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Strange Days

George Petersen • Editor's NoteSeptember 2020 • September 12, 2020

Welcome to the dog days of summer. My backyard thermometer in San Francisco is reading 102°. My friends in Phoenix, Dallas and Las Vegas would never claim a mere 102° qualifies as “hot,” but here near the ocean, we don’t experience that “it’s a dry heat” nonsense, and my 135-year-old Victorian house was built WAY before building insulation and central AC existed.

We’re also surrounded by wildfires 50 miles to the South, East and North, so outdoor breathing feels like inhaling a smoky campfire. And most of those fires (except the one set off by an idiot using pyrotechnics) were caused by dry lightning storms, something we rarely (like never) experience here. As the old saying goes, “things always get strange before they get weird.”

Good news seems scarce these days, but there are positive vibes on the horizon. One is the excruciatingly slow reopening of businesses that can maintain social distancing, such as restaurants and churches. In fact, audio upgrade projects at houses of worship (some are spotlighted on page 20) are on the rise. Unlike typical performance venues, churches can reach nearly all their parishioners by adding a second (or third) Sunday service to counter the spaced seating. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t translate to Rolling Stones concerts or major league sports. But it’s a start.

Awareness about the dire condition of the live production industry is on the uptick, through both #WeMakeEvents’ well-publicized Red Alert (see page 4), and rolling road case demonstrations around the globe. At the same time, support in Congress for the RESTART small business relief bill is gaining steam. Keep your fingers crossed.


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