MINISTERIAL MUSES— Doors of Reckoning—2.15.2019

Posted February 16th, 2019 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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I was introduced to the art of Missionary Mary Proctor by Zoe and Jerry Von Averkamp. She was the first artist they invited to show in their gallery, Divine Excess Folk Art, in the Village of the Arts here in Bradenton. In truth, her work introduces itself. It speaks to the viewer from the walls in the universal language of symbols. It stirs feelings and calls back memories. It generates a sense of being connected to a larger whole and, when necessary, it heals.

Mary was born to 11-year-old Pauline Cooksey in 1960. She was raised by her grandparents, a mixed-race couple. She tells us that her white grandfather was “hated by his own peoples” but stayed with her black grandmother anyway, “stood through the test”. As for her grandmother, Mary has immortalized her in her art, telling viewers of the woman’s everyday struggles, steady values, and enormous faith.

Mary herself became pregnant in the ninth grade. (“I messed up. I just wouldn’t listen to my grandmama.”) She dropped out of school to care for her child and the additional children that her mother had produced. After her grandfather died, her grandmother began to struggle with alcohol addiction. (“She was a good woman … but she had a rough time.”)

At seventeen, Mary met and married Tyrone Proctor (“a good man”). They moved to Tallahassee. He became a fireman. She became a nurse. She left nursing after a decade and opened a day care center. Five years later, she began devoting her time to scavenging for things to sell at a local flea market. It wasn’t long before she opened Noah’s Ark Flea Market (now the American Folk Art Museum & Gallery—Where Kids and Art Come First), filling her yard with furniture, dishes, jewelry, buttons, and beads.

Then in 1994, her life changed forever. Her grandmother, aunt, and uncle died in a house fire. She had a vision the night it happened. (“I saw light going all the way up into heaven.”) Fighting suicidal darkness in the aftermath, she remembered her grandmother’s words: “If you want an answer, there is such peace surrounding a tree.” So she sat under an old oak tree with her bible and prayed for thirty days until a light came over her and she heard a voice say, “Get a door and paint”.

I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved. —Gospel of John

So paint she did. And then she added salvaged objects to the doors (and windows) to add dimension. The paintings often include spiritual messages and observances. Most often the words speak to the strength of women surviving duress, hinting at anger without ever letting it overtake the work. The art is powerful. Not everyone is comfortable with the rawness of it. (I can’t help but remember the early days of Basquiat’s career, when he was painting from the gut onto salvaged materials.) Her work, despite its challenging, straightforward content, has found its way into homes, galleries, and museums all over the country.


It was in the Baltimore Visionary Art Museum of Outsider and Folk Art that Zoe and Jerry discovered Mary. The museum was featuring their collection of Mary’s art doors. When the couple realized that she was a Florida folk artist, Jerry (now deceased) suggested that they drive up to Tallahassee to meet with her. They became instant friends at that first meeting. They purchased Mary’s Blue Willow Plate Story door, which Zoe still has in her studio. Zoe speaks of Mary’s beautiful soul and about how much she treasures her friendship.


As the world seems to be getting more and more insane, Missionary Mary L. Proctor continues to paint a compassionate universal truth that reminds people of who they truly are.

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.

Village of the Arts—reprinted from Retailing Insight

Posted December 20th, 2018 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?
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Written for Retailing Insight’s January/February Issue.

COMMUNITY as Business Practice
Village of the Arts, Bradenton FL

Like a lot of people who have been involved with the Village of the Arts, I believed that Herbie Rose originated the concept of a creative community in the heart of Bradenton. A successful international watercolorist and art educator, his art studio was in a downtown neighborhood that was being overrun by drug dealers. It turns out that Bill Theroux, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority at the time, approached Herbie with the idea of an artist’s colony for countering the neighborhood’s deterioration. The rest is history. Herbie put the word out, and with the help of his artist wife Graciela Giles, he set in motion a project that is thriving two decades later. I am not alone in thinking that only Herbie could have accomplished this unique undertaking. With him at the helm, the idea of the Village of the Arts elicited excitement and support. Jo Ellen Gorris, recorded the beginning of it all in May 1999.

