On Saturday, September 26, My Hero Subs and Pub hosted an outdoor evening concert, featuring Heritage Harmonic, in the parking lot in front of the local Pub. The two-man band played to a crowd of roughly 150 people, in a showing that felt like a return to normalcy. The two-man band included Travis Humble as singer/guitarist and Tyler Lomeli on drums. They played a wide range of music, including country, classic rock, and some hip hop.
Teresa Flanagan Abel is a Phelan resident of 11 years. She heard about the show while dining next door at Mama Maria’s. “After dinner, I just wasn’t ready to go home,” she responded when asked why she decided to attend. After all the months of darkness and isolation, which were only made worse by the fires that threatened Pinon Hills and Wrightwood, Abel thinks an event like this is uplifting for the community. “We’re still people; we still need to socialize because depression will set in when you’re locked down.” For the past six months, she has gone to work every day as a Warranty Administrator for Toyota of San Bernardino. But it has been hard. Prior to arriving to her job, she must sign-in to an app to answer questions regarding her health.
When she gets to work, as the first one there, she proceeds to sanitize common areas and door handles. To her, this is a constant reminder of how abnormal things have been. On this night, though, she feels things are starting to turn for the better. “It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in this atmosphere, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Right now, I feel really good. I feel human again,” she says. Abel believes that the current situation we’re living has exacerbated issues like depression, suicide, alcoholism, and child abuse. As someone who lost a husband to suicide, she says that keeping your spirit up work. “I don’t stay in my pajamas all day. I get up, and I go outside or read or something. You’ve got to keep your body moving because then your mind keeps moving.”
As the music played in the background, people sat in lawn chair clusters that were socially distanced from other parties in attendance. Others enjoyed the tunes while sitting on tailgates or from the back of their SUVs. A corn hole station was also present, and it was very busy entertaining children and adults alike as they competitively battled it out. Throughout the fun, My Hero’s employees were consistently running out orders to the hungry crowd.
Mackenzie Fischer is a lifelong Phelan resident and works at Serrano High School as a Special Education Instructional Associate. She attended the live music event to celebrate her best friend’s brother’s birthday. Their party included about 50 people. For her, seeing the community together, having fun again is just “beautiful.” She especially enjoyed seeing kids who had never met before playing together. She wants people to keep in mind that “we are still technically in a pandemic,” so remember to continuously wash your hands.
As for Abel, she is just happy to be doing normal things again. “I got my nails done today for the first time in like months,” she says with a smile. And next week, she has an appointment to get her hair done for the first time since March. “I feel that I’m on the road to who I was.”