Jem…Chapter 185

Jem...Chapter 185

*Before…

He grins some more. “So Blue Rodeo huh?”

I smile. “It was in the moment thing.”

“Yeah I heard...You never did those before all this.”

I nod. “Yeah...it just kind of comes out sometimes.”

He nods. “You’re happy.”

I nod and smile. “Adam’s bull aside yeah, really happy Dad.”

He has that daddy smile again. “Good.”

*And Now…

We pull back into Trudeau park and we’re met with hungry people all who are getting their orders and thanking us and the food’s going over really well and Dad and I are talking it up about the new folks taking it over Mark and his daughter Crystal and Dad’s hyping up the fact that Mark is the original Crystal’s nephew and that it’s still a family business and that they moved here to keep it going.

Yeah we’re really hyping it up and the food does really speak for itself.

I even give some directions to the carnies who like local stuff over eating just from the concession truck which I can hardly blame them after you’ve been around it as much as they had.

We get set up the rest of the way with dad setting up patio lantern lights for us and well because they’re patio lanterns and I’m planning on playing that at some point because it’s a great fair styled tune and it’s Kim Mitchell so it’s Canadian music.

Then there’s the hooks to go up on our background to handle our shirts and other things and hooks behind the tables to put our bags on and everything.

And I’m using my phone for pictures and Vines and even video of the whole set up for us and talk to the phone to our fans and things and I’m inviting people down all the time.

Once we hit a sort of quiet moment I get my acoustic from Dad’s truck and a folding chair and I sit on the mini stage and i start playing and jamming and singing.

Not just to do it for doing it but to test the space for sound and to get a feel for how the sound will work from here so we’ll get heard.

I set my guitar on my lap and start to play and sing.

*Please Don’t Go.* By Starlight Butterfly.

Hello, good morning …
You’re beautiful …
And I know you don’t know me well.
So...
Hello …
You’re soulful …
You take the pain away …
You brighten up my days …
I know …
You don’t know me well …
But your laugh, it makes me smile.
I see sunshine in your eyes …
(Chorus)
Please … … Don’t go away …
I need to know you better.
I need your smile in my life girl.
Oh that’s not true …
I need more … I need you …
Oh I need you …
Hello …
Are you having second thoughts?
Are you wondering if I’m just …
Too much trouble …
I know … …
I’m not what you signed up for …
But who’d sign up for this kind of crazy …
Who could take me everyday girl …
(Chorus)
Hello … good morning …
Do you really think I’m beautiful …
Did you really say I’m …
Worth it …
I know …
I’m sorry that I crying …
And no I can’t stop smiling …
They’ve never said that …
I’m worth it …
I’ve never heard it …
Until you did …
(Chorus)
Hello …
I Love you …
You Take away my pain girl.
And I’ll love you everyday girl …
I haven’t played this soft and slow on acoustic since I wrote it and it’s getting a few listeners as people go on with their work and I’m getting a few folks listening as they’re eating lunch and some of the carnival staff is listening as well which is really nice too as it’s giving me a whole new bunch of people to play for.

I shift to another song playing. *Everything* By Starlight Butterfly.

Oh it’s 5AM and there’s this haze coming from the streetlights …
Pre morning twilight..
It’s 5AM and I’m looking at you in The Great Lakes fog, you’re so amazing …
You are stunning.
I can’t believe the luck I’ve had.
When we found each other, crying out on the sands …
Of the lakeshore … Broken …
We thought we were so broken.
I thought no one would understand.
But you were there and I was there and …
We fell, inside each others eyes …
(Chorus)
Oh Darling, oh my beautiful …
It’s when I touch you, it’s going to be alright.
Everything’s alright.
Oh Darling! You are so beautiful …
And when I kiss you, oh when you kiss me …
It’s our first time … .it’s everything …
And all we did was go out to eat.
Kiss hold hands and walked the streets.
Until morning, until sunrise.
By the lakeside.
(Chorus)
Oh we’ve been out all night.
Just like the day we met.
And nothing’s changed and there’s no regrets.
Because it was perfect, oh god this is perfect.
(Chorus)
(Chorus)

There’s some light applause by folks and that makes me grin and I wave a a few people here and lingering that look like family members or significant others of people setting up here and I play some of my favorites.

