I still have to remind myself that it was only seven days ago today that the words “FTX Standing Rock” entered my mind.
So much has happened since then.
Let me share with you a couple of those stories.
As I wrote before, I love details.
Especially ones that have to do with planning FTX events.
Picking a bakery is a big one.
You see, it HAS to be a bakery.
I can’t just go to a bread aisle in a grocery store and see what they have.
The bread is the foundation on which I can build my love around.
Over the years Challah bread has stood out time and again as my favorite to make French Toast with.
So this past Monday morning I called one of the few bakeries in Bismarck, North Dakota.
They are a lovely family run company but sadly could not accommodate making 100 loaves of bread on such short notice and over a major holiday as well.
So I went to google maps and zoomed out to find the next city along my route.
Rapid City, South Dakota.
I googled, yelped and did the internet search dance until I found “Great Harvest Bread”.
I rang them up and asked if they made Challah as I couldn’t find it on their site.
They did, once a week, and were happy to bake 100 loaves for our event.
But unfortunately they are closed on Thanksgiving and the Friday after.
What to do, what to do? I plan to drive thru South Dakota on Thanksgiving day and I needed that bread!
I humbly asked the owner Marsha if there was ANY possible way she could open up for me on Thanksgiving so I could pick up the bread.
I apologized in advance for even asking but I told her I had to at least try.
There was a pause on the phone and then a laugh as she said “Sure. I live 10 minutes away. Just don’t do it during my dinner!”
The next day I was on to purchasing the fruit.
Strawberries, blueberries, bananas and oranges.
Buying fruit off season is not always an easy task.
But buying this much fruit in a state where I know no one also leads to the questions of where do I wash it and refrigerate it?
Some more of those pesky little details I love so much.
My lady Brandy was wise enough to have the idea that we should stay in a hotel that has a kitchenette. That way we would have two sinks in the room to wash all the fruit.
(Why haven’t I thought of it in the past 13 years of the gang?!)
Ok but where to store it?
Fruit can go bad quickly (as seen in FTX Auckland New Zealand back in 2008) and a kitchenette fridge sure won’t be large enough to store the 30 pounds of blueberries, 100 pounds of strawberries, 130 pounds of oranges and 320 pounds of bananas we are getting.
I brought up a map image of the hotel and did a 360.
Right across the street was a local North Dakota grocery store!
So I called them up and got Matt, the produce manager, on the phone.
“No problem, I can order all that fruit for you.” he said in his North Dakota accent.
And then my brain stumbled upon a solution to my refrigeration problem.
Again as nervous as I was to ask the bakery to open on Thanksgiving I asked Matt if I could pick up the fruit on Friday the 25th, wash it at my hotel across the street and then bring it back to refrigerate in the market’s fridge overnight.
“Of course! No problem!!”
(Again, why hadn’t I thought of this before!? Store the fruit where you bought it!!)
But another detail rose to the surface.
“Matt, I need to pick this fruit up at 5:30am the next morning to make it to Standing Rock. Will that be possible?”
“Of course! We open at 5am!”
That’s the only word I can think of. Unbelievable. The planning of this FTX has fallen into place over the past week with story after story after story like the two above.
I can honestly tell you it wasn’t about money for those two people.
It was simple and honest kindness.
Kindness to a stranger with a kind of strange idea.
Marsha and Matt. Two people connected to a larger story. As we all are.
We’re all in the details.
*Please see updated flyer with new location information. Please share.*
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French Toast And Hugs Website
FTX (French Toast & Hugs) Standing Rock Invitation – FTX #21
Saturday November 26th, 2016
Oceti Sakowin Camp, Cannon Ball, North Dakota
Starting At Approximately 8am