A word from David Bowman, Co-op owner #1

By Stephanie Mandel

The number David Bowman gives to the Co-op cashier at checkout is easy to remember — 1, which he drew as a founding BriarPatch Board member back in 1976. David was kind enough to send in his hand-written comments that he would have shared at this year’s Co-op Owner Meeting had he been present. It’s easy to tell from his remarks just how much pride David has taken in his role as our first owner. He clearly understands the value of cooperatives as well as cooperation as he details below. Thank you, David, for your continued passion and enthusiastic support!

My name is David Bowman and it is my honor and privilege to be #1 in the Co-op!

These were the words I had planned to say at the General Meeting, preceding the 40th year celebration on Thursday, October 13. Alas, I arrived at 6 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. as scheduled. However, this “goof” provides me the opportunity to share with you, those who were present and those not able to attend the celebration, the sheer joy of people succeeding in cooperating for forty years! Exciting joy I call it! Our first store (1976) known to some as “the frozen barn,” located at the Nevada County Airpark had nothing in it — period. A group of us were building an internal office (10’ x 12’ raised 3’ to provide visibility of the store over the shelves … what shelves?”) We were lifting, sliding, struggling to move the heavy structure into place when a cry arose, “Stop!” Turns out that Ole Oldlenberg’s suspenders had “let loose” and he was losing his pants! We did immediately stop and this small cooperation saved some big embarrassment. (Ole was 6’4” – 270+ lbs and a retired carpenter, now departed. RIP.) Cooperation is cooperation!

Here is the Co-op Cheer (not the Bronx one!)

           -give me a “C”    – give me an “O”

Stop! Wait a little minute, as Arlo or maybe even Alice might say; that’s pathetic! Those of you reading this wherever — join me, show some gumption—let it rip!


What does that stand for? COOPERATION! YES! Presently, we have a fine green building (of course we could use more space but for now, great utilization!). And, how about our solar parking and amphitheater area? Cheers, yea! A great staff and an enthusiastic group of Directors… but wait a minute! You know or should know that your willingness to put your income, action and will are the catalyzers!

Without YOU, the people; that person in the mirror; those sitting around the fire, singing in the shower, riding to school, texting, utilizing I.T.! Without “U” nothing happens! You are the key. Your/our COOPERATION is and ALWAYS has been the KEYSTONE in community,  country and cosmos!

David closed with an invitation to practice the Co-op cheer and to keep the celebration going all year. He extends his love to all, and  we extend it back at him. Cheers to all!