“…there was a meeting at the Bradenton Herald to see if there was interest in an Art Colony. There was an overflow crowd. Herbie Rose suggested we meet again the next night … The next night there was another oveflow crowd … it was decided to form an Artist’s Guild.”

Jo Ellen also recalls that Graciela sent out a letter to find those neighbors who were interested in selling and created a list of available properties for the Artist’s Guild. Soon Graciela bought a house behind Herbie’s studio. Then baker Bonnie Brown bought a property up the street. It was November 9, 1999 when Jo Ellen bought her house two blocks south of Graciela. Soon, the rundown properties in the neighborhood seemed to magically turn into colorful houses filled with unique creations. But it wasn’t magic. It was Herbie’s iron will.

Anna D’Aste remembers that when she was working to get the Grand Opening organized, the people that she contacted for help were often ready to hang up until she mentioned Herbie’s name; then the floodgates opened with whatever she needed. Linda Brokema told me that when she was restoring her house and trying to get her quilting business up and running, she often despaired. “I don’t think I would have made it if Herbie and Graciela hadn’t come by every week to cheer me on .”

I went to some of the early Guild meetings. I was always in awe of the quiet way Herbie managed to steer a group of freewheeling spirits on a steady course toward success. If the cross talk got too loud, Herbie would tap the end of his pen on the table a few times and suddenly there would be silence. He managed to stay above the inevitable bickering and laid a foundation of cooperation and attention to quality that turned a dying area into one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. Elliott Falcione, Executive Director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau describes today’s Village of the Arts this way: “Visitors to the City of Bradenton are often blown away by the galleries, studios, cafes and fashion found within the vibrant and welcoming Village of the Arts. We are proud to be home to the state’s largest (and most unique) live/work art community and promote how significantly it contributes to the overall richness of our Arts and Culture scene. Thanks in large part to the Village of the Arts and those working towards its continued development, the Bradenton Area has emerged as one of the growing arts centers in the South, offering quality and diversity of opportunities, attracting thousands of visitors and generating millions of dollars in economic impact on an annual basis.”

Herbie died in 2017. Leadership of the Village had long since passed to others, many of them newcomers. There have been, and continue to be, growing pains. Conflict is inevitable in the midst of such a creative environment, but Herbie’s sense of community support continues to be the thread that weaves through the ever-changing fabric of the Village of the Arts.

After wrestling for months with how best to describe the sense of community in the Village of the Arts, I finally decided that the best way to communicate that is to let some of the Villagers speak for themselves. I have presented a small sampling of the Village businesses. What they all have in common is their commitment to the future of the Village and each other.

Jo Ellen Gorris is the unofficial matriarch of the Village. Her emotive clay people have found homes around the world. Anna D’Aste is not only a premiere clay artist, she is a leading art educator. She was instrumental is helping to get the Village up and running. Zoe von Akerkamp is the go-to place for authentic Florida folk art (like Missionary Mary Proctor and Hugo). She inaugurated the Village’s annual Night of the Skeletons celebration (which carefully adheres to the traditions of the Mexican Day of the Dead festival). Guy Cannata is the longest existing restaurateur in the Village. He parlayed his Sicilian background, his love of cooking, and a beautiful Old Florida house into a destination restaurant. Chris Turner, artist and art educator, supported her artist husband Gordon in creating a studio and gallery in the Village. Since his death, she has come into her own as a key purveyor of inventive works of art. Linda Brokema’s Bits and Pieces has blossomed from a small antique and quilting business into the area’s definitive quilting resource. Preston Whaley Jr.‘s Yoga Arts provides life-changing instruction, especially for people with serious physical limitations. Jean Farmer is relatively new to the Village. Her metal art works and intriguing bottle cap art, coupled with her enthusiasm, quickly made her a welcome addition.

The dynamic story of the Village of the Arts is just beginning. Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston sums it all up this way: “Arts and culture are critical pieces of Bradenton’s DNA. The Village of the Arts is our showcase, and has been for more than a decade. Herbie Rose’s legacy lives.”

Anna Jedrziewski is a new consciousness author and consultant, as well as founder and director of Spirit Connection New York , Inc. ( Photos © 2018 Inannaworks

Ministerial Muses—11.1.2018—Tree of Life

Posted November 2nd, 2018 by anna and filed in Ministerial Muses
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Reprinted from Let the Spirit Guide You!

