"Come Saturday morning, I'm going away with my friend;
we'll Saturday spend till the end of the day…"
While we did not spend the whole day together, Terry and I did take about an hour and a half to drink coffee, solve the problems of our little world, and reminisce. He had blogged earlier in the week about an emotional, even tearful, moment he had had pertaining to this mid-life thing that we're experiencing now in our '60s.
I had commented that we should get together, come Saturday morning, and explore our two perspectives to glean some wisdom. I suggested we meet at a donut shop recently opened by an old friend of ours; but Terry said he is not doing wheat these days, so we met at 8 at the Earth Fare.
We spent some precious time discussing the ins and outs and ups and downs of living life according to our own expressions and goals, as opposed to living in order to accommodate the demands of everybody else, such as peer group, employer, society at large, etc. This dilemma is something that we 60ish folks understand completely, especially because our g-g-generation had spent our prime youth years IN the 1960s, if you know what I mean, where we had both discovered that the free love thing wasn't going to work out so well. Consequently, we had both become Jesus freaks, still are, and had each faithfully loved wife and raised our now-grown children during the last 30+ years.
After we had solved the problems of our little world, or at least gained some friendly perspective on the prospects, Terry went his way and I went mine.
Feeling adventurous, with the sunshine and Saturday and whatnot, I cruised the Vespa on up the hill to our local Farmers' Market to pick up my weekly loaf of bread from my bread man, Bruce. This would save him the side trip of delivering the rye loaf to my front door, which he often does.
Earlier in the week I had experienced some fears about the future of free enterprise in America. But no more. One fifteen-minute stroll through the Farmers' Market was all it took to restore my confidence in small business in America. Blooming forth from all directions, from all booths, from the many tents and stalls, were: the healthiest veggies you've ever seen, all locally grown, squash, spinach, kale, broccoli, spices, herbs, you-name-it, and then the arty stuff: pottery, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, flower arrangements; Terry's wife Sandi was selling her colorful Appalachian grape-vine baskets. She was weaving one right there, as hundreds of curious shoppers lollygagged around us. There was music in the air: hammer dulcimer player zinging out his tunes, old-time group plunking out the ancient but ever-livening traditional fiddle-standupbass-guitar melodies, and hundreds of smiling folks buying stuff, ambling in the mountains sunshine.
I found Bruce and Brandi's Owl Creek Breadworks tent and picked up my ciabatta, paid them for the month. Their daughter Madison handed me a garlic bagel. It looked so delicious I bit right into it then and there. Moving right along, I passed down into the shady grove amphitheater where the thespian troupe was rehearsing for tonight's outdoor drama, Horn in the West.
And I'm like, all is well here, nothing wrong with small business in America. There seems be plenty of vigor (as President Kennedy had called it) exuding from every nook and cranny, every holler and glade, especially in the midst of our keep-on-the-sunny-side Blue Ridge mountain morning heritage.
Well, maybe there was one little thing wrong with it. The downside of this experience came when I was negotiating the traffic jam that surrounded the place as I was leaving. I hated to think of all those little fossil-fuel emissions slithering from their respective exhaust pipes into the bright Saturday sky. My fantasy about having a Disney-style monorail running right through our little town jumped into my mind for a moment, but then it vanished in a whiff of cerebral smoke.
I leapt again onto the Vespa express and headed for our quaint downtown to drop a book at the ASU library.
Not much traffic in downtown, vehicular or pedestrian, compared to the crowded Farmers' Market vicinity. We need to get something going here town-wise, to even out the enterprise factor. Maybe some of those vendors at the market would do well here in the downtown where there's more space to get around. Unfortunately, the expense of real estate in the central business district is high. But that's neither here nor there.
Still feeling adventurous, I headed out Blowing Rock road to Josiah's shop, the Local Lion, for another java and one of his unique 1930s-style donuts. By this time I'm thinking maybe I'd be over-caffeinated and over-carbohydrated to do such a thing. Lately I've heard a lot of folks, including my friend Terry with whom I had started this trek, trash-talkin the carbs. But hey, I'm a bread-man, always was, always will be. Jesus said "I am the bread of life." If he was willing to make himself a bread metaphor, and to have the wheat stuff passed around every Sunday in his name, that's good enough for me. I can hang with carbs, because my job as a maintenance guy keeps me hopping all week long, and burning those little carbohydrates off like spilt coffee on a woodstove.
So I dropped into the Local Lion and did that coffee and donut thing. I talked to Riley, who was there enjoying the goodies with his two young children and his wife. Thank God he was there, and here in this life, to even do such a thing. Riley spent the better part of a half-hour answering my numerous questions about his 2004 and 2009 tours of duty in Iraq.
And lastly, there at the Local Lion I happened upon a copy of The Journey, a local magazine published by another old friend, Ben. And so I was able to embellish my Saturday morning travels and contemplations with an accounting of his interview with our late, great, local hero and musical legend, Doc Watson.
Then I hopped on the Vespa, came home and wrote this, after Saturday morning had come and gone. It was a good one.