It's that time of year - you know it, you love it, you can't live without it - tax time. I can't really complain, since we usually score a refund. Well, I can complain where the tax dollars go - but that's another story.
We've been going to the same tax guy for 15+ years - Calvin McLaughlin - nice guy who started a tax preparation business out of his house after retiring from Boeing. Our taxes are not that complicated, we could probably do 'em ourselves. However, being way too easy to delay such festivities, an appointment with Calvin ensured the deed was done and correct papers filed.
We'd sit in the small home office, handing over paperwork, while Calvin filled out the official government forms, tapping away on his PC. A few years later, we'd have to entertain our kids in the small room while this went on. Calvin's wife, who always seemed nice, would poke her head in to say hello - along with their dog, Lucky.
Over the years Calvin mentioned a few times that his son played "Rock 'N' Roll" and traveled around the world. I'm the rock fan for sure, but for whatever reason never asked for more details. I couldn't think of anyone even semi-famous with the last name McLaughlin. Teenaged picture of said son sitting on bookshelf, next to Cub Scout era Pinewood Derby car, didn't look familiar. Finally, during one yearly visit I asked about his son. "Have you ever heard of Mudhoney"? "My son is Mark Arm". I got a big kick out of this - and still do. Further proof that the breeding ground for rock is mainstream suburbia.
I'm not a hardcore Mudhoney fan, but have a few CDs and dig some of their stuff. During the grunge era that put Seattle on the map, Mudhoney should have gotten huge, but for whatever reason did not. They're an important band for many reasons and I'm lame for never experiencing them live. Oh well. They're still cranking out music, so I guess I have time.
Even after Calvin retired from the tax business, well into his 80s, he kept a few customers - including us. We called him this year to set up an appointment, but he mentioned he's been sick - maybe in a few weeks. We were sorry to hear that news and considered our Calvin era over. I can no longer say I get my taxes done by Mark Arm's dad - my claim to fame - along with never seeing Star Wars. Hey, I don't have much.
An old mountain bike and motorcycle pal of mine, Tony Meier, recommended a new tax guy. New guy came over, collected our info and did a great job - refund is on the way. He's also training for the STP this year and inspected my pile of bikes in the garage. William is his name, taxes and number crunching is his game.
Perhaps a new era begins.