1024. Remember that number.
If you were there, you may have been number 2. Or 36. or 473. or 908. Just know that you were counted. That’s how many of you turned out for the ONE80CENTER July 4th party at the Houdini Mansion last week.Let me say this again: ONE THOUSAND TWENTY FOUR…that’s a thousand twenty-four smiling faces. A thousand twenty four ice cream sandwiches, grass-fed beef sliders and gourmet mac-and-cheese hors-d-oeuvres. A thousand twenty four hands in the air (okay, two thousand forty eight, technically, but bear with us) and a thousand twenty four screaming cheers for searing hot live music on a warm summer evening. That’s a thousand twenty four new friends, a thousand twenty four old ones, and one very vital community of people committed to recovery and having a rocking good time at it.
We jammed traffic on Laurel Canyon all the way back to Sunset. We ran out of places to park cars hours before the party was over. We packed the lawns, driveways and garden terraces of ONE80CENTER’s beautiful new facility until we were shoulder-to-shoulder and still we continued to rock the house, thanks in no small part to the reunited China Club All-Star band. Picture this: MC5′s Wayne Kramer, Doobie Brother and Steely Dan alum Skunk Baxter, Kat Dyson from the New Power Generation…Malik Pointer and rock legend Michael Des Barres…all on the same stage at the same time?! Are you serious?! When I asked a co-worker this morning about her favorite moment of the night, she replied, “I don’t even remember the party!”
Well believe it because it happened. We know because you blogged about it (HERE) and (HERE), Instagrammed it (HERE) and Facebooked and Tweeted about it more times than we could count. And whether you called it a festival, a madhouse or a mini Coachella, what really happened was a show of support, friendship and love that can’t be measured in numbers or social media clicks.
To us, this was much bigger than celebrating the two years since ONE80CENTER opened its doors. It was even bigger than our being able to give a little back to you, who’ve supported us in that time. To us, this was about laying claim to our freedom and declaring our independence from addiction, a disease which has taken so much from so many of us, and from so many people we love. This sentiment was echoed by ONE80CENTER’s clinical director and founder, Berni Fried, who made a point to pay a very emotional tribute to those we’ve lost as well as those of us who’ve had the courage and grace to survive. We heard as much from a lot of different people in a lot of different ways, but to quote an anonymous guest waiting patiently for a Cool Haus ice cream sandwich:
“What I saw that night was community, laughter, energy, and smiles all around. I went looking for sweets but what I found was much sweeter. In a town where so many people pass one another like ships in the night it’s nice to see people throw out the anchor once in a while and get to know each other.”
Suffice it to say that we weren’t expecting the turnout we got…not in our wildest dreams. But for showing up, we say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. If you’re reading this, you’re part of the spirit that we captured that night, like lightning in a bottle. You helped raise money to support the 12 Angels, a non-profit organization that provides capital, education and mentorship to support sustainable businesses that hire recovering addicts. You showed newcomers in sobriety that being sober is incredibly fun, cool, hip, sexy, playful and awesome. Most of all, you showed 1023 other people that we don’t do any of this alone.
So remember July 4th, 2012 and consider yourself invited for July 4th, 2013. We promise to out-do ourselves next year (and yes…you can count on at least 1024 more Porta-Potties).