The community convened to ‘vision’ (used as a verb in this case) what should be done with our new gift of six waterfront acres and a few derelict buildings. We could have envisioned but we chose instead to simply vision. And the English language changes once again…going forward.
The community association advertised the event and invited everyone and, to add some extra appeal, offered a free lunch. That always works to attract. And so approximately 40 people showed up. Now, forty people does not sound like a lot but don’t forget our island population is only sixty and some of them are currently still gadding about in hell-holes like Arizona or Puerto Vallarta. Forty is a damn good turnout for March 2, in the cold, coming by water and participating in a community event that went on for FIVE (count ’em!!) hours!!!
But we prevailed. We talked. We broke into groups. We reported back. We made notes. We had a great lunch (made by one woman, all alone, who also did most of the clean-up as well). And we came away with at least half-a-vision. It is only half because this exercise was NOT supposed to get bogged down in any of the details but rather to have a ‘vision’ and call it a day. The actual future work will change the vision somewhat and everyone knows that.
I am NOT the best attendee of these sorts of things (no patience) but I stayed. And it was NOT hell. In fact, it was made very pleasant by the simple fact that I had not seen many of my neighbours for the most part of a year – sometimes more. It was nice to see them. Having said that, a few observations should be shared: everyone was older. Everyone was moving slower. Most of us were a bit heavier (but that seems to come with winter as well as age. One old guy said, ‘we hibernate starting December 1‘). And the bulk (70%) were 60+ .
A few were missing….
One old guy showed up about five minutes before lunch, ate his share and left before the afternoon session began. I howled at that (silently). Classic old guy stuff. Even I left a few minutes early, headed for another old guy gathering, had a beer and followed Sal home when I saw her finally leave half an hour later.
Everyone was pretty much onside with the basic OLD vision that we have had for the last decade. Everyone wants a little village along the lines of what I wrote about a few blogs back. Of course, there was more input and more issues but, generally speaking, the little village is seen as the go-to plan. That and a food-function-depot centre-thingy (details to be worked out).
Money was NOT a discussed issue. We were there to dream. We will work toward that dream and if money is needed, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Mind you, the word ‘grant’ filled in whenever there was a gap in the planning process…..so, we’ll see.
All in all it was a productive, positive, congenial day that might have gone on a bit too long but that is coming from an impatient guy. I am sure many thought it was too fast. The community is as united on the vision as we can be and, so far, it is in the realm of do-able. That’s a good thing.