Dateline: 1 January 2015
Well, I’m finally back to blogging here after my nearly-two-month absence. I left to focus my writing efforts on my son and daughter-in-law’s GoFundMe campaign. If you have followed the campaign, and read the 27 Updates that I posted there since November 5th, you have pretty much continued to read this blog, though in a different format.
I wrote about my family. I reminisced about people I knew and events that happened in my life decades ago. I even wrote about the rutabagas I grew this year in my garden. Oh, and I posted some updates about Jimmy & Bekah’s Diner Dream, telling how the gifts that so many people gave were being used.
And if you have read the Updates, you know that I have not been idle in my Deliberate Agrarian blogging absence. I made a new Specials chalk board at the diner. I helped my son remodel the restroom. Then we launched into some renovations to the dining room, which are ongoing (we will be working there all day today and tomorrow). For those who haven’t read the GoFundMe updates, here are a few pictures (click on pictures to see enlarged views)…
|The "specials" chalk board before.|
|The new "specials" chalk board.|
|This is a before view of one section of the dining room, |
with the wallpaper border removed.
|And speaking of rutabagas, here are some that I |
harvested from my garden in November.
Reflections on the GoFundMe Campaign
The GoFundme campaign for Jimmy & Bekah's Diner Dream officially raised $4,005. Around $500 more came into the project in the form of checks and cash. I kicked off the campaign with a $500 donation. So, if I take that out of the equation, the campaign actually raised $4,000.
The gifts ranged from a low of $5 to a high of $300 (from a person who gave twice). Readers of this blog gave approximately half of the money that came into the campaign.
The other surprise was the $680 in donations that came from high school friends, some of whom I have not seen or heard from in 40 years (Class of '76).
Not surprising were the gifts that came from family members ($530), and the gifts that came from friends of Jimmy and Bekah, including diner customer friends ($795).
The comments that came with the donations were very nice to read, ranging from the note (and $10 check) from Chuck and Carole, an older couple who reads this blog out in Kansas, to regular diner customer, Linda G., who wrote:
"This place is my home away from home, not just because of the good food, but your family makes me feel like family."
It is worth noting here that Linda G. was at Jimmy & Bekah's wedding back in May of this year, as were several other non-family customers of the diner.
There is a "community aspect" to operating a small-town, rural diner. You get to know your regular customers pretty well. They become a part of your life, and you become a part of theirs. It is something rare and special in this world of social disconnections. It is powerfully endearing. I expect to write more about it here in the future.
In nearly 16 years of Deliberate Agrarian blogging, I have never asked for help from readers of this blog for my family. This GoFundMe campaign was a first. I took some criticism for doing it, but I sure don't regret it. It has been a great experience. However, I don't forsee doing anything like this again.
With that in mind, I'd like to say thank you very much to everyone who reads this and donated to Jimmy & Bekah's Diner Dream. When I left blogging here back on November 5th, I wrote that this project was important to me... and you responded with your generous donations. Your donations truly made a big difference. Jimmy & Bekah were able to do some things to get ready for their new opening that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do.
The new Glenside Diner in Moravia, NY will be opening for business on January 6th. We have lots to do before then to get everything shipshape. And it's time for me to get to work down to the diner on this first day of the new year.....
If you are interested in reading the 27 GoFundMe updates I wrote, you can find them by going to the Diner Dream Campaign web page. The most recent Update is at the top of the campaign. At the bottom of the Update, you will see a link where you can click "Show More." When you do that, several previous Updates will show. You can keep clicking "Show More" and go all the way back to Update #1. The screen shot below shows where to click.