No one can live in the future, or even see it definitively, despite what our beloved local clairvoyants might say. But if the future is just a later now, then we can start living and doing today what we’d like to live and do tomorrow. In other words, it’s a new year, and like many of you seem to be, we’re feeling the seasonal optimism.
Xpress staffers opened their notebooks to the people of Asheville, interviewing folks we met at a variety of locations across town who gave us a look through their binoculars, showing their hopes, fears and goals for 2013. (Use the symbol key on this page to match answers with questions.)
Interviews by Jake Frankel, Max Cooper, Bill Rhodes, David Forbes, Dane Smith, Jaye Bartell and Jill Winsby-Fein. Photos by Max Cooper and Bill Rhodes, or courtesy of the interviewees.
Use the symbol key to match questions with answers:
• ♠ What are your hopes for the year? • ♣ What are your worries for the year? • ♥ Any local places you’d like to try for the first time? •
• ♦ What new hobbies or interests would you like to pursue? • † What do you want for your birthday? • ‡ Do you have any travel plans? •
Charlie Farmer, Biltmore Square Mall
♠ I hope to be a famous martial artist. I am constantly striving for that goal.
♣ Any kind of economic collapse, worse than we have already had, might really bring on the end of the world.
Chris Morris, ART Station
♣ I ain’t got no worries, I ain’t got no fears, because I have God on my side. And God is good.
♥ I’d like to check out Red Lobster. … I can afford to go, it’s just the bills, you get all these bills and stuff, and sometimes
it gets rough. You work all your life, and then they hardly won’t give you nothing.
Emma Baughman & Ben Shepherd, Haywood Street, downtown Asheville
♠ Well, the world didn’t end, so that’s hopeful. I hope that the economy gets better, and [that] I have a job after graduation.
♣ Anxiety over jobs, especially as a liberal arts major. It’s not looking too great for me.
♠ I hope the new year brings greater things than any other year combined. I hope that all my stocks don’t plummet.
♣ Anxiety over jobs. The market’s not looking too great.
Gabrielle Maggi, downtown Asheville
♠ I hope our economy grows, our town prospers, my friends and family have a happy and successful year. I wish for continued success for the Campaign for Southern Equality. I hope I work out four days a week minimum and that Brandi Carlisle comes to play in Asheville again this year.
♦ I want to learn more jewelry-making techniques. I also want to get more time to backpack.
Homer Revis, Biltmore Square Mall
♠ I hope the government and the clowns in Washington, D.C., can get this fiscal mess straightened out, pronto.
♣ I really worry that Iran will get the A-bomb. They would use it on us right away if they did.
Quantisha Mason, Warren Wilson College
♠ That I get my thesis done on time and I get into this overseas program I’m applying for.
♦ I won’t say it’s learning a new skill, but I planning on devoting more time to my throwing skills as well as getting better at welding.
Ian Booth, Earthfare in West Asheville
♠My primary hope is that we begin to recognize that there are possibilities for a way of doing business and doing life that we have not even begun to tap, in terms of sustainability.
♣ All the usual things that would come up around the idea that we’re going 90 mph down a dead-end street, to use [Bob] Dylan’s line.
James Davis, ART Station
♠ We need to stop sleeping. … You’ve got people just trying to get through, and get over and get beyond where we’re at right now. Look at that man who killed all those children [at Sandy Hook Elementary]. … We need to wake up. Everyone’s saying “it’s drugs.” It ain’t no drugs. People have sick mentalities out there. … We’ve got to come to a point where we’re in so much connection to our society, that we realize and understand what’s going on.
♣ We’re in the last of times. … But I don’t have no fears, because God already knows what’s ahead of us. And God can stop anything right now with the wave of his hand. What we’ve got to do is come back to faith.
Jerem Morrow, Riverside Drive
♠ That we finally stop treating women as second-class citizens, to be owned, judged and disrespected. We consider ourselves a civilized nation, but we can’t seem to get over this age-old hurdle. It’s shameful.
♣ That we’ll continue glorifying the opinions of the willfully ignorant, celebrities and political divas.
Sally Kann (left), Pritchard Park
♠ I hope my daughters live in a world where there is less war, more peace.
♣ I grew up during the Vietnam War. … I did everything I could to stop it. Things [were] a little bit more dire, as far as I’m concerned, than they are now — in my college years, with my friends getting sent to Vietnam. I would hope we don’t have to experience that anymore. … I do have a draft-able son, so I do worry about that.
♦ I’m learning Japanese. I hope to go to Japan to teach.
Jessica Kann (right, Sally’s daughter), Pritchard Park
♠ I’m just glad the world didn’t end.￼￼￼￼
Labora Smith, ART Station
♠ I just hope that more jobs open up for the people. We just need more jobs. … I think we’re blessed. I’m glad we still have our our president. I think it’ll be a good year.
