Over the years I’ve met up with many people that turned out to be insincere or bogus. In fact, I’ve even fit this description at times. Often, though, this reality isn’t apparent until after initial contact. Example: You meet someone at a party/event and it seems as though you really connect with this person, or group of people, so much so that you begin to have day dreams of future gatherings with those people involved. The conversation inevitably turns into: “We should do this or that. We need to do this more often.” Or something similar.
But then, after some time passes, you notice that nothing ever really becomes of those conversations. Or, you do end up getting together and end up finding out you never connected as much as you’d thought. In my own experience I’ve often just passed those times off as “in the moment” occurances. Like a wine that tastes really great at a restraunt when your favorite song is playing, you’re surrounded with your family and friends, eating what has to be the best meal you’ve ever had, and the lights are just bright enough to distinguish each other across the table. You buy a bottle of that wine, take it home, and realize a few days later that it wasn’t nearly as good as you’d remembered.
Recently, while attending BlogPhiladelphia I had a few moments that I thought may end up heading down the same path. Rob Sandie and I both enjoyed ourselves at the event but we definitely enjoyed the company even more so. Knowing Alex Hillman from our experiences at SXSW this past year made the welcome all that much easier. Little did I know that everyone at this conference would be as welcoming, accomodating, and hospitable as Alex. (For those of you that have not met Alex Hillman, you can apply most of this note to him as well) After chatting over the few days the same types of conversations began to arise. “We should do this, we should do that.” Of course I really wanted to make an effort to get back to Philadelphia and be involved in everything that is going on there (and there is a whole lot going on), but in actuality I was a bit skeptical about these types of responses given those I’ve had in the past.
Fast forward to today; where I had a layover at the Philadelphia International Airport that lasted nearly three hours. Upon landing, of course, I announced my arrival by way of Twitter. Then it happened. My skepticism instantly faded as I was offered to be picked up, taken to lunch, and dropped back off at the airport to ease my 3-hour stay.
Photo credit: Roz (stellargirl)
Geoff DiMasi of P’unk Ave. picked me up, took me back to their lovely studio offices, treated me to lunch, drove me to see Chris Matta (who recently had a very serious bicylcling accident, and it appears he enjoyed the visit), and then drove me back to the airport. This is the type of generosity, between still yet relative strangers, that is really heartwarming to experience and feels almost unrepayable.
Should I be surprised though? The more I learn about Geoff the more I end up thinking that this type of thing is old hat to Geoff. Geoff, a “retired” professor and owner of P’unk Ave., is constantly giving of his time and resources for others. Obviously choosing a career in teaching shows his desire to give to others. On our way to the studio from the airport he pointed out some trees to me saying: “I was able to help plant all of these trees.” I can’t even describe to you his expression of sincerity as he told me how planting those trees was one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He also helps out his local area in many different ways. I don’t know Geoff well enough, yet, to continue a list of his generosity credentials, but I’m fairly certain they’re as extensive as they are impressive.
It would appear that, this simple act of generosity that he displayed towards me today (though not simple, nor small, from my point of view) is nothing new for someone like Geoff.
Hats off to you Geoff. You are one huge reason why Philadelphia is such a great city.