Final thoughts to wrap up The Drinking Fountain
Literati–the ones of you still standing
The Drinking Fountain was a departure from the benign contests we have hosted since 2009, whose only purpose was to allow each writer to develop their craft, and get encouragement and feedback from a community of kindred spirits. Oh… and to have some fun. Putting Gravitas on a Lo-Carb Diet.
Like many of you, in recent years I have been watching the Mohave grow, seeing the good and great things that we are in America dehydrate, a garden of tumbleweeds. When I saw the Drinking Fountain plaque in an antique store in Northern Idaho, I saw an opportunity to invite all of you to share a story from your own experience growing up in racist, xenophobic, homophobic America, thinking that we could learn from each other.
What we learned is that the fault lines run deep, and the ground still shakes beneath our feet. Privately members of our community confided in me that they could not participate because they felt the lack of civility that has become so prevalent in public rhetoric had permeated what Peggy Dobbs so affectionately dubbed “our playground.” I made no effort to moderate or influence the discourse on the site; I simply provided the black-board and chalk, or perhaps more accurately, a wall and the cans of spray paint. My hands-off attitude also offended some of you.
So what next?
Back to basics. Mow the lawn. Fix the swings. Replace the net in the basketball hoop. And, most importantly, hang out the “All Are Welcome” sign.
We’ll be sending you a survey very soon, asking you what you would like this site to be. We, meaning myself, Tiffany Vakilian, Stefanie Allison, Morgan Sully, Kristine Tsatsakos, Derek Thompson and my cats, the Satikushes, are here to serve you.
We’re taking back the playground. Who will join us?