I'm fairly certain we will reach that number, which should happen August 23rd of 2018. The question is: will it take place in the original and only dive shop where we've had the previous 19 anniversary celebrations? I could try to tell myself that I'm not emotionally attached to this old house and the sacred Indian-spirited parcel of earth in what is still known as Old Marco. But that would be a lie. A big fat lie! Jessi and I spend more awake time in our little scuba shack that's huddled underneath the shade of the big Guana Costa tree (that perhaps Thomas Edison planted), than we do at our own house. By far!
I cried like a little baby the first time I stepped foot into the structure now known as Scuba Marco. That cry was over the realization of all the prep work it was going to take to turn a hideous, filthy old paint and wallpaper store into a Dive Shop. There were layers of soggy mildewed carpet, rotting food strewn about, and no shortage of dead rat carcasses in the drop ceiling. But then a friend had a good idea: 'there's no smell that plenty of fresh cut rough cedar won't cover up'. Hmmm I thought, and I rolled up my sleeves. My cry upon departure from this little second home will be much different in nature. Hopefully that will be later rather than sooner.
I started my business relationship with Dennis and the owners of the Snook Inn and Old Marco Properties (my landlord) with a handshake. We went more than 15 years before we signed our first paper lease. Congratulations to them, their nest egg hatched last week with the sale of the business and buildings. I've known the new owners for almost 20 years also. They dropped in the shop a few days ago to chat and I was assured (with solid eye contact) that 'nothing's going to change'. To which I replied, "Everything is changing all the time." Like Neil says, "Changes aren't permanent but change is." I feel like I'm trapped in a maze of clichés, but only time will tell.
So let's gather and be thankful for the first 20 years, it's been quite a plunge! I still love to be underwater, that hasn't changed! When I can't be diving, being around good-hearted people and talking about diving is the next best thing. I hope you can be here Thursday but regardless, Take Care & LIVE LOVE DIVE!!! -Jeff