So, the Flying Camel, the underground jazz club and literary cafe in downtown Hagerstown that I have been pleased to be a part of first as a customer and then as a performer of spoken word poetry and then as the bookseller and general cheerleader, is closing its doors for the last time, at least in its current incarnation. I can't know what the future holds but I know the people involved are talented and dedicated and people of vision, and I will not be surprised to see great things from any of them in the future.
I knew it was an uphill fight when I joined it but I believed then that it was worth trying and the fact that we didn't make it over the top of the mountain hasn't changed my mind. I lament how things are ending but I do not regret my participation.
I owe a debt to the Camel for shaking me out of my rut in more ways than one. It was when I became involved in its operations that I started this newsletter, after all. It is through the Camel that I have started to make more local friends and become more involved for once in non-virtual communities.
Many very wise people have noted that in the current, continuing, and growing crises, we will all need to create and affirm more local ties in our own neighborhoods. Through the Flying Camel, I have been able to do that.
This does come as a bit of a blow, of course. I feel like if it could have made it through the winter it would have been on a clear upswing. But the future is guaranteed to no one. And the future remains the future. I don't think the spirit of the Flying Camel will ever be gone from this city.
So I'm out of a side gig and I will have to adjust the thinking about my future already in progress. I'm sure I'll have more to say in the coming weeks.
For now, so long and thanks for all the stories.