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The lunacy of the last 4 months is almost at an end.  I have finally received the building permit for the new shop, but with so many conditions I feel like the town wants me to sit in a beaucratic time out chair in the corner!  So much money, and so many revisions, I lost count of both...only thing I know is I am in possession of much more revisions than money.  Fees for this and fees for that would fit in that old Boz Scaggs song "Dirty Low Down", and could be the new theme song for Team Dark Horse.

Dealing with the Town Board has been perhaps the most frustrating time of my adult life.  Never one to be religious, or sacreligious for that matter, I felt like the prophet Jonah sent on a quest by Jahweh, and rather than wanting to deal with it, tried to run away.  The phrase "You can run but you can't hide" refers to Jonah, but more appropriately, refering to George (thank you baseball great Satchel Paige), I embrace "Don't look back, something may be gaining on you!" We all know that Jonah eventually wound up in the belly of a whale, while Satchel Paige went on to be perhaps one of the greatest pitchers of all time, so hopefully I fall somewhere inbetween!

Our property sits in what I call the corridor to Montgomery.  It is 2 acres of beauty set amongst some pretty tough looking architecture.  There is a gas station on the corner, an abandoned house next door replete with a junked van, car, and riding mower on the front lawn...if it was Jersey, I would just assume that these fixtures were lawn ornaments, but this is the empire state!  Across the street is an abandoned building next to one that should be. and finally a dentist's office with this gigantic Tooth sign on the front lawn that looks like something from Tim Burton's "Nightmare before Christmas."

Why this bears mentioning is during the planning board proceedure along with being billed everytime one of their "Consultants" walked in the door, the main sticking point was landscaping, and what color combination of siding and roofing was I planning on using???  Because the rear boarder abuts a residental piece of property, which coincidentally houses the Coldenham Fire Department, zoning demands that we plant bushes and trees to hide our new building from the pole barn that houses an antique fire engine!  Some travesty if that engine had to constantly gaze upon a brand new two story barn style bike shop...but who am I to question the voice of reason.

I have abided by every revision required to get to this point, and now know why more people don't bother persuing this sort of project.  It has become so financially debillitaing that it jeopardizes the completion of the construction.  Every entity that I have come in contact with requires rediculous fees that normal business people would never dream of trying to charge.  Problem is, unless you agree, you go nowhere, you must pay to play...

I have managed up to this point to keep my head up and plow forward, however, I feel like that high school freshman trying out for a varsity team, being laughed at, and being told I don't belong here.  Maybe these projects aren't for guys like me...I don't have lawyers in the wings, and investors with deep pockets.  All I have is a dream, and perhaps a dollar stashed somewhere, and in my heart, I believed that was all that mattered. My wife is behind me, Mike my partner can't wait, and even my mother, convinced that she must stay alive to see this to fruition, believe in me, and that's pretty strong karma!

So, we'll see what March brings (Julius Caeser didn't fare too well mid month).  If Jonah could eventually be spit back up on dry land, and Satchel Paige could pitch well into his sixties, then I suppose I can persevere a little longer, or as long as need be.  Final hurdle will now be dealing with the building inspector during all phases of construction.  I can only hope for three things...he doesn't fight with his wife on the days he visits...he has no objection to the placement of the Dark Horse Kegerator, and he doesn't visit this website and read this article!

"Yours in financial distress"  George