Growing up in Saint Margaret’s Bay and going to Shambhala Middle School meant that I had to be a part of the dreaded car pool made up of other Dharma Brats, some in the single digits and others young teenagers. I don’t think anyone liked being a part of the carpool, least of all our parents.
However it was not without its perks. Somedays we would be lucky enough to drive through the then very new Steve-O-Reno’s Cappuccino, which was a very ambitious and innovative concept – those days were the good days. I think that is where I had my very first smoothie. Even as a punk kid I saw the passion, enthusiasm and dedication that Steve poured into his business. It impressed me at the time and it still does.
An other perk were the rare days that Steve would have his turn at herding us kids into the Volvo. He was energetic, funny and related to the kids on a very real level.
Except one day things got a little too real, even a bit scary. Sometime previous to this drive I had been messing around with Erik who was younger than me and although I liked him, sometimes I did what young boys do to even younger boys and gave him noogies etc. Erick definitely deserved all of this. One day I stepped it up a bit and picked Erik up off the ground, by his ears. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. Steve must have been waiting for his moment, and after he dropped everyone in the carpool off (I was the last kid on the route) and it was just me and him, he tore into me and made sure I never did anything like that to Erik again. I don’t think I stopped entirely, but I definitely toned it down. After he made his point, he slapped me on the thigh in such a way that it stung, and said “I’m glad we got that outta the way” and went on like everything was normal – which it was. I was very scared of Steve for awhile but I always admired him.
As we grew up he’d end up hiring some of my friends and peers to tend his coffee enterprise. Everyone I knew had a lot of respect for him and his entrepreneurial spirit.
Lots of love to Steve and the other Arm Busters.
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