I just wanted to take a moment to share with everyone out there in cyberworld how rad the El Patron De Mamá (AKA: my Mom) is. She's a lil' Italian lady with the brightest damn red hair you've ever seen (close to Miki Berenyi from Lush). For most of her life, she was a school teacher, and an amazing one at that. The stereotypes you would expect about an Italian mother are all true, just like Vinnie's mother from The Jersey Shore: she's a supergreat cook and loves having big groups of family and friends around for dinner, and she definitely has a soft spot in her stern heart for her lil' bambino (me).
Mom was never mean to us kids, but she definitely had her rules we had to follow. She taught us the value of working hard at an early age. At age six I had a solid list of house chores which included doing laundry for everyone (Mom, Dad, sister, brother, and myself) in the household. She rewarded us for our hard work each week with an allowance, but made us responsible for buying our own 'luxuries in life,' which for me at the time were skateboards. Then, when I was sixteen, old enough to have a 'real job,' she made me responsible not only for buying my skateboards and whatnot, but also for many of the 'necessities in life,' such as clothes and transportation.
Mom knows how to have fun too, though. She was not all about work-work-work. Mom was very supportive of developing a creative mind. When any of us had a wacky idea to do something that most parents would not normally approve of, she was always there encouraging us to explore our ideas, but yet holding us accountable and making us responsible for our actions. She was always there to guide us along the way to learn something new about ourselves or life. My sister and I both ventured into the world of Interior Design with our own bedrooms; mine being tremendously more psychedelic than my sister's angular modernism. Most parents would hardly let their kids put a poster on the wall, let alone paint swirly checkerboards with flames coming out the edges and wrapping around a six-foot happy face (don't ask me what I was thinking).
Don't get me wrong, Mom was not a push-over. She would not just let us kids run wild and do whatever the heck we wanted. She said "no," a lot. But what is more important is that she knew when to say "yes." Mom knew what was best for us to explore, and (more importantly) what would teach us the greatest lessons to become the people we are today.
My Mom is the reason why Fort Lowell Records is Fort Lowell Records. She not only taught me to explore ideas, but to follow through on ideas, as well as to value the rewards of hard work. Today, as we celebrate Mother's Day, Fort Lowell Records is also celebrating the success of selling all copies of one of our records for the first time: the Howe Gelb 'Sno Angel + Melted Wires 7inch we released for Record Store Day 2011 (just three weeks ago). After one year of releasing 7inches records, we have finally succeed with getting all copies of a release out to the public, a common goal (if not the main goal) for any record label.
This achievement is not being taken for granted. We know it is a result of all of the hard work and many sacrifices everyone has made in our inaugural year. When I was growing up with my Mom, I would give up my time on weekends to work around the house so I could earn money to buy new skateboards. Now we give up our time on weekends (and holidays and weeknights and an hour before going to work each day) to run this record label... a record label that only after one year has so much to be proud of.
...and for that, we have my Mom to thank.
Thank you Mom for being my Mom. I really appreciate all you ever taught me in life. I may not show it in ways others would expect, but I want you to know that I am proud to say that my own successes are due to being your son. With each achievement in my life, I can pinpoint the moment in my childhood you showed me whatever life-lesson it may have been that led to that accomplishment. Your wisdom and direction have given me the greatest life one could ask for. Thank you, again.
Happy Mother's Day!
I love you, Mom!