Spring time in Richmond

William Boyd center in Richmond, VirginiaThe most southerly stop of the second leg of my speaking tour was Richmond, Virginia.  As we drove there from Baltimore I spotted a cherry tree in blosson at the side of the road, a few days before I'd been Greyhounding through snow and indeed a few days later when I returned to upstate New York I'd get back into ice and snow but those few days of spring were a welcome break from what had been a very long and hard winter.  I drove down with Alex in a little red two seater with a brief lunchtime stop at Fredericksburg.

We were staying the first night with friends of Alex in a row house that was pretty central and within a short walk of both the public and private meeting venues.  It turned out his friends were involved in the local Rocky Horror Picture Show and there was a show that night which they were busy preparing for.  I was sleeping on a sofa in the back room so this also mean I got woken up when they returned after the show at 2pm but I'd got some good sleep in Baltimore so I could afford to lose a few hours at that point.

After arrival we went hunting for somewhere to eat and discovered a great alternative pub/restaurant with cheap food and some good micro brews.  Of course being Virginia people were allowed smoke in the restaurant, something of a shock as I'd forgotten what it was like to be in a smoky pub.

The public meeting was in the library of the William Boyd Community House and was attended by 35 people which was a comparitiviely high turn out given the cities population of 200,000. Afterwards we headed back to the restaurant then then off to a late night bar which I remember being in an alcove filled celler.

The following day we hung out in a central park where I interviewed Sean about struggles and the anarchist movement in Richmond as well as the general history of this city which was once central to slavery and whose streets are lined with statues of what Sean described as (civil) war criminals. That evening I did the private meeting in the 'Flying Brick' infoshop where what would become the familar discussion of activists moving a lot from city to city and the problems that created came up.

Alex had to split to get back to work in Washington so I stayed that night in a house some distance away where a number of IWW members lived.  This was quite a bit larger and I had a room and sofa to myself this time in the front of the house.  The following morning I'd a random conversation with a neighboor on the front step (I had the usual issue of trying to work our how best to expalin what I was doing in the city, so far from home without causing alarm) before taking what turned out to be quite a long walk to a particularly run down Greyhound station where I was able to get a breakfast of grits and the bus to New York city via the Baltimore Plaza.

WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )


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