Voices from Inside the Mountain

This issue of Let The Spirit Guide You! is embarrassingly late. Normally I am very self-disciplined and self-motivated. For the last month, however, I couldn’t seem to make myself sit down at the computer and pull this issue together. Then a 97-year-old holocaust survivor was gunned down by an American anti-semite at a service in her synagogue in Pittsburgh. She survived Hitler, only to be slaughtered in one of the friendliest multi-cultural neighborhoods in the world.
Like the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC did before them, the Tree of Life Synagogue rose above their personal grief to affirm love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of revenge, and celebration of lives well-lived instead of fear.
My friend, Carol Sendar, was a child during World War II. She carried the memory of her parents fear that the Nazis would bomb their Staten Island home with her until the day she died. I thought of it as residual family trauma. On Sunday, I realized that she lived her life with the knowledge of just how close beneath the surface this terrible hatred was.
A year after Carol died, the family invited me to join a small group that attended the unveiling of the headstone on her grave. It was then that I learned of the Jewish custom of leaving stones on the headstone during graveside visits. It was a special moment to be included in that meaningful ritual by her mother, brother, sister-in-law, and niece and nephew. I was distraught to see that custom used as part of a photo op. At the same time, I was grateful to Rabbi Myers for not playing into the political drama by refusing a Presidential visit, instead making sure that the Presiden’s attention (and the media’s) was focused on the human beings who had been killed.
My sense is that this incident is a pivotal moment in American history, perhaps a turning point built on the many, many incidents that have come before it. I am still too caught up in my own emotions to see clearly how this will move through time and be recorded by history. It does, however, seem that something about the quiet, determined, and dignified grieving in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh might be the equivalent of Edward R. Morrow finally speaking out against Joe McCarthy’s reign of terror decades ago.
We are living in transformative times. I just heard that Generation Z is already more diverse than not. A white majority in America is soon to be a thing of the past. The rise of violence to try and turn back that tide is an admission of the futility of those efforts. They are desperate attempts to maintain the viability of opposition to a changing world.
But survival of the species is the first priority of the human race. As those of us who have been in this battle for decades begin to waiver, young people are stepping up to take over. Instead of battering at establishment infrastructure like my generation did in the 60’s, they appear to be carefully strategizing, looking for ways to use the system to accomplish what they want. I am watching the politicians who aren’t chasing haters launch appeals to the young people who are just now becoming old enough to vote. I believe that I’m seeing more and more people betting on the future instead of the past.
For those who follow numerolgy, 11 is a master number that represents enlightenment. (The duality comes into equal balance preparing to be elevated by creative merging.) 11 people died in the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday. I believe that the transition we are living through now is the movement from the dominance of 11 to the dominance of the master number 12 (the 1 overseeing the duality of 2). I believe that the violence of September 11, 2001 signaled the beginning of the manifestation of this major change. My sense is that the Tree of Life Synagogue violence signals the completion of that cycle. After 9/11/2001, the healing groups that I work with spent much time helping the victims of that incident successfully make their transition in the wake of the trauma. As I scan the 11 victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, I feel no need to reach out to help with their crossing. Their faith and the faith of their fellow congregants has already seen them safely to the other side. (I mean no disrespect by imposing my own interpretation of the afterlife onto them.) These people died with elegance and the quality of their sacrifice is being carefully guarded by their spiritual community, and by extension, the neighborhood they worshiped in.
This incident has taken me to the depths of despair, but with an open door. My generation might be leaving future generations with a mess but we have also pointed them toward the seeds of their survival. And we remain in the game as best we can.

Ministerial Muses—4.28.2018—Santa Muerte

“They shouldn’t be disrespectful to Santa Muerte,” she heard a voice say. She had come out with her morning coffee and discovered that the totem to the saint which she had created, with a metal cross, roses, acorns and skulls, had been bent sideways during the night. She knew it wasn’t the wind. The pole it was attached to was too slender to offer much resistance.

“No,” she thought, “it was the young dealers across the street.” They had a habit of vandalizing her property in small ways. (Killing a plant with transmission fluid. Breaking a window in a shed. Leaving an old tire in her driveway.) The bend in the pole looked like it had been made by somebody grabbing it and hanging off it. “Santa Muerte shouldn’t be messed with,” she heard.

