With the holiday season here, I will be taking a break from the blog. I will spend time in the coming weeks traveling and couchsurfing. I am looking forward to conducting more interviews and sharing them with you all after the new year. I hope everyone has a great holiday and I will be back blogging at the beginning of 2017.
Decade Born: 1960’s
“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
Tell me a favorite memory.
We had a family grocery store that catered to the African Americans during the days of segregation. That was where I had the most fun. It was a very lively place. We had lots of people who worked there who were like extended family so that was always a fun, happy place to go to. The strange thing is that store appears in my dreams all the time. It’s the most common theme in my dreams. It might be current day, but it’s still there. In reality, the building’s still there, but the store shut down 20-something years ago. But that’s the place I was happiest as a child and I try to duplicate that. Whenever I have a dream that takes place there, it’s usually the start of a good day. I’ve never spent a lot of time thinking about why I have those dreams.
You mentioned that the store shut down about 20 years ago, how did that feel?
Oh it was a loss of a key thing. It was kind of like losing your childhood home or something like that and my parents moved out of my childhood home about 6 years ago and I miss that, but not as much as I miss the store just because I grew up in there. It was a much larger extended family. Home was great and I enjoyed that, but there were fewer people there. It wasn’t as bright. It wasn’t as lively. I still have day dreams about going back and buying it and doing something else with it, but trying to recreate it isn’t practical and would be an incredibly bad investment. I keep thinking about reopening it and it would be- it used to be W.B. Hussey General Merchandise- but making it into W.B.Hussey Barbeque. But I think it’d be an incredibly bad business venture. Aberdine’s not a poor town, but it’s certainly not the wealthiest. In recent years, there’s a lot of failed businesses and, like a lot of small towns, boarded up buildings. But it’s a beautiful town. It’s got a lot Annabelle and Victorian architecture, but it takes a lot of money to maintain so unfortunately a lot of that has gone by the wayside.
Decade Born: 1960's
I was sitting with my lady nearly at the point of Square du Vert-Galant, near Pont Neuf in Paris, celebrating our mutual birthday with a lovely picnic. Grapes, cheeses, olives, a bottle of wine, all spread out in the richly colored cloth. There was another couple on the actual point and I sat with my back to them and as I faced Pont Neuf there approached at a high rate of speed, a shirtless man on a bike, careening from one side of the walk to the other, dodging pedestrians! I barely was able to shout 'Look out!' Before he narrowly missed my companion at full speed. I heard his brake squeak and as I turned around, fully expecting to see him take out the man on the point but he stopped, his tire touching the man's shoulder, and the bike's back tire rose up in the air. This broad shouldered shirtless daredevil put out one arm to balance as he was lifted into the air, the bike turned, balanced on it's front wheel, the man twisted, and together both man and bike fell off into the Seine. Insane. Amazingly enough there happen to be stairs there down into the water. The man dis a somersault with a half twist and landed more or less upright on the stairs, catching the bike with one hand! He walked up the stairs, fixed his chain and as he rode off back toward Pont Neuf we could see clearly a tattoo across his back, from shoulder to shoulder, in big old English text was the word, IMMORTAL. That explained it.
Decade Born: 1990s
“Make it work.”
Tell me your favorite memory.
I was awarded “Chief Bugler” at reenactment which means you go out at the end of the battle and play taps and the dead rise. I think because I was the only bugler who was at this reenactment, but it was still cool. You get to ride on horseback and have the whole aftermath of the battle around you and it’s just you playing taps.
So the dead rise… what is the significance of that?
It’s in memory of those who died in the war and taps is the bugle call that came out of the war now used for funerals and military
Decade Born: 1970s
Location: New York
"Live free or die--I mean this in a true freedom way, not in any political machine way"
What inspires you?
Ideas inspire me; exploring the unknown or using the potential of ideas as a way of discovering the unknown.
What got you through the hardest times?
When I think of adolescence and going away to school and things were really hard, it was the idea of a future freedom after school, beyond parents expectation.
Decade Born: 1960s
“Open your eyes and let the light in.”
The memories that you’re building in a place like this, how do they compare to the memories you had growing up?
