Thursday, August 16, 2012


On October 12th, 1995 my Dad and I took a drive. I know the date because it's the day the Rose Garden opened it's doors to the public. I was 14 years old. We walked through the main entrance and into the new and improved home of the Blazers. At the time I had never been to a Blazer game and this was the next best thing. Everything about the new arena was huge. The largest building along with everyone from my hometown could fit inside, twice over. My eyes were wide and I was starstruck. My team. My Blazers. Are gonna play here.

Fast forward 17 years and it's a super hot August day. It's a Thursday morning and I'm in the first month at my new job. One of the perks of my new job is that the Blazers are one of our biggest clients. When the opportunity arose to install a sign at the Rose Garden, I jumped on it.

The Rose Garden sat calm in the hot morning sun. We backed our van into the loading docks, got our visitor badges, and we were escorted by security into the labyrinth of halls under the arena.

"You guys wanna see the locker room?" Asked the security guard.
I was trying to keep calm and cool but inside I was going berserk like an eighth grade schoolgirl seeing The Beebs.
My co-worker and I said, "Sure."

We followed through the huge glass double doors, around a corner and there it was, the locker room of the home team.

"There's a new addition to the locker room." Said the security guard.
He pointed up. It's the pinwheel logo on the ceiling. It was dark, dull, and eh, alright.
"Let me see if this light switch turns it on." Says the security guard.
*Click* The dull hum of glowing greatness lit up the room. It was Christmas in August and I couldn't contain my ear to ear smile.

Sight seeing was fun but it was time for the task at hand.

Today's job was a sign to be installed just above the door to the Blazer's locker room. I opened a box and took out the letters that spelled the team's name.

One by one, I polished the chrome letters, and we adhered them to the wall. Thirty minutes later, my first of hopefully many Trail Blazer projects was complete.

For 41 games a season, my favorite team will pass under a sign that I installed. This is the best perk of any job I've ever had. It was nice to look up at the shiny new letters and reflect upon that day in 1995. When the arena was new. When I was young. When my 14 year old mind couldn't fathom living and working in Portland.

Reflection on life can be pretty sweet. About as sweet as the reflection from those chrome letters on the locker room facade.

Hey! LaMarcus! And the rest of you Blazers. Keep your hands off! Don't smudge up my work!