June 11, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC —
I write this letter with a heavy heart. I never thought I would have to express my feelings about people that represent themselves as part of the Blowing Rock Library and thus the community as a whole.
I am seriously appalled about what happened this weekend and feel your community needs to know how the local library employees feel about Art in The Park and the artists that work so hard to bring their wonderful art to your community.
I am an older fellow, 60 years young who grew up with the notion that the local library was full of knowledge, wisdom and very often are supporters of the arts.
My experience with libraries growing up was one of excitement as I knew each visit would bring new and wonderful travels as I explored the works of wonderful historians, authors and the arts that the shelves of the revered institution of ” The Library ” held. Among the rows of books both old and new were the quiet, respectful, intelligent, and the most wonderful people I have ever met — until now. The librarians…I think my bubble was busted today in Blowing Rock.
Today I met some of the nastiest, rudest, and most distasteful older women in my 60 years of attending numerous venues.
I have been visiting what I thought until now was the wonderful town of Blowing Rock since 1979, and on a yearly basis. Recent years have brought me to Blowing Rock about 4 – 5 times a year to support my girlfriend, a well know artist who travels up and down the East Coast showing and displaying her talent for many to see. She has representation in numerous galleries and museums and has built up a loyal following among the many visitors to the Blowing Rock Art in the Park event so graciously hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Those Chamber folks do a wonderful job supporting the many artists attending their show.
My belief with the Blowing Rock community — as with all communities that support the arts — is that attracting such artistic talent helps keep Blowing Rock vibrant and alive . The many visitors to this event spend thousands of dollars not just with the artists attending the show, but they also support the diverse store owners in the community as well. They eat at the local establishments and visit the many stores that line the downtown area. This benefits the community as a whole.
So that leads me to my disturbing experience with what one would normally hope would be sweet older ladies running and supporting the library. What we experienced today, Saturday June 10th, is the following — and I understand this is not the first time.
Today I met some of the most nasty, rude and distasteful group of older women I have ever met in my 60 years of attending numerous venues. I am appalled by what we experienced.
My girlfriend and other artists were setting up for the show and, as usual, artists have to store their boxes and excessive inventory behind their booths as is done at every art show we attend. While setting up, a woman came out of the library (keep in mind this was along the side of the library, not in front) and verbally accosted my girlfriend, relentlessly, and told her to move everything out of the way. Keep in mind that this is before the show had started. As with all shows, the artists do their best to cover and remove their boxes out of the way before the shows starts for obvious reasons: so as to not block the walkways and to make the area presentable.
My girlfriend stood in absolute shock as she was continuously abused by this individual for no reason at all. Early visitors of the show even had to hear this as well.
I was told to shut up, to go away, and that ‘we don’t want you here.’
My girlfriend quickly called me to return to the booth. I had stepped away to visit some other artists and by time I arrived she was in tears and totally upset by what she just experienced. Of course I was upset when I discovered what had transpired. I spoke with other artists as well. None of us could believe what just happened. We started now to rush and remove all the excess boxes, scrambling to find a place to put everything.
The more I heard of what happened the more I thought we should discuss this with the library people as no one had done anything on purpose. We were concerned about doing something wrong and were trying to be apologetic. Most of the artists are too afraid to complain as complaining at an art show leads to possibly not being invited the following year.
I approached the other people from the library to discuss what happened and to apologize and actually seek a apology in return as I thought it very unprofessional to yell at someone for not knowing they were doing anything wrong.
In turn, after asking if I may speak with the person in charge (to discuss and apologize), I was verbally accosted myself by another woman. I asked why were they being so unkind and rude. I was told that I need to shut up, that they do not need you artists here, to go away, we don’t want you here.
She continued to verbally abuse me and even threatened to call the police.
She continued to verbally abuse me and tell me they would call the police on us. Although I was only to be parked there for about 30 minutes I was informed that I would have my truck towed — even though I was legally parked in a legal parking space a few feet way from the library. I told the lady I am sorry but I am not breaking any laws as I am here for a few more minutes not parking for the whole day.
The women in question kept again verbally abusing me when they walked by me and even started putting tables directly behind our booth I can only assume to start another confrontation as they all kept pointing and laughing at us. They removed the tables about an hour later as they were of course of no use to anyone where they were located.
Is this what this world has come to? I cannot even call these women ladies because ladies usually act with respect of others. Is this what represents the town of Blowing Rock and their Library?
It is appalling that people do not know how to act any more. Is society so uncivilized that even the local citizens working for the local library cannot act with some sense of respect to other people that have come a long way to support their little town? Have the local citizens gotten to the point in their sheltered little bubbles that they forgot how to treat others with common decency?
It seems this way in Blowing Rock.
Ironically, these same library folks benefit from the artists being there since they sell their water and sub-par hotdogs for an exorbitant amount of money, apparently raising money for there little gestapo-run organization. They feel they rule the world and the rest of us are not due even a tiny bit of respect.
Note: Last year I was asked to leave the library when I went in to buy some books at the book sale. Evidently, I was deemed “suspicious” and a bit too sweaty on a hot day in August. I shrugged this off to someone having a bad day. It seems they have a lot of bad days.
My last words to the rude people were, ” You know, I always thought the local library was a place where respect for others, knowledge and appreciation for the arts was a priority. I guess being cultured is not a prerequisite for working at a library nowadays .” It now seems hotdogs and bottled water rule the day.
If not for the crowds in town for Art In The Park, they would not be selling many hot dogs.
I will now always remember my many visits to Blowing Rock for my experience with three rude and nasty women, not the nice quaint town I once knew. All because of a few library ladies selling hot dogs and being rude to regular hardworking people.
If not for the artists that draw the crowds of people they would not sell many hot dogs and bottled water to help run their little kingdom. My girlfriend who left communist Russia over 25 + years ago commented, “I left Russia to get away from this type of behavior. Why are they acting like that? I thought that Blowing Rock was a community of cultured citizens.”
I told her not to lose faith, that there are still good and decent people out there — but obviously not at the Blowing Rock Library.
Its unfortunate. This confrontation will affect the artists and the Chamber of Commerce representatives who work so hard to put on a good venue for their citizens and artists alike. And it is all because a few women feel that hot dogs and a few blades of grass are more important than respect for their fellow human beings.
And all because they work in a library. Do they have such pitiful little lives that they feel the need to abuse what little power they have? All they had to say was, “Please move your boxes” or “Please store them elsewhere” or “We need to use the sidewalk to setup, too.” Is that so hard to say?
If visiting Blowing Rock, remember to keep off the sidewalks and the grass when near the Blowing Rock Library because you will get scolded.
And their hot dogs are not very good either. Support the local Boy Scouts if you are buying a hot dog. At least they are kind and respectful and they have wonderful hot dogs.
My heart goes out to the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. The staff members do a wonderful job and I feel sorry that their fellow citizens do not see the benefit of what Art in The Park brings to their community..
‘Nuff Said. From a Business Owner, a supporter of The Arts and someone who treats the world and others with respect even though its a fleeting thought for others.
Stanley Kaczorowski / Wilmington, NC (Where we welcome all artists and people from all walks of life with open arms and respect.)