Where Everybody Knows Your Name

by Angela Bandurka

Have you ever seen that show from the 80s? Cheers. The show was centered around a pub where everybody knows each other, one the main characters is Norm - whose name is yelled out whenever he comes in.

That sense of community is something I feel whenever I'm at ARTspot. Tracy and Denise have really created a welcoming, safe and creative spot here. Locals come in all the time just to hang out and see what's new, check out our artist's contributions and chat with the employees (all of whom are artist). And as a part-time employee, I am encouraged to focus on relationships. It's like I'm not even working!

Well, last week we got our own "Norm" - and his name really is Norm, Norm Dalke.

Norm and I got to chatting. The subject of life's passion came up - for me, it's being an artist and creating art; for him, it was being a pilot and flying.

Most interesting to me was how similar our experiences in such different fields were. He told me about how as a small child he saw small aircraft flying above his home, and from about age 5 he would dream of flying nightly. Once he became a pilot as a young adult, the dreams didn't happen as regularly because he was LIVING his dream! And if he was ever cranky at home, his wife (and mother of their five children) would demand that he leave the house and get into the air immediately. For me, the bug to be an artist began as a toddler, hiding crayons in my diaper and creating murals on the wall behind the crib (I even have photographic evidence - see below, which my mom snapped before spanking me :). The dreams, as well, are the same - I dream of painting and creating regularly, and the dreams are pretty vivid. When I'm not creating they're more frequent.

At 86, Norm says he still gets up in a plane or glider as much as he can, though he no longer pilots the crafts. His dreams don't haunt him anymore, either - maybe because now that he's retired he can have peace knowing that he fulfilled his passion and can now just enjoy it on his own terms.

What's YOUR passion?