What a LONG strange trip it's been during the first half of 2020!! Damn!!! It's been very very weird!
As we turned the corner and rolled into 2020, which was suppose to be our home stretch, we were looking forward to celebrating our last year in business with a series of celebrations and parties beginning with Record Store Day in April, and ending with a fond farewell on July 31.
However, as luck would have it, or should we say bad luck, the world was hit with a virus, the likes of which we hadn't seen before. Yes, we have had several virus attacks in the past, but this one appeared to be different. But, I will say that I believe the jury is still out as to what we are witnessing and as to whether we approached and managed the situation properly. I can't wait to take a look into that rear view mirror and see what we see.
So ... as our world shut down at the end of March, I tried to figure out what the heck we were going to do for however long things were going to remain all messed up. We immediately went into a curbside and home delivery mode and we managed to do a little bit of business but nothing close to what was needed to keep the head above water. Yet, what business we did realize is very much appreciated and came by way of very kind and wonderful people who were doing what they could to help us stay alive. To all of you that worked with us and kept the records and cd's spinning, THANK YOU! We love you!
During the course of the next 2.5 months, I (Steve) kept coming to the store as shipments of new releases didn't stop. Mike worked from home ordering up the "new" stuff. I did the book work ... successfully applied for a small SBA loan ... emptied my five gallon water jug full of coins and deposited them into the KTS bank account and we did what we could to stay positive and sane. I listened to a TON of great music as well.
I hunkered down a bit here at the store ... I worked harder than ever handling the phone calls, text messages, emails and courier pigeons and tried to stay sane and focused not knowing how long we were going to be shut down.
On May 29, we reopened and celebrated the occasion with a Less Than Grand, Grand Reopening. People came ... they bought some stuff ... we told stories and shared our Quarantine Moments and thoughts and views on the situation. Viewpoints are scattered all over the landscape and run the gamut in terms of opinions. Such is America now ain't it!?
During all of this, Record Store Day was delayed from April to June and then revamped and delayed again to a trifecta taking place at the end of August, September and October, making it connect with Black Friday that takes place at the end of November.
That being the case, I decided that ending the Kiss The Sky journey at the end of this July did not appeal to me as I did not want to close up shop on a COVID sour note. Consequently, I am working on keeping the Kiss going for another year or two or three. We'll see. I am quickly approaching 70 and although I see that as a magical number worthy of a home stretch goal, go tell the mind and body that!
For the rest of June, I plan to work the store solo to see if business returns to the point where I can afford to have the gang return, which is what I would like to have happen as being a part of a "team" is certainly way more fun than talking to myself.
Hours have changed a little bit and they are posted on the ABOUT page on this website and they are noted on the Kiss the Sky Facebook Page as well.
Live Music will return to The Kiss as soon as we figure out what makes sense in terms of frequency and such. I've put together a couple of solo performances that were streamed during our Less Than Grand Reopening with Dave Ramont and Noah Gabriel providing the music. This may be a permanent type of thing as we get back to some sort of abnormality.
At the end of the day, I am thankful that everyone that is near and dear are healthy and for the most part are employed. I sincerely hope that all of you are doing good as well. I'm an eternal optimist. Therefore, I believe that there is always a silver lining in every dark cloud and I think that the dark clouds of the last few months are going to dissipate and we'll get exposed to that silver lining and some much needed sunshine. Vitamin D! That's what is needed to suck up the D in the COVID ... COVI sounds a lot less threatening!
If there is anything that you may need in your world of music, please don't hesitate to give me a call at 630-406-0086.
Hope to see you soon ...
All the best!