February was cold, with a high of 30 degrees that day. That may not be cold for Alaska or North Dakota, but it slowed down quite a bit of the pedestrian traffic for First Friday this February. We had also had between 10 – 12 inches of snow that Tuesday that hadn’t started to melt yet. This was the Midwest Blizzard or Snowpocalypse of 2011. I’m not sure we got quite the storm we had been promised, but at least many of had gotten a snow that that week.
The Poetry for Personal Power rolling bicycle health fair display booth had to take advantage of quite a bit of knowledge of winter bicycle riding skills for this event. This is where knowing how to ride home from Memphis the week after Thanksgiving was a good warm up for these challenges.
We rode down by the Leedy Gallery, talking to people all the way there about Poetry for Personal Power, and how people can use wellness tools like exercise, sprituality, mindfulness, gardening, and of course, poetry, to get through tough times in their lives. We met a person who was helping to campaign for Sly James for mayor. Then we met Bill Drummond and his new friend who were out talking about the First Friday after party hosted by the current mayor, Mark Funkhouser, who was also campaigning for re-election. He took our picture and tipped us off to the free cupcakes by 3 Girls Cupcakes that were being given out at the art show at Krzyzanowski Photography. There were about ten types of cupcakes available, including a Guinness beer flavored cupcake.
We cruised around to find more young people to share the positive message of recovery from mental illness and found a warm fire with a free marshmallow set up going on outside the Arts Incubator. That was a good place to talk to people as they came outside and enjoyed the fire.
We ended up at Andrew Lyle’s opening at a show called “6ix” This was a combined show with six different people who had recently graduated from Kansas City’s Art Institute. The show had some great homemade bread and lot of interesting people to talk to. We passed out a lot of “What a Difference a Friend Makes” brochures and enjoyed the art show along with a crowd full of people at the event.
So much for the snow on the ground – it was a great night after all. We met Janet, of the Urban Farms Tour. The theme of that event is Get Your Grow On! We talked about a potential collaboration with poetry and urban agriculture.