Sunday, December 30, 2012

The End of an Era

Yesterday marked the end of an era for me, as friends gathered for a concerted effort to wish Bob, Todd & Wil "all the best" in the new year, not knowing when & where we'd be seeing them again.  Urban Wasp / Vespa Vancouver will remain open for a couple more weeks as they continue to liquidate stock & fixtures, but the inevitable closure is imminent.
I had advertised this last gathering as a "wake" (of sorts).
I was disappointed in some ways that so few showed up, but not surprised.  As Joni Mitchell so aptly put it "you don't know what you've got until it's gone" (Big Yellow Taxi).  What did surprise me was who showed up.  Moffat (from our days of the "Scoot Vancouver Style" yahoo group), Mark (Worst Scooter Club Ever) who I got to know from Vespa Club of Vancouver days, Diana De Van (former salesperson), Orin from Bellingham (fellow SOB member & blogger extraordinaire), Hans (sans scoot) and a host of others. 

I tried to remember this morning, how many years since I first pulled an espresso from the machine that was lying dormant in the corner.  It was shortly after buying my 2005 Vespa PX 150, that I asked Bob about the machine and whether he would mind me coming down on Saturdays.  So maybe, it all began in 2006 which would make it 6 years in total.

Thanks Bob & Ron for the experience.  You guys bought a lot of the coffee & the supplies and we drank it up.  I insisted that those who wanted a coffee should pay something for it and so began the tradition of donating the proceeds to charity (which Urban Wasp generously matched).  Hundred of dollars went to the Vancouver Food Bank, Children's Hospital Foundation, Canuck Place and the Alzheimer's Society of BC ($2500 for that particular effort).

What can I say?

A huge vacuum has been left in the Vancouver scootering community.  Only two shops dedicated to scootering remain.  Fortunately, there are a few motorcycle dealers who have shown a willingness to support scooterists over the years as well.

I was asked whether I had planned a service for my so-called "wake."  I hadn't, as I knew I would be busy making espresso, latte's & cappuccino's as well as keeping an eye on the BBQ (making sure the smokies didn't burn - they didn't).  But as I pondered what I would have said, had I taken the opportunity to "officiate" in my capacity as a preacher, I did come up with a few thoughts.

In my mind, I thought about the biblical story of Joseph.  Sold into slavery by jealous brothers who initially sought his death, he ascended the ranks of a slave to become second only to the King over a nation.  In that position he became the saviour of his people.  Upon a chance re-uniting of himself with his brothers (who at that point feared for their own lives), he assured them that he meant them no wrong.  In essence he told them, that what they had intended for evil, God had intended for good.

It is my sincere hope that for Bob, Todd, Wil & Luis, what might be seen as a negative chapter in their lives will turn around to be looked upon in the future as something good.

Kudos to Ron Hillman for his considerable investment in Urban Wasp over the years.  He has provided gainful employment for many individuals and has helped to establish the Piaggio marque (Vespa, Aprilia, Piaggio, Derbi), along with SYM & Peugeot in the Vancouver market.  His integrity, generosity and benevolence via this particular dealership will be greatly missed.

To each one of you, I pray this blessing to be true:

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
Number 6:24-26

1 comment:

Gerard Sanders said...

And a very happy new year