Yesterday afternoon, before attending the premiere of the short, but brilliant documentary premiere of Shaun Greenspan’s “Sarasota Experience” at the Sarasota Opera House last night, I was walking down Gulfstream Ave., disheartened by the lack of “hello”‘s of which I’ve recently become more and more aware. I truly love Sarasota and love the walk-ability, and yet I’ve noticed a decline in the hello-ability.
Forget about bringing sexy back, a hopeless endeavor what with people’s subliminal “talk to the hand” phones and dogs obsessions. I’m talking about let’s bring back the simplest human acknowledgement of “Hello”. I left Smugtown Rochester, New York because I realized as I was nearing my 30 year public education career, that Rochester was not only frigid in temperature nine months out of the year, but also in temperament. Yet, the friendly OLD Florida hospitality I moved here for is slowly being gentrified into stuffy-dom.
Shaun Greenspan’s beautifully spirited film provided hope since the main message put forth with fantastic historical documentation was diversity plus familial coexistence. Presenters in the film braided with gorgeous aerial shots and displays of Sarasota’s rich artistic community, all emphasized caring for each other and for the gorgeous land on which we’ve chosen to live.
At the beginning of the Q & A last night. Greenspan reiterated that he didn’t want his project to be “just a puff piece”.
A friend of mine actually made me aware that I’m not without guilt, reminding me that I’m in the majority who avoid eye contact with the homeless due to guilt, when even eye contact and a hello would at least be an acknowledgment that we’re all in the same race: human. I hope Shawn, Michael Saunders, Jeff LaHurd, etc, will do what I’m making a vow to start today: saying hello to ALL people I pass on the street. Do me a favor and return the greeting. Hello’s will inspire at least the beginning of a caring coexistence.