Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Indie's 5th year anniversary yard bash and birthday party

We, THE INDIE—and the Traveling Bonfires—observe our fifth birthday in Asheville, North Carolina this month. The celebration—just a quiet, contained but fun gathering—will be on Saturday, July 21, starting around 4:30pm. The place – 61 Dunwell Avenue in West Asheville.
Few years ago, when I first found my then 102-pounder “economy” size body clattering in downtown Asheville, there were still a Beanstreets Thursday open mic, more brave buskers and colorful spontaneous promenaders down Battery Park and Haywood Street, Vincent’s Ear was still packing PBRs like crazy, and Asheville Global Report was both the bible and red book of the disenchanted and displaced, hopeful and hopeless of the Appalachians. Over here in my West Asheville `hood, one Jonah was galloping his space-funk horsetunes while tending his Relaxed Reader bookshop, and thank God, the other Jonah hasn’t sold Fortune Bldg to Wachovia yet.
Hope springs eternal...
But then, most of those beautiful madnesses and hardheaded sublimities that I sort of frenetically aligned my wavelengths with – five, six, seven years ago — are gone now.
But The Indie is still alive.

MIKE HOPPING is still here. I remember that one Starbucks story that he wrote that had to wait six months or so before I could print it—via a resurrected Indie in the winter of 2004—as I battled my then-deadly infatuation over Asheville The Muse. Ah, Mike is still the imposing, respected Word on page one... Matt Mulder is still here. When we drove to New York City one Thanksgiving weekend to try to reconnect the spirit of the madness to where it came from, his firstborn was just few months old. Now, he and Marybeth already have two sons...
Gaither Stewart is still “here” – although he is many many miles away in Rome, Italy. Like a concerned father, he fondled and bruised my ego many times over. Many times over we just went on working together—exchanging emails from across continents from 3am to 3pm, roundabout. Now, we (Mike and me) are publishing and distributing his new novel, “Asheville.” And Gaither is still emailing me stories and articles with almost the same speed as a FedEx care package on calamity time.
The community is still here.
Emoke B’Racz, by way of Malaprop’s generous heart, still saves that little spot for that little Indie rack in there. Rosetta and her Kitchen’s soiled white push-up tent is still the “shade” of the “Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park.” Rena Wright is still diligently collecting tips at the shows and networking us. Gerry Mahon of Mellow Mushroom is still signing pizza gifts checks to Marta The Nicer. Chris Malz, Mark Anderson and our Hippie Shitzu homeboys are still always ready-to-go, rock `n roll, sober or smashed, lovestruck or heartbroken—friendship hath no boundaries. Dale and Loretta Hoffman’s spirit and grace still adorn our humble abode. Mark Maloy, my Pritchard Park homey, is still dancing the Bonfires, untiring. Drum DeCirce and Peace Jones are still gigging as ever, one booking at a time.
Ah, Marta The Nicer Osborne! She is still making phone calls... up to this very minute.
Katie Kasben, Stephanie Morgan, Bruce Elmore, Ann Dunn, Cicada Brokaw, Kapila Ushana, Phuncle Sam, Vincenzo’s, Jenny Greer, downtown cops, Lady Passion and Diuvei, Kelly Lee Phipps, Virato, Wally Bowen and MAIN, Kevin Innes, Benjammin, Elizabeth Mason, Jenni Roberts, Carrie Gerstmann, Glenis Redmond, Debra Wells of Instant Karma, Clare Hanrahan, Laura Hope-Gill, Laura Blackley, Paul Clarke, Justin Gostony, Janis Rose, Missy Sumner, Chris “Kri” Johnson & Touch Samadhi, Sarah Benoit, Leyna, Alli Marshall/Mountain Xpress, Kerouac or the Radio, Jim Brown, Robert Kelley, Jim Cox, Walter Dinteman, Linda Brown, Bob Brown and Mollie, Charlie Thomas, Dennis Ray/Rapid River, Margaret Osondu/Sally Mackert, Peace Coalition, Linda Knopp, Alsace Young-Walentine, Tim Pluta/Veterans for Peace, Westville Pub, Dawn Humphrey, West End Bakery, Burgermeister, all the staff of Malaprop’s, all the staff of Kinko’s, Bill Taylor of Iwanna. The list is endless. Feels like Asheville has become my childhood barrio.
Ninety-five or ninety-nine percent of what’s in and around The Indie and the Traveling Bonfires’ abode – body, heart and spirit – are freely, generously given by the community. The Indie is still here because you are still here -- I am still here because you are here.
THANK YOU. Maraming salamat. Muchas gracias. Toksa ake.

SO THIS SATURDAY, July 21, we’d like to invite one and all to come over to our house – 61 Dunwell Avenue in West Asheville (828 505 0476)— and share some cool, peaceful vibes, plus cool Filipino food, bring some food and drinks, as well. Let’s observe and celebrate how stubborn these stubborn dreams could be sometimes...
We are going to place a small mic and amps/speakers somewhere in the yard or living room—read a poem or rant about whatever (as long as it’s funny), sing a song, bring your friends and partners, wives and husbands and relations and kids. (Yes, you can bring pets, as well). We also invited our neighbors – and we are having yard sale, too.
By the way, it’s also my 107th birthday. (No rsvp, just come on over).


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