It’s been a very strange journey from being a Musician / Music Promoter to a Respiratory Therapist to a toy store owner.
At the age of 15 I started playing in bands and booking shows. That started me on a 25+ year road of music. Believe it or not, you can have too much of a good thing. I just got burned out of the late nights, phone calls at all hours of the night and holidays, getting sick on the road amongst many other things. One thing that did come of me touring for years was buying toys all over North America. Over those years of touring, I amassed an army of toys.
Knowing that I was unhappy with a music career, my lovely wife, suggested I switch gears. She is a nurse and suggested I look into the medical field. I researched a lot of different hospital jobs and landed on Respiratory Therapy. My mother was dying of lung cancer and COPD and RT seemed like a good fit for a lot of reasons.
I so much enjoyed helping people in their most vulnerable of times. https://www.facebook.com/184923891536218/posts/4239905209371379/?d=n Fast forward to 5 years later. I found myself getting very depressed with the battles I couldn’t win. I can not describe how hard it is when a patient dies. Whether it’s unexpected or inevitable, having a patient die is never easy and it stays with you like a ghost on your back for the rest of your life. I knew I couldn’t keep doing medicine full time.
That is when 1313 Mockingbird Lane was born. I started doing comic and toy conventions 6-7 years prior to raise money for IVF Therapy for my wife and I. That’s a story for another day.
I really enjoyed the conventions and opening a store seemed like the next step for me once again to switch gears.
We looked around and stumbled onto this little 280 square foot space with a lot of potential. We spent 3 months setting it up, then released 1313 Mockingbird Lane onto the world. I still was working part time as an RT but the store became my main gig. Everything was going as planned for the store, then a year later, Covid hit, and everything changed in an instant.
We had to close the shop and I then went back into Respiratory full time to help my community get through this Mad Max time frame.
After what had seemed a life time, we reopened hopeful that the virus was winding down. We were very lucky to be featured on an Amazon Prime show called, A Toy Store Near You. This show literally saved the store and helped us generate new fans and some on line revenue to supplement what we were losing by not having as much foot traffic.
With both my wife and I working in the medical field, we knew covid was going to get worse again. With how small our shop was, there was no way to social distance and we knew we couldn’t, in good conscience, keep the store open and risk people’s health.
Call it fate, call it luck, call it whatever, a slightly bigger store front opened up 3 doors down from us. The landlords are amazing people and they understood what we were going through as they were small business owners themselves.
After spending a ton of money we didn’t have, a grueling move and remodel, we are now in our new and improved safer location and we still don’t know what’s to come. I am back to full time toy store mode and part time RT and my wife is still a full time nurse.
My wife and I have been working almost exclusively with covid patients since Feb and it has been life changing to say the least. We both come home pretty soul crushed after working the covid units. I just tell myself to keep looking forward and not back. As long as we help each other and lift our brothers and sisters up when they are down, we will get though this.
I love all of you and can’t express enough how much all of your support means to this long hair.
Big gigantic heavy metal hugs...
Terry Terror Taylor