I love it on the road. The mind races as the scenery swooshes by. Ideas coagulate.
If you read my last blog, you’ll already know that my Dad came to visit in Goldfield. After here for a couple days, my Dad left Zak and Alison behind and we went on the road to visit some national parks.
It’s good to be back home. It was good visiting, Death Valley and the Sequoias were inspiring, but now that Dad’s gone, it’s nice to get back to life here in Goldfield.
I have to tell you, while putting on some hefty miles, father/son bonding, on my mind was fishbowling. Touring highways and lonely routes, I got hours to explain my ideas to my Dad and I relayed how successful I feel my performance art was. One part of me feels that that chapter of life is over, but another part of me -especially while on the road -feels that fishbowling is not a done deal for me. It’s a more interesting thing, for most, than paintings. Fishbowling is about intimate exposure.
Do you know what it is, fishbowling? In simple terms, I’ll say this: fishbowling is living in public spaces and blogging about it. That’s what my business cards said. I would broadcast interviews with artists and creatives in return for meals. I saw alot. I lived simply.
Now that I’m established here in my little town, I still think about the road. It means so much to me to be traveling like a rolling stone, day dreaming about those like me that came before me. It’s good to be out there in the world, forgetting who you are and taking it all in.
Since moving to Goldfield, I’ve become the President of the Chamber of Commerce, but since then, just a month ago, I resigned from that position. It was for the best and I truly mean that: it was for the best. It was a moment of enlightenment for me to realize that I needed to extract myself from that spot in this microcosm of the world. Without the title, I wish to act on the consensus of this town.
I don’t want to embarrass anyone or make this sound negative, because it all worked out the way it was supposed to -I hate when people say that, as if the future has all been recorded before we ever lived it. I’m not a fatalist and I don’t believe in ‘destiny’ as a prescribed thing where we’re just mouthing the words or marching rote paces prescribed us. I feel our daily decisions make a difference.
Anyhoo, I wanted to recount some points from a conversation with the hotel clerk, Brianna, who I had a late night conversation with in Oakdale, CA, population of 15,000, at the base of the Sequoia National Forest. She had asked me what I was writing about there as I sat in the lobby with my note pad. I was writing about ideas of how to involve our locals to help Goldfield’s commerce.
She relayed to me that, as a “chubby girl”, she was fond of the idea that her town could get a Wal Mart, as the store’s selection of plus sizes is amenable to people of her size. We had been talking small towns and my personal experience with the Chamber of Commerce.
Oakdale is only a town and had recently voted down a bill to make it a city, I was told. A politician, new to town and unpopular, had been pressing the matter.
My little town of 200 deals with related issues. Here, we continually question whether we’d like to open ourselves up for higher levels of commerce or not. We like our streets with no names. We like the quiet.
In the end, I shared the book I had with me about my town of Goldfield by Sally Zanjanni. Brianna was interested to know about how our fires were put out in the 20’s with beer. I explained that only liquor is flammable but not beer. She was impressed with our historic population of 20,000. She understood our unique position as an all-but-dried-up little town.
Wal Mart, it seems, is a very divisive subject that can separate people into groups. The moment I realized I needed to resigned as President, I was listening to a TV program about the store’s insidious practices in America and beyond. In Reno, I had shopped there out of necessity. People like me created Wal Mart. I am the problem.
Goldfield is different and at that moment of clarity, I had decided that if Goldfield saw me as a Wal Mart type, I should not stand as a leader. I would agree with their impression and step down. Only time will acquaint my townsfolk with the real Chad Sorg.
So I told Brianna to form a chubby coalition and talk to the small businesses in town that supply apparel. “Show them the buying power of local chubby girls; Wal Mart is a rapist,” I suggested.
Brianna believes, also, that if the town becomes a city, they’ll get a 24 hour hospital of their own instead of having to travel 60 miles to Modesto for medical emergencies.
I don’t know the answers to these questions. I appreciated our momentary connection, though.