We are so grateful. One hundred supporters showed up last Thursday to spend their Valentine’s Day with us at the county administrative offices. Wow! So romantic…(not) and yet so beautiful. It actually was really beautiful for us. The emotions of that evening are still sinking in.

We went to the hearing hopeful but almost spent. The anxiety of the preceding several months weighing heavily upon us both. Sharon had been my sole confidant here and she carried my anxieties quietly and with dignity. The room was full before we arrived and some friends gave up their seats for us. So many people turned and smiled at us -their faces full of hope and love and support. They had given up their Valentines to be there for BOW.

Sitting quietly in the back corner, I turned to Sharon and with a glance we understood that we were both so very anxious. Sharon showed it although her serenity still shone just as brightly. I appreciated again for the most recent of many countless times realizing how lucky I am to have her as my partner in life. I am always grateful to be at her side as she always makes it better and makes me better.

Twelve people rose to speak in our defense. The Supervisors showed no emotion and none revealed their intentions. Each speaker addressed a different aspect of the magic that is BOW. Sharon and I glanced occasionally at each other and each time there were tears in our eyes. The beauty of the raw emotions being displayed in our support was overwhelming. And we both knew that something magical was happening as we listened to the outpouring of love for BOW.

After I spoke, applause and cheers of support swept the room. The people upstairs stomped their support upon the floor – our ceiling and the Supervisors laughed in surprise. This was a whole new showing of support that they had never before seen or imagined. (100 people do not ever show up at the county offices to support a business.)

As our opponents rose to speak darkly of the county’s failure to protect the public interest, the difference between their dystopian view of BOW and all of the love in the room was so starkly drawn. Even the Supervisors seemed tired of the oft overstated anger and fear-mongering. The love in that room shamed several of our opponents into not even speaking.

When it was time for the vote, and the vote was cast in our favor, Sharon and I looked at each other and cried. Those attending erupted in wild cheering and as we stood so many sought to shake our hands and wish us well. We were quite simply and completely overwhelmed. The fear and the stress were lifted and joy and humility and blessing took their place. Even now…after a week of consideration…I cannot justifiably capture the profound emotion of that moment when the vote was cast in our favor. Even now I feel like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”…what would happen if BOW never existed? Last Thursday was simply one of the most special days in my life which has been blessed with many special moments….

So all we can do now and forever, it to thank all of you who were there and those who sent hundreds of emails and letter and calls in support and prayed and lobbied for us. It took a village to protect the beauty that is BOW. And if ever there were question about whether you all have ownership of this special place – let that question now be laid to rest. BOW belongs to all of us and that is why it is the unique and special place that it it.

From Sharon and from myself. Thank you for saving our home…our property…our savings and investment…our future…our family…our dream…our business…our everything.

Thank you.

We cannot thank you enough….