I believe we all need spaces where we can be heard, where we can express ourselves safely. To bring to the light our darkness and to still be accepted. Porches, patios, malls. Whatever it takes.
As someone who has worked in an office for 19 years straight (albeit not the same one), I'm adjusting to the freedom that comes when the 9-to-5 goes away. It's good, and sometimes difficult, and always revelatory
But first, the details: The sale is held each year as part of OLS' annual Fourth of July Festival. It's free to the public at 9 a.m., but you can pay $5 to get in at 8 a.m. It's worth it to pay, because people line up before dawn for this sale. It's that good. More than 10,000 items are displayed inside the 13,000-square foot air conditioned gym, with furniture and art in the parking deck. You can get all the details at the OLS Trash and Treasure Facebook page. Volunteers work year round, including an entire month leading up to the event. It. Is. Spectacular.
I know how difficult addiction is to fight even when you come from a place of privilege. This disease doesn't discriminate. Though there's a growing movement of people speaking up about their losses and experiences, the stigma remains. Like this Guardian story says, "drug users have long been one of the most demonised and marginalised groups in society."
So that's why I went to the federal building with a sign that says "Recovery = Resistance: We're already fighting for our lives. Don't make us fight for our healthcare." It's us.
Opportunities are arising that affirm that people want those of us with perspective to write and create. Specifically, it's nice to be able to write about a region in which I have deep roots. I value what I can bring to the table as someone with a lifetime lived in the South (and Florida), and the perspective of seeing communities like Birmingham and Columbia evolve over time. As I've said recently, artisanal doughnuts didn't just start raining from the sky in cities like this -- it's been years in the making.
Happy Friday! So much going on at Gold Shoe HQ. In a nutshell: 70s revised, Italian honeymoons and a major new writing project** on the horizon.
A concerted effort to revitalize downtown has continued to flourish, with Palofox Street at the center; the opening of a beautiful minor league stadium/the Pensacola Wahoos, and a slew of new cultural offerings.
I love the chance to come into alignment with my purpose. This morning, walking in my neighborhood and writing in my kitchen, and planning travel and stories for the summer -- none of it would be possible if I was living half-asleep. Being awake is difficult and painful at times, but it's the only away I can get into true alignment. It's a remarkable feeling, and I wish it for everyone.
I really dig this. First: having a maker event in multiple cities makes it accessible. (Franklin, Atlanta and Louisville are next.)
And while I don't a ton of names on this list, I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to offer. It's another good event to add to our maker community (Southern Makers moves here this August; Make Bhm recently celebrated its grand opening).
We're a community of makers -- and a region of makers too. I do love watching the evolution of it. See you in Birmingham this weekend?
Not a year would go by, when, at Memorial Day, I didn’t mention this to a friend. “What would an actual summer be like as an adult?” One where I didn’t have to get up at midnight to jockey for a place in line at myraid a day camp -- knights in training, water play. He didn’t mind those camps when he was smaller, but got restless with the monotony of it all. I did too, often times wondering if there wasn’t a better way as I pulled away from the YMCA, or sped toward it to make pickup time.
Hi! There is so much going on here at Gold Shoe HQ. In the middle of all of the changes afoot, I thought I start doing a weekly roundup of what's going on, and the things I'm into each week. This first one is running on a Monday, but I might switch things up as the week goes on. Let's jump in, shall we?
I think we’re all together in this, and I’d like my media sisters and brothers to step up in considering how they frame the alcohol narrative.