Monday, June 3, 2013

My Life With Comic Books Part # 190

A brief introduction:

My name is Paul Howley, owner of the Eisner Award winning pop culture collector’s store known as “That’s Entertainment” in Worcester, Massachusetts and a second store in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Some people have called me the “luckiest man in the comic book business.” (I’m not) My stores have been around for over thirty years and it’s been a long and interesting combination of events and people that have brought these stores to this current place. It is not my intent to boast or brag about my store or my life. I just want to tell you my story. In many instances, my wife remembers things a little differently, but this is the truth as I remember it. 

The current cast of characters:

Paul Howley: age 46

Mal Howley: age 47

Adam Howley: my son, age 21

Cassy Howley: my daughter, age 17


   While the United States was still in shock after the terrorist attack in September, we were all trying to go about our “normal” lives. Little kids played, students went to school and adults went to work. 

   Cassandra was now in her senior year of high school and she was involved in almost every activity that the school offered. She competed in basketball, volleyball, softball, and cheerleading. She was on the worship team and sang in the school’s choral group. She also acted in the school musical each year. She came to me one day and suggested that it might be fun if the two of us performed together in the upcoming Christmas musical program put on by the multi-church choir known as “One Voice.” I thought she was crazy for trying to take on another project but when my seventeen year-old daughter offers to do something with me, her old father, I guess I should try it. 

   We had attended the One Voice Christmas programs for the past few years and we enjoyed them. The shows consisted of twenty or thirty men and women from several different churches. They would stand on stage risers and would start off singing secular songs of the Christmas season and eventually sing more songs emphasizing the spiritual side of Christmas. The shows were always very professionally done.  

   I knew I wasn’t a good singer but I thought I could fake my way through it and blend in with the other, more talented singers. When we arrived at the first meeting I was relieved to see several people I already knew including Scott Goddard and Jake Downing, both of whom were very talented singers and musicians. I sat with them.  

   As the director began describing the upcoming Christmas program, I didn’t like what I was hearing. The program was now going to be a full-fledged dramatic musical including costumes and DANCING! This is not what I agreed to do! I wanted to quit but my daughter encouraged me to try it. I knew this was going to make me miserable but I told her I’d stick around as long as I could stand it.

Next chapter: I get by with a little help from my friends.