06-05-18 The Haven

“Mommy, do you know the man that plays the bad guy in Alvin and the Chipmunks?” C asked me as we were cuddling this evening.

What an oddly specific question.

I’ve never seen it, but I wracked my brain to figure out who was even in that movie. “No, I don’t know him,” I responded to C, figuring that our conversation would be over.

“But Daddy says you know him.”

“What? That can’t be right.”

“Daddy, did you say mommy knows the bad guy from Alvin and the Chipmunks?”

Tim turned from playing at the piano. “He’s the guy you went to Bible study with?”

“Tony Hale!! Wait, he’s the bad guy? Yeah I know him.”

C’s eyes got big. “You know him?!?”

“Well, yes, but I doubt he remembers me. If I saw him and mentioned where I know him from he’d probably say, ‘those were good times.'”

“Why would he say that,” she asked.

“Because they were.” I replied. She was content with that answer and snuggled back into cuddling.

One of the strange and wonderful things about my time in New York is that I met a lot of interesting people there. The first time I met Tony was at a Bible study for young artists called “The Haven.” There must have been close to 150 people there, so I doubt he would remember me, but he was at least partially in charge of the ministry. He had done a few commercials by that time, but hadn’t done anything large.

The Haven met weekly at an old church on 21st street (I think), right down the street from the Belvedere Hotel. It had ornate wooden doors that opened into a large sanctuary, that while it was formidable, it was in desperate need of upkeep. The idea behind the Haven was to have a coming together of young artists and artisans, to have a time of worship and Bible study.

I remember enjoying my time there and I looked forward to Bible Study every week. It was an amazing experience to be in a crowded old church in the heart of NYC worshipping and learning about God, surrounded by artists and drifters. We each had a story- the journey that brought us to New York and the reason we stayed as long as we could.

When the corporate worship was over, we would break up into small groups and disperse about the church to study the word. My group met in a dusty old balcony up some back stairs that looked over the aged sanctuary. I met great friends within those walls, but in a big city like NY, many friendships are transient as people ebb and flow through the streets. When I finally left NY, I left the Haven behind as well and I missed it.

A few years later I found the “Arrested Development” dvds at a nearby store. I had heard that Tony had landed a big time gig. I impulse bought the show, brought it home, and couldn’t stop laughing. It was a strange sensation seeing a familiar face on my tv, and he was hilarious. The show is funny, albeit crude at times. Tony went on to do other roles, and now my daughter knows him as the bad guy from Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Before tonight I hadn’t thought about the Haven in years. It’s funny how time does that. But the reminder this evening took me right back to “those good times.” What an enjoyable stroll down memory lane. 🙂

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