Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Sunday vigil in Washington Park

A GATHERING IS planned for Sunday in Washington Park at 4 p.m. It's being organized by the newly-formed Adams County Coalition For Racial Equality. Sheryl and I hope the gathering will promote unity and help address the great racial divide in this country. It will show support for George Floyd and will show how we won't tolerate hatred, ignorance and inequality in this country, this state, this county or this city.

The gathering will be peaceful. Call it whatever you want - protest, call for change, candle-light vigil (even at 4 in the afternoon), march, etc. It doesn't matter. We all have the right to gather and protest, and the event needs to focus on what we can do as a community.

Law enforcement has been notified of the gathering. I really hope we see some participation from Quincy Police, Adams County Sheriff and Illinois State Police officers and brass. There is no need for a line to be drawn and hate-driven anger spewed at them. The law enforcement officers I am friends with know we can do better and we need to address this and communicate, not tear gas innocent people and fire rubber bullets into peaceful protests.

It amazes me, all the paranoia going on around here. I won't tell people to relax, but I will say we need to be part of the solutions and part of the dialogue to make this a better place to live. For those that try to say "All Lives Matter"... If all lives mattered we would not have to protest to make sure Black Lives Matter.

Of course, I'm against the violence and looting that's taken place in larger cities. Sheryl and I are property and business owners. But the systematic oppression of people of color has long been a problem in our society and we need to be better. We. Need. To. Be. Better.

I pray the event goes well and voices will be heard, and we can all be better off for it.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Amazing weekend

WE HAD A fantastic weekend at Second String Music, our first days open for regular hours since mid-March. Sheryl and I are grateful for our customers and it was awesome to see familiar faces and do business again.

Open again at Fifth and Maine!
The support and compliance for our mask policy was overwhelming. We are asking people to wear masks when entering the store, and we are trying our best to adhere to social distancing. A few people came to the door and then and went back to their vehicles to retrieve masks - it's still something to get used to and it will take a while.

I hate wearing the masks all day, but it's safety first and we are VERY protective of Sheryl's health.

We had a few customers not come in after reading the sign on the door. We are not offended. Come prepared for any store to have a mask policy in Quincy. We can't afford to have this pandemic get set loose again and close the state down.

Several of our longtime customers said it was "all about respect" and "I know where you are coming from." They don't want to wear a mask. They do it because they know it's the right thing to do for several reasons. They get it.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Masks much appreciated

SOMETIMES IT'S THE little things that make a difference during tough times. Trish Santos of Quincy made and dropped off two masks for us yesterday, and they are awesome.

Second String Music opens for regular business hours Friday, after nearly 2 1/2 months. We've done some curbside business and had customers by appointment, but we are ready for the doors to open and get back to the "new normal."

One thing we are stressing is wearing masks when coming into our store. No doubt we'll have some people think they don't have to wear masks, even though we have them for sale for $1 right as you enter. No mask, no bidness. It's pretty simple. Our customers have complied during our limited by appointment hours, and we are ever hopeful it will work out.

The masks depict Snoopy and Minnie Mouse and they are perfect. We already have masks and Sheryl is getting even more made, but you can't have too many because we'll be wearing them all day and every day.

Thank you, Trish. We appreciate you thinking of us in the new normal. You can't mask our readiness to open and get back at it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Learning from cats

WE COULD LEARN many things from cats. We have two felines, CoCo and Josie. They pretty much run things around here and don't put up with any crap from the much bigger dogs, especially the youngest. Malcolm has learned the hard way from some well-placed nose swipes that cat claws are sharp and hurt.

All this alley patrolling tires poor Josie out!
Lately our cats have been getting into watching from windows. We've opened them up in the house, and Josie especially likes to sit in the window with her nose to the screen and observe. When the cats see a squirrel, bird or dog outside, their tails star twitching and they make funny cat noises.

Josie will wander around in the backyard. Every now and then she'll jump the fence and give the alley and neighbor's yards a good patrol, but she pretty much sticks close to the back porch. She has a safe space under the porch where she goes when hearing loud noises or dogs barking, and she's never run off.

Right now CoCo is upstairs with me and having a blast playing with the curtains, batting at a fly and jumping in and out of window sills. Such a silly cat, and so easily entertained!

It's a cat's world, and we are just happy to be in it.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Playing live again

CORI AND I did our final quarantine livestream show on Facebook Sunday. HartLyss had a blast for the past couple of months playing songs, hearing from all kinds of people and making stuff up. And watching Malcolm get his tummy rubbed. Thank you Sheryl for running the camera and keeping things from going completely off the rails, and thank you to everybody who tuned in and had great song suggestions.

It was good for us in that we were trying to play well, but it was far more relaxed than a regular show and we didn't get too worked up about botching chords or remembering words or remembering the song in general. Now we have a bunch of songs to play the next time we have a gig.

We are not sure when that will be. Missouri is opening up, but we are not interested in playing indoors. We hope to get a show outside on the Tipsy Bricks deck soon in Hannibal - we love and miss our Hannibal peeps! Same with our Quincy venues.

Nothing beats playing live in front of people who get it. The more you hoot and holler with us, the more fun we all have. We've also missed our drummer, Lincoln, and it's about time he starts hitting stuff and keeping us in tempo.

Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully, we will see you soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Safety first can really rule

SECOND STRING MUSIC will be open for regular business hours starting Friday, May 29. Until then we are open by appointment only and we ask you call us at the store (223-8008) to make an appointment. We will be resuming guitar lessons as well.

There are going to be some rules. Most importantly, we are asking customers to please wear face
masks when entering.

Sheryl put together an awesome Facebook post yesterday, reposted here. As she is fond of saying, "Slow and steady wins the race."

Some "rules" for entering a small business once we re-open...

1. Wear a mask, cover a cough, and stay home if you feel sick. We will have hand sanitizer and disposable face masks by the door if you don't have your own.

2. Don't touch EVERYTHING and avoid using our bathroom if possible. Shop in small groups of one or two, no crowds please.

3. Pay with cash - we love and really need cash right now. Debit or Credit will be totally ok but remember an out of town corporation gets fees when you pay with a plastic payment of any kind.

4. Don't ask if we got a loan, received a grant or are "doing ok." We probably didn't and probably aren't. We are here, working and moving forward as best we can.

5. If it is in stock, it is priced well. Buy it. Forget about special orders for a while please. Sheryl has already had to be very flexible with this one since that is the nature of the beast.

6. Virtual hugs are still hugs. We need them. Write up a recommendation on google. We love your continued support.

Every small business will need us to support them when this is over. Stay away from online buying as long as you possibly can. Your local economy needs local buyers in order to survive. We can't afford to send our local dollars off to the internet/out of town right now.

So there you have it - some things to consider as we enter our new normal. We've missed our friends and loyal SSM customers. Hopefully we all have patience and understanding in a strange and different time.