If the walls could speak . . .
In 1989 I carried around quarters in my car’s ashtray. Periodically, I would pull over to certain pay phones easily accessible to my car and check in at the office or my home phone for messages.
It was on one of these drives that I had an idea, and so I pulled over, and made a call. The idea was to turn a garage into a club room. I called Terry Watson who owned Salem Tent and Awning, knowing that the key to this was attaching a 20 by 20 tent to the garage and thus making a room that could hold up to 200.
I said, “Just think about it.” In other words, don’t tell me “no” just yet. Terry thought about it, and why he said “yes” I will never know – but I am so grateful. Club transpired in this newly formed room from 1989 to 1998. In all those years the Watson’s also let people sign the garage walls – and you know kids, they signed everywhere.
Today, 23 years almost to the day from that first club in that “famous” garage, people still drop by. JoAnn says the question always get’s asked, “Can I go out in the garage?”
This past week Chad Watson turned 40 – ahhhhhh, the great age of FORTY! They had a surprise party for him at the Watson home. I received calls and text messages of, you guessed it, pictures from the garage!
There is something about writing your name on a wall, and then coming back 23 years later and seeing it. It’s as if that ink captured YOU as a teenager, and in some ways, we all desire to go back.
If the walls could speak . . . one thing the walls would say is that those were the garages “glory days.” Most garages house cars, junk, extra freezers, and lots of shoes. This garage, for a span of 9 years, experienced life, laughter, chaos, singing, skits, warm nights in September and frigid nights in November.
The day that the names were penned on the wall you can guarantee that kids felt loved, affirmed, and special. And you know what, they were! There is something magical about teenagers – they’re not kids anymore, and they aren’t adults. They are in that stage of getting it all figured out. The worries of the world have not quite yet reached them . . . and for one hour a week, they could congregate with friends and have fun.
There were a lot of kids who heard about Jesus in that garage. Thousands really . . . and you know what, I have the proof! The names are on the walls (and ceiling). I would love to go back, but I can’t. The only thing I can do to recapture that time is reflect on the memories, or, go stand in the Watson’s garage and look at the walls.
Have a great Tuesday,