Flashback to the West Coast

We’d been wanting to check out Asheville, NC (about one and half hours west of here) for a few years. Well, we did go to a Drive-By Truckers concert there a couple of years ago, but I don’t count driving into town in the dark, going into a concert and leaving town in the dark as actually visiting somewhere.

I was looking forward to being around the hippies and freaks, the art and culture, the diversity of opinion. I’m from such a place, after all, having lived in the East Bay, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, Eugene.

How telling it was that along with the “peace and love” artsy-fartsiness we encountered, we also got the West Coast ‘tude. As in, I don’t see you and if I did I wouldn’t give you the time of day anyway.

I instantly missed Hickory. I was immediately desperate for a stranger to look at me, smile and say hello. I went 37 years of living on the West Coast, which is devoid of that kind of hospitality, but after 4 years of being surrounded by civilized humans here in the South, I guess I am seriously addicted.

I just don’t understand how cultivating an open-minded community leads to being closed-hearted. I don’t understand how being surrounded by art and culture results in such coldness and rudeness to fellow humans.

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