I can tell you a story about being caught in a snowstorm. With a van full of frightened middle school kids. But there might not be time for such detours. The short of this first chapter was that I was a public school teacher in my 20s, and at this juncture was part of a school-sponsored Science trip to the Grand Canyon. From Los Angeles. 500 miles, 80 kids, a 10 hour venture just getting there. The plan was to leave the school at 7am and arrive at the camp for orientation and early evening activities - we'd explore the rim of the canyon first thing in the morning.
But on the way there, climbing to higher elevations, some of the kids in my van started going wild. I was naive and hadn't considered that many on this trip had never seen snow, let alone held it. Being a pushover, I pulled over, to let them make snowballs. Just for a few minutes. OK, maybe long enough to build walls and have an all out snow fight with the kids in the other van who joined us. It was a bad decision. The sky turned menacing and we got back on the road but the storm was upon us. A white knuckled drive, eventually tailing an 18-wheeler to the nearest town. We ended up having to call the school and the parents and explain why the kids would be staying in a hotel an hour from the camp.
We joined the other groups at the learning center in the early a.m., only to find the canyon completely fogged in. We were told it would likely dissipate by late morning. Disappointed visitors and tourists meandered about as teachers brainstormed a plan for the group. I'm not sure how it started, but some of the kids (out of boredom or necessity) started building a snowman and others joined in, adding to the pack, until the figure grew to a remarkable size and height. Over the next hour the group tripled. Random kids from visiting families joined. The snowman had become a towering Poseidon. Fantastic sculptures were erected, and a wild whimsical snowscape was on full display. At some point, there was a commotion - and a wave of noise from the crowds as the depth and splendor of the canyon came suddenly into view. A silence.
Then the craziest thing. None of kids wanted to stop building, playing, creating. They collectively looked up and (maybe) smiled into the distance - and then just went back to their frolicking and creation. I remember my frustration: Will you not pleease walk up and look at the fucking Grand Canyon, kids! We had driven hours and stayed overnight for this. But they were in their own element. Almost defiant to the incomparable expanse and wonder of it all. And every damn last one of them just getting along, quiet and cooperative, united. How the hell could I admonish such joy? I finally surrendered to the serene lunacy of it all when tourists started gathering - a large crowd now - snapping photos of the kids' "installation" piece. With the damn Grand Canyon at their back.
I joined Kenton and DeAndre, who were trying to make snow crowns.
For the mermen!, they said. Obviously.
This Friday, February 22nd, the neighborhood unites. Come build something with us. ALL are WELCOME*. Come for the majesty of it all, or to roll in the snow. Be a part of something. That matters. Our friend, Shimeko, is fighting Cancer and the neighborhood is making crowns for the queen. Shimeko has been our neighbor at Marquee Salon since before we opened. She is a force. A creative light, a single mother, a creator and collaborator, a mystic, a musician, a searcher, a scholar, a bold and bright soul. From 7-9pm, Marquee Salon will be offering donation based cuts (bang and beard trims) next door, and there will be a Silent Auction with all kinds of Gift Certificates and goodies from artists, artisans, and local restaurants and businesses. There will be a PopUp with tasty delights from MKGold Bakery and we'll be pouring special glasses and flights all evening to raise funds to help a friend in need. Come be a part of something good. Something grand.
TONIGHT: Thursday Night Flights. French Whites and Italian Reds. Flights $12 and wines by the glass until 8pm. Joy will not be admonished. Come explore and connect with us.
SATURDAY 2.23 & SUNDAY 2.24: Pinot Noir Tasting Series. Dynamic expressions from around the globe. France (Alsace and Burgundy), California (Carneros and Santa Barbara), and selections from Oregon, Italy, and Chile. Eight wines over 2 days, All PINOT NOIR Tasting Flights from 2-6 both days this weekend. Wines by the glass too as always, until 9pm.
See you soon, friends.
*If you cannot attend the event on Friday and would like to donate to a crowdfunding page for Shimeko: a link is provided here: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/help-shimeko-survive-cancer