Yesterday I worked at the Bloomingfoods booth at Third Street Park, during the free-to-the-public Lotus in the Park portion of the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival.
It was a gorgeous day, and the park was filled with people waltzing, playing with their children, attending music workshops, making art, and greeting friends. Musicians from around the world took the stage and united us.
My job was to serve locally-made brats and beef burgers with grilled onions. We also had vegetarian chili, and a local mushroom burger (also known as the fungi - 'fun-guy' - burger) made with shiitakes, criminis, and portabello mushrooms. Lots of spritzers, Musgrave Orchard apple cider, Needmore Oatcakes, and other treats.
Our prices were amazing: $2 for burgers (or 3 for $5), $3 for brats (or 2 for $5). I ask you, has McDonalds ever done anything like that?! The food was affordable and delicious, and the customers very friendly and appreciative.
Who organizes all of this? Our renagade band of proud community organizers, including 'Rags' on the grill (from Nick's English Hut), and his wife Susan, manager of the original Bloomingfoods in the alley off Kirkwood. Here is a picture of the two of them from our Salsa Contest, where they give guacamole and salsa making demos.
Nick's was in the national news last spring when Barack Obama just happened to stop by. Rags was wearing his 'Vote Obama' button yesterday, as were lots of other folks in the park. We had wonderful volunteers at our booth, including a software designer from Washington DC who came to Lotus for the week-end, Earnie and Martha from the co-op, and a great guy named Mikeal, a new student at IU.
I saw scores of worthy community organizers: people who work on food security, housing issues, Habitat for Humanity, mental health and disability support, improving our schools (or starting new ones), and spreading the positive potential of the arts.
I am so fortunate to live in a place where these dedicated community organizers – some of the finest people you could ever know – enjoy the respect of our mayor! Together we seem to be achieving good things, not least of which was a very mellow, beautiful, calm, peaceful, contented day in the park.