I caught Dan reading a book on Islam, and to say that I “caught” him is a bit of a stretch. Dan runs the front desk at a hotel we are staying at tonight. He didn’t even wait for me to ask but began telling me how fascinating this book was and he’s glad he’s reading it. Before I can ask why, Dan already answered, “Polarity between religions in this world doesn’t seem to make sense.” I agreed.
Dan is a people person. My wife called him Dan the Man. And hospitality suits him. He was not just made to talk or to know answers to questions you haven’t yet asked, but he actually enjoys helping people. It was apparent, not only with me but with all the people who came in after us. “I like when everyone come in during wine and cheese.” By the way, we only book hotels that offer free wine and cheese. If they allow pets and small children even better.
It was while nursing his wounds from his first marriage that Dan began “to experiment with new age thinking.” Which was interesting to me because he told me he had been baptized twice already. A story all of its own.
But it makes sense he’d go down that route. He liked trying things and learning new things a seeing how it’s all connected. His life began a bit disconnected with a mom in Long Island, NY and a dad he never met who lived in Santa Barbara. Mom was a Christian (who he saved and now she’s a super Christian...part of the other story). Dad was a swami, as Dan would come to discover after getting kicked out of his house for causing a riot in his high school (once again a whole other story). “It’s no wonder I like religion. I got both eastern and western religions in me.”
But there is so much more to this man who just turned 60 on my sister in law’s birthday. He also dabbles in video production, and had a YouTube channel with hundreds of videos he’s made over the last six years. “While working the parking lot I met a man who had a show on Public Access. He invited me to see his set. When I saw take a blank room and turn it into a show I just had to learn that.”
This is Dan’s creative side. He enjoys taking footage off the internet and recutting with music. He has also shot his own footage for a local show he did here, “like postcards from Santa Barbara.”
In this weird little space Dan has found his niche, a canvas where he can create. And the world is watching. Some of his videos have 200 views and other 2 million views. “They won’t watch public access in Santa Barbara, but they watch my stuff about it.”
Something about strangers getting to know someone from their work that they post online that fascinates me. I wonder why? However I am glad I got to know Dan. He is the man!