MOMENTS WITH MOMMAJ: March 29, 2022
March has been very adventurous for me.
During the VCU Spring Break (March 6-13) I got to spend a few days in North Myrtle Beach/Myrtle Beach, SC mostly relaxing, and getting some work done. The weather did not know it was Spring Break; it was cold and windy, and the day we headed back home to Richmond, VA we fled a rain and windstorm and drove straight into a minor snowstorm.
I was home for a few days – long enough to unpack, do my laundry, and repack for the next adventure. On March 15 I left for Hopkinsville, KY for a residence with MKArts, the first of several for a new project that is scheduled to debut in Spring of 2023. This was my first time flying since the pandemic, and I was pleasantly surprised that there were no inconveniences or incidents (you know, people refusing to keep on their masks on the plane or assaulting flight attendants). It was also my first time staying at an Airbnb – a four-bedroom, two bath duplex not far from the Community College that was sponsoring us. Even though I didn’t have to cook, and the rest of the team is “mostly” vegan/vegetarian, I overate WAY too much, and I’m still paying for it. Who knew that a small town in KY had such great vegan soups and awesome tacos?
The biggest part of the adventure, however, occurred on the way home. My first flight got delayed not once, not twice, but three times due to weather conditions in Florida, where the flight originated. (To get to Hopkinsville, KY, one flies into Nashville, TN). So. . .instead of having an hour to catch my connecting flight to Richmond, I had 20 minutes. The plane from Nashville landed in Charlotte’s Terminal E, and my flight to Richmond was leaving from Terminal C. I dashed through that airport like O.J. Simpson in that old commercial some of you may be old enough to remember – only to miss the flight by less than two minutes. There were three of us trying to make that connection: me, a portly gentleman, and a lady in a wheelchair. The gentleman and I arrived at the gate huffing and puffing. The gate attendant tried to get permission for us to board – but no. Once the doors are closed, they won’t open them again. After getting rebooked for a 6:15 AM flight, I asked for my options. The gentleman opted to find a hotel. I didn’t want to spend more than $100 for a hotel room where I would have time to sleep only 3 to 3.5 hours, before returning to the airport, going through security, etc., etc., As for the lady in the wheelchair, I don’t know what sort of accommodation was made for her. Since the problem was weather related and not the fault of the airline, the airline had no responsibility to help. And that is how I got to spend my first night in an airport.
I was surprised to find so many people spend the night in an airport. There was a young woman who came prepared with a can of Lysol to spray down the seats. How did she get a full-sized can of Lysol through security?!?!?! Two young Jamaican guys came and sat near us, but something about them reminded me of Nigerian scammers, so I decided to go to the Concourse I’d be leaving from in a few hours. There I found several airport employees gathered near my gate, and lots of traffic – people cleaning, moving supplies, and the like. There were a couple of other single women nearby. Then a young nerdy guy came and sat two seats away. Two. Seats. Away. He was chatty. I decided he was a serial killer, so I took a trip to the ladies’ room to plan my escape, but when I got back he had moved on to another victim (I mean gate). I staked out my territory and got as comfortable as I was going to get. I dozed off and napped for about an hour or 90 minutes during the night. I had layers of clothes to keep me warm. Regulars had come prepared with blankets, pillows, and even sleeping bags. Later that morning, taking a walk, I found an area near the food court that had banquets where I could have stretched out a bit. I’ll keep that in mind should there be a next time.
Well, “anywho,” after performing in Hopkinsville on Thursday evening and helping facilitate a PD at the Community College on Friday morning, I was scheduled to teach and the Virginia Black Dance Festival on Saturday morning and to perform on Saturday evening. My flight landed at 8:30 AM and I had plenty of time to go home, shower, and arrived at Dogtown Dance Theatre about 9:35 AM – in plenty of time for my 10:00 AM class. The session after mine was facilitated by MK Abadoo, who was still in KY. I was able to assist live while she led the workshop virtually. After class and a workshop panel or two, I picked up some food and coffee, ate in the car as I drove home, took a nice nap, and returned to Dogtown for the evening. The Virginia Black Dance Festival, directed by LaWanda Raines, was well attended and I had a marvelous time. I am so glad I was able to participate.
During the following days, I needed to catch up with theatre events here in RVA, so I attended How I Learned to Drive at the Conciliation Lab/The Basement on Sunday, March 20, followed by the Richmond Ballet’s Studio 3 performance on Tuesday, March 22, VaRep’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise at Hanover Tavern on Thursday, March 24, Greater Tuna at Swift Creek Mill on Friday, March 25, and Quill Theatre’s An Iliad at Dominion Energy Center’s Gottwald Playhouse on Saturday, March 26.
Sunday, March 27 I had the honor of sitting in on a rehearsal of Starr Foster Dance. Foster will be premiering a new work, The Apology, at The Basement (300 E. Broad St.) on Thursday, April 7. The program, that also includes a re-working of her humorous quartet, The Bridge, will run for four performances, April 7-9. Starr Foster Dance will also revise Crave – a work that takes place on two sides of a wall and requires the audience to switch sides midway through – for four performances April 1 – 3. For more information and to get tickets, contact Staff Foster Dance at http://www.starrfosterdance.org
Julinda D. Lewis, EdD is a dancer, teacher, and writer who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and now resides in Eastern Henrico County, RVA.