There were times when she could see an image of “Grandpa”, the father to the young dealers, laughing at her. She always knew when she saw it that they were targeting her again. This time they had targeted the totem she had created to request Santa Muerte’s energy of protection for her property. (A raised middle finger to the folk saint if there ever was one.)

She shouldn’t have been surprised that they were willing to challenge the Saint of the Abyss. The drug culture had come to believe that Santa Muerte worked for them, no spirituality involved. They “worshipped” her with the same violence that they used in business. And their wrath was swift when she disappointed them. They thought themselves to be the purveyors of destruction. They considered Santa Muerte to be their handmaiden.

The truth is that energy is not negative unless human thinking perceives it that way. Death was walled off when society began embracing the fear of women. Women gave birth, so it must somehow be their fault that people die. And dying is a bad thing, right? We are only now beginning to question the validity of that line of thought. Crops must die in the fall and return their unused nutrients to the soil to prepare for a new crop in the spring. Santa Muerte of the Abyss brings rejuvenation and prosperity. But sacrifice is required. For every step forward, something must be left behind. We must dance with death in order to truly embrace life.

When a new step up in awareness is approached, there will be a loss. Something valued by the aspirant will be taken away, a favorite piece of jewelry, a favorite scarf, a treasured skill, even a desired person. The aspirant must then choose. Either keep looking to the horizon for what is about to emerge, or turn back and focus on resentment for what is gone. It sounds simple enough but it is the difference between moving forward and having to go back to the beginnning in the next life and try again.

The bent pole bothered her but she didn’t seem to be able to make herself deal with the task of straightening it. There was an energy around it that pushed back. “Let them see what they did.”

She wasn’t home when “it” happened — and it was weeks before she even found out that “it” had happened. But suddenly she was overcome with the need to straighten out the pole that Santa Muerte”s totem was attached to. There was a sense of relief when it was finally righted. She expected it to be vandalized again, but oddly it was left alone, upright and intact.

Then she approached a neighbor one afternoon for a favor and found out that one of the young dealers had been badly injured riding his motorcycle (just before she had straightened out Santa Muerte’s pole). His stepson was following behind on a scooter. He turned to see where the child was. It was on a curve, a curve that the dealers had parked full to purposely create a traffic hazard for law-abiding neighbors. The car, who probably didn’t see him coming because of the mess on the right-of-way, hit him. It happened at the end of her driveway. The driveway that she had to back out of knowing that she couldn’t see cars/trucks approaching and they couldn’t see her because of the constant mess the dealers had in the right-of-way.

The people that she talked to didn’t know whether or not the young dealer survived, but the crash pad that he and other dealers inhabited up the block was vacated by all of them the next day. Was there an inter-cartel war going on? Did one of the neighbors finally reach the end of their rope with the constant abuse and take matters into their own hands? (Someone had driven into the young dealers’ yard awhile back to run over a vicious dachshund they let run loose terrorizing the neighborhood.)

Sometimes an accident is just an accident. But her legs had gone weak under her when her neighbor showed her a picture of the young dealer lying at the end of her driveway with paramedics on either side of him. She had asked to be protected from the negativity. She was careful not to ask that it be sent back from whence it came. She had left “how” up to Santa Muerte.

Excerpted from The Fairie Encounters © 2018 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

Ministerial Muses—4.8.2018—Arts&Eats

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Arts and Eats is closing.

I’m desolate to be losing one of my favorite restaurants, but I’m so glad that Jim and Donna are going to scale back on the stressful pursuit of business advancement and begin adding personal enjoyment time to their lives (like a trip to the Galapagos in September).

Star Chef Jim Copening (941-243-1492) will be available for private engagements.

Artist/entrepreneur Donna Slawsky hasn’t let on to what she will be up to but I’m sure it will be something exciting.

Arts and Eats’ grand finale will be their special Mother’s Day spread. They are booking up quickly for their last month. If you haven’t experienced Jim’s down-to-earth gourmet creations, I suggest you make a reservation soon. The Village of the Arts will miss them, but those of us who have been regular customers will be looking forward to the next chapter.

