When Your Light Goes Out

A Good Man – Chapter 27 – JohnA Passaro


Do not let your fire go out,
Spark by irreplaceable spark
In the hopeless swamps
Of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul
Perish in lonely frustration
For the life you deserved
And have never been able to reach.
The world you desire can be won.
It exists…
It is real..,
It is possible..,
It is yours.

Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged


At Peconic Beverage, virtually all the money was made during the summer.

The winter was the famine.

During one extremely slow winter, I saw an opportunity for the store to make some money.

Every Friday night there was this one customer who came into the store, and before buying his six pack of beer, he stared at the St. Paulie Girl neon light that hung up above the beer cooler.

That is when the passion Bill was talking about first started to appear.

I just knew I had entrepreneurial blood.

One Friday afternoon I called Bill at home with an idea about my being able to generate some profit for the store during the winter months.

I asked him, “Everything in the store is for sale, right?”

He replied, “Yes”, very slowly as if he was scouring his mind for anything he wouldn’t want me to sell.

I said “OK.”

That night when the “St. Paulie Girl” admirer came in for his weekly six pack and to stare at the St. Paulie Girl light, I went to work on my first entrepreneurial venture.

“That St. Paulie Girl neon light would look great in your man-cave,” I said.

“Yea, it would. I’ve never seen one quite like it before. Is it for sale?”

“Everything in the store is for sale, but people just don’t realize that. You can’t get one of those in a store. We got it directly from the St. Paulie Girl distributors.”

“How much do you want for it?”

“That light is very hard to get. I’ve never seen one anywhere else.”

“How about $250?”

“Have you noticed how the neon shines around the St. Paulie Girl? That would look great in the dark.”

“$300?”

“My boss doesn’t really want to sell it, it’s one of his favorites.”

“How about $500?”

“All right. I guess at that price he would let it go.”


“Bill, we had a good day today, one of the most profitable winter days that I can remember.”

“The store was busy today?” Bill asked.

“Totally dead,” I said.

“Then how did we have one of our best winter days ever?”

“I sold the St. Paulie Girl neon sign for $500.”

“You did what? We got that sign from the distributor for free,” Bill said.

“I know, and the best part is they are willing to give us a replacement for free.”

“If you ask them for a replacement it must be for a completely different decoration,” Bill said.

“That is even better – an endless inventory of new items to sell,” I said.


And that winter, for the next eight Friday nights, I sold a different neon beer decoration light for $500 to the same customer.

He was ecstatic.

His basement bar looked great decorated in hard to get neon lights from every beer manufacturer in the country.

And the store was a bit more profitable during the winter.

Sounds like a win-win all around.

After each sale, Bill offered me the $500 but I didn’t take a single dollar of any of the sales.

I was paid in a different way.

I found my passion.

I became an Entrepreneur for life.

The ability to turn nothing into something.


Read the next chapter – Tonic Water Lady


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