“Alice Greening and the Parking Lot Sharing Expo.” New Myth #35 by Willi Paul, NewMythologist.com
“At this special holiday event, we’ll have a re-gifting exchange, share holiday decor, and have a few holiday-themed demos. Bring your bikes, bike supplies, homegrown fruit, vegetables, eggs, herbs, honey, flowers, paints, markers, books, shirts, skirts, pants, fabric, yarn, paper, sheet music, patterns, books, garden tools, craft tools, toys, kits, seeds, unwanted gifts, and more. Be sure to bring a bag to take home the bounty, so you’ll have enough for gifts!”
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A local seventh grade girl from East Palo Alto is curious to experience what her teacher calls the “new local economy.” Alice Greening rides her bike over HW 101 to Palo Alto to check-out a new kind of “neighborhood sharing event” that looks at first glance like her thrift shop turned inside out! Curiously she finds an old silver dollar in the shrubbery as she parks her bike and wonders what she can buy with it. Each time she gets the same response: “Nothing! What do have to share?”
Her first stop is the bike man who is giving his time and expertise for free to tune-up everyone’s two wheelers. Alice sees a ton of bikes at the gig. But where is the car repair booth, she wonders? What she doesn’t get yet is that sharing is part of a larger heart-felt movement to create local relationships and resilient communities.
“Cars are losing favor in this circle,” she smirks. With her old Schwinn now tried and true, she looks for another table to explore.
“Come over here dear, calls the cookie lady!” “Do you want to put some frosting on a cup cake and eat it at the Expo?”
“Are you teaching us something, Ma’am?”
“Oh Yes, indeed. I am sharing my experience as a start-up home bakery business. Frost-up a red velvet while I explain the bizz: batter to sprinkles!”
Alice walks on, rubbing her silver dollar and whipping off frosting from her cheeks, chagrinned, wondering if anyone at this strange Expo will ask her to spend it. Ahead on her right, a large blue sheet is on the ground, covered with little piles of clothes. A woman drops clothes onto the sheet and walks on while another is sizing up a blouse.
“What are you looking for today?”Alice asks the woman.
“Nothing special. Just good to hang out here. In Brazil we have a family tradition of sharing; we need no parking lot expo to take care of our generations!” Alice is admiring a red scarf.
“It’s yours honey! Give back what you can!”
There are many exciting things just ahead in the parking lot, and many colorful people to check-out. Piles of books, house plants, fabrics and seeds. People playing weird instruments.
Alice guesses and says hello to one of the organizers of the Expo.
“None of my friends are here today. Can we hook-up our neighborhoods somehow?”
“Can I ask you to take back some flyers to your churches and schools?”
“Here is a dollar for the sharing fund.”
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Check-out the other New Myths!