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Crossroads sociable

Posted by PlayGroundology on May 12, 2008

Another great attraction at Point Loma HI are the specialty evenings organized by staff and volunteers for the hostellers. Within a one week period, we’ve participated in an open house – for community, board members and volunteers – a BBQ night and a spaghetti supper. We missed out on smores night because we were just too exhausted. These nights are good opportunities to get together with new people and hear about their adventures. The most original I heard so far, was from a guy who hitchhiked from LA to Philadelphia in his early 20s circa 1970 with a young lion cub. And we thought Noah and Nellie were conversation pieces.

Our SanD HomeThere was quite a spread laid on for the open house – cold meats, potato salad, cheeses, breads and buns, pies and more. At the end of the meal, we heard readings from local writers and poets. Art Seamans, his assistant, and I were at the same table. Turns out Art was a former professor of literature at Point Loma Nazarene University. He has a passion for questing and savouring the life and times of literary writers. He shared his love of questing with the audience and gave me a copy of his book that captures some of his off the beaten track moments including an account of EJ Pratt. The Dead One Touched Me – A Walk With Writers Through The Centuries, was published by a small Canadian press and received assistance from the Canada Council of the Arts, my old alma mater. I’ve promised to send Art a copy of Catherine Safer’s book when we get back home.

For coffee lovers, there was a fun and fantastical poem that wove together the story of an alien invasion and one man’s love of real coffee, decaffeinated was not an acceptable substitute regardless of the consequences. Dave, one of the Point Loma staff, thinks this poet may have published a book and is going to try and find out for me this week.

The staff are great. Most count their employment here in the years. They enjoy their work and are always ready to pass on tips to us itinerants. Colleen’s 16-year-old daughter was here last Wednesday helping to prepare for Thursday’s community open house. Another daughter works at the downtown hostel and her husband helps at Point Loma with repairs and maintenance. A sense of extended family permeates the place and its residential setting in Point Loma further adds a bit of community buzz.

The residents are a diverse all ages and genders bunch from China, Thailand, Sweden, Germany, Mexico, Belgium, England, France, Canada and various points in the US. The cast changes daily. There’s always somebody coming and somebody going. A couple of mornings ago at 5h00, 50 something Ms. Wisconsin hopped a cab for the train station and a ride that will take her to Seattle to meet friends. Yesterday, the German massage therapist who loved our babies caught a flight back to Europe. Today, the young lad from Central Mexico heads back to his mom’s place in LA. And as Mr. Vonnegut would say, “and so it goes….”



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