Sometimes, living in a hometown your whole life can become routine and boring. Luckily, my imagination can turn any street, block, or event into a journey into another world. So join me on an adventure in my hometown.
Lately, I have been a bit busy and distracted, so many interesting things are being manifested in our town, and with this, we have the inevitable struggles of a community as well. Our food culture is beginning to change, becoming more diverse, reflecting a community that is much more than white or black, even those words are simply colors in a crayon box. We are layered. We have spices in our community that reflect the growing miasma of people who call Ardmore home. I look at Main St. and yearn for when a jazz club fills the air just across the tracks, in that burnt orange building that at one time held the hope of "renaissance". Outside in the back courtyard, picnic tables and comfortable chairs allow patrons to sit and watch the trains pass by. Families of all colors walk back and forth enjoying the length of Main St., wiping out that dividing line that tracks in southern towns so often illustrate. Maybe the long debated name of our downtown might be "Caddo Square", a destination of the I-35 crowds who simply want to step off the road. Maybe a food truck park will line up on weekends, while live plays and music, stand up improv entertains. Maybe the food trucks will have home made food, not the standard hot dog and funnel cake. Maybe our youth will see the workings of a town they can see themselves living in as adults, because the town keeps them interested.
Maybe our schools will decide if we have artists who like to spray paint, we should create a tag team and let them create murals on walls, thereby honoring a skill while giving it an outlet. Maybe this will reduce the tacky tags of the immature but power hungry. I am a fan of graffitti art when it is good; when it is careless and ill thought, simply lines of an unstimulated mind set, well, they just look poorly thought out. And I see more of that popping up of late.
I chose the arm above because it is such an interesting and arresting form of art and expression, imagine art classes of all ages decorating body parts for a garden series around town. Talk about getting your attention..and imagine the giggles of delight as kids' minds ran wild while decorating their own arms to plant among the roses.
It's time the box of the familiar was knocked about a bit, we need more things for our youth, THEY ARE BORED. We need more things to keep them occupied that are not sports based, not all kids play sports. Not all kids camp. We need culinary programs for some, skateboard and rollerblading camp for others, metal working for some, horse camp for those without money to buy a lesson, free dance in the summer so all children get a chance to dance if they like. There is a public service story of a ballerina who started her journey to a formal dance company from classes offered free at her neighborhood YMCA. A gaming club on Main St., lined with computers and organizing teams for national competitions, our aspergers/autism community would appreciate this. So would many others.
New adventures in Ardmore will include expanding our ideas of development in a community. Economics are important, but to attract and keep talent, our community must make sure we are not simply staying inside the box.