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Street Talk

Art Fills The Valley On A Friday Night

By Mickey Howley

Josh Gladden can usually figure situations and the way things work and spatial relationships and interactions pretty quick. He is a physics professor at Ole Miss, so he knows the way the world works from solar system down to atomic size. Friday night, despite frequent experiences coming to Water Valley, he had to park two blocks away from downtown. Furthest he said he had to ever walk from a parking spot ever. At least here.  
Water Valley insiders Bonnie and Robbie Parsons got a little closer to Main Street, but still left their vehicle on Railroad Street. Parking on Main was full. And that was just 30 minutes into the evening. The real crowd had not yet arrived. But no one was complaining about parking — actually if they did it would be music for my ears. Who ever would have thought the place would fill up for art. But it did and it has and it will in the future. Because slowly, surely, steadily and now certainly, Water Valley has an art vibe. And folks in the region know it.
Ron Shapiro, the King of Oxford, was even in the Valley, clearly having a good time checking out the art, and even threatened to forsake a night in his Oxonian castle and stay over night at the Crawdad Hole. But having the best time of all —most importantly, too, were the many Vallians who were enjoying their town on a Friday night. So if you were out last Friday night, thanks for coming and supporting the arts.
Reiko Yamada has not lived in Water Valley long, but in that short time she holds the current record for shortest notice given to a speaker at the WV Rotary Club. And in her main line of work, she is a professional music composer; she has already performed a musical soundscape of WV sounds.         This coming Friday at Bozarts at 7 p.m., Reiko will be premiering a piece she composed for “broken accordions.” Okay, these squeeze boxes are not totally kaput, just missing a few notes here and there. There’re old, some over 100. Almost as old as the accordions and still full of hot air is Snooky Williams. Snooky is the collector of the accordions and he is the one who got these instruments into Reiko’s hands. Mark Yacovone is performing as well. Also part of the evening agenda are works by Carolyn Drake, Andres Gonzalez, John Davis, and even Snooky.
It will be a different event. Free, too.
Rafael Alvarez is a writer with a past. He was one of the scriptwriters on HBO’s award winning series“ The Wire.” And he was a long time reporter working for the city desk of the Baltimore Sun newspaper. Not an easy gig and one where you see the spectrum of humanity. He writes about the gritty and good things in life. And about folks who don’t make the paper or get in it for the wrong reasons. This Sunday at 4 p.m. he is in the Valley at Bozarts for a reading from his new book of short stories, “Tales from the Holy Land.”
Stop in and listen–promises to be very entertaining.

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