Tuesday I took a few hours to walk around REO Town to hand out fliers and meet whomever I could meet. I can be really comfortable with putting out a quick blog, sending out a Tweet and updating my Facebook page, but that can give me a false sense of communication. It’s not interaction. It’s not connecting…so, it’s not yoga, right?
What a great city we have. People are really friendly. And boy do people know how to talk! We talked about everything from yoga and what the studio was about or their roses, their families, or just how beautiful the weather was.
Two guys I ran into on a porch on Hazel Street wanted to quiz me on what I felt yoga was and then it ended up being a bit of a therapy class on the porch. One has herniated disks in his cervical spine from playing too much basketball on concrete outdoor courts. He also works in an environment that demands a lot of repetitive stress. He showed me his back and even stood towering a good 16 inches over me (I’m just five foot tall). When I asked what he does for his back he said chiropractic. And what does he do for physical exercise? Basketball. Hmm.
He swears he’ll come check out a Just B Yoga class at Shabazz tonight. Stay tuned.
I petted stray cats, smiled at kids and navigated too many vacant or red-tagged homes.
But amidst some of those sad stories that we see too often in our town I would meet someone who would come out in the yard or to the street and take my flier and seem genuinely happy something is coming to the neighborhood.
One woman said she recognized the fliers and said her mother had called me. I remember her mother as she expressed how she needed the classes just to get out of the house. Plus, “I just got saved so I need to keep doing right.”
At her corner was a meticulously attended garden of roses and other flowers I wish I could have identified. But on this balmy Indian summer afternoon in the backdrop of the abandoned empty lot area that will be the BWL headquarters, it was an oasis. I had to tell the woman who was painting a windowsill on her garage. Her English was heavily accented. I couldn’t tell whether it was Italian or Spanish. She beamed a bright smile as I told her how lovely I thought her flowers were. I slipped her a flier too.
The businesses on Washington were fun. Everyone let me talk to them and let me leave fliers or business cards. Dave Cripes was a character (and yes, he did talk a blue streak) but I might be looking into getting shirts with him (Playboy magazine collection notwithstanding). And I met Carrie at Art Alley and wow is that gallery awesome. I definitely plan to do an event there. And wow, isn’t she awesome!? We talked far longer than I had expected but I know I came up with some new ideas and am fired up to make them happen.
Together I think we’re going to make REO Town awesome.