What A Concept

My instructor in the study of sloth, Buster the Wonder Dog and friend.
During the last six months or so I have focused my energies... or lack thereof, on the study of a comparatively new subject. The study has been detailed and ongoing. Study methods have been varied and thorough. I have been dedicated to the subject but am not sure if my examination is complete or ongoing. I am, however, ready to make my report.
Sloth is good... 
to a point. 
Last August I went from 95 mph to zip rather quickly. My schedule went from full to open and my social calendar suddenly cleared. Let's just say that things in my employment world changed rapidly in that all of the sudden I was free - or at least very inexpensive. 
Now, free is a wonderful thing. Think of what the slaves thought when Mr. Lincoln said they were free. Think of being 13 years old and school just got out for the summer. Think of signing divorce papers. OK that last one was a bad example but you get the point. The only question is... Now What?
That is always the rub with freedom. Once you've got it, what are you going to do with it. My first inclination was to grab a trusty 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon and head to the boat to begin my study. About 11:30 pm that evening I found myself turning circles out in the middle of Watauga Lake, helm over and watching the stars spin around the mast, thinking... "What in the hell do I do now?"
Study Time
Continued Study
Freedom was a lot easier when I was 20, I was 10 foot tall and bulletproof. It was the early 70s, I had just moved from Wisconsin to California by way of Colorado; Montreal, Canada; Fargo, ND; and no, I do not remember much. At 30 I was still strong, fighting forest fires out of helicopters in Montana and was one of the local bull goose loonies (thank you Ken Kesey). Even at 42 I was still brave enough to to fall in love again, leave Montana (not an easy thing) and start over, yet again, in Virginia. 
At 50 I began to notice that freedom was a bit scarier and now at 60 it has become down right interesting. Somehow I do not think I am alone in this one.
So... I have created this thing called Crooked Road Enterprises, a still mostly fictitious company that reflects my interests and experience. Friends have been asking, "So, what are you going to do with it?" The short answer is "Damned if I know." 
But, here is what I have been thinking:
  • Making money is more fun than not making money. But, for the time I have left in the making money category, I would like to do so in ways that please me and that I have some control over. If not, then I aspire to becoming a Wal-Mart Greeter.
  • I believe that a dialog between Appalachian people, natives and non-natives who love these mountains, the culture, history and music, is needed. I also believe that out of that discussion can come ideas that can help us promote ourselves in ways that resonate with the people who want experiences that are more connected to what is really happening in "Appalachia."
  • While I support, and have worked for, a number of government-funded projects aimed at developing the creative economy, I believe that our ultimate success depends on us.
  • It is time that the direction of our development be dictated by the people of the region, many of whom do not have the connections that get them invited to meetings run by the government folks. While government funded projects such as Heartwood, The Crooked Road, Round the Mountain and the many others in the states surrounding Virginia are excellent and have born fruit. I sometimes think that they are becoming Richmond's (insert state capital of choice) view of who and what we are. They have also consumed millions of dollars that might have been better used out in the communities those projects are supposed to serve. When the money stops, and it always does eventually, what will we do to sustain forward momentum? I must stop this thread before I start to rant.
  • My goals are pretty simple at this point of my working career. I would like to ease into retirement instead of crashing into it in flames. Hopefully there are some ways to make some money using the pseudo-wisdom I have acquired. As I said earlier, I am not sure how yet, but I'm thinkin' real hard on it... while sitting at the helm Changes In Attitudes at the lake. 
  • Please contact me if you need my sage advice or BS for your spring planting projects. Let me know if there is anyone else out there who thinks we are capable of determining our own economic destiny and is a bit frustrated by the current "Get the next grant, spend it out and start over," approach. 
  • I think that we can do better than that.
  • If not, than I will continue to research Sloth and being a general pain in the butt. I am becoming quite good at both.
A face that can still stop dog fights. Continued research on Jan. 31. Maybe sloth ain't so bad after all. Just gotta get someone to pay me to do it. Please note the antenna sticking out of my head (that's what Nancy thinks it looks like). It is to pick up all those vibes of creativity beaming into what is left of my brain. Actually it is the back stay on the boat.
Before concluding this little opus (wasn't he a flightless bird?) I also would like to show off the work of a great friend and graphic artist, Pam Randolph. Pam has been kind enough to design cards and a logo for C.R.E. She is damn good at what she does, is a fine musician and is also someone who has put up with my crazy ideas and has a few of her own. 
Let me know if you would like to contact Pam. Please do not hold her association with me against her.

Here are the two sides of the business card Pam designed. She works for Print Distribution, an excellent company that does all kinds of promotion work from business cards to extensive displays. They also distribute brochures all over the region. Good outfit.
This is the general logo Pam designed.
Here is a secondary version that I will be using in some applications.
Who knows what I will write about next time. We shall see...


02/01/2012 13:06

Whatever you may choose to say is fine with me but, for gawd's sake, please start drinking some sort of beer better than Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!

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You still got 20 good years before you're Wal-Mart greeter material, sir! haha

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    A Twisted Trail,
    A Blog
    By H W. "Bill" Smith

    Writing is something that I have always loved doing and anyone  who knows me knows that I have more than my share of opinions on a variety of subjects. 
    My goal is to write about the history, music, culture, life and events that shape the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains where I live... and anything else that tickles my fancy. Join me on this ride down "A Twisted Trail."


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