By Jim A. Luff
It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone. This was indeed a year that will go down in history that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will read about as another “great depression.”
As I reflect on this year, I think back to the birth of 2008 and how I rang in the New Year, or should I say how I slept through it. We hosted a party for about 30 guests at our home. We had a fabulous dinner and began entertaining friends early in the evening. It seems like I took shots with every guest as they arrived to get the party started. Well, 15 shots later, a few great bottles of wine and several beers later, my bed looked pretty good at ten o’clock. I wasn’t a very good host but I know I sure had a good time up until that point.
And so the year began with a giant headache and good memories up to the point I could remember. It was winter formal season and we were ready to roll. We had plenty of orders and just the nagging problem that our limo-buses and our Excursion would sit idle on some of the busiest nights of the year because the fine folks at the California Highway Patrol wanted to define those vehicles as school buses and have them operated by school bus drivers. Thank goodness that nonsense went away January 1, 2009, with new laws going into effect.
February brought a great new corporate contract from a major corporation and we would be providing daily service. We were so excited we bought a new limo-bus with our new found money. We continued to roll along and all was well for most of the year until someone dropped the bottom out. The stock market crashed, fuel prices nearly killed us over the summer, and things started looking bleak. My major contract was a major oil company and as you can guess, that went away before the end of the year.
While we continued to sustain ourselves financially, December proved to be dismal. Our popular Christmas light tours were not so popular. Those that did pay us seemed to be unhappy with the lack of Christmas lights on display. Perhaps people just could not pay the electricity this year. In a final blow of the year, on New Year’s Eve while we delivered service to some 15 clients, our entire fleet sat idle in the garage as we had not one single order. I can only keep my fingers crossed that 2009 will be better and perhaps someone, somewhere will give the limousine industry a desperate needed bailout of our own. I’m not holding my breath though. In the meantime, I am taking advantage of the time off and using our private jet to go see the grand kids. Wait, I don’t have a private jet and I am still waiting for my bailout.
Happy New Year and best wishes to everyone.
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