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Friday, September 30, 2011


selma ready to go

Another wine tasting at Selma's coffee shop, the Backwoods Bean on Main St in Sparta. Robin Cater played guitar and sang. I anticipated she'd be awfully good, but she went way beyond what I might have expected. She has a good singing voice and accompanies herself well with guitar. She was with a guy from Florida, Will Fernandez, who played a small conga drum. Good music. Good finger food. Good wine. Good company, nearly all familiar faces. As always, I pick a seat at the bar when I go in and that's my roost the whole time. I don't get up and circulate and talk and laugh carrying a wine glass without a stem. Would you call that unstemmed? Like tea without sugar is unsweet. I'm something of a stump at social events. It might be my country grandparents in me. My grandmother Worthington more than once stressed to me, You get on a merry-go-round and go round and round. When you're done, where you been? It is the country in me that's rubbed off from 35 years among country people. Country people don't run their mouths so much. City people light up when they get in a crowd of other people. Country people look for the cat hole, the exit.

cynthia in chberspace

Here is Cynthia in conversation. Talk with Cynthia and she googles subjects you're talking about, comes up with facts, pictures and web pages. Her blackberry, or whatever it's called, is the focus of her life these days. I think of Dick Tracy with his wrist watch version of what Cynthia is doing with her blackberry. Maybe she thinks it makes her look young. I think she looks fine as she is. She has a mind that runs so fast she needs to multi-task to keep all her mind engaged where she is. I think of her something like a ship anchored in a stormy sea; it takes 3 and sometimes 4 anchors to hold the ship in place. She came here to curate the Teapot Museum, but it went away as soon as she started. She wanted to stay here. I'm one of the people glad she chose to stay. She has a community of friends, mostly in the coffee shop, happy to have her around. She's a good addition to the ex-pat crowd in the county. By ex-pat I mean ex-patriated from the Flatland, repatriated in the mountains. No one misses urban traffic.

mr moxley talking with woman from scotland

Moxley retired from teaching high school social studies somewhere in Ohio, Cleveland area, I think. He's from here and returned to the family farm. He keeps cattle, does the farm work himself. Something to occupy his time and mind. He is one of the "regulars" in Selma's, one of the ones that go there regularly. There is about a dozen of us. We all like each other. When one goes in, there is most often another in there. Good conversations take place in there. I don't mean scholarly and erudite, rather nobody trying to impress anybody. We just talk about whatever comes up. If there's any posturing among any of us, I haven't seen it. That's one of the wonderful attributes about Selma's place is the absence of posturing inside the door. If somebody comes in posturing, nobody even pays attention. 

 the entertainment: robin cater and will fernandez

Robin is one of our county's potters. She and her husband, Daniel, both work with clay, take their wares to shows all over the place, and work at it like a job. They give it their all. I didn't know she sang so well or played guitar so well. Robin is a special soul. She is a bright light. I think sincerity is what stands out about Robin. It's a sincerity that is true. It's not an affectation. She's present wherever she is. Will Fernandez is an artist and potter, evidently singer and musician too. He's here from Key West. Last I heard he intended to stay here. He's still here. He does interesting work with clay and painting.

Had pleasant conversation with Rob Mangum, the potter and musician, guitar and vocal. I've known Rob the entire time I've been here. He and his wife Bet came here from southern Alabama a year or two before I came here from coastal South Carolina. Rob was robbed of Bet last year or more. She was a superb woman in all the best ways. Rob is something like Major Tom in David Bowie's song about the astronaut in the space capsule cut off from earth to float freely in space. Planet earth is blue and there's nothing I  can do. Rob has taken good care of himself, allowing himself to mourn, but also getting on with his life, letting it fall back into place as it will. Rob is someone I'd call, without hesitation or fear of contradiction, a true human being. He's a good guitar picker. Picks a Martin and deserves it. And he sings a good song. He is good at entertaining an audience with folksong, often taking the volume out of a rock song, singing it for the words in it.

Selma's is my social life in this cycle I'm in. I like it. I like the people that go there. It's a comfortable place. It brings to mind a preWW2 neighborhood bar where everybody knows everybody. Selma is the hub everyone revolves around. The wines, of course, were good, each one a treat.


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