*Carousel* By Starlight Butterfly.

Hey there pretty girl …
Don’t be sad …
You won’t be alone tonight …
C’mon and take my hand.
Hey little girl, tonight baby don't be blue.
See those pretty lights along the way, those pretty lights they’re meant for you …
C’mon and take my arm …
You're not out there on your own..
Let’s step on the carousel lover.
And kiss until it’s all gone …
(Instrumental.)
I’ll show the world’s better now, that things can be better now.
I know the world’s let you down and it broke your heart.
But tonight's the night for a brand new start.
Come with me on our carousel.
We'll leave the world behind …
We'll go walking through this circus baby.
Just let me make everything alright.
Meet me out by all the bright lights.
Meet me down by the shore.
We can dance in the carnival lights …
Let me fall in love with you again …
As we kiss on the carousel.
Little pretty sweet blackbird …
C’mon take my hand …
Let’s look towards our future lover …
And leave the past behind …
Our love’s like a carousel …
(Instrumental.)
Meet me out by all the bright lights.
Meet me down by the shore.
We can dance in the carnival lights …
Let me fall in love with you again …
As we kiss on the carousel.
And seeing all of the things here and the actual Carousel/Merry-go-round that the carnival folks have her gives me an idea for us like as in the band shooting a video later and that sparks another idea too.

I keep playing going through. *Walk of Life* By Dire Straits a perfect song for here and it’s a great happy tune. Then there’s *Everyday* By Buddy Holly another awesome tune and again a whole lot of fun to play and I stand and rock back and forth just jamming and getting a few of the small crowd to dance along with me playing.

I finish up doing *Amazed* By Lonestar and then *Nothing but A Child* By Steve Earle and there’s actually a decent amount of applause from the small crowd that’s there and I do a little bow to them with the guitar.

“Thank you, thank you we’ll be playing here off and on here for the fair plus running our booth here and you’ll be able to catch our main shows in different places during the week. Tonight we’ll be playing at Lucky’s a kick booty bowling spot with that crazy good food that you used to get like at the old school burger places with the foil wrapped drive in feeling.”

I hop off the little stage and go help Josie who had some of our stuff up on hooks if only to make sure how it looks and to take pictures for our online stuff.

There’s some folks that are asking to buy some of the band stuff already including some of the carnival folks and I meet Danny Sawyer who runs Sawyer’s Fun Rides.

“Hey Angel right?”

“Yeppers Angel Benton nice to meet you…” I let it hang and he picks up on it introducing himself.

“Danny, Danny Sawyer. I run the rides crew, Sawyer’s Fun Rides.”

“Cool, I’m actually kinda thrilled that you’re here we don’t see the rides around that much anymore.”

“Family business, Grand dad ran it and I’m just trying to keep it going before the winter hits.”

“Winter has to be hard.” I say.

He nods. “Yeah you can’t go south anymore like you used to.”

I look at him getting some of the shirts out of boxes he’s pointing at from the things on the walls. “More post 9/11 fun?”

He nods. “It’s always been bad but now it’s worse and add in fuel costs and things it’s not worth it.”

“So you and yours have winter work?”

“Usually no, but I do repairs and lease out some of the games for things.”

I nod. “Actually a good idea keeping things up.”

I look at the things he’s going to buy. “Are these for the staff?”

“Yeah, I like to pick up local stuff as treats it’s literally one of the few perks of doing this.” He smiles.

I smile back. “Want to cut a deal?”

He’s grinning at me. “I’m all about the deals Angel.”

“You have carnival shirts?”

“Yeah some they’re pretty old stock my dad had them made.”

“Do you sell them?”

“Try to, not a lot of people get them.”

I smile widely at him and pass him the shirts he wanted. “Go get them and we’ll trade and thrown in a couple of books of tickets for the rides and we’ll sell your shirts here.”

He stares at me. “Really, that’s...actually that’s really nice of you Angel.”

Okay is he seems pretty happy.

“Come back and we’ll get a coffee and talk.”

“Talk?”

