Meridian Star

September 30, 2012

Be nice ... or leave!

By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Have you ever seen so many people making "art" from pieces of junk?

    Dr. Bob of New Orleans has made this old saying a household collectible in the Big Easy, they are everywhere! He lives close to my sister in the Bywater Area, down from the Quarter. Her house is practically filled with his paintings and images from song lyrics. I have to admit, it is funky chic. (But, please, God, don’t call her before you call me)

    I like to think she got this art craze from me, all those years she worked at Shell Oil in an impersonal cubicle, while I was working in an art gallery hanging around with artists and people buying art. She retired and caught up with me quick. She collects all kinds of English pottery and fanciful Japanese characters based on fairy tales. It’s pretty amazing when you see what some people collect – and how easily you can get hooked yourself.

    The art earrings I bought locally from Embellish were made from poptops crocheted together to form large hoops. I imagine somebody in Brazil or India putting those things together – so I am helping to support an endeavor of sorts. But that’s an entirely different kind of junk ... Or is it?

    A few years ago we brought you the six-pack snowflakes made from the plastic rings which held the six cans together; it completely covered our Christmas tree in 1998. We even had smaller ones made from orange juice can holders. Our Coca-Cola delivery man was kind enough to save the holders when he refilled our machine so we could get plenty, it took something like 12 pieces to make one snowflake.

    Now we have a use for those flimsy plastic bags (that never deteriorate) which we put our groceries and purchases into. They flap in the wind in the landfills and along the road; fish are killed by getting wrapped up in the ones thrown in the sea. Our Bingo crowd was surprised when Eloise Etheridge showed us her newest endeavor – crocheted mats for the homeless using those plastic bags.

    The congregation at Arcadelphia Baptist Church began this project as a mission to give the mats to the homeless. The open-weave design keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer, are lightweight and washable, but not fireproof. It takes 500 bags to complete one mat. I was given a small version for my cat to use and after chewing it awhile, she curled up and fell asleep. (I have directions on how to make them in my office if you are interested.)

More at The Center

    Classes are on a two-week leave at the end of this week, completing the fall session. Winter eight-week sessions begins Oct. 22, so you can begin signing up for the class of your choice now, if it isn’t full already.

    For you seniors out there: Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drugs is between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. We hope to have a person(s) at the center this month to explain all your options.

    • Life Writing classes begin Oct. 4, from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.. Returning instructor Steve Owens will lead this engaging workshop that lasts for four weeks. We still have a few more seats available. Keep in mind, time waits on no one. If you don’t write your stories, who will? How long and how accurately will your favorite stories be remembered?”

    • Friends of the Written Word Untie! (A small attempt at humor…”unite” is intended.) That same week, we are pleased to announce the return of Katherine Horne, who will be leading a reading discussion group in the afternoons. However, if you can come, be at the center Friday at noon for a lunch to eat, enjoy new friendships, and talk about when is the best time for a reading class. Katherine would like to begin with some poetry discussion and go from there, but she is open to other ideas.

    Call her at (601) 483-7496 to RSVP for the Friday luncheon; we’ll announce the class time soon.

    If you see the lights on Thursday night at Meridian Activity Center – and in bridge rooms across the nation – it’s because the American Contract Bridge League are playing their 26th Annual Instant Matchpoint Game all across the nation. The highest aim for bridge players is to become a Master and you need 50 gold points to do that. One gold point will be awarded to the winning section leader at each site. Gambatte, ladies and gentlemen!

    On Saturday, Kathy Shaw returns for a workshop on Silk Ribbon Embroidery. All you quilters out there will know about this. If you do not and want to, look up online for a looksee at what you can learn. Kathy is a sweetie and great instructor, so you’ll have a good time. Space is limited. Phone Jackie at (601) 693-2234 to register.

    Meridian Activity Center is located at 3300 32nd Ave., in the middle of a residential area between Meridian High School and Northwest Middle School. The best cross street is 36th Street off 29th Avenue or Poplar Springs Drive. Call (601) 485-1812 for information about any of our classes, ceramics, pool room, Bingo, retiree meetings, walking trail, neighborhood watch meeting, quilting workshops, painting workshops and more.

    • Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at