Cut. Print. That’s a Wrap!
As I face the final days of what will be my true “Golden Days” I face many questions:
What happened? Where did it go wrong? Was there anything more to be done? Would I do it again, knowing this was how it was going to end? Did it really have to end?
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
I will not recite the epic poem of the road that brought me to Talent in November of 2005. Read “The Odyssey” instead. It is far more entertaining and less fantastical. But with a generous offer of employment my path took a promising turn from the turbulence I had always known. With a new job, I had a purpose doing something I truly loved: sharing my favorite movies. I don’t think I was even aware of my depth of passion for films until this point. Sure, I had seen a lot of movies, and most of them repeatedly at that, but somehow my brain enthusiastically wired itself to the entire movie-watching experience: titles; actors; subject; subplot; location, time period; fact or fiction?
Now cross-reference. Shuffle. Deal.
I was never shy about sharing my aspirations centered around Video Quick: buy the store, pay it off within five years, open a second store in east Medford, and expand from there. That was it. Everything I did from that point on was to this end. I went back to school and took advantage of everything Rogue Community College could give on a grant and various scholarships I wrote for: mathematics, computer science, business, sociology, and psychology. I even managed a quasi-education from Southern Oregon University through personal association and tutoring: advanced business, economics, history, political science, and film studies.
Over the years, I could experiment with many ventures that I had dreamed up. I sold in “Movie Munchie” bags. I adopted Maximus. I created gift baskets during the holidays. I listened to the customers and relayed their wishes to my boss. As renters began showing appreciation for my opinions of films, I began writing “The Goober Gazette” every two weeks, reviewing films I had enjoyed (or not) in my own writing voice. A neighboring business began to sponsor my Gazette, allowing me to distribute my writing locally for free. With the arrival of the Talent News and Review, my writing was officially published by a real newspaper, reaching readers beyond my own doors. Fellow business owners lent their professional skills and advice to further my professional ambitions. With the rise of advertising online, I took advantage of my education and used my final project as the foundation for the current website. I utilized every resource, focusing the benefits solely on the store.
My years at Video Quick gave me privileged insight into my community with the pleasure of watching it grow. New neighbors moving in, in need of a movie to watch while they unpack. The sick days, when the prescription is a few old favorites to recover by. The high school sweethearts on date night. The parents who get to choose “anything not animated.” The destination drive for teenagers testing out their driving permits. Kids home from college. Holiday visitors. The memories are endless.
My best friend constantly remarks on my ability to treat obstacles as “ice float hopscotch,” nimbly jumping from one precarious position to the next, even if I wasn’t very graceful about it. But I wouldn’t give up. I would throw a brief yet glorious temper tantrum, but I would not give up. When the tears ran dry, I would pull up my bootstraps, take a breath, and try again. And again. And again.
There were more reasons to walk away than there were to stay. Video Quick was unsustainable, unprofitable, and unrealistic. And yet stay I did, to the bitter end. It was my world for thirteen years: my wife, my mistress, and my high school sweetheart all rolled into one. Closing the store is the loss of my identity as I know it. And now I face the same question as everyone else: