Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Is this what the founders intended for the Grange hall?

This past weekend was the Artisan's Faire at the Oddfellows Hall here on the island. Basically, all of the local artists set up little funky booths (more artistic talent in their displays than in one of my thumbs) full of their stuff and so that islanders can shop locally for Christmas instead of giving their money to the great maws of Wal-Mart. I got to walk around, engaging in a little retail therapy and also getting ideas for what to make for my Christmas presents. (In all fairness to myself, I do try to buy examples of the ideas that I steal.) And, let me tell you, if there is anyone out there who has ever felt envious of my crafty ability and somewhat dexterous fingers, I'm not worth it. I am a rank amateur next to the talents that exist on this island. If I wanted to be fancy, I could call myself a dilettante, but even that word doesn't communicate the wealth of artistic training that I lack. So, I ended up with some beautiful hooks made by a guy that I didn't even know was a blacksmith but who I see at the Exchange all the time; some ceramic ornaments because I'm always a sucker for ceramics; a beautiful little pin that was hand-drawn by Maria, the partner of the guy who started the Exchange; the cool-beaner bookmark that is further building the desire within me to decoupage; a leather wristband from the same lady (she used the scraps from her hand-made books); and three way-cool magnets that Janine (pronounced Yuh-neen) gave me the secret how to make. Now, you'll just have to guess what's for whom. Last Wednesday, there was a porch-warming birthday party at Bridget's house that she built out of a gazebo kit. While there, we were invited to another party on Sunday night. That's the party that I started this blog to tell you about. (It was a similar party to the Halloween Dance, but I never got that one typed. Maybe I'll go ahead and give it to you out of order later.) Basically, two of the women that had booths at the Artisan Faire rented out the old Grange meeting hall (which is slowly being converted to a neat theater/dance hall and which I had visited earlier in my stay for a six-year-old ballet recital of international dances) and hired three DJ's to throw a Artisan's Faire blowout potluck dance party. It was Holly's birthday and Rhonda had just secured a 5-year lease with right of first refusal to renew on a prime piece of farmland where she is going to start a permaculture farm. The invitation flyers were all different with neat images and funky phrases, but lacked a time or date. Those were then spread by word of mouth. :-) They wanted to celebrate so they decorated the hall with tea lights, beaded plastic silver garland (as part of the tea light centerpieces), blue tincture glass bottles with wildflowers and mismatched vintage-like cloth tablecloths. I took the apple dip that my Aunt Janice taught me with six pounds of sliced apples in lemon juice. The last time I took that for someone's birthday at Glenbard, people ate the apples but not the dip because the dip seemed too unhealthy. Here, they loved all of it, which amazed me because it's one of those one-cup-of-everything housewife dips. Here, I guess those kind of Betty Crocker things are a novelty. They asked for $5 at the door, on your honor, provided Wizard of Oz stamps for you to prove your honor and everyone came. Almost all of the people that I am starting to get to know through Jeff were there and some new people whose faces I know from the stores, too. No one got babysitters and all generations were represented. After dinner, there was enough space on the hard-wood dance floor and even the 18-month-old understood that you just have to move to the music. It wasn't even incongruous that people sang along to the original "Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge / we're trying not to lose our heads / uh-huh, uh-huh, ha" since I bet that most of them learned it, like I did, from the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature or as a part of a study of Afro-Global music. The whole evening reinforced to me that this island IS the community I've been looking for.

1 comment:

Al said...

Hi Rebecca,

When I first read this,

"It wasn't even incongruous that people sang along to the original [THE MESSAGE by Grandmaster Flash] ...since I bet that most of them learned it, like I did, from the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature or as a part of a study of Afro-Global music."

I thought it was a joke. Then I went looking for the lyrics.

Having heard the original song whe I was two years younger than you are now, makes me realize how old I am. :-)

Found your blog while doing thisClick on the "Search for Permaculture" link.

I've lived on islands and in small communities. Enjoy the ride....


P.S. I found my passion within the past year. It is never to late.