This husband and wife team represent the entrepreneurial best of what Bradenton has attracted the past few decades. I hope the developer overlay that is sweeping over Manatee County now has left some room for motivated, high-level talent like theirs to find a foothold here going forward.

© 2018 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.

Ministerial Muses.4.11.18

Posted April 1st, 2018 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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Beyond Lady Day and Emerson’s Bar and Grill

I was lucky enough to see Nina Simone sing Strange Fruit at The Village Gate in 1970. And I listened to Billie Holiday’s recordings of it so many times I had every nuance memorized. So when I heard Melba Moore say that she didn’t try to imitate Billie Holiday for her portrayal of Billie at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, I was relieved. Little did I know …

At first, I told my friend Bernie that I didn’t want to go see another rendition of Billie’s down and out life and career. Years ago, I came to believe that most of that is just people ripping her off in death like they did in life. (The sound of Billie’s plaintiff voice, coming from an old 78 as I cried, got me through one of the worst times in my life. Her artistry is sacred to me.) But after seeing In The Heights earlier this year, I told Bernie that I thought we should give WBTT a chance. She managed to get us two seats for this afternoon’s performance, just before the play sold out.

The theatre was set up like a small cabaret. I was confused in the beginning about whether to respond to the production as a cabaret performance or a stage play. I pulled my natural enthusiasm in and followed the audience’s lead. I felt they were a little restrained but I heard a gentleman (not of color) say to his companion on the way out, “That was really something.” “Billie’s still changing lives”, I thought.

By the time Levi Barcourt (as Jimmy Powers) nudged “Billie” into Strange Fruit with his piano, there was no Billie Holiday, no Nina Simone, no Melba Moore. There was only the energy of the moment. Ms. Moore’s voice wrapped itself around my heart as the tears poured down my face. At the end of the show, what happened to Billie Holiday in her short life is very clear. It is also very clear that the only time she was free of the pain it caused her was when she was singing — and someone was listening, really listening.

Part of the power of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is probably because people of color still deal with the oppression of racism. The unique creative window this highly-talented group has opened is getting a lot of support, both from within and without, because of the tremendous opportunities that window makes possible. I have seen three productions now. While all three have dealt with racial issues (I am Caucasian) without mincing words, they have all taken audiences to a place of universal response to the core experiences of being a human being. All three times, I have recognized myself in the anger, fear, and struggle to survive it all. Kudos and gratitude to Ms. Moore for riding that wave to such an extraordinary level.

© 2018 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.

Ministerial Muses—3.11.2018

Posted March 11th, 2018 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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Celebration of Herbie Rose!

Mother Nature held the rain at bay yesterday as people gathered in The Village of The Arts to celebrate the life and memory of Herbie Rose, premiere Florida artist and visionary founder of The Village of The Arts.

Village restaurants contributed food for a spectacular fest.

Graciela Giles, Herbie’s wife, thanked everyone for coming and began the festivities by introducing Argentinian dancers to get things off to “lively” start.

Then Graciela invited people to come to the mike and share their thoughts about Herbie. The heartfelt, and often humorous, remarks reflected Herbie’s quiet and inspiring touch. Among those speaking were Mayor Wayne Poston…

…and Jo Ellen Gorris, one of the first artists to embrace Herbie’s vision for our extraordinary artists’ community.

Herbie’s legacy is just beginning to be recognized. As an artist, teacher, and community activist, there are few who can match his contribution to Bradenton and to Florida. May his memory become stronger as the years go by.

Ministerial Muses—2.25.2018

Posted February 25th, 2018 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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When I read the advance materials about the Toni Dove exhibit at The Ringling Museum, I didn’t have a clue what it was going to be. Interactive they said. I expected to wave my hand at a machine and see it projected a dozen times on the walls around me. But The Ringling’s seven-year Art of Our Time initiative, spearheaded by Steven High, has been producing spectacular, don’t-miss exhibits, so I put it on my calendar.

