trying to figure out the optimal layout of the basement was tricky. But I did what I could and it seemed to work out well. Thanks to Maria for making a suggestion that allowed 15 or more seats. Without these, it would have been a lot of standing which can’t happen.

I was hoping to provide something for everyone. And I did, within reason and knowing that you can’t ever please everyone. It’s unrealistic. It was kind of like a bar scene but different. It was kind of like a Burlap and Bean where they have entertainment but different. And different was good. Parents spoke with other parents and young adults. Young adults spoke with each other. Musicians spoke with the young adults. I unfortunately hardly spoke with anyone except for greeting everyone. That was my role – the organizer and connector. Let it happen and see where it goes. Not much structure but it did work and exceeded my expectations. It made me happy to see people having a good time, especially the young folks. That was, and is, enough for me to say it was a success.

This will be a venue, an opportunity, to let our kids go where they want. They need to be in control of their lives. They need to make the right choices and learn by their mistakes. They will take the lead and take us down a path that works for them. We parents need to step back and let them go. That is a hard thing to do. However, with all your support and help, we can make this a truly worthwhile experience for all and build community amongst all.

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