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Monday, October 31, 2011


        andrea galvani, balloons


It was another good day to drive. The trip I wrote about in LOST IN AN EXURBAN SUBDIVISION last week turned out to be in vain anyway. The Sunday I was to be there was this Sunday, not last Sunday. The friends I went to see were in Minneapolis last Sunday. The gathering was a bunch of friends who hang at Selma's Backwoods Bean Coffee Shop. I always enjoy being among these people, at the coffee shop and at the parties that are springing up now among the people who go there. Today I knew where the house was and how to get there. Had a good learning last week. It's a nice place for a subdivision. Somebody made a big bundle of money selling the lots. The road is not state maintained. In places it is awfully steep, the kind of steep that when you start down the hill you feel alarm right away if you go at it like a regular downhill grade, because there are a few places it's like going over the top of the first hill on a rollercoaster and starting down that first slope that looks like it's straight down.

I feel like I'm in a new phase of the life, which I already know, entering a new 7-year cycle starting a couple years ago. It's like the coffee shop is the hub of my social world now. It's not like I've ever had a social world besides just the people I know. And that's what it amounts to at the coffee shop. Some of my friends there are people I've known several years, an awful lot of years, about 30 years in one case, and some just a few years and some since going to the coffee shop. I think we all feel like we've found the people in the county we resonate with like tuning forks. We tend to be people who like to know individual other people well instead a lot of people superficially. I've an idea this trend for knowing a lot of people superficially led to such social phenomena as political correctness, a Roberts Rules of Order for social intercourse with people you don't know and will never know. We sit on the stools at the bar talking with animation, sometimes much animation---meaning motion not agitation.

It's becoming a very beautiful social energy happening in there. First Cuban Celebration party the Cubans were on one side and the Anglos on the other. We chatted some, and the Anglos watched the Cubans dance, hypnotized by the beauty and the music of it. We didn't know each other. By the end of that night we were acquainted. This Friday night's Cuban Celebration was much freer in interchanges between Cubans and Anglos. Much conversational and even dancing interactions. The Cubans and the Anglos flowed freely together. We, the Anglos, are learning that just because they talk English with an accent, they can still understand spoken English. We really can talk with each other. We have a doctor in town who went to medical school and became a doctor in Columbia. The degree did not transfer to USA, so now she has a doctorate degree in Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and is practicing in Sparta. Dr Sandra Mora-Viera can make castanets sing. Her husband, Dr Pablo deVincenzo, plays accordion like a professional showman you'd see in LA or New York.

At their website:, you can see their pictures and read of all their degrees and medical experience. They have brought a new mind for medicine to Sparta. It's called holistic what they do, meaning the whole, takes in everything, works with the relationship between spirit, mind and body. What they do is not simplistic. Almost makes me wish I had something wrong so I could utilize their services. I'd guess it would be a very educational experience in important ways, and surely healing. Both of them have a healing energy about them. They are part of the life at the Cuban parties. Dr Pablo's accordion blows everybody's minds that an accordion can sound so good. Our Anglo association with the accordion is Lawrence Welk. I feel like I've found what it is about what he's doing that makes it so special, he plays music. He plays music that makes you move, makes dancers dance. Like Jr Maxwell said of making mountain music, if th'aint no music in it, it aint nothin. Pablo playing the music is definitely something. It's not "the accordion" any more when he makes the music flow. It's like: Wow, he can make an accordion do that? The two times I've heard him play I listened in awe. And then Sandra gets to crankin up the castanets when she's feeling it and they take us closer to the equator.

Selma and I spoke today of noticing the Anglos and the Latins interacting more the second go round. Becoming acquainted is important and it's happening. I can't call them Cubans, really, given that Sandra is from Columbia and Pablo from Venezuela and Italy. And Selma was talking today of how she's learned that all Spanish speaking people here are Mexicans. Doesn't matter if they're from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, they're Mexicans. She's given up explaining she's not Mexican and consents to it. It's the mountain form of brevity. Like if it flies and stings, it's a bee. Wasp, hornet, yellow jacket, bumble bee, honey bee; they're all bees. Everybody from south of the border is a Mexican. I told Selma I believe there is at least one Mexican in the county who plays guitar. I suspect there are several Mexican musicians here. We were both thinking it would be fun to bring them into the wine-tasting parties. We're all about inclusion. Have a Mexican Celebration. Chile today, hot tamale.

This afternoon we stood around eating finger food JoEllen prepared that was from another league delicious. She is wife of Todd Smith, new holistic chiropractor here on Main St across from the new county office building. They are healthy people. I feel like a trashbag full of water that sits down about like Jabba the Hutt and spreads out like a water balloon. They're trim and sharp and pay attention to their own health in such a way it's ongoing and keeps them in good shape. I'd take it from that his chiropractic work is valid. Our other chiropractor, Klingensmith, is another example of good health, somebody who pays attention. Todd has only been here several months. He and JoEllen came here from Winston-Salem. We of the gathering this afternoon were all here from other places. We're people who respect each other and are becoming friends as time passes and we dance together more. It's a beautiful energy generating on Main St across from the courthouse. I won't go so far as to say it's a new Sparta. It's not that. It's a new experience in Sparta.  


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