Tim Gobi, also known as “Dagger,” sat in the corner of an office in Mike and Nick’s Tire & Service as he explained his unlikely partnership with the person whose office he was sitting in.
It belonged to Scott Maxon, owner of Mike and Nick’s. When placed next to each other, Maxon and Gobi appear to be polar opposites — at least aesthetically.
Maxon has gray, wispy hair, and was dressed in a polo shirt with his name tag on it, khaki pants and sneakers. While the name of his business is misleading, it’s because he named it after his two sons — Mike and Nick — instead of naming after himself.
Gobi was clad in black — jet black, teased hair adorned with a black conductor’s hat, black pants with imprints meant to mimic knee guards, black riding gloves and a black shirt with the logo of the band he fronts, King’s Xecutioner. The only things that weren’t black were his silver metallic converse-style shoes and silver dagger earring dangling from his left ear.
However, while they contrast in some ways, they’re on the exact same page when it comes to helping the needy.
“You go home and tears come down,” said Gobi. “You can be stoic, but tears will flow. You’ll look around you’ll say, ‘Why do I have dry walls and carpet and they don’t?’”
“You look at things two different ways. People have one view and there’s another, but when you go out there and actually walk the walk and see what’s going on, it’s pretty inspiring,” said Maxon.
“The walk” Maxon is referring to is the walk Gobi takes to meet with homeless people to talk with them, ask them about their needs and deliver what he can — whether it be food, emergency supplies, toiletries, etc.
Maxon said he was inspired to help Gobi after a recent article in The Signal detailed how a Stater Bros. deli cutter decided to pick up the tab on the meat Gobi was buying to be used on sandwiches that would later be distributed to the homeless.
Gobi said he’s been using proceeds from his band to buy fresh food for the homeless for the past five years. He’ll pick up various items, including sliced meats and cheeses from a deli in the area, prepare sandwiches and put together lunches and then drive the food into Los Angeles to homeless people — who he calls his people.
“I spend $600 a month in food and gas to get to my people — some proceeds (from the band), some out of my pocket,” Gobi wrote in an email to The Signal. “I do this every Friday (and) Saturday morning. The lunches are put together consisting of two turkey sandwiches, a banana, a ZBar protein bar and a bottle of water.”
Once Maxon read the article, he reached out to Gobi, who was a customer, and asked how he could help and Gobi asked him to go on a walk with him.
“You don’t know until you go there. When you go there then you really realize what you can do and it doesn’t have to be that much,” said Maxon. “It’s not about how much money to give, you can’t give them money, it’s not the right thing to do. They need provisions. They don’t need to be pitied, they need to be helped.”
As a result of these walks, Maxon decided he wanted to set up his shop to be a donation center for Gobi’s walks. Today, if you walk into Mike and Nick’s, you’ll see pictures of the walks and two bins for food donations and clothing donations.
“You know, customers come in here every day and and what will happen is they’ll see it then the next time they come in for service … I think it’s going to take a minute for people to start doing that but … this (will be) a place for people to come bring stuff,” said Maxon.