Getting to the Brass Tacks

I spent this morning in the Portland Arboretum with my dad and brother wandering leaf-strewn paths under a temperate rainforest. We talked about our bus, how it’s awesome that it’s still running strong and charged all the way across the snowy Rockies. We talked about math and batteries and sometimes nothing. It was calming to be in nature with family, walking with words or without them.

Arriving in Portland to a welcoming household of amenities and the thanksgiving holiday has made us take a break from our busy-ness (funny, that word business) for the past few days. Though sometimes I get frustrated at not ‘making progress,’ it’s so beneficial to let the bunched up strands of thoughts loosen into focus sometimes. Set the stage for us to have an eventful afternoon.

At 3:30 we went to Brass Tacks Sandwiches to interview the Founders Ami and Sara. We’d gone to grab lunch there a few days ago and were drawn to learn more by the authenticity of the young women behind the counter. Sitting down around a wooden table in their cozy shop, we learned that they’d recently graduated and after working corporate jobs for a bit had gotten together and decided to open a consciously sustainable and delicious sandwich shop. Well in our opinion they’ve succeeded on that, especially the second part (if you ever go there, be sure to try their homemade tomato jam- won’t be hard because I think it’s on just about all of their sandwiches.)

We’ll put up a video of the interview in the next few days, but for me what really struck me was their dedication and appreciation for their work. Here they were, clearly and admittedly working all the time and sometimes having their disputes, still with eyes shining with enthusiasm to be sharing their story with us. We laughed and talked about life and work in a world way bigger than anyone seems to be able to fathom.

After the shop we were flying high on the drive home when we caught sight of a fellow double-decker bus parked in a small lot off the street. Interest piqued we pulled over to find ourselves inside of the Lodekka- an English tour bus that had been renovated into a vintage thrift store.

Erin, the ‘Conductress’ of the store, was very welcoming of us fellow bus-people and we had a great time sharing stories with her and Gordon, a good friend of hers who was also on board. Gordon is officially the first Sake consultant I’ve ever met, and I have to say I hope I meet more. He cracked out a bottle or two to celebrate his birthday, which to be fair is tomorrow, but he’s taking two days to be able to celebrate with all his different friends. We’re not complaining.

The two of them as well as a customer named Kara were extremely helpful and pointed us in the direction of a bunch of people we should get in touch with while in Portland. They even offered to help us out by contacting press and potential sponsors for us- all y’all including Ami and Sara if you’re reading, thanks!

Today was a great boost to get us past the inertia of a few days rest and online work (not to mention the inertia of a gastronomical meal). We got out into the bustle of Portland and found acceptance and inspiration. As a team we’re feeling that so long as we unfurl our sail and keep our wit as we’re blown by the winds of culture we’re heading in the right direction.

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