Twenty years ago, up in NE Vermont, I and my five-man crew, were clearing my pasture of the trees that had grown up in it. Evenings we would cook dinner in the big house on the former commune down the mountain. People would come by to socialize. One of them, not a member of the crew, joked about how skinny my arms were. The captain of the crew jumped to my defense, "Yes, but each of those tendons is like a steel cable."
I'm not hucking brush anymore, but I am working just as hard. Now I'm building a new type of internet, digital town squares, first here in San Miguel and then around the world.
You know me from San Miguel Events and now San Miguel Sunday. But we are ready to launch (starting here in SMA):
a community directory / a local search engine -
make a page, choose your hashtags and people find your page when they search those tags, like the Yellow Pages for the new millenium;
an interactive city map -
search seafood, live music, places of interest, chocolate... and see results appear as icons on the map, hover over those icons and see more, click the link there and jump to the page of that establishment;
a forum and more.
For the extranjeros (gringos) SMA is a retirement community. Upwards of 90% of us are retired. I am fond of saying that if you've got nothing to do, this is a good place to do it. A couple (no longer resident) came down from Colorado. He was a hired gun, brought in by hospitals to talk truth to power, an efficiency expert whose job it was to confront the bosses. She was a singer, a Cantor at her synagogue. She was to perform at our synagogue here. He complained to me of the inefficiency of those who were in charge of producing the show. I told him with a patronizing smile, "You don't understand. If everything goes smoothly in the morning, then they have nothing to do in the afternoon."
Maybe some of us, after a lifetime of doing something that we didn't like doing, are happy to do nothing. Maybe some of us have become infected with a that Mexican lackadaisical / mañana attitude." Me, I'm inspired. If you had a project that would, by strengthening community, go far to making this world a better place (and make you a fortune at the same time) how hard would you work? I go to bed feeling like I am going to change the world. (Think internet as a public utility, like electricity or water or public television.) What do you dream of? With all the do-gooders in our community, I'm surprised that more of you aren't asking to get involved.
The dozen or so years during which I had my property in Vermont, people would occasionally ask me, "How long have you lived in Vermont?" I would reply, "That depends on how you count," meaning that I was mostly resident only during the milder seasons. One fellow, before I could go on, responded to my "That depends on how you count," by sating, "I count: one, two, three, four..."
So, depending on how you count, I have 4-5 employees (none of whom are working full-time) and a few more who are not being compensated in cash. Jessica Antonelli of Draw San Miguel and Greg Reitman of Yo San Miguel Gallery, for example are curating San Miguel Sundays magazine's art section, because it is a great platform to publicize their projects and they understand the power of community.