There's a couple elements to this endeavor that I need to explain. One, we're doing this project in Dickson (a place our family lived for years before moving to Nashville.) It's about an hour or so west of where most of us now live. And secondly, the skills to do this project were learned by my being a former "DreamWorks" employee. Apart from life as an artist in general, one of my former jobs was working on the film "the Last Castle" with Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, and the late-great James Gandolfini. We built the movie sets. It was a very memorable and instructive experience. I learned some really cool stuff (like how to transform a vacant store space into... well, you get the idea.) Day two of the project was yesterday.
Now Dickson ... that has its own backdrop to this. We moved there when transporting our lives from Michigan to Tennessee many, many years ago. Sally and my intentions were to move to Nashville (for multiple reasons) and thought Dickson, and hour or so west... would be the same thing. Um ... no, it wasn't. Dickson's fine and all, but it's not Nashville.
My memory of it is certainly tainted by the fact that it was a very difficult time ... trying to make it work and all. To sum it up, it's not a place full of fond memories for me personally. Enough said.
Okay, yesterday ... Day two. I drove west alone to do this thing and to make some progress. And the day was set by the first three people I encountered. Not what I expected.
First, after waiting in the McDonald's drive thru for what seemed like forever, I approached the pay window to find this short (barely tall enough to see her) elderly woman with a gray pony-tail who said that'll be six dollars and something. While handing her my card she sized me up for a second, and said "nice hairdo." I grinned, did a quick look in the mirror and responded, "I don't know about the "do ... it's my hair." She instantly said, "it says you don't care what people think, you are your own man, and do things your own way." I smiled, hesitated and answered "well, actually that's pretty true." She retorted "you march to a different drummer... we need people like that." I was somewhat stunned, chuckled and replied "lady I like you." She said "I like you too." I drove off grinning.
Barely over that encounter, I parked my car at Lowes and stepped through the main entrance only to be greeted by this large (nearing seven foot tall,) wide-eyed, lanky guy with his arms stretched wide (his reach seemed nearly as wide as the entrance itself.) He began to sing to me.. "Lah, Lah ... Good mooorning! It's a wonderful daay.." I smiled large to match the event, nodded and then circled my way around him into the store. My earlier McDonald's grin was now fortified as I continued to pick up what was needed for the day. What a cast of characters.
When I finally arrived at the store front, I proceeded to unload my Forerunner. As I passed from building to vehicle carrying supplies and tools, a car pulled up to the tobacco shop immediately next door. A young girl got out and stepped to the walkway. I smiled and nodded as she passed. When she did I noticed the other girl who was driving had long, bright red hair like one of the employees at the Kroger blocks from my home in Nashville. After a double-take, it was confirmed. It was her ... an hour from the scene I normally associate her with. Small world. Nice hairdo.
In the end, the great thing about life is the people, not the place. The uniqueness of every individual is something to treasure. And whatever difficult times you may have to struggle through, someday ... it'll only be a memory.
It was a nice start of a day. (more to come about the secret set we're building.) Peace.