SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 64: Words As Written By Jim.

I return to Silvino’s today, friends of 365 day 7, The King and Queen of Hollywood,” Thought I had met everyone that is running this family=owned business. I am wrong.

Andrea, sister of proprietor Silvino, asks me. “How is 365 going?” My response is easy, “Great. It’s under my skin. Sometimes I do get a little tired, but I am married to it, and it’s part of me now. Today I’m on day 64, only 301 more days to go.”

The place is buzzing, Flash equipment all around, and written repair orders everywhere I look. But even with the list of equipment to repair, Andrea and Silvino are as gracious as they are professional. With Silvino, as per last visit, calmly working at his counter, Andrea asks me if I have photographed anyone today. “Nope, my bag’s right here, I’m always with it and I am looking as we speak.” She tells me about Larry Light; a man who has been making custom flash units for over 30 years. “He is very colorful. If you catch him on a good day, I’m sure he’ll do it,” she says… even gives him a phone call to inquire for me.

“Oh yeah!” How can I pass on someone with a name like “Larry Light.” Nothing comes easy and the prospect rapidly dissolves before my eyes when Andrea’s call is heavily screened by his secretary. It’s looking like a bad day for Larry. “Crud, denied again!” I won’t let go, though –  Mr. Light sounds very intriguing, so I’ll not give up on him. Still have 301 days left, he’s in my data bank, I’ll chase him a little.

“No worries,” I tell her, “I’ve got my bag and will hit the streets.” She won’t let me go — “Then you have to interview Jim, he always has interesting things to say.”

“Who’s Jim?” Part of the backbone in keeping the repairs moving at Silvino’s. I overlooked him, not noticing the back room where he is diligently working. Andrea introduces us. The guy is way-mellow and a little apprehensive at first. I don’t pressure him, and upon showing him 365 on my iPad, he agrees, with one condition, “I want to write my own words.”

The skies have opened and, literally, manna is falling upon me. After 63 days of taking heavy notes and interpreting them into honest entries, it looks like I’m getting a hall-pass today. Even before I see his words, I’m digging Jim!  Looks like I’m going to be able to socialize at a friend’s get together this evening. Woo, Hoo! Party time, no writing while socializing! Thanks again new friend.

Here is what Jim departs upon us.

“Words of Wisdom: With the economy the way it is, my advice to younger people would be: find a smaller niche to work in and don’t chase after work that seems to be what the larger groups in society are going after that will change with time, and retraining is harder than fine-tuning what you do.

“Not many people are very rich by definition and that sometimes will bring more problems than it solves. Just doing well by your own standards is a worthy goal and is challenging enough. I would think of myself as the low-end of middle class and yet I’m relatively happy.

“Repair work is needed when times are good, and when times are bad it’s still needed, although margins are tighter.

“Goals next 10 to 20 years:  Try to set-up low-maintenance retirement while still having an enjoyable existence for me and my wife.”

Jim, you are a balanced man and looks like you have found your niche. Thanks for your words.

Now off to a real Friday night for me. It’s like a mini-vacation, earned after 63 days of assignment. Loving the journey, but I do welcome a relaxed night.

Talk tomorrow, my friends!