“I kind of want to use your rides to shoot a few videos while Fall Fair is going on.”

He’s staring at me again and he smiles a nice smile, one of those simple pleasure smiles and I live for those coming from folks honestly.

“I can definitely go for a coffee.” He actually jogs off and Josie’s looking at me. “Another one.”

“Another one what?”

“Another man hit by the Benton combos.”

“Huh?”

“Smart, artist, smart, pretty, smart, helpful, sexy, smart…” She says ticking off her fingers and I hold up my hands. “Whoa, whoa it’s not like that.”

She bursts out laughing. “It is, you have a whole stable of guys charmed Angel and you’re just really lucky that you’re too young or else you’d be beating them off with a stick...heck I’ve seen The Brewers even checking you out.”

“What!? No!” I cover my face with my hands.

She looks at me. “No seriously Angel you draw folks naturally looking as pretty as you do and you play and sing and then when folks meet you they’re blown away. I was.”

“Josie…”

She deals with another customer. “Seriously Angel if I was gay I’d be interested and I like knowing you and hanging with you because you...I don’t know sort of hit that spot emotionally and like life wise where you’re sort of in the middle between your generation and mine.”

She’s blushing and I’m blushing too and I can’t just leave her hanging so I go over and hug her.

“I love you too Josie, you’re literally the closest thing to having a big sister and a friend combined.”

We hug harder and have a little cry-laugh together and stay hugging tight while her and I take some messy selfies together and then fix our make-up and take some more.

Seriously I’m getting that in between things that she’s talking about. Josie’s an easy twenty years older than me but hanging out it doesn’t feel like it.

Danny comes back with a dolley of boxes of shirts. “I have more actually.” He says.

“We’ll take them all.”

“All?”

“Yes I think they’ll sell.”

“How? I mean I might sell like a dozen or so on a job but dad had them made as like a promo thing and they’ve been around forever.”

I take my jacket off and pass Josie my phone and open one and unfurl it and hold it in front of me and takes a picture and I text to the sight. [@Fall Fair with Danny Sawyer, full cool with a Canadian and in Province crew working here, come get a shirt or two and support a great bunch of folks!]

I put the shirt on and take a few more picture and load it all up to the sight and it’s already getting love.

I show Danny who looks really impressed. “That’s pretty cool.”

“The power of positive media.”

“Still hard to get gigs from online.”

I smile. “Let me buy you a coffee.”

He nods and we walk over to where there’s a mobile Tim Horton’s Kiosk set up and that’s a good sign of things looking bigger than usual here when they are doing that. I mean that’s likely from Toronto. I see some faces I know from town working it and step up.

“Hey Karly what’s up, can I get a medium double just white and…” I look at Danny. “Oh large double, double.”

She’s getting it together and I ask. “So how’s this work you here and the kiosk?”

She says. “You girls and Kisses and Thorns plus the stage acts and things boss wrote head office and they shipped this up for like brand recognition and stuff.”

“Very cool.”

Karly beams. “Yeah I know, we get to see all this and it’s like a really nice change from just being in the store plus like for me it’s a fifteen minute walk from my apartment so I’m saving coin too.”

I pay her and take my change and I put it into these boxes that they have there for Ronald McDonald house and other charities there including the town food bank and Harper’s Point animal shelter. I take a picture of each of them and text about supporting them.

I take my coffee and pass Danny his and start walking towards where his crew is setting up and I walk backwards a bit looking at him as I take us towards the little picnic table area by the chip/concession truck.

“Where was I?”

“Uhm the power of positive media?” He takes a drink and does that thing where he sits on the table and has his feet on the bench.

I do the same beside him. “Right, and you were saying that you had little exposure online and I have some ideas to fix that.”

He nods taking a sip. “Okay, honestly I’m new to this. I have computers for the office and home stuff but we’re kind of a really old school business a fading out thing.”

“Exactly and that might just be the hook.”

“Huh?”

“Well for one you’re from the province right?”

“Yeah…?”

“And you’re three generations doing this?”

“Yeah…?”

“Then you might be able to use that to get bids on government things.”

“Huh?”

