Saturday, February 06, 2010

Someone made "Change" and without Obama.

So before I begin, I know this is a chain that many people despise, and mostly by my friends.

Having made that clear:

There is a Skippers chain that went under in this area and when it went down it was a bit tragic.

My family used to frequent this establishment once a month or so since I was in kindergarten or first grade.

I used to like to read the BS seafaring town "newsprint" on the tables and in your baskets.

In the 70's you could get a GIANT crock of Clam Chowder and smaller bowls with handles on them if you ordered a family size portion. To this day I found a set of those at an estate sale. They never get used but it is funny to think how things have changed.

I even saw the OJ "chase" go down on TV at the Skippers in question.

I realized that it was depressing to see that the franchise went down if not just for simple nostalgia, but it was also a sign that this economy was going south, and things would not get better for a while.

You could see over the course of the last year that this Skippers was open, the landscape had stopped being maintained, the hours of operation were reduced, the outside was collecting dirt on the walls and leaves were staying in parking places that simply were not being filled with cars anymore.

The signs were everywhere; this business was not long for this world.

Driving by the old Skippers was a bit sad, even as my friends were going "GOOD RIDDANCE". I still felt that it reflected that there was a handful of people who now are no longer even "getting by" and yet another sign that things to come were not so rosy.

This is the kind of stuff that really kills me because, counter to what I portray, I am an optimist deep down. I think that you never know what tomorrow brings and just when things seem the shittiest there is something, however small, that will give a bit and it makes the giant hill, at least long term, scalable.

Well as I was returning from my favorite car wash, I noticed something.... the sad Skippers had an open sign in the window and it was LIT! The reader boards read "now open" and the place looked livable. Nothing crazy like fresh paint, but the collected dust had been removed, and the windows washed, and the landscape was clean.

I decided to check it out and sure enough it was open. There was a skeleton crew and the tills were not working properly and the deliveries were short and the staff was new, but holy shit, about a dozen people are working again and they had given this old franchise CPR and were trying HARD and really working it.

It reminded me of the 54 Chevy I once owned because the interior, while clean, is still in the old style and just where it was left when it closed up; They were getting a relic running and while it was sputtering a bit, it was going down the road, and as ANY REAL car guy will tell you; the maiden voyage of a formerly dead car which is now running, is always going to be in the top 3 trips you ever take in that godforsaken vehicle.

These guys were trying so hard to make a go of this place, and while we were there- it actually got PACKED! Everyone who came in was a drive by customer and told the people up front how nice it was to see this place back up and running. Every customer was honestly patient and was just happy that someone did a cool thing in this devastating economy.

This was a good sign that despite the Government, people hold all the cards to fixing whats wrong.

This one stupid business energized 100's of people this evening and put some jobs back in the mix.

Whichever supplier this Skipper uses, just got more orders so they may need another selector person at the warehouse? Maybe another route driver too?

Then that new guy is able to pay his bills now and maybe he can afford to buy more groceries and fix his house or car which gives the guy who does repairs one more gig to keep his own lights on, and the grocery store may see the need for another truck, etc, and etc...


Yeah, we are changing the local landscape through taking risks and frequenting our local businesses and all without any help from the Fed.

Anyway, I am just glad to see the old Skippers back- it makes me think we can turn it around and we are going to have a great summer.


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666 said...

Honestly, nostalgia not withstanding...skippers is to seafood what taco hell is mexican food. NOTHING they do even approaches what it should be, and every single time I ate in that smelly assed joint I had heartburn for DAYS. However, all that having been said, I share your sentiment, and although it will be a day marked by Satan on ice skates doing triple axles to a packed crowd of Buddhist monks before I set foot in there for any reason- I wish them well! fuck the government, and right bro!