On the stage and behind the scenes

The NarroWay Blog

Chapter 39: Bulldozed

destroyed amphitheatre

REBECCA –
Soon after we left the amphitheater in December, 2005, the new owner bulldozed that beautiful stage-replica of Jerusalem. Quickly that “holy ground,” which was originally purchased by the sacrifices of trusting Jim Bakker supporters, was sold to the highest bids of housing developers.

BIRDIE –
Now the whole place looks like a super-sized Monopoly game. Houses are everywhere with a few strip-mall type businesses and an assortment of churches.

amphitheatre rubble
amphitheatre dozed
amphitheater ruins

REBECCA –
To set up this chapter, we need to back up just a bit, to Summer, 2005, right before we left the amphitheater. If you recall, we had purchased the warehouse on Carowinds Blvd and were working feverishly to secure an architect, a bank loan and a construction company.

BIRDIE –
We had precious little time to turn a warehouse into a theater and open a show!

REBECCA –
To further complicate things, NarroWay would have NO INCOME without a performance venue. So we had to come up with a plan to sustain the business during those months.

advertisement for mystery theaterTo generate income while we had no venue, we assembled a "traveling cast" and began performing Mystery Theatre shows at schools, churches, community centers and other venues.
advertisement for showWe also rented local auditoriums and performed "John, His Story" for Easter.

BIRDIE –
During the summer, we met with several banks to secure the best loan terms for our work, which was slated to begin January, 2006. We were about to decide to stay with our current banker, Ken, when, out of the blue, we got a call from Andrew. Andrew was a co-worker at the bank, who had been introduced to us a few months earlier. Unknown to us, Andrew had moved employment to another bank.

REBECCA –
When Andrew called, he had no idea we were looking for a loan.

BIRDIE –
I explained that we were finishing the process of negotiating a loan with his previous employer, Ken. So, Andrew offered to “run the numbers” for us for the sake of inserting a little competition into the discussions.

REBECCA –
Once competition was introduced, our bank did tail spins to get us to commit to taking out the loan with them.

BIRDIE –
Ken and his bank partner even took us to lunch!

REBECCA –
After weighing out the stats and getting the best comparable terms, we committed to go with our banker, Ken, and ended discussions with all other banks.

BIRDIE –
Ken said we were good to go and finalizing the loan should take less than a month. He had already tallied all the figures. We didn’t have much, but we now owned two acres of prime real estate!

front of warehouse

REBECCA –
That, my friends, is called collateral!! That’s a good thing to have!

BIRDIE –
Ken gave us a “thumbs up,” “you’re good to go,” “no problem.” But there was a problem. Days kept passing and we had no papers to sign so we had no money to pay.

REBECCA –
There kept being delay after delay. And Ken always had a simple, non-problematic reason for the delay.

BIRDIE –
This whole process lasted from mid-summer until December. The architect needed to be paid and Cope Construction was scheduled to begin work on January 2, 2006!

REBECCA –
So, we finished the Christmas show in the amphitheater on December 17. We moved everything out on December 18.

BIRDIE –
I called Ken again on December 20 and told him we could have no more delays. We had to sign the papers because we had to start work.

REBECCA –
On December 21, we were sitting in the parking lot of a shopping center where we had gone to start finding Christmas presents. I remember well. It was 7:00 PM.
Birdie’s cell phone rang. She said, “Hey, Ken ....”

BIRDIE –
And Ken said: “NarroWay has been denied the loan.”
Silence.....
I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what I heard.
All I could think was: It’s Christmas. We have just been through hell getting out of the amphitheater. We shut down all bank negotiations since summer, trusting this half-wit banker. An architect and construction company have to be paid, and work begins in two weeks.

REBECCA –
We were bulldozed! We sat in that cold vehicle in that dark parking lot and cried like babies.

BIRDIE –
But we didn’t cry until I told him exactly what I thought about what he had done.

REBECCA –
God forgive her!

BIRDIE –
Then I hit the “end call” button. Then we cried!

REBECCA –
There wasn’t much sleeping that night.
The next morning when the clock struck 8:00 AM we called Andrew.

BIRDIE –
I tried to calmly explain what had happened and what a terrible situation we were in. Andrew said: “Don’t worry, girls! This summer, when I ran the numbers for you, I actually filed all the necessary papers. I have, right here in my files, a pre-approval on a loan for NarroWay. You’re set to go!”

REBECCA –
And the angels sang, “And suddenly a host of angels appeared, singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest’!!”

signing loan papers

BIRDIE –
On December 27, we went to Andrew’s bank and signed the loan agreement.

REBECCA –
We never missed a beat.

BIRDIE –
Then we went straight to work – ‘cause we had a theater to build!

directors shoveling in lobby

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Comments 1

Guest - Kathy Petot on Thursday, 05 January 2017 11:25

God certainly works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform...time and time again. He is Faithful!!! and so are you! Love you both!!!

God certainly works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform...time and time again. He is Faithful!!! and so are you! Love you both!!!
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Friday, 22 June 2018
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Chapter 40: In Spite of Everything
Chapter 38: Showdown


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