I take a drink. “Tourism Canada and Tourism Ontario both has funds and grants for things ;like carnivals and festivals and all sorts of thing Danny so if we get you known to them with your very, very good credentials as far as history goes they will hire you because you look good on paper.”

He’s blinking at me. “I never thought of that. I mean we’re kind of small time but yeah we’ve been around for a long time since my grandfather...you really think that matters?”

“Sure do and I’, just getting into learning about the provincial and national stuff myself but it seems a good option. And I’m willing to trade.”

He lights a smoke and offers me one and I shake my head no. “Trade?”

“I want to do some videos using the rides and the games as backdrop maybe shoot some of your folks into the scenes.”

He nods. “And we get?”

“Exposure and credits in the videos but I’ll help you put together your own video for the tourism bureaus and we’ll even run it up on our website for the band.”

He’s nodding over and over. “We can do that, hell I think there’s a few of my folks that can play.”

I raise my eyebrows. “Like play or like seriously play?”

“Bits of both, I was thinking if you were down with it you could do like an expanded band video.”

I nod. “I’d love that and will talk it over with the girls but another thing we can do with that right here with the picnic area and all is a kitchen party video.”

He looks at me. “Okay what?”

“Before you all head out we have a get together and we play, we do a great big jam session and we film it like a big impromptu session and then we all own it and put it up on YouTube and link to it.”

He’s nodding. “Uhm we could do that, a bit of a party could be good after all things are said and done. The video stuff I...I mean Angel I’m kind of still out of my league with all of that.”

I grin. “We’ll go over that stuff together but there’s other things we can do here pretty much that’ll help.”

“Other things?” He’s looking at me.

“A police/military and fire department day.”

“Uhm...okay?”

“Look I know carnies and cops sometimes get a thing going so cut them slack all at once with the vets and fire department and do a discount day, earn some goodwill and some good press.”

“Good press?”

“People offering contracts like those with good word of mouth.”

He’s nodding. “Anything else?”

“Church street shelter.”

He’s looking at me. “.......Oh...oh holy shit you’re the girl from the charity video!”

I nod. “And you can get together with the shelter and maybe a few others and again talk to the cops and have a safe day. I’m sure that the shelter will sign off on it being a charitable deductible donation.”

He’s nodding. “Seriously, I know that folks here would want to do that. I mean that would be awesome just because it’d be…”

He rubs his face like he’s getting emotional about it. “Angel we’d love to. Can you arrange it?”

I nod.

Then I think and look at him. “Danny, sign on with us.”

“Sign on with your band?”

I grin. “Actually the band’s under Starlight Entertainment and Music.”

He looks shocked. “A manager for a carnival?”

I grin drinking my coffee more. “More like a partnership, but we can draw up a contract that if you don’t make a certain amount we don’t get paid and that’s after your expenses.”

“Can I think about it?”

I nod. “Absolutely.”

I get off the table. “And I have to get back and I will put the stuff together for you and the shelters if that’s okay with you.”

Danny nods. “Definitely and we’re still on for the videos.” He offers his hand. “I’ll draw something up just to be square.”

He nods. “And I’ll have to go talk to the real bosses.”

“Real bosses?”

“My Mom and my wife.”

I nod laughing. “Yeppers that’s the real bosses.”

We shake hands and I head back and end up sitting and talking with Josie and Dad about this while being on Skype with Molly.

Molly says. “I can draw up all the contracts and stuff for the videos and the releases plus the Starlight management contract. What do you want our pay rate set at?”

I think for a few. “Twenty percent after they recoup all expenses plus ten percent.”

Josie says. “You won’t make much off of that Angel.”

“I know but that’s only if our clients make money, and we’re building something more.”

Dad says. “More?”

I nod. “Fall Fair, Winter Carnival, Canada Day, and I want to see us have a summer thing here...Harper’s Rock...I mean if I could get folks coming here for a rock festival and we have a serious destination for bands we get noticed, we get bands coming to us and bigger ones which we can turn into something really good.”

Dad’s staring at me.

“Uhm Dad?”

He looks at me and slowly smiles. “You really think you can do this?”

I nod. “But not me, not just me.”

“And you’re still going to go to get your GED and your degree in business?”

I nod. “I need to, I’ll need the qualifications right?”

