Beat from the street (November 1, 2016)

Many stories lurk throughout Asheville, whether they are behind the Vaudevillian jazz-folk played by buskers around Pritchard Park, the colorful businesses decorated with funky, hand-made crafts or the laughter echoing from a patio as locals and tourists alike enjoy delicious beer.

Carol Hubbard, 65, retired social worker originally from Charlotte

How would you describe this outfit? It’s very eccentric.
“Well, I’m fairly eccentric. It’s a cowgirl type of outfit. Donald Trump talks about nasty women, bloody women. I decorated it. I’m Donald Trump’s worst nightmare: a bleeding, nasty woman with legitimate authority, got a badge, got guns. You better not mess with me.”

How would you describe the way you dress on average? Do you vary outfits?
“Most people say I’m cute because I’m small. I wear younger clothes. I wear tights and suspenders. I’m small. I can’t do zippers.”

So if you were to describe yourself in three words, which three words would you use and why?
“That’s tricky. Transforming always because I’m a Scorpio and I’ve looked death three or four times in the face already, and I’m not done yet. Vital. Reaching, always reaching.”

Where are you reaching to, do you think?
“I’m trying to become an active producing artist, using my being and my light to actually make something to piddle around.”

What inspires you artistically, would you say?
“Nature, people, music, things I hear, things I see. Collage is my medium, images and colors and sounds. Just life.”

So if you were to describe a motto that you have on a day-to-day basis?
“Don’t quit. Keep moving. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, but that you do not quit. I didn’t have a choice. I have disabilities. But as long as I keep moving, I ain’t worried about how slow I go. I’m trying to get that in my head. When you’re 65, you know your time is mostly gone and it’s a downhill slide. My mom’s 90, my dad’s 91, so I probably have about 25 more years.”

Yeah, you gotta look at it that way. So, if you were to describe one thing you like about Asheville and dislike about Asheville, what would you say it would be?
“I love Asheville’s culture, but the tourists and its popularity are going to take it out. I was just thinking the other day about how there used to be thrift shops with restaurants I can eat at. I think we’re getting squeezed out. I live downtown. If I had to cook every night, I’d starve to death, so the places I care for to eat, they’re just getting smaller and smaller. Sad, a place of progress like this. All these hotels? Future affordable housing. I live in the Battery Park, which was a hotel back in its day. Now, it’s affordable housing and they have all sorts of future affordable housing with these hotels. It’s gotta go bust sometime. Surely you’ve got enough.”

Davis Clarence, 26, electrical engineering student, originally from Alabama

How would you describe your style?
“Little child of pachuco and Grease.”

What’s pachuco?
“It’s a style from the 1980s.”

If you could describe yourself in three words, which three words would you choose and why?
“Regular, everyday guy.”

Do you have a personal motto that you live by?
“That’s a tough one. Everything happens for a reason.”

If you were to describe, based on your brief experience here, one thing you like about Asheville and one thing you dislike about Asheville, what would they be?
“The hills and the accessibility.”

If you were to describe one thing that inspires you creatively, what would it be?

The original version of this column was published in The Blue Banner.