Gratitude Series: Holly Loper

Some day, when the money has all been spent, friends have come and gone, and I am sitting alone cherishing the fact that I at least have my health, I will still feel like the richest man in the world.   Because I will still have my memories.  Memories are the most most valuable currency there is – priceless for a reason – and I am blessed with some really, really good ones.   And although it is a very rough estimate, I would say I owe about 40% of my best memories, to my amazing, beautiful Aunt Holly.   She was at the center of some of my most earliest and most cherished memories.   Some big ones.    My earliest memories of riding in car.  Weddings.  Christmas.  Summer vacations to Dallas when I lived in west Texas.  Watching scary late night movies, or Revenge of the Nerds, or seeing Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer video or  Belinda Carlisle’s Mad About You for the first time.   Three wheelers, swimming pools and her dalmatian named Soccer.   She created an amazing sanctuary for a young kid like myself to get away from the the routine of a small town 5th grader.   Her home was a place where even as a kid, 10 years old, I could come have the most carefree and relaxing existence.  Where I could truly get inspired to be better, and cooler. It is a proven fact that when you are out of your routine, you are more receptive to things around you.  That must be why I can even remember the tiniest details:  The way the grey concrete around her pool felt when you walked on it.  The white coping that lined the pool.  The texture of her super soft couches or they way her dog’s ears felt.   I cannot remember the name of the person I met yesterday, but I can remember those things from my childhood and I am thankful.

Now along with her daughter Melissa and my Mom, the tradition is continuing.   Hopefully all the young kids coming up in the family understand how lucky they are now, and how rich with memories they will be someday.

Today is Holly’s birthday.   Sorry I cannot be there in person, but I am sending my love!  Most importantly… Thank you for everything.   You are truly amazing and I don’t know where I would be without your influence on me.

138 Words on Father’s Day

This will be my first without my Dad. He’s by far the closest person I’ve ever lost, and his loss inspires the strangest feelings. I’ve only made very slight changes in my life since his passing. I have a new filter for the big decisions I make on a regular basis and it’s heavily influenced by him. My desire to tighten the amazing relationships I have with my Mom and Brother has strengthened. Most days I live on, un-phased by his passing. Others days, there are moments when I hit a wall and break. A movie. A song. Or the realization that when I want to tell him something that happened or ask for his opinion, I simply can’t. You can’t experience that feeling without spending ten minutes to get over the fact that he’s gone allover again.

Good times in Dallas over the last few…

Good times in Dallas over the last few days. Busy as hell with meetings with old coworkers and potential partners (imc2), one amazing client (Doritos) – no, seriously amazing, not just kissin’ ass – and old friends and family. Unfortunately there were a few missed, and I apologize. Philip (Centre) – I will be back in about 10 days. Dennis (Aztec) – See you next visit.

See ya!

Reflections, After Getting Back to My Roots

I spent a lot of time back home over the last couple of weeks, and definitely spent some time thinking about the stuff that is really important in life – namely the friends, family and the memories that they are responsible for creating and helping you maintain. I will never pretend to write anything of any significance on my blog here. I mean, come on, you should never take anything you read on a blog seriously anyways. I did find out that just about all of my family and friends and even my Mom’s friends are regular readers of my blog, which is great, because I have always said that I am writing for them anyways.

That being said… I struggle with downplaying the importance of the things that I write about. Hip-hop music could disappear tomorrow and Robby Wells would be just fine. But for a lot of people, hip-hop provides hope, an outlet, a journey, a form of self-expression, etc… – all very important things in life. And as shallow as it seems, the same is true for apparel and footwear. Whether you are an independent retailer tyring to make ends meet in this jacked up economy, or a kid who loves holding that brand new pair of sneakers and making a statement through their apparel choices, fashion is everything.

So how did I choose my subject matter? It became all too clear during my visit back home over the last couple of weeks.

First, I realized that I still dress the exact same way in 2008 as I did on XMAS day in 1984. Right down to the windbreaker, 501s and high-tops.

My uncle told me that I had about 20 pairs of shoes at age 2, an age when you can claim one shoe size for a few months. I came from a shoe family, which also explains why at age 14, I gave a shit about Nike’s P&L. Regular readers know where I stand with Nike now. Blah.

I kept a bunch of old skate mags and other old publications in the pristeen Airwalk box below:

Which includes these classic covers:

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