Written By: Elise Olmstead

Photo By: Ed Coyle

I write this letter to you on Taco’s birthday—September 22, 2017.  I won’t tell you how old he is, but I will say, this man has a spirit which will never age, yet he has also lived lifetimes. Sometimes in conversation it will come up…”Oh, Taco used to be a mechanic,” or “did you know he went door to door telling people about the Lord,” or “yeah, you’ll have to ask Taco about the rave scene as it first came up, he was part of it in the early 90’s in Baltimore.”  It’s almost comical how much he has fit into this short life, but it’s still not enough.  He is forever the dreamer, the idea-guy, and the person you rely on to not crumble under the pressure of it all.

In the midst of this fast paced lifestyle that we live, most of the time he longs to only be beside a stream fly-fishing.  Many do not know that though he loves music, fishing is his true passion.  Though he could be perfectly content being a fishing bum with no money and just the clothes on his back, he has a family that he cares deeply for and takes his responsibilities very seriously.  What happens then?  Hopes and dreams become a collective need, a collective effort, and a labor of love.

What I dreamed of before I met Taco was going to art school in San Francisco, and then being an utterly hip starving artist.  Making art is another passion of mine that does not get enough time dedicated to it, much like Taco’s fishing.  But like his adjustments he has made for his family, I feel my passion as an artist has evolved into a dream for the collective needs of artists everywhere. I live vicariously through my artist friends, and feel so much satisfaction simply being a part of their path.  The Jamwich has been a way to shine a spotlight on visual artists, as well as craftsman and artisans, and of course bands, venues, festivals—the reason why we have all gathered here.

The story about how we started the magazine has been told too many times – but the gist of it is, Taco wanted to live a dream.  We were comfortable in our salary job lifestyle, but craved freedom, craved that magical spark of doing something you really love.  Sure, Taco loved to roll burritos (he was a restaurant manager), and I could sell insurance as much as the next guy, but those were all someone else’s dream, not ours. Now it has been almost 6 years of creating this publication, and some of it hasn’t quite been what I expected from this business and lifestyle, but you know what?  Some of it has been exactly as I expected.  As I sit here at Resonance Festival, surrounded by friends, finishing up the October issue, I found myself in a grumpy mood.  Then, I snapped out it!  Isn’t this what you wanted?  Aren’t you living that dream you wished for so badly?  My day turned around quickly after that.

Sometimes you may have to adjust your dream for the common need, but you can still find a pathway that serves your passion. Being a bum or a starving artist is okay when others aren’t relying on you, and you’re young and can bounce back quickly, but if we’re honest – we realize that this lifestyle is a selfish thing.  You have to learn how to take care of yourself in order to take care of other people.

When I started this relationship with Taco, he whisked me away into this world of many lives, where somehow there was more time in a day and so many things to be done.  I’ve grown so much, picked up so many jobs, trades, skills, memories, friends, wisdom. There are not enough moments in the frantic daytime, when the coffee pot doesn’t drip quickly enough, or the night-time, when we’re front row at a show.  Time seems to fly quicker every year and we realize, we will never have enough time.

So I hope this inspires you to pick up your passion that maybe you’ve been neglecting, or realize that a dream you have may not be working because it just needs a little adjustment.  Be fluid, be open, and include others in your passion.  When you work towards a common goal, the universe gains more momentum behind it than if the gain you seek is only for yourself.  Just don’t waste any more time, those candles on the cake are trophy of lives lived, but also a reminder of the time gone by.  It’s never too late to live the life you want.