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MAMA’s Club

Faye Williams. Photo borrowed from Facebook, photographer unknown (contact The Old Lady for photo credit).

MAMA’s Club officially opens in Gainesville FL on August 1!

Owner Faye Williams is a Gainesville native who spent years in Washington DC establishing Sisterspace and Books, a feminist and African-American culture oriented bookstore and community center.  After the powers-that-be in the nation’s capitol managed to evict Sisterspace and take over the building for their own purposes Faye returned to the city of her birth.

“And I found the same crap going on here as when I left so many years ago, only it’s getting worse,” stated Faye, “the racism, discrimination against women, homophobia… it’s all gotten worse.”

So she is doing something about all that.

MAMA’s Club is on the south end of Main Street in the neighborhood known as Porter’s Quarters, one of the pockets of poverty that remain neglected in this university-focused town.  In 2007, Gainesville was ranked as one of the “best places to live and play” in the United States by National Geographic Adventure[ … and yet a decade later, in 2017, Porter’s Quarters and other majority-black neighborhoods remain underserved by city government.

“MAMA’s Club is now the ONLY black-owned business on Main Street,” Faye explained, “and we have had to fight the city every step of the way just to get started.”

MAMA stands for Music, Art, Movement, ACTION. MAMA’s Club offers evenings of live performances ranging from Faye’s beloved jazz to hip-hop, punk, and all musical genres (the Club served as one of the venues for the recent Gainesville Underground Theatre Festival) as well as comedy, poetry, and other spoken-word arts.

During the day Faye plans to offer dance classes, GED classes, chess classes… “Whatever the community tells me it needs,” Faye says.

August 16 will officially kick off regular Wednesday Grab ‘Da Mike nights.  Karaoke singers and performers of all types are welcome, according to host Cheryl Floyd-Lucas, to come by and GRAB ‘DA MIKE!

You can find more about MAMA’s Club on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mamasclubgainesville/

and if you want to offer your support for this project you can do so online at https://www.youcaring.com/fayewilliams-714429

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS!

And as Faye says:  PEACE… LOVE… and JUSTICE!

RIP Snooty the Manatee

The Old Lady is deeply grieved.

Her old friend Snooty the Manatee died today.

Snooty is probably the most well-known citizen of Bradenton FL, which is in Manatee County… the only county in the USA named for these marine mammals.

Snooty was born in captivity.  When The Old Lady met him he was middle-aged, had never met another manatee, and really seemed to think he was human.

A charming creature, and one whose various stories (including his annual birthday bash) were fun to cover.

Snooty the Manatee will be missed by the entire community.

G.U.T. Fest

The Gainesville Underground Theatre Festival kicked off a weekend of performances with an eclectic collection of gutsy, edgy rising stars.

From an Abe Lincoln impersonator playing adult card games…

…to a lovely male stripper who, by the way, also eats fire…

Jadynn Starr…
… he’s HOT!

 

…to musicians of various genres…

The Old Lady was not sure what was happening here but she liked it!

…the three venues in and around the Civic Media Center exploded with young talent.

Robin Best: one woman, one guitar
Theatre Strike Force
Street Rat: punk dronebuzz
Rayya: GRL PWR
Kolezanka: sensual sounds
TIME: more than music

As the brochure explains, “GUTFEST EXISTS TO EMPOWER EMERGING ARTISTS TO MAKE RISKY, DIVERSE ART”… which made for an evening of fine entertainment.

GUTFEST continues Saturday and Sunday.

SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISTS!

IDAHO! Best. World Festival. Ever.

Boise ID is more than a Sanctuary City; official city policy is to invite, welcome, and assist refugees in building new lives in what is to them a foreign country.

The World Village Festival near the courthouse summed up the success of this policy by showcasing businesses founded by these newest American citizens.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here are 15,000 words:

Dirty Bird and the Flu – UPDATE

Longtime readers will know that The Old Lady loves her some Dirty Bird!

photo by Zach Harhausen

Tonight at Red Door Records in Valdosta GA, Dirty Bird and the Flu celebrated the release of their new album, #suavetone, a compilation of rockin’ downhome bluesy tunes that had The Old Lady patting her feet and nodding her head.

For the backstory on the album, see http://www.valdostadailytimes.com/news/local_news/dirty-bird-and-the-flu-new-album-flies-the-coop/article_0d093fa1-92f7-51a7-98e6-7627c2587f4d.html

But The Old Lady loves opening acts… especially because sometimes she can only hang late enough to hear the opening acts… and tonight’s opening act was Dirty Bird’s friend Larry Martin.

