When Mrs. B wanted to do a photography workshop in California we decided to both go and use it as our vacation, because we have very good friends in Phoenix that we rarely get to see, and it was only a few hours away. This was really appealing to me, because that’s the kind of vacation I like. I was also very excited to see my friends Krista and Adam, and of course, the beautiful, talented Ruby Rideout and her handsome, new husband.
I remember when Krista told me she was moving to Arizona. I was pretty sad. I knew that she hated the yucky, cold winters, and she didn’t hide the fact that she wasn’t sticking around Cobourg, but I thought it was just something that people say, and never follow through with. She told me she had met a boy and he was awesome, good looking, funny blah blah blah. I was immediately wary of this bastard.
I mean, here was this pretty, sweet, naive girl from Nowhere, Ontario, and some slick talking, Yankee con man was going to promise her the world, then leave her to fend for herself. I already knew this guy in my mind. I’d seen his type before, and didn’t want my friend to get hurt. I, of course, voiced my opinion about how she doesn’t really know the guy and she should find a man closer to home, like Peterborough, but she paid me no heed.
She was actually my second real kiss, at a Y dance in grade eight, and it was awful, so that’s pretty much where the romance ended. I really had no idea what I was doing, because my first kiss was even worse, and no one ever thought to correct me. (Thanks, Andrea) I think we might have held hands once or twice after that, but I’m not too sure. I was pretty embarrassed.
So we stayed friends. Why wouldn’t we? She’s an amazing person with a great sense of humour, and that’s generally what I look for in a compadre, so it seems like a no-brainer to me. I also figured that if I was nice to her, she wouldn’t tell everyone that I move my head weird and keep my mouth open when I’m “necking”.
I’d talk to Krista the odd time when she was down there, and it always seemed crazy. One time it was 110ºF and she was driving a car with a broken air conditioner. She was just trying to keep moving so she wouldn’t die. Another time was when she was working at some ghost town attraction full of Japanese tourists, as a saloon whore*. I thought, She must really love this guy. That sounds like the the third ring of hell. She should just come home where it’s safe.
She never did.
*She was just a pretend whore. You know, just for show.
I did, however, get down there a couple of times when I was trucking, and got a hold of Krista to say I would be going through Phoenix. She asked if I could stay for a while, and I called my boss. I was able to get a couple of days off for a visit, so I danced about merrily.
Now, I already had a pre-conceived image of what Adam was going to be like, and I was partly right. He was a pretty slick talker, but I quickly realised that it’s just how he talks. He wasn’t trying to sell me anything or prove something to me, he was just a fantastic guy that loved and adored my friend, and he was hustling his ass to make a better life for them. You can’t blame a fella for that, can you? I didn’t think so.
I remember the second time I was there. Adam gave me a couple of these really neat bells that he had just started selling. He was putting them together in the spare bedroom. I thought they were cool, and took them to give to my friends, Ted and Linda. They loved them and still have them after all these years.
At first, he was having them made at a foundry and assembling them at home while going to school to be a physical therapist. He had five original styles and would go to bike rallies and shops on the weekends to try and sell his bells and supplement their income.
The bells were a big hit, and now he has built his own foundry, employs a few full time people, including a mold maker extraordinaire, and is shipping bells out daily. He has also created over 150 different bell designs, pins, sunglasses holders, and zipper pulls, along with the custom work.
That’s right, you can get bells made for your company, organization, sex addicts anonymous group, or whatever. I’m really thinking about getting some CTT bells done up, if we ever turn a profit*. All of that, plus he has distributors all over the world now.
*Send your money to me.
Wow, someone that’s helping to sustain the economy with American-made products that put smiles on people’s faces. I looked for a downside to it, but other than a relatively minuscule bit of pollution from the mining process, there really isn’t one. They are a well-made product that injects money into the US economy. Not China. Not India. America. I’d be pretty proud of myself if I were him, because you guys know how I feel about keeping the money at home.
Don’t think I’ve forgotten about Krista. She received her stock broker license, her Realtor license and pumped out a couple of beautiful, smart, and charming daughters. Her and Adam (who is also a licensed Realtor) have built up a successful real estate business and have bought and fixed up a few rental units that they maintain. If that’s not the definition of hard work and ingenuity paying off, I don’t know what is.
I have to tell you that it is one of my greatest joys to see people reap what they sow. Especially when it’s friends that have risked everything, and have been rewarded for it. No handouts, no silver spoons, just working your ass off and building your life from the ground up. That’s my definition of capitalism. Everyone wins. Even you.
Oh yeah. Adam and I worked out a deal, and he said I could give out some bells.
Look up in the top right corner of the blog and you’ll see the Slim Dyson banner is gone, and the new Guardian® Bell banner is up. Click on it, and go pick out the bell you want, because you could win it in the first post of every month. We are going to pick a random commenter* and they will get the bell of their choice sent out to them for free. You should also like their Facebook page, because they sometimes have specials, and you will get to see when they release new designs.
Alright. Go now. Check the stuff out. There is something for everyone. Get your freaky uncle the Prince Albert.