Friday’s Weekend Column
They Are Still Pouring In

by James Glaser
September 10, 2005

Here I am, totally out of the hurricane damage area, but every day I meet more people from there. A policeman told me that traffic was up in Tallahassee now, because of the thousands of people who came here from the Gulf Coast.

I have rented a studio here, and plan to spend the winter at least. The building I am in has six studios and a large gallery space for the artists to use however they like. I picked this space over many others, because I get a private entrance, and most important, it has air-conditioning.

My entrance is at the rear of the building. On the rear wall of this building, and others you can see from back there, every wall is covered in very nicely done graffiti. I am no judge of graffiti, but every day people are back there taking photographs of the work, and several of the photographers are from the storm-damaged area.

People tell me they are in Tallahassee, because they have friends or relatives here. Some came because they just headed east on Highway 10, and this was the first place with space available to rent. I think everyone I have talked to have been back to see their home or what is left of it, and now there is a lag time before they can start to get things rebuilt.

I am toying with the idea of doing some carpenter work, as I have moved a lot of my tools down here, but my plan was to work on sculpture, create enough pieces, and put together a show. I guess I will have to put in some more thought time.

It is hot down here, at least I think it is. The locals tell me that this is great, and that it is a real blessing to have it this nice. It is in the nineties with high humidity, and water pours out of me. I keep a towel close by to wipe my face to keep the sweat out of my eyes, and change shirts several times a day. The word of the day, every day down here is hydrate.

This week Florida State had an at home football game, they were playing the University of Miami. The city was in a traffic gridlock for the weekend. 88,000 fans went to the game and everyone was in a festive mood. Now the town is really upbeat, as their team won. It was the first time they beat Miami in six years.

This city, this State Capital, is filled with churches, parks, and for me, unexpectedly many lakes. There are pine trees, rolling hills, and all kinds of flowering shrubs along the roads. Unlike Minnesota, I have seen few vegetable gardens, but then this might be the wrong time of year. I guess right now every plant would have to be watered several times a day, and even with that, the sun would bake everything. Twenty minutes in the sun, and I was getting pink.

It is a big change coming down here, but it is also an adventure. I love Northern Minnesota, but I think a change would be good. New people, new ideas, and maybe a chance to explore a different way of living are all good things, and I think I am ready for them. So, I guess my weekend columns about Life in Northern Minnesota are going to become, Life in the Southland.

But, first I will have to travel home, close up my house, and figure out all the many things I have to do to make a smooth transition. So, I guess I will have a few more columns from up north and fall is always so pretty up there, and I want to enjoy it.

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