September 2nd, 2017 – The Gold Coast, Australia
It was a warm and sunny day as we set up at Broadwater Parklands for our 22nd French Toast and Hugs event.
For four months I had scouted and prepped never knowing if our day of free French Toast and Hugs would be allowed to happen.
Yes, the weather is something that can’t be controlled but neither are park officials or police who may have an issue with someone handing out free food and hugs without a permit.
It’s just something I can never plan for.
But the day went perfectly.
Police waited in line for their French Toast and soundtracks just like everyone else. 🙂
In truth all 22 events over the past 15 years have been EXACTLY what they were supposed to be.
But that doesn’t stop me from worrying. Planning. And worrying some more.
I returned back to sunny Ojai, California later last year for what I hoped would be a relaxing time with family and friends.
A few weeks passed and I received an email from Sean, the husband of my great friend Regina.
Regina has been in my life and my gang since the start of FTX.
She helped me at our first event back in 2003 as well as flew to Paris, France in 2016 to attend our FTX there. She always pushed for me to do one in her current city of Portland, Oregon.
Sean married Regina in September 2017 and it was with a heavy heart he wrote me on November 11th, 2017 to tell me that Regina suffered a stroke, was unconscious, and on life support.
On November 22nd, I sat on a lonely wall near my California home as Sean held his phone to her ear. I told her I loved her, that she was my one and only 10, and I promised her I would do my next FTX for her in her Portland.
On November 25th Regina passed away.
When inducted into FTX you are given a number.
It is yours and yours alone, never to be given to another.
Regina is number 10.
This year, on the morning of September 2nd, 2018 – one year to the day of FTX Gold in Australia, we will be doing our 23rd event.
Unlike all our past events that are named after the place we are in this one will be called FTX 10 in honor of our friend.
Please invite any and all who would like to come to FTX 10 – Portland, Oregon.
We will be serving up the best French Toast and Hugs we can and there will be soundtracks and stickers to give away (plus a special surprise I will announce on our facebook page later.)
BUT I NEED YOUR HELP
We don’t have our location picked yet.
I can’t scout the location as I always have in the past because I am not there.
My current goal is to do FTX at the South Park Blocks in downtown Portland.
But I have never been there and need to know how much foot traffic is there on a Sunday between 9am and 11am. That will help me decide how much food I should order.
I also need to know if there are food vendors there on a Sunday as vendors often have an issue with FTX because we are giving food away for free. (We are intentionally NOT doing FTX on a Saturday at South Park Blocks so we don’t interfere with their weekly farmer’s market).
If anyone in the area is able to go this Sunday, July 29th at 9am to scout and take photos of the different sections of the park I would be in your debt.
Or if you know of a better spot please let me know. Typically a happy park is a good place for us. As September 2nd will be Labor day weekend we hope there will be many people out.
I am out of town for work right now but can be reached by email at:
My love to you all, always.
I hope you can attend FTX 10 – Portland, Oregon in body or in spirit.
This one is for Regina, but in truth I feel she’d say this one is for us all.