You would think I’d learn. I have been misquoted by our local papers more times than I can count. The most recent article takes the cake. I should have chosen my words more carefully when I said that canceling the rally was stupid. I did make the “get off of their butts and do something” comment but I was referring to the $98,000 worth of shirts sitting in piles in storage when I did. To lose money because of a bad decision is one thing but to compound it by just ignoring the product that was purchased is quite another.
Speaking of which, my comment was that the shirts should not have cost the city more than $5 each considering the volume of them that was purchased. I suggested they be sold at local businesses or even on eBay for $10. Any business that houses the product and goes to the effort to sell it should make a little profit. The real biggie was stating that I want the bikes back on San Benito Street. You only need to ask one of the thousands of people that I have had discussions with regarding the rally to find out that is the last thing that I want to see happen. About 90 percent of the folks I tell that to disagree with me. Everyone wants the motorcycles back on San Benito Street. Let me tell you why I disagree with the idea.
It’s been three years since the event was staged that way and maybe people have forgotten how hard how hard it was to walk on the street without getting run into or almost knocked down. As a claustrophobic making a trip to the bank next door was very stressful. The intensity level was much higher with the old setup. Not to mention, now hold on to your hats, I agree with Chief Jeff Miller that it was a more dangerous setup. The rally is much more pleasant for me as well as many other businesses on San Benito Street with the change. We don’t miss the loads of exhaust pouring into our doors or the footprints all over the our walls and windows. I do understand that people want to see the motorcycles in one central location.
I’ve been suggesting East Street as an alternative for two years. Motorcycle parking only on both side of the street would accommodate quite a few bikes. Having motorcycle traffic only would make it a nice street to cruise. Make it the VIP area and more tickets would be sold and motorcycle enthusiasts will be happier. I still believe with all of my heart that this rally can pay for itself if done correctly.
Changes and concessions need to be made in order for that to happen. I’d like to see everyone have a positive attitude about change. If the rally is going to continue we’ve got to figure out a way to make it work for everyone. I’m still praying real hard that we can. Prayer in numbers is a mighty effective tool. Maybe some of you folks out there can hep me in that effort.
Charisse Tyson, owner of Johnny’s Bar & Grill