I woke up this morning, made some coffee, and went downstairs for a bite of breakfast. My phone rang.....it was my friend Jeff Rich. He was at the hotel. I invited him to come in and we had some breakfast. We have conversed quite a bit over the internet but this is our first person to person meeting. We caught up about quite a bit over breakfast... family, life and drumsticks. After finishing up breakfast, I got ready, and we set out for the day.
Jeff took me by his place and, as we talked, he showed me several drumstick creations he has built over the years. Jeff is a very creative, industrious and mechanical person. We share quite a many commonalities. He's built several tools for making drumsticks over the years. He showed me where his shop used to be in the garage. Small space that made wonderful sticks. He showed me straight grain hickory, light hickory and bad grain dowels...the printing press he made to apply signatures and the custom drumstick logos. Really smart and ingenuitive.
I met his son and the three of us hopped in the car and headed out for a brief tour of New Hampshire and Maine. He brought me out to look at shagbark hickory out at a park and took a tour of an old New england property. Had an apple from an old apple tree. Very sweet and delicious. We got back in the car and headed back across the river into New Hampshire and over by an old mill that has been converted into woodworking shops across the ground floor along with artist and photography amongst other trades on the upper floors. This is the place that the Goodspeed came from. This is a very cool idea and I'm very happy to see this happening.
We went back to the house and I met his lovely wife and his mother in law. Wonderful people! We had a nice brief visit. They were headed over to the historical society and we were headed back out to meet some folks Jeff had arranged for us to converse with. We stopped in at Starbucks and got a good consistent cup of coffee. We talked to a friend of Jeff's, Dale, that is a drum builder on the phone. We'll get together with him tomorrow. We talked and discussed drumsticks more. Did I mention we have a lot of commonality. We met his friend Mike who is a savvy startup business marketer and wife is an internet placement artist. Great conversation. It solidified a lot of what I've been thinking about the business direction of Louisiana Backbeat drumsticks.
I had a great time with Jeff today. It was wonderful to finally meet him and discuss the many things about drumsticks in person. Jeff and I bounced several ideas around for bringing the goodspeed into the 21st century. Tomorrow we head over to Massachusetts to visit Ray and Ernie at the machine shop where I'll get to see about some tooling for the Goodspeed. On that note...I'm off to get some rest. It'll be an early day.
Thanks and 'til later,