Old Year Out, New Year In

By Sandy Dale
   Well, I hope everyone had jolly holidays and survived the family gatherings. Now, we are settled in for the new year with our list of resolutions and our renewed enthusiasm for accomplishing them, right? Well, what if, in 2019, we resolved to not resolve? Except for resolving to help make the world a better, more peaceful place, of course. We could “decide” (not resolve) to be open-minded, curious, impulsive and do at least one thing a week we have never done before. Try new food. Investigate new shops and galleries. Try playing a musical instrument…the list of options is enormous. The object is to step out of our comfort zones and experience something completely different.
   In November, I rambled on about Change… something about appreciation and acceptance of change. I didn’t mention that you yourself sometimes need to initiate changes in order to hone your perceptions and, well, to experience living. Here in Florence, we like to cling to Times Past…the nostalgia and the wonderful “stuff” of bygone eras. I am comfortable with old things because I am an old thing. But last week I ventured into one of our new shops on Main Street – The Hangout. I suddenly realized I need to get out more…
   I had heard a rumor that a “comic book” store was opening soon in Florence. The owners, John and Emily Arnold, would be the first to tell you it might be a bit beyond “comic book”. In fact, it feels like another world – lots of other worlds. As an artist, I had given a passing glance at Fantasy Art over the years and had a brief interest in the old Dungeons and Dragons gaming, but…my goodness, how this market has changed.
   Most of us are familiar with video games, but John is much more interested in the face-to-face fantasy card and board games, and in creating a space for gamers to interact with each other. There are tables and comfy chairs and couches for playing the games or perusing the amazing “graphic novels” which are works of art (definitely not your old-time comics). John and Emily plan a Coffee Bar soon and Special Events; Friday evening card tournaments, Saturday Remote Control Car Races and RC Airplane Events, and Sundays (4pm) Role Playing Games. Sorry, forgot to mention the selection of RC planes and cars, oh, and drones…
   So you can see that change can be really exciting. Come time travel in Florence – from the Elegant Past to the Fantastic Future…find it here.
   The Merchants of Florence and I wish you a fabulous New Year!

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