Dear Faithful Ladystalkers-
Please forgive our two week hiatus. Like all good things, The Break Free Project's first survey of small town American innovation, ingenuity and community enrichment came to an end on August 11th with our concert at the Mesa Theater and Club. As Mavi pointed out, it was a complete thrill to share a stage with Crowded Agnes a very cool and promising local band AND with one of our high school musical heroes, Trevor Adams of Jones/Adams Duo. I'm sorry for people who can't see these bands live and psyched that our hometown still possesses such coolness.
Unfortunately/Fortunately, this trip was such a tremendous success and overwhelming learning experience that it's taken me-and I'm sure Julia, Mavi and Jeff-a little bit of time to process everything, to reflect on the wonderful people we now call friends and to put my thoughts in order. Once we arrived in Lafayette Louisiana, our days went into fast forward, there was just so much to learn and try to comprehend. We met people and gathered information at a breakneck pace through Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. I can't wait to share it all with everyone here and in the documentary when it's finished.
It can't be overstated how much we appreciate the people that we met from Philadelphia to Taos, from Boston to Breaux Bridge, Athens, Tuscaloosa, Jackson, New Orleans, Raceland, Baton Rouge, Austin, Taos, Durango and Loma, Colorado. We were overwhelmed by a few common themes as we went from place to place; kindness, altruism, genuine care and stewardship of the land, and caring, open-minded people who are invested in their local communities and working hard to make them more beautiful, productive, livable and healthy in every sense. A trip like ours would convince anyone that this country is in very good hands. Unfortunately for all of us, we did not see the whole story.
It's obvious every time we see strip malls, parking lots, crowded highways, feedlots, urban sprawl and small towns that have entirely vanished that not everyone in our country is able to live their lives in these community enriching ways. It's up to all of us to try to be more like the people that we met, many of whom I'll write more about in the coming weeks.
For now, here are a few pictures of us in the home stretch. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates, profiles of some of the great people we met and information on future Break Free Project odysseys! ~Kate