♦ I would like to take some courses at A-B Tech. I’m interested in restoring old artifacts and things.
Lori Theirault, Earthfare in West Asheville
♠ Last year was definitely kind of a growing, crawling, moving towards better things year. … And I’d like to see this year be more about, just general movement. … That’s my wish for myself, and my community: That we’re all kind of focused more on the path, instead of the struggle.
♦ I’m a potter, so I’m always looking for any opportunities to learn and collaborate. … I’d like enough stability in my life to travel, because I like to mix business and travel whenever I can.
Luis Echeverri, Earthfare in West Asheville
♠ I hope to see this town remain what it is, and not to keep changing. I’ve been here for 12 years, and I’ve really loved it. … But the prices are going up, and the economy feels so stagnant. I have so many friends who are artists, but the vast majority of them — the ones who create the vibe for other people to come — are starving. … So it’s almost like we’re living in this illusional place, where a lot of things seem to be happening, but really, it’s only for the very few who can afford it.
♣ Crime. This is something you don’t really see in the paper. … But it’s happening. Why is it happening? … Booze, people lose control over booze. But that’s what’s been generating lots of profits here. We’re Beer City, USA. It’s weird.
Allen Nadel (center), Grove Arcade
♠ I hope for peace in the Middle East. … I hope that the Republicans and the tea party people let the president do his job and not just criticize everything he does, so he can have a good, productive next four years.
Lydia Nadel (far right, Allen’s wife)
♣ I would say I worry about schools, and shootings in schools — that there aren’t copycats to what happened in Newtown, Conn. And that there’s some kind of change that’s made in regard to things like that that could happen. Because it was a very unfortunate occurrence, it was very sad.
Sydney Nadel (second from left, daughter)
♠ I hope they find a cure for cancer.
Patti Reid, Earthfare in West Asheville
♠ I’d like to see them get rid of [Nancy] Pelosi and [Harry] Reid, for one thing. I think our economy would do a lot better. I’m tired of them blaming everybody else for what they’re doing to us. I’ve lived 77 years and I’ve never seen the economy this bad.
♣ I’m on a very fixed income, and if the taxes go up, it’s going to be really bad.
Ron Lambe, St. Matthias’ Church
† For my 77th birthday (Jan. 21!) I hope to enjoy good health. I now celebrate on the 5s and 10s (60, 70, 75) so my next one will be my 80th. I usually use those occasions to integrate my life’s interests, of which I have many. We often spend too much of our time in cubbyholes of special interests, like contract bridge and music, and Masonry. I enjoy celebrating all the facets
of my life together — many friends and associates never get to see the other side of my interests.
‡ I did take my first vacation last summer in about 10 years, and I hope I can do that again. I would love to travel, but time and money always seem to be a bar. I have yet to visit Rome or Vienna! How embarrassing.
Blair Jenkins, Biltmore Park
♠ That Congress will finally work with President Obama. He is trying his best to get bipartisan cooperation. And it would be wonderful to see the Republicans finally concede.
♦ Continue to hike. Take on new hiking challenges.
Frank Meadows, Apothecary music venue
♠ My biggest fear is that the folks in Washington keep us in an economic gridlock, and that financial support for the arts dwindles at what I consider to be a crucial period in its development.
♦ I would really love to learn to play the saxophone. Tenor specifically. I want to sound like Eric Dolphy!
Harold Campbell (left), B&B Tobacconists
♠ I hope the stock market gets better. I’d like to see us get back to making more products in this country instead of using slave labor overseas.
Terry Bowlin (right), B&B Tobacconists
♣ I’m kind of concerned over where this Obamacare is going to take us. I’ve heard good things, and bad things about it.
♦ I avoid downtown at all costs. … There’s no parking downtown, and a lot of walking and me don’t get along real well.
Sarah Watkins, ART Station (Asheville Transit Center)
♠ My New Year’s resolution is to actually be there for my daughter more — be a good momma.
Richard Jones, ART Station
♠ I just want to stay out of trouble. I hope I can wake up and see another day.
Sabine Mccalla, Warren Wilson College
♠ My biggest hope for the year is to graduate!
♣ My biggest fear is to add on 10 more pounds before graduation.
♦ I plan on creating a work-out routine and sticking to it.
Carrie Rosen, Westville Pub
♠ I really hope to get a handle on my new job this year. I like it and want to do well at it.
♣ I am afraid of trouble with my car. I depend on it, and don’t have a lot of spare money to fix it if something big goes wrong.
Amanda Marshall, Biltmore Square Mall
♠ I just hope that my kids are healthy and happy this year.
♣ I am really concerned that if the economy gets any worse, things would get really bad.
Beth Huntzinger, Coxe Avenue Post Office
♦ I’m trying to perfect my meditation.Quieting the mind.