Larry’s tenor voice and Dylanesque lyrics were a pleasure to The Old Lady’s ears.

Keep an ear out, Larry Martin’s on his way!

And for more Dirty Bird and the Flu, their new album is available on the band’s Facebook page and will soon be on iTunes, Spotify and Pandora.

SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!

Could Have Danced All Night…

… at Red Door Records’ Geezer Dance Party.  Except that it ended at 9, a decent hour for geezers like The Old Lady.

Jessica Ganas, owner of Red Door, has brought a lot of new ideas to Valdosta GA.  Live music in a record store?  Single-screen cinema with food, beer, and wine?  The Geezer Dance Party?  Jessica’s ideas!

Young and old danced to the hits.

The light show for this dance party was no disco ball… rather, Jessica screened 2001: A Space Odyssey with the sound turned down and the music turned UP!

The Old Lady not only had a wonderful time dancing, she was celebrating the memory of the Purple Dragon with a new ‘do provided by Valdosta’s premier hair specialist Penny Jordan, of Jordan’s Salon.

Besides, what else is there to do on a rainy Friday evening in Valdosta GA?

IDAHO. Best. Tacos. Ever.

Tacos?  In Idaho???

“¡Sí, y son maravillosos!” exclaimed The Old Lady.

tHe FuNkY tAco, housed in the coolest airstream ever, feeds the masses every Saturday at the Boise Farmers Market (downtown Boise on Grove Street between 10th and 11th Streets).

The Old Lady chose the Chicken Thaico Taco and was presented with a plate of food so big she did not think she could eat it all and so delicious that she ate every bite anyway.

Sorry, no photo… did I just SAY she ate the whole thing???

The charming couple who make tHe FuNkY tAco happen use locally-sourced ingredients – hence the motto “From Farm to Taco” – and their own culinary creativity to offer a uniquely delicious taco experience. The menu changes constantly according to what local foods are in season.  All tacos are prepared fresh when you order, so be prepared to wait patiently. These tacos are worth the wait!

If you can’t get to the Boise Farmers Market you can also find tHe FuNkY tAco at Boise’s annual Treefort Music Fest… and you can find BOTH on Facebook!“¡Conseguir su taco!” (loosely translated: Get your taco on!)

IDAHO! Best. Yard Signs. Ever.

Boise, the capitol of Idaho, is a city that cares about all the things that make life worthwhile, and residents express that caring in their yard signs… even the ones that remind drivers to SLOW DOWN.One homeowner cared enough about this tree to memorialize the date of its planting.

But the yard sign seen in the most yards around Boise, and by far The Old Lady’s favorite, is this one:

Feed the Hungry

The Old Lady stood beside her truck in a shady parking spot, munching a leftover rib from her cooler.

Then she saw her.

She seemed shy, almost afraid, but obviously very interested in The Old Lady’s food.

Maybe she was homeless, or maybe she actually lived in a nearby house and was well fed… The Old Lady didn’t ask.

When the partially-gnawed rib bone landed in the grass near her, Miss Kitty grabbed it and ran a safe distance away before settling down to gnaw off the remaining meat.

Did that story give you a warm fuzzy feeling?

Was it because the beggar was a cat?

“I hope,” mused The Old Lady, “that you remember that warm fuzzy feeling next time you are approached by a human being who asks and that you give that person something good to eat or at least some money so that they can buy what they need. It is not up to us to judge who deserves our help; it is up to us to provide some help when we are asked.”

IDAHO! Best. Wildlife. Ever.

Marmots in the meadow

Standing up like prairie dogs.

Mule deer in the forest

Stepping over black pine logs.

 

Elk and brown-phase sandhill cranes

Share space on Burgdorf Creek.

I try not to disturb them;

I only want a peek.

Idaho wildlife gave The Old Lady MUCH more than a peek; they gave her the full monty.

Wildlife photography is difficult at best and usually impossible, so you will just have to take The Old Lady’s word that she saw pronghorn antelope, elk, gray fox, Western tanagers, and a deer giving birth beside a river (no, really!).

Deer tend to be elusive.  Can you find the deer in these photos?A cinnamon bear provided the best interaction of all.The bear actually approached the car, not in an aggressive manner but peering at The Old Lady with some curiosity.

With her curiosity apparently satisfied, she then allowed her two cubs to scramble down out of the tree where they had taken refuge.

The cubs moved so fast photography was out of the question, so The Old Lady just savored the sight of the bear family ambling off into the woods together.

IDAHO!  Best.  Adventure.  EVER!