He nods.

Josie and Molly are grinning at me. Molly says. “I’m in, I’ll get stuff going.”

Josie looks at me. “Me too, I want to sign in, sign on. You’re going places hon and I want in, I want to print your shirts and posters and actually work on stuff like the concert you’re thinking of and not just as a rocker girl but it’ll expand the hell out of my business too.”

Dad’s shaking his head. “Just be careful honey don’t put too much on your plate, you work too hard as it is for someone your age.”

I nod. “I’m just an idea person and maybe a few contacts Dad i’m not going to be running anyone’s business.”

“Except your own.”

“Except the band’s Dad, I’m going to be getting the girls in on stuff too and Rayne as well while we’re doing all of this.”

He gives me a hug. “As long as you’re sure then I’ll help as much as I can.”

I hug him back. “You’re a fine one to talk mister here helping us and you running the garage.”

He shrugs. “That might change too.”

I look at him. “Change?”

He’s nodding. “Billy and Davey helped expand things at the shop with a lot of the stuff i’d always been going to get to so I was thinking maybe starting soon I might reach out to the trade schools and get some students in. I have the garage and we have autobody stuff working out now so that might just be a thing kiddo and I get to spend some more time doing what I want if we can get enough people to cover things.”

I grin. “I think that’s an excellent idea.”

Josie says. “I actually know a girl, she’s a really good painter and she wanted to go into autobody but being a woman she didn’t get a lot of even token glances at her resume.”

Dad nods. “Give her a call and see if she’s available to work tomorrow.”

Josie blinks. “She’s hired?”

Dad’s like. “No but I am doing a few things and I want to run her through a practical and I have two vehicles that need painting and really with Billie and Davey having club stuff going on I don’t have anyone that can do it.”

She nods. “I’ll call her and tell her.”

I grin and wait on another few people coming by for shirts and I say. “Buy two shirts and get a Sawyer’s Fun Rides shirt for ten dollars.”

The guy looks at me and I’m wearing the shirt Danny gave me still. “What’s up with that?”

“Well it’s the carnival crew’s tee shirts and right now there’s a limited run on these and that’ll get scare once the videos get shot.”

“Videos?”

“Yeppers SLB is going to be shooting some music videos here at the Fall Fair and we’re going to be working closely with Sawyer’s. Did you know that they’re provincial based like Ontario grown and that this is the third generation of the business and that’s getting super rare.”

He raises an eyebrow. “Do you take credit or debit?”

I smile and get the card reader thingy from Josie. “Yes sir, yes we do.”

He’s looking things over. “My kids watch you girls online I guess so I’ll take three shirts and one of the large Sawyer’s shirts.”

I nod. “And while I’m here will you want me to sign them?”

“You?”

“Yes sir, I’m Jem.”

“Really, okay definitely then.”

“Band bag too sir?”

“Why not...uhm make that three as well actually and two of the medium posters.”

“Thank you it’s really cool that you’re supporting local bands.”

He grins. “I’m not local, but just out of town but I’ve family here and you are here.”

“Me?”

“The band, my daughter are fans, her friends are fans and they’re really excited about you having a booth here.”

I take one of my cards out and pass it to him. “I’m going to try and be here for most of Fall Fair we’re taking a break from our regular gigs while both of our main venues are going to be doing things here at the fair. So when you have them and their friends together and you think that you’ll be coming over with the whole crew then give me a shout and we’ll see about all of us being here to meet them.”

He looks at me. “Really?”

I nod. “There’s going to be a better chance of all of us in the evenings here but all week after seven we’re in some of the rotations for the big stage and we’ll post up on when we’ll be playing.”

“That’s amazing actually Jem.”

“Not a problem at all sir.”

He leaves and I’m getting waved over by some of the event organizers as things are being set up with some of the bigger tents and there’s some people that definitely are there that look like they’re in the music scene.

At the same time there’s a lot of folks that I don’t recognize either but I think I’m guessing right as I see the boys from Huron Electric there and I see Summer there too with Hannah? Okay they look pretty close, closer than before maybe?

And no Adam...I’m looking around and he’s not there and not even his flunkies.



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