My friend Bernie and I arrived at the Member’s Preview yesterday in time to hear the last half of curator Matthew McLendon’s talk about the exhibit. “I encourage you to read the written material on the walls,” he said. “I’ll be wandering through the exhibit in case you have any questions.” Bernie and I decided to have a cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun before we ventured into the galleries. Once we finally moved to the exhibit, we were drawn into a world that was as mesmerizing as it was confusing. We quickly found ourselves in a small room with a light-up mat on the floor and images being projected on the wall. I waited my turn as instructed by the mat. When the mat gave me permission to move forward, I discovered that the mat has three different stations. When you stand on one of the stations, it lights up and the image on the screen changes. I was moving back and forth on the mat when Matthew McLendon popped in and told me that if I waved my arms, the image would be altered. I expected to see my motions projected back to me (mind sets are difficult things to let go of). Matthew explained that the piece didn’t reflect my motions, my motions changed the image that was being displayed. I was “manipulating” the image. “A five-year-old would understand this right away,” I thought.

Not long after that Bernie and I wandered into another darkened room just as Dove’s Spectropia was beginning. There were benches so we sat down. An hour and fifteen minutes later, we emerged from the room. We had seen the future. Spectropia is best described as Last Year in Marienbad meets Steampunk in a mother board someplace in Japan. What we saw turned out to be a recording of a live, interactive performance of the piece. Like disc jockeys manipulate recordings to create their own sound performances, Dove manipulates recorded imagery and sound to create ever changing versions of her visual works.

Slowly, it was all beginning to make a little sense. It’s a lot to take in in one day but two things stood out amidst the cutting-edge technology: there are highly creative intellectual threads running through Dove’s work, and the imagery, though strange, is exquisitely crafted.

Spectropia will be presented live by Toni Dove in the courtyard at The Ringling on March 9. She will present her other major work, Lucid Possession, in the Historic Asolo Theatre on April 13 and 14. Bernie and I already have tickets.

© 2018 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.

Ministerial Muses.2.11.18

Posted February 10th, 2018 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?, Ministerial Muses
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Changes in a changing neighborhood

Much to my relief, Jeff Wallace is back next door running our historic neighborhood auto repair business. Legally, it’s Jeff’s Auto Repair now, but it will always be Jack’s Auto Repair to those of us who have lived here for decades.

Jack Wilson founded the business back when my grandparents were living here. He still comes back from West Virginia every winter to help out next door. Jack hired Charles Godshall and sold him the business when he retired. Charlie hired Jeff and sold him the business when he retired. Jeff added the Tuesday Night Book Club, a funky lot who meet once a week and make the neighborhood a safer place after dark. Once the unlicensed junk auto businesses started rolling over the neighborhood a decade ago, making things as unsightly and unlivable as they could for pre-existing homeowners and small businesses, Jeff finally decided it was time to move to Georgia. But the ties to Old Florida aren’t easily broken and in a few years he was back. A year ago he was able to move back to the original Jack’s Auto property, next door to me. The Tuesday Night Book Club is meeting next door again!

Jeff’s renewed presence is such a gift to me. He doesn’t sell drugs or stolen auto parts (no gang members dropping by). He’s a terrific mechanic who’s always busy with legitimate work. He runs a licensed business, subject to inspection, and he pays taxes, lots of taxes. His employees don’t wear electronic ankle bracelets or drive vehicles with window-rattling stereos and expired license plates smeared with mud. He doesn’t park heavy commercial vehicles on the public right-of-way nights and weekends and leave the engines running for hours making noise and gas fumes. He doesn’t let old, noisy industrial compressors run outdoors for hours and hours. He doesn’t pour toxic waste products along my property line after dark. He doesn’t abuse his guard dogs to make them vicious and then let them run loose in the neighborhood to poop in other people’s yards so he doesn’t have to clean up after them.

But it wasn’t any the above things that prompted me to write this Musing. It was, rather, another historic event. A few months ago, Jeff hired the first woman mechanic in this “good old boy” neighborhood.

He hired Abbie right out of school and is training her. And—I admit much to my feminist surprise—so is the original “good old boy” Jack Wilson. She’s already starting to pull her own weight, with high praise from both her mentors. I happened to be there last week when she finally got a car with a difficult problem started. Jeff said, “I’d tell you ‘you’re the MAN’ except I can’t”. Abbie and I quickly agreed that we both had enough ego-strength to accept being called “the MAN” if it was meant as praise. To which Jeff replied, “Grab the other end of this while I tighten it, Abbie …”

©2018 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.


Posted January 27th, 2018 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL
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