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Street Talk

Never Underestimate The Power Of Fun


There are three types of people in this town. Yep, it is easy to put everyone in one of three categories. No, I don’t mean Democrats, Republicans, or independents. The first of the three categories are folks born here and who have never left. The second group is those that were born here and left for some time, but came back. And then there are those who were born in other places, but came here.
   I’m in that last category, just saying I’ve been in these north Mississippi hills for 17 years. And by other places I mean any place foreign to Water Valley like Grenada or Hiroshima. I think those born in Oxford who live in the Valley don’t fit neatly in any of those three groups, they’re special. We like them anyway.

And it is a good thing we have all three here because that’s a healthy sign. Plenty of places have those born and never left. I don’t mean anything negative about this group. Most of my family are in it. They ain’t leaving New Orleans, as my brother Charlie said, “What would we eat?” Folks in this group are not trapped, they could vote with their feet and leave if they felt the need. 

That second group is a curious one, because they came back for a reason. It is not like we’re the opposite of New York, as in “if you can’t make it here, you can’t make it anywhere”… No folks who left and came back did just fine in those other places. But when they left, they left thinking they came from a good place. If you thought otherwise about your hometown, you’d never go back. Lots of places have that reputation; folks leave with a bad taste in their mouth, never going back. 

Then there is category three. The lost ones. How they ended up in the Valley is always a convoluted story. Usually in the telling of the tale there is a wrong turn made or a mistake of some sort or a just ran out of gas situation.  It was either the Valley or someplace else on the Witness Protection Program list……I’m kidding. Everybody in cat 3 picked this place, usually for the best of reasons. And there are good reasons. 

One of those reasons is the Art Crawl. It is fun and never underestimate the power of fun. Not that the crawl is the “be all” of events, but it is the event that is significant signifier. Signifying the creative life in the center of town. The Valley is a good place to live. That’s the reason cat ones stay, cat twos came back, and cat threes have come and stayed on.   It is the one downtown event where all three Valley types are represented well, as in artists and crawl stops.   

So this Saturday get ready to crawl. It is not a long event, just 5:30 to 9 pm. Pick up your fan maps at Yalo-Run Studio or Bozarts Galley. See you downtown.

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