Part III, Saturday Dec. 8 2018
That afternoon I began my discussions with my business partner, Kevin Yell, without whom none of us would be where we are today. Very early in our discussion I could tell that I would be infinitely better off with him than without, and not only for the financial stability but also for his vision and guidance in steering the ship.
Within a week of discussion, Kevin and I were ready to enter into partnership. Let me say that we had known each other for about twenty years and that he’s the only person outside my immediate family with whom I could enter into business partnership without any hesitation. He and I spent five years during the early 2000’s writing a musical on the subject of Gay Marriage, Can’t Say I Do. Once you’ve written a musical with someone, and remained friends, you really know that you can trust them.
By the middle of December, Linda, Lynda, Judy, Eve and I had a purchase agreement in place, and on Dec. 21st, winter solstice, I became the new owner of the Art & Soul Gallery, with Kevin Yell waiting in the wings to become my business partner after January 1st.
At this point began the real work for me, Linda, Lynda, Judy and Eve. I spent the next two months in Half Moon Bay, saying goodbye to Arrrowhead Framing customers and a way of life that I had known for over twenty years. These days were hectic with framing work, decisions to make on behalf of the gallery and all the logistics necessary to relocate my life to Ashland, OR. I had been visiting Ashland for thirty-five years to see theatre so I was thoroughly excited to be starting my new life and yet constantly overwhelmed by the scope of my new venture.
On Feb. 16th, 2019, Arrowhead Framing closed its doors for the last time. There were many tears shed during that week; tears of beauty, sadness and amazement. With the help of wonderful family and friends, I loaded a moving van with a framing shop and the barest essentials of my personal life, which included my 1908 Baldwin baby grand. We all arrived in Ashland late on Saturday night, February 23rd and on Sunday we began to set up the new Art & Soul Framing and a place for my piano in the gallery.
I think many of the gallery artists were more than a little nervous about what unknown changes might follow, but as my organizational ideas began to emerge over the next week, people began to see that I have a clear vision which includes NOT changing anything that does not need to be changed.
On Tuesday March 5th I launched “Chanting and Chai,” a soul awakening experience which happens every Sunday morning at 9:30 am in the gallery, Art & Soul Framing, which offers full service custom picture framing and most importantly the Art & Soul Gallery which remains resplendent and ready to serve the community for another 20 years.
To be continued …