With this little beach cottage, it’s the historic feeling. I grew up in an old turn-of-the-century house that belonged to the President of the University of Indianapolis downtown. My father renovated every square inch of it. It was a different type of house and it was a little bit of a heavier house.
When I was younger- this is a funny story- I remember picking up a TIME magazine and there were some great pictures of interiors. There was a woman with a big white dog and everything white and I remember telling my mother, ‘I’m going to live in an all white house,’ so here it is. This isn’t the first one either. I’ve been renovating houses for a while, but it’s kind of become my meej. But the common thread with this and the house I grew up in is that it’s historic- it’s an old 1940s motor lodge.
Decade Born: 1980’s
“Rise and rise again.”
Who do you admire the most? Or what inspires you the most?
It’s certainly not a person. It’s more of a group- the people who are able to do what they love and not get sidetracked by the day-to-day stuff. So having that work/life balance. You’re an artist, you probably love what you do so your work might be your life and that’s a good thing, as opposed to- coming from an office perspective- work is certainly not my life. My work enables me to go do things that I enjoy more. It’s a paycheck versus something I’m truly passionate about so I think that’s really the crux of it- being able to enjoy life outside of what I find necessary to do that.
I think a lot of my friends are kind of coming to that point. A few of us have bought houses- not many- and I think that’s certainly a generational thing for many factors. We’re not necessarily going to settle in one place, we want the flexibility to move around. I certainly don’t view this as putting down roots, but as an investment. Even with the whole student loan thing, there’s a financial aspect that a lot of people my age haven’t really worked through yet.
I would love to achieve financial independence. I don’t think I have it nailed down quite yet. Some of my friends are very active investors. One of them has gotten very deep into properties- I think he has ten properties- but his financial situation is a lot different from my financial situation so I can’t emulate that path regardless of the fact that I think he’s got the right idea. So going back to your question of who do you admire, I guess like that type of mentality. They’re taking a very long term view and making sure that they won’t have to do the grind everyday. They’re going to be able to stop the day to day work and let their fruit come to bear.
Decade Born: 1930’s
“The gift of failure.”
Tell me a favorite memory.
One was when I passed the NY bar and another was when I passed the FL bar. I worked very hard for those, whereas in law school I didn’t work very hard. I studied very hard for those bars though.
Anytime you achieve something that you spent years to accomplish, that’s a good memory. And I enjoyed both sides of it. I enjoyed the success and I enjoyed the work- even though I wasn’t so diligent at the work.
Name: Unknown (Male)
Decade Born: 1970’s
Location: New York
“Life depends on us serving others.”
We use some of the proceeds from Airbnb to feed the homeless in the park. All of our guests are welcome to join us, but they are not expected to. Just by staying with us they are helping in part.
Decade Born: 1960’s
Location: New Hampshire
“Happiness is not a constant state of mind.”
So Sangi was the artist that I knew pretty well who was in the building across from the towers when they came down. We had done craft shows together and traded so I had gotten some of her scarves and stuff for my mom and she had some of my pillows in her apartment. When she showed me pictures of her apartment after 9/11, my pillows were on her couch and covered in ash and debri and who knows what.
She was living in a conference room at a church because that’s where she went. She had nowhere else. Her son was able to go and stay with some friends, but her and her husband were homeless. They were in Manhattan and she had done a show that weekend before 9/11 so she hadn’t unpacked her van and a lot of her work was in the van in a parking garage so it didn’t get destroyed, but her studio was destroyed.
I saw her at the Paradise City Arts Festival in October. We had dinner and she told me about what happened. When I left, I had a queen sized quilt and some pillows in this watercolor thing that she had always liked so I left them in her booth and went on my way. I didn’t see her again for I don’t know how long.
The next time I saw her, she told me they had found a place to live and they were rebuilding the artist building where she eventually went back to. She said that was the only piece of art that she had at that time- that quilt. So I told her about making the flag and all of that and when I left the show and was packing up my van, a painting was in my booth. I haven’t seen her since, but she left that painting for me. It was so cool. That means so much to me- I had admired it and she left it for me.