6-22-20 “What Happened to Spring?”

6-22-20 “What Happened to Spring?”

Week 26 6-22-20 “What Happened to Spring?”

We  just celebrated the start of Summer around the world. It seems that just yesterday we were wearing jackets, having the heat on in the house, and receiving the news that we had to close and shutter our thriving business, Arthur Murray Santa Monica, and “Shelter at Home” with no end in sight. At that time who could have seen that we would be closed for 91 days and that we would be wearing face masks and practicing social distancing and practicing contact tracing? Who knew that before Summer arrived that we would be marching for and supporting a world-wide movement for Black Lives Matter that is reshaping society globally?

Imagine at the 13th week of Safer at Home we would experience riots, looting, burning and see millions taking to the streets in protest. Who knew that our country would be so divided as we approach a presidential election?

I sit typing in our Arthur Murray Dance Center that was spared from the looters, I have a heart of gratitude and hope for those around us who helped protect our business. My heart aches for the businesses in our own building that were ravaged. As I drive to our school and see the boarded up store fronts, I think of the dreams of the owners, the staff that supported themselves and their families working there and the customers who patronized the businesses.

Our own Von’s market near our school and home was looted and heavily damaged on Sunday the 31st. As we visited our area the next morning in Santa Monica, there was an army of Santa Monicans with brooms, trash bags, graffiti removal all over the city with a mission to put our city back together. Our market had over 15 contractor vans in the front and we returned to do our marketing there three days later and it was fully stocked, repainted and open for business. Many of the glass doors and glass cases were missing, but the market had returned.

Santa Monica is an amazingly resilient city of amazing people. We are 8.3 square miles and around 90K residents. We have an amazing government, City Council, Chamber of Commerce, and our own Police and Fire Departments. We are known as “Silicone Beach” and are a Tech Capital in the USA.

The Monday morning after the riots, I saw hundreds of mask-wearing citizens on the streets cleaning. I knew that I city would come back. There was no remaining trash or glass and the tagging was being removed. Joel Rieck and I have never lost our hope, belief, vision, and faith that we as Arthur Murray Santa Monica will come back  better, bigger, and stronger and continue to be a vital business in the City of Santa Monica. Even when the rioters came within a block of our own home on March 31st and our own street was looted, we still kept our faith (yes, were terribly shaken).

Now we are open and back. We are following all the health guidelines for Los Angeles County and our #1 priority is taking care of our staff, students, and each other. Lucky I’m a cook so I am in the habit always washing my hands. For the 20 second wash rule, I just sing one of mother’s favorite hymns and I end up with clean hands and a blessing all at the same time! At our school, we wear masks and sanitize our business after every set of lessons.

What will the future bring? First, it will get better. We will all recover from this and the world will eventually heal from covid-19. The world will never be the same from having a global pandemic, world-wide Black Lives Movement, an economic downturn, and a national election all at the same time. Second, we will never forget these times and we will look back and say, remember 2020? We’ll ask, what did you do with your life during that time? How did you stay healthy? How is life different now for you, your family, your business and your friends?  We will never forget and we will forever be changed.

At St. Monica Parish as we have been open for 3 weeks inside the church, it was amazing to me to see the leadership team. They are the same people who were leaders before our world was turned upside down, and they are continuing to lead in our new pandemic world. They are called to serve, lead, and inspire others. Our parish supported a peaceful march to the statue of St. Monica to support Black Lives Matter and continues to support the movement. Our namesake, St. Monica, is assumed have been born in Algeria, Africa.

Word of hope. I still have my dreams. The questions of how will we make it? How will we rebuild our business? How will we grow form a virtual shutdown in our lives? These questions can only be answered with time and hard work. I hope to read this a year from now and still have my hopes, dreams, visions for life, and some new stories of successes to write about and share with others. I hope to have learned to be a better, gentler, and kinder person and still be able to lead, inspire, and guide others.

Yes, time will march on. We will all move forward. And always remember this, It will get better!

Thank you for reading.

Love you all,

David Woodbury


It will get better…and it will!