Years ago when I was in Green Inside, prior to the days of the MySpace explosion, the Facebook intravenous line (insert sarcasm), and the oh-so slightly invasive notion of text messaging (yeah, it was that long ago), there were these things on the internet called message boards. Remember those? I had a lot of fun using message boards, communicating in a public forum, thanking folks for coming out to the show, or flirting with someone cute (wait a tick, kinda sounds like Facebook).

I also used to use the message board to do what I did last night - write a long “end of the year” wrap-up. It’s something I haven’t done in a long time (writing the “end of year” thing), and last night was the first time in a long time that I’ve done so.

After working around 13 hours, getting home late, taking Wilson for a walk, eating dinner, and trying to wind down with a glass of wine, I used my organizer, flipped through the pages, recalled the highlights and wrote the wrap-up. The risk one takes in writing those types of things, is that it’s inevitable you’ll forget something - or even worse, someone.

That’s where the big oops comes in.

It dawned on me today (with a little help from some birdies) that I forgot someone very special in writing last nights wrap-up. Someone who facilitated many of the highlights I enjoyed last year. That person is Joel Cobden.

I was introduced to Joel in late 2010. Shortly thereafter, I was employed by him. Having recently graduated from college, Joel gave me a job in his screen printing facility (pretty lucky considering jobs in my field are a little tough to come by in this economy). Knowing full well that I have a lifelong dedication to the pursuit of my musical art, he allowed me the opportunity to work and to take time away from work to tour, to give me pep talks, to look over my shoulder and make sure I was making sensible business decisions, to pick me up when I was feeling down, to tell me to take as much time as I needed after Chico passed away, and most importantly, to believe in me. He has not only given me opportunity to grow within his business, but considers me a valuable asset to it as well. There were times over the past year that that last sentiment actually helped me make it through the day. For realzies. :-) Knowing you are needed can help to keep you in the game.

So thank you much Joel. As I said, a lot of last year wouldn’t have happened without you.

Now, on to conquer 2012: finish new songs, make a record, and take some more time off from work to tour. ;-)

-SA

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