Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Disappearing Chances


Many thanks for all the good words yesterday. All went well and hopefully the recuperation will be the stuff of dreams. 

Alas, one of the first bits of news that entered my consciousness post-surgery was that our local in Oakland Mills, the Second Chance Saloon, will be closing after twelve years. 

Well, dang.

The Second Chance came to Oakland Mills at a time when I was getting active in neighborhood things. For their opening night I created my first ever Facebook event page and invited everyone I knew to come. I felt extremely invested in their success. At the time Oakland Mills was living through one of those cyclical waves of negative public opinion: we were the bad part of town, the “hood”, no one in their right mind would want to come here.

I was bound and determined that we would give the Second Chance a good chance to make it, because a lively neighborhood place gave us a good chance to make it, too.

I don’t think any of us who rallied around the Second Chance at the beginning knew what an almost insurmountable challenge it would be to keep a mom and pop local alive in an aging Columbia Village Center with an absentee landlord. I salute them. They pushed on through a national recession in earlier years. The lack of support from Cedar Properties has been mind-boggling. Despite all this they have held neighborhood events, raised money for charity, promoted live music (almost always without a cover charge), established the first regular Drag brunch events in town, supported employees from Old Ellicott City businesses after the floods, and pushed on through the pandemic, largely to provide hours for their economically-strapped employees.

Here are some ways that I will remember the Second Chance:

      Dancing with preschoolers when I held “A Little Lunch Music” events in the back dining room. 

The hilarious Ladies Swap parties.

     My family dinner before my candidate debate night for CA Board.  

My older daughter’s Bridal Shower.

     Eating dinner on Tuesday nights with my fellow OM Board members. (Half-price burger night!)

Several blog parties for HoCoBlogs.

     Going down of a Friday night with my tween daughter to eat dinner, hang out, and crochet. Like you do.

     Several heart-to-hearts with my best Buddy when the day was rough.

Stop by the Second Chance  page on Facebook to see some of the special events they have planned leading up to their last day. If you can, pay them a visit. Raise one more glass. Leave a big tip. We owe them a lot of thanks for putting in the work over the last twelve years to give us a welcoming neighborhood hangout. 

They gave us a second chance. Whatever comes next we may need to give ourselves.

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