Sunday, May 24, 2009

Where is your bolo tie?

Today we went to church in a tropical rain storm.  I'm thinking that Memorial day will be sunny if all this water is wrung out early.  

RG wore his Johnny Cash look accented with a Turquoise bolo tie made for him by a Native American craftsmen about 15 years ago. Now, generally we have dressed up for church and he and Parker wear a regular suit and silk tie and I wear a suit and heels. But things are changing. Women wear pants regularly. Kids, especially teenage boys, sometimes wear jeans. 

So I guess a bolo tie and Johnny Cash won't hurt even though he was told he looked like he was going to a cowboy funeral.

Things change and things get mixed up and come out different.  This is creativity. This opens new possibilities as well.

After church I cooked lunch and RG ran quickly to the grocery store to pick up a few forgotten items. That is a change we wouldn't have done back in the days when we were little.

Importantly, while he was in the store, a Mexican family approached him and observed that they had seen him play this weekend (in that very outfit I imagine). They attended the Chickenfest in Wilkesboro. Anyway, they noticed him and told him they enjoyed the music. They have just moved here and were "there to just see what it was like at the Chickenfest." They were amazed at how fast the music was and told him again how much they enjoyed it. He thanked them for coming and welcomed them to the Yadkin Valley.  

RG came home and told me how surprised he was they noticed him and stopped to speak.  I thought it was nice too. How about that? Mexican tourists for Americana Bluegrass.  

I wondered if the turquoise tie was like an invitation to speak to a friendly person that was familiar to this new family. How many times have you been approached by new residents from another culture to compliment you here?  Perhaps, we just need to give folks an invitation to speak and attend with us. We should not ignore the potential for our stories to be interesting to other cultures as well.   And we should find happy-sad-funny-dramatic-awe-inspiring-practical details in our stories to make those connections to the intersecting cultures all around us.

In fact, neighboring cultures do mesh and our story is their story, particularly of Mexico and Canada.

North and South, Black and White, Native and Immigrant... they are precious.


Benjamin Long was great! His drawings are so alive. I got unexpectedly kissed on both cheeks. That is a melding of cultures too since he has his feet firmly planted on two continents.  A nice change.

I discussed my 1780 fresco dreams again with him. I also got to meet two associates of his I had corresponded with on email and I am reinvigorated.  

He is one of the original founders of a school of Fine Arts in Asheville that is about total immersion in the methods of fine art, The Fine Arts League of the Carolinas.  I am wondering how to do all this. I want to go there and draw, learn to make a fresco, ...  But as my craft guild mentor reminds me, you must do to be an artist, so just start. Change yourself.

Mix it up and change.  Find those meaningful connections in our Southern Campaign stories that will bring people to your county.  That is the benefit of a National Heritage Area. It can facilitate your dreams and connections to create something meaningful for guests, for business, for your home town.  

It is important to press on with this endeavor. We have one more month before the National Park Service will have to finally close its admission to the map for Revolutionary events, people, places and natural resources. Then we get down to the hard business of assembling resources in those places on the map.  What are the resources from the time period you can share concerning the varying populations by nationality, heritage, race, gender or occupation. Start thinking about how you can use this cultural resource to expand your business or artistic passion. Just do.

Where is your "bolo tie" revolutionary story, that unusual tale that can spark the imagination of people from all over the world?  Write to the NPS and tell them before June 30!  Don't be left out.

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