As usual I've worked my you know what off promoting a community arts center for this little spot on the Michigan map. I've talked to anyone and everyone who will give me the time; attended a few meetings to share my plans for 5-10 minutes; received two sizable donations of supplies (wonderful, wonderful & thank you all around); and created a Facebook page where people post pictures of their work, encourage one another and share ideas.
Remember, I'm cash strapped and have no rich uncle nor lottery winnings. Add a lousy economy and the usual problems dragging people down and you know what you get - apathy.
But, I have determination, attitude, and talent. Right now those qualities count for a whole lot of people waiting to see me fail. As one wizard put it: "your idea will float down the river with the rest of the garbage." Thank you jackass, you've inspired a collage.
This Saturday I scheduled a FREE collage class at the local library for ages 8-14. Advertised that they either call or come into the library to register. One person called and asked why someone would do such a thing. One friend is bringing two grandkids - from a community 18 miles away. One friend is sending her daughter whose artistic talent knocks me over. Her home is four blocks from the library.
So I've prepared for 10 students and may have three. Maybe more and maybe less.
I've attracted enough attention and talk that a couple messages have been left on two fliers. Not nice ones.
I've been invited to join the library board from which four representatives have resigned in two months. The eight member library board has never had full membership. NEVER.
Yet anywhere one goes you hear the same refraim: "There's nothing to do here for the kids."
"There's no money." (while they hoist two 12 packs of Budweiser into their truck bed and stash a fifth of whiskey beneath the seat - I kid you not.
A local pastor offered space in the church annex to hold classes. I met him and toured the facility. It's fabulous. The youth group band has produced its own CD and financed its a trip to a competition/workshop out of state. Their 4 p.m. Sunday youth service attracts 60-70 kids. The church has 12 members!!!!!!!! So the impossible can happen here.
Is there a need for activity and role models in these twin communities? You bet. Do any of the locals exercise their gray matter and participate, plan or donate to any cause to change attitudes here? RARELY ever.
The pastor pointed out three projects/groups in the area: the Lions Club (all members from outside the villages except two people); VFW (ONE person put one brick in a Veterans Memorial while people from OUTSIDE the area paid for it, built it and commemorated it!). The church held a FREE spaghetti supper. NO ONE came!!!
I'd like to kick some ass and bash in a few heads.
But, I'll calm down, put a smile on my face and continue with my campaign. If half a dozen people (irregardless of age) join me in this journey then it will be worth it. And the rest of them? They're the losers.