When my father passed away I was the one responsible for going through the family house in Novato. The house needed a full remodel and so as I was going through this construction phase I would feel some sadness from all of the memories of 5 kids, 8 grand kids and life times of items in that house. I would take a break and go visit the neighborhood to break that sad feeling. As I would get to know the neighborhood folks more I would feel better and go back to work. I would feel better because I could see the lasting impression our family had made with the neighborhood and that everything was positive and there is life all around. One neighbor was Ben Young, he was a WW2 veteran and as I am a vet (non-combat) I always felt good talking with him. Near the end of the work at the house I went to Ben and he invited me in as always to talk. He and his wife would ask how is the house coming along and I would update them, they are great people and I am so grateful for their friendship after all these years.
They would ask "Joey how is the Temple Massager project going?" I explained that it was moving forward and that I was getting positive feedback from service members and veterans that the Temple Massager was helping with stress relief. Then I asked Ben if he ever heard of a Band called The Grateful Dead? The 89 yr old Ben sat up, eyes wide open and he says" Yes I know those guys" I said Ben that's great how do you know those guys in the band?
Ben went on to say “Joey, in the 60's I started Pini Hardware and Little Mickey Hart and his friends would come in to get supplies for their house across from San Marin High school. They would buy things and then owe me money and then pay me and so I put them on a $50.00 a month program and it all worked out, those guys were always good for it. They are good people. That later on in the 70's Little Mickey Hart came in and gave me a signed album from the band and said thanks for helping the band in their lean years and gave Ben the album. Ben says it is still hanging on his wall to this day.
I told Ben that is an awesome story. I told Ben that as I was creating the new Temple Massager I had a bigger handle and that it could hold some art work and I was looking at the Dancing Bears artwork of the Grateful Dead because it was peaceful and mellow. Ben said those are good and nice people they will be good to you Joey.
Later on when I called the Rhino Entertainment group in Burbank Ca they put me in touch with an attorney. As I spoke with the attorney he asked me what is this all about? I told him I invented a product to solve my own facial muscle tension issues and headaches and gave it away to service members all over the world for 8 years. He says Stop talking, stop talking... I did. He says Joe nobody talks to me as much as you are, but you are intriguing the shit out of me so please continue. I went on to say I was looking into the dancing bear’s logo for my Temple Massager.
Attorney says Joe, you know Jerry Garcia joined the Army? I said no I did not Sir, he says it did not work out, I said he had the heart of a lion and that he tried is noble he said yes. SO Joe being in the Army you know shit rolls downhill I said yes Sir. He says Joe I want you to call this number and talk with Jason _____ in 30 minutes. I called the number 30 mins later and this guy Jason from Warner Music Group answers and I ask for Jason and he says Hi Joe we have been expecting you call. WOW, Warner Music says they have been expecting my call. After working with Warner Music Group, Inc. Rhino Entertainment, Inc. and GDP, Inc. for 6 months on art work the time came to finalize the Licensing agreement. I explained to them in the beginning that if this was going to cost me money I could not do it, Warner Music folks said let’s keep moving down the line to figure this out, just keep working on the art work. Okay.
Months later after the art work was set Warner Music calls me. I am standing in my kitchen and the attorney says Joe we have one more question for you before we finalize this licensing agreement, do you intend to continue donating Temple Massagers to troops? I said that I would not be where I am right now if I had not donated the products. I owe it all to giving them away to troops. I will always donate to troops that's what got me here, yes I will.
They attorney on the line says" Joe we are going to give you for free a one year Lic agreement because of your generosity to out troop's. “On that spot in my kitchen I felt family, I felt my dad, I felt Ben, I felt proud, I felt grateful, I felt accomplished. I thanked her and that was it. I now had the support from one of the greatest Bands ever.
Ben was so right.
A short time later I happen to run into "Little Mickey Hart" Mickey had time for my story and he said he fully remembered Ben and Pini Hardware and
One year later I happen to run into "Little Mickey Hart" Mickey had time for my story and he said he fully remembered Ben and Pini Hardware and that Ben helped them so much in the early days and Mickey went on with some stories from the 60's. He was super cool and was going of about the band and Novato and Pini and Ben. Mickey asked me if I would pass on his deepest thanks and best wishes that he remembers Ben and Novato so well.
One month later I was in Novato and I met with Ben and told him the story. I told Ben, Mickey was super happy to hear about you and Pini and he was grateful for all the early days help. I passed on Mickeys hello and kind words. Ben and his wife sat there smiling and Ben was so happy about this. He says I told you.
For me this was a home grown, local, organic beautiful story of folks helping each other in so many ways. I am so happy to be able to deliver a completed circle of good intentions for all.
Pace, Peace, Peace.