Showing posts from October, 2021


  A few blocks from the glitz of downtown Charlotte you can find another city. Rough edged, industrial, run down and lonely places like Tukaseegee Road. They can haunt your feelings. Hidden gems though sometimes appear out of nowhere. Such is the case with The Milestone Club. A simple looking two story building only distinguished by its street loneliness. Pulling back the history of the place tells a different story. The 100 year old building once a grocery, then a hardware store was turned into a music and night club venue in 1969 by Bill Flowers.   Over the years famous music acts like Nirvana, R.E.M. and Melissa Etheridge have performed here on their journey to stardom. A secret venue of sorts only holding 150 people in its dark graffiti filled walls. The only thing changed, a larger bar and improved rest rooms. Kurt Cobain once drank beer in the parking lot with the club crowd.  Flowers was once ask if The Rolling Stones had played there. He answered, “No, but the 12-Stones have.”


                                            Sometimes I hold too tightly my ideas, my thoughts, my inspiration for fear they would be taken or laughed at. Time overcomes all this because someone else bolder than me put the same ideas out in the world finding success and turning mine into lost opportunities. These experiences filled my mind as I walked near an art school recently. You see all the students going to and from carrying their portfolios of work under their arm. Youthful dreams and dedication spring from them, you sense it in their walk and eyes. Surprisingly, toward the end of the day you find work they have left behind on street corners and leaning against the school’s wall. Most in a semi complete state, as if to say I tried this. Some linger there, other artists adding their touches, others are grabbed by a passerby, and others just wait a demise. You never know the students motivation in leaving work behind, letting it go to the world. I suspect though it frees their spi


  “Still around the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate and though I oft have passed them by, a day will come at last when I shall take the hidden paths that run West of the Moon, East of the Sun.” - J.R.R. Tolkien


  Great works at museums and galleries draw you in. You can get lost in the masterpieces of the artist. Sometimes though it is the in between that intrigues. The goings on of the place, the poses of the patrons, the ambience and architecture, the oddly placed item, the movement. It’s like a sympathy where each play a part in the wonder of the place. Artists complain that even to get in galleries your art style must line up like little soldiers. In that effort, you can lose your inspiration. They only hope some of that original soul shines through in their best work. That someday a museum will show their work and allow enough space between for the viewer to understand their essence.  The great art will leave impressions, but it is the whole of the museum experience that lingers. It may be an elegant coffee, the slant of light through the windows, the goings about of staging a new exhibit, a special person you meet, an item at the gift shop. It’s all there to enjoy in this special place.