Just another Friday night in Asheville…drums and snakes and goats…oh my! I found myself meandering from Pack Park towards the city center, when I began to hear the rhythmic beat of drums. I vaguely remembered being asking earlier in the week if I had been to the drum circle – “uh, no” I replied, not exactly sure what I had just been asked – “Well, you have to go and bring your drum if you play.” OK, that really cleared things up for me.
As I got closer, I could hear cheering and clapping and general merry making. The drumming was impossible to ignore, it’s rhythmic energy drawing everyone to its epicenter. And I do mean everyone – from babies to those using canes; hippies to suits; and every color under the rainbow. All of them converging in Pritchard Park on Patton Avenue at College Street between 6-10pm each Friday night. Apparently anyone is welcome to bring a drum (or other percussion instrument) and join in – during a brief intermission, one musician explained to the crowd that there is no leader – it’s all about working together with mutual respect and just having fun. For those less musically inclined you can join in by dancing, hula hooping, juggling or just kick back on a bench and enjoy the free show. The beat of the drums would wax and wane, gathering intensity and energy from the crowd and then slowing down to let everyone catch their breath. It was a beautiful thing to witness and be part of.
While I was busy jamming and soaking in the local color… What do you think caught my eye? Well, it was a lovely couple which I had seen the Friday night before. I might have written this off to my overactive imagination, but I had two witnesses last weekend. I was enjoying a nice dinner, looking out at the passer-biers, when the neck wear of one gentleman caught my eye – I was so distracted by him that I didn’t even notice what his girlfriend had at the end of her leash. Let’s see what you think…
Just you average couple out for a stroll. I feel pretty confident that since I’ve seen them two weeks in a row, that they are locals. Maybe I’ll get to meet them someday… this snake man and goat woman and hear their story. There’s a slogan around this southern town that seems to fit this scenario … Y’all means ALL! One of the many things that I like about Asheville is that it is a very diverse and welcoming community.