Thursday, October 25, 2007

Death of a Company

It has been an interesting time, the past week or so. The place where I have worked for 28 years has gone out of business. I'm not really sure if it was on the 17th or 18th of October that was the official date of death but it's one of the two. Coastal Electronics was founded in 1949 by Billy Haire and shortly thereafter he was joined by his wife Evelyn. I started work there in June of 1979, the year of their 30th anniversary. I had the distinct pleasure of being guided and taught by Mr. Haire for the vast majority of those 28 years. What a true southern gentleman he was and one of the smartest people that I have had the pleasure of knowing. I was there as the position of command was handed off a few times, when Coastal was a thriving force that had no limits in the communications servicing arena and I was there as things fell apart. Coastal was family owned and operated the whole time so I worked for all the family members at one time or another and you know, my memories of all those years are mostly good ones. I can say that I take with me some really great memories.

What I take the most pride in is the lives Coastal touched indirectly through the years. We helped keep the water flowing in cities and counties, we helped law enforcement agencies, rescue personnel and service companies perform their jobs with greater efficiency and safety. In one of the recent articles in the local paper someone stated that they had been abandoned by Coastal. Abandonment has to be intentional and I feel secure in my feelings that the demise of the company was anything but intentional. I know how hard a certain individual worked to try and prevent the ultimate outcome and the great personal loss they will incur as a result.

There is a sense of loss inside and some have asked if I feel cheated. To that I have to answer no. Irregardless of what caused the fall of the company I take with me the great memories, the irreplaceable knowledge, training and the relationships with customers, employees and management. Some of our customers took time to call me personally and asked if I would be OK. That really makes me feel better about a difficult situation.

I am fortunate enough to be able to continue my line of work with another company that promises what I believe to be a great future and allow me to grow in other directions.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cruisin' Tunes

Check out the new feature I added on the side bar to the right called finetune. It's a pretty cool music player that contains 45 songs that happen to be some of my favorites. Let me know how you like it!

Hey the news is right below that, what more could you need?

The Connection

What connects us? The us being the members of the extended family of motorcyclists. The asphalt and concrete ribbons that run all over this great nation certainly connect us physically but I believe the connection is much deeper, more complicated and maybe even primal. What is the draw of two wheeled travel that pulls us into a behavioral altering mind set? So some of you don't think it alters you? Simply look in your closet, there, you see? Did you wear that type of clothing before you acquired your bike? I'll bet that before you started to ride you would run inside if it started to rain. Now you just grin.....

Humans have always succeeded when in groups. A singular of a species will not survive at least not in the long term. But yet our society is hell bent on the singular, possibly not intentionally. We ride in our cars but yet disconnected from our fellow motorists. We surf the web electronically connected to millions but yet alone. More and more things are now individual servings. Your new iPOD helps to put you in isolation as does your new Bluetooth headset for your cellphone.

Our law makers pay more attention to the minority than the majority and that is the survival of the fittest in reverse. There is hope, for there is a small percentage of the population that strives to be together, to maintain a unique individual identity but to function as one and to further the species as they have for almost a hundred years. I am talking about us! The motorcycle riding portion of the population. So when the atomic glow is still barely visible there we will be, on our bikes, smiling and trying to avoid the cock roaches.

But what connects us? Something draws you to ride. It's not how we dress nor what we ride since you were drawn to it before you chose your apparel or brand of bike. It's freedom, it's the difference, it's the deviation from the norm, it's the sound and feel, it's the road, it's good friends, it's......a lot of things. What connects us? It's complicated but yet we understand it and enjoy it. Whatever it is, it's a hell of a lot of fun.