Blog post #2: Oct. 3 – Oct. 17:: LA to Chicago
Well, a lot has happened since last I wrote!
The LA show was fun, at a cool venue called Lot 1. With good music all around that night.
The downside was a near-miss of an auto accident, with a semi truck careening directly into the cement barrier between its eastbound lane and our westbound lane, sending my life flashing before my eyes and chunks of concrete flying into the car. Miraculously, noone was hurt. The car was, though, and has so far cost more than $800 to fix with more to come. Oh well, we’re OK and the car is driveable.
From there, on to San Francisco where we met with Mira Luna and Rick Simon from Bay Area Community Exchange, Michele Magar whom we met at the TimeBanks USA conference back in August, Sheryl Walton of Sobrante Park Timebank and TimeBanks USA, and Natalie, a friend of Michele’s with great relevant experience in counseling and in running a program to improve acces to technology for seniors. We learned about the many exciting partnerships and projects being developed by BACE and discussed ways the other participants could help in starting new initiatives and outreach efforts to increase the robustness of resources, exchanges, and the ability of timebanking to improve upon service accessibility and fairness for diverse populations, especially those with physical or mental health challenges.
October 7 I met with Sheryl Walton to discuss how we can best work to develop training capacity among timebankers in each region. Sheryl’s a great trainer and has been taking the lead on TimeBanks USA training for several years, drawing upon her excellent experience with Oakland’s Sobrante Park TimeBank. She’ll be helping to train trainers and hone the curriculum. Exciting work. We met at BrainWash, a laundromat, cafe, bar and music venue in San Francisco – where I had a show that night. The show was a lot of fun even though the sound was a challenge. They give free laundry to performers, which was a major plus in the middle of such a long tour!
Left after the show to get closer to the redwoods so we’d be able to spend most of the day there on the way up to Seattle.
And of course the redwoods are spectacular!
On to Seattle: October 9 we pulled into Seattle to Cindy Jayne’s house, where we talked about ways to enhance the trainings provided by TimeBanks USA, and how we might proceed in training trainers. I had a sparsely attended show that night with GREAT sound in a lovely old fashioned cabaret-type space, with a good opening act Jeremy Serwer. I really enjoyed it even though there were only a handful of people there for the show. They were all really cool, attentive during the show and fun to hang out with after.
The morning of October 10 Cindy Jayne hosted a timebank organizers’ meeting at her house over breakfast. We discussed ways the Eastside Seattle TimeBank might approach expanding into new geographic areas and identifying and implementing more community projects through timebanking. They have a really solid leadership group there and there are lots of possibilities.
Then we drove to Portland OR where we enjoyed a nice meal with a friend before my Electrogals performance.
Electrogals was a great new experience for me. I integrated a timebanking/new economic thinking workshop with a music performance – the title was “Dragging the Economy into the 21st Century: It’s Women’s Work!”. I’ll post the video when I have a chance so you can see more what it was like. But I really enjoyed it. Since the theme of the festival was ‘gals gone wired’ I did a timebanking simulation game with wire. People had the assignment to make a figure that represents their dream for their community, however they want to define it. Later in the workshop we turned those into a lovely little mobile that the festival will keep. As I talked I played songs that represented the ideas I was presenting. I totally forgot to play Oh No, though, which is totally related to the youth court/community justice parts of my talk.
Some GREAT old friends came to the show and out afterward, too, including a college friend I haven’t seen since 1992. Awesome. One of the very best parts of a tour like this…
Had to leave right after the short hang-out with Portland friends after the show in order to get to Boise by 2pm the next day. Boise’s 7 ½ hours from Portland and we also lose an hour in the time zone change. But the reason we needed to get there was great – Lacey, Courtney and Gina of TimeBank Idaho were hosting a meeting with human service professionals from around the state, including Richard Armstrong, Director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. They are exploring how timebanking and co-production can help improve the effectiveness of public services.
Next day we drove to Park City Utah where I appeared on Mountain Views, a show on Park City TV. This was cool. I played 3 songs and also talked about the tour, timebanking, economic self-sufficiency on live television. A good way to reach a new audience.
Afterward we drove to Dinosaur Monument National Park and camped on the soft sandy beach of the Green River, which sounds idyllic until you realize that it was in the ’30s and we woke up with ice on our sleeping bags. But what a beautiful place to wake up! And hike around before driving on to Boulder…
Where I played a show at the Laughing Goat which was a really good time, just as it was on my last tour.
Then on to Iowa City (with a stop in Des Moines to see my friend Becky which was great) for the best show of the tour, largely because I played with fabulous Iowa City bands – especially Utopia Park, my new favorite.
After that, Chicago for a day of seeing great friends and fixing the car for a lot of money. Then playing at Prop Theater with Stroller and Paleo, another good show. More audience members would have been nice but those who were there were wonderful, including more good friends who I don’t see enough.
Today we got up early and drove to Toledo Ohio where Leander and I both presented to a group of very engaged and interested Toledoans, from lots of organizations and communities that can really engage with timebanking. There were City Council members, County officials, Juvenile Justice professionals, United Way staff, a Green Party candidate, urban gardeners and project leaders, faculty and students from University of Toledo, and more. We talked about lots of complementary currency models and how they might be applied there and invited people to attend the upcoming trainings in Detroit. We expect to see at least a few there. And got the question I like best, “how do we start?” The meeting was followed by a lovely reception at a restaurant/bar called Mano’s, which was fun. After all that we drove 2 hours to my parents’ house in Akron, Ohio where I’m writing this now and am about to hit the sack. It’s been a long few days! Nice to be home with my wonderful parents.