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SCAD’s Sidewalk Arts Festival 2010—A Messy, Rainy, and Fantastic Day
What changed my mind? A lot of things. I left Savannah after graduation and did, as I call it, "my time" in the work force. I had a 9-5 desk job. I commuted for two hours every day. I worked late and didn't get paid overtime. I was, if you weren't sure, bored to tears. So, last July, I quit. I took what was in my savings account and, after doing a tiny bit of travel, moved back to one of my favorite places on earth--the hostess city herself, Savannah.
I've always had a permanent address in the south, but I've done my fair share of traveling. I've been to New York. I've spent time there writing, soaking up the creative vibe. I loved London it for it's subway system and the way the man at the deli down the street stared when I said 'i' words, like tired, which to his ears, sounded "tahrd." I practiced my French in Paris, but my Southern drawl butchered my words to the point that the locals just replied to me in English to save their ears the pain. But, through all my traveling, I always called Savannah home... I just didn't realize it until I left.
Coming back, I've made a vow to do the things I didn't do before. I don't work full time, but instead have two part time jobs I truly love. I write, I teach kids and I explore Savannah. There have been many firsts: Mrs. Wilkes, the north beach at Tybee, and now, Sidewalk Arts. It was messy. My thighs hurt. I got the bright idea to blend the chalk in with my hand and let me tell you, that's not in any way actually a bright idea. But it was fun. It was tedious. And like I mentioned before? It rained. I won't lie, around 10:30 Saturday morning I was in no mood to smear chalk on a wet piece of sidewalk. My friends and I sat at the Forsyth Park Cafe and stared at our designated squares for an half hour, thinking about all the reasons we shouldn't start drawing. Boredom, and the fact that we were already outside and messy from the rain anyway, prompted us to start and I'm so glad we did.
We were working next to my friend and neighbor from freshman year... well, we were working next to her daughter, Jillian, who is three. Jillian likes green, can match you word for word in a game of Rhyme, and can spell and read almost any three letter word you throw her way... and it was her first time at Sidewalk Arts, too. There was some whining about the way the green wouldn't blend into the yellow, but that was us, not Jillian. There were hungry demands for a lunch break and by two p.m., it was time for a shower and a nap, but again, that was the whiny adults. Jillian, who was being such a big girl, was off with her daddy taking pictures of the squares she liked, which she kindly shared with us!
As I left the park, I walked through the wet grass for a bit to get the chalk off my feet, which looked like I had been stomping on blueberries, or maybe Smurfs. I had a paintbrush stuck through my hair. I had fly-aways. There was chalk all over my face and arms, and I will never be able to wear that t-shirt in public again... but I had fun. And though we didn't win anything, and though it was a gross, humid, Savannah day, I hung out with a pretty cool three year-old who didn't mind that the grown-ups next to her spent just as much time painting on mustaches as they did decorating their sidewalk squares.
[Thanks to Jillian, and her mommy, Brooke Lovell, for sending in their pictures of Sidewalk Arts.]