Taco ‘Bout It : The Heart of the Jamwich

by Taco Olmstead

photo by Roger Gupta, taken at Werk Out 2015

In our community, a lot of people know Elise and I. We are recognized by many people and we are ceaselessly loved. It makes a long night go easier, and we cherish those heartfelt comments and bits of praise on our dark days in our home office together. Those little nuggets of love we eagerly store up knowing that life is full of peaks and valleys. Nothing is quite as nice when standing in the shadow of a mountain than having some love to warm your bones on the long journey up.

I am often called upon by people while out with “Hey Taco! Remember me!” I often times do recognize their face, their voice, their unique body language and mannerisms, but damn if their name doesn’t escape me! I feel bad when this happens. It’s even worse when their feelings are hurt and it is apparent. For those of you who have met me and had this happen, my humblest apologies. Despite all these years of “clean living,” my memory ain’t what it used to be!

The most awkward of these meetings is when I am being thanked for our monthly magazine. Don’t get me wrong, I have a part in this, but I am far from the cogs turning the machine. The amount of work that goes into a 24 page monthly magazine is mind boggling. It is, for a small organization with no actual employees, a monumental task to produce and publish every month. Some months it’s a few days late, others a few days early, but it is completed without fail for our thousands of eager readers. The gratitude is reserved entirely for my coworker, best friend, lover and wife Elise Olmstead.

As many of you know, wherever I am, Elise is close by. When we are out, I’m on the job and she is off the clock. She would much rather surf the web seeking out vegan meal plans than enter into a conversation about Pollstar. Chances are, she has already worked out, made me breakfast and lunch, cleaned the house, settled the books, done the laundry, sent a hundred FB messages, made our dog feel loved, replied to hundreds of emails and put in eight to ten hours on the magazine that day. So when she IS out, she wants a beer and wants to unplug a bit. Can you blame her?

The day that Elise puts in amazes me. Unlike many professionals, her day does not end at 5pm. Often, her day starts at 8am and ends at 10pm, sometimes going into the early morning hours. From her desk, for hours, I will hear what sounds like a troop of mice tap dancing on the keyboard.

Elise is relentlessly kind. I consider myself to be a light hearted guy and easy going for the most part, but Elise is a saint. I have never before dealt with a person who could so gracefully tell someone “no.” It is astounding the patience she displays. For Elise, it is because it is more important for her to be kind and let another human beings emotional well being remain intact than be pointed and tactful. Most of us consider ourselves too busy, but for her it is a priority and I know very few people with less time than her.

There are times when Elise glows, and for that I owe my gratitude to so many of you! Her eyes, heart and soul light up when she receives a simple message or email from one of you, thanking her for all that she does. Your kind words are such a force in her life. Her heart swells with pride every single time someone says thank you.

Elise is an artist at heart. She went to art school, but like so many artists in this world, turned to a day job to pay the bills. When we decided to start this magazine, she soon quit her day job in order to learn every aspect of publishing a magazine both in print and online. She had ZERO prior publishing or journalism experience. She committed herself to this task because she believed in what we were doing. She didn’t believe we were going to become millionaires, but she believed in our mission to highlight lesser known bands and artists in our community. She believed in our community so much that she left a very good paying job just to show people the love that is right here, within each of us that create this community.

So when you see me out, tell Elise thank you! If you have the time and feel inspired, tell her about it. Your praise goes a long way and you are the reason why she does all that she does. I can only hope that more of us conduct ourselves and our affairs with the same love, grace and kindness. So the next time you’re out, raise your cup, and have a drink for Elise! She could use it…