We can agree one one thing: We all love Florence

"It is easy to hate but takes energy to love. Florence is worthy of that energy."

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Dec. 21, 2019 — While I am flattered to have my work receive such praise in a recent Letter to the Editor by Linda Farrell (“Mural Not Right Greeting For Visitors,” Dec. 18) — and I really mean that — I would rather destroy everything I have ever created than cover another artist’s work.

I am an artist, apparently a good one by that letter writer’s standards, and I loved this mural from the second I saw it.

I testified for it twice at Florence City Council meetings. I spent hours helping paint it even as I witnessed locals driving by and shouting obscenities at the artists.

It made me ashamed, and some of you should feel ashamed as well.

I became friends with the artists — really good folk — and her roots on the coast go back to the 1850s. They could not wait to get out of this hostile environment and they had my sympathy.

Shame on you Florence.

Now my name, and my work, has been brought into this “just my opinion” nonsense; this is my response.

I am soul weary of the bickering, the nit-picking over the most inane things. If you don’t like the mural, then don’t look at it.

We have more available to us than at anytime in humanity, all with a simple finger swipe and two-day shipping. Any inconvenience can be negated behind our gated communities. No one on earth has it as good as we do. 

Yet we are all furious — whipped into a mouth foaming frenzy — all the time. It is way past time that we find things that we can agree on instead of finding fault with each other. If this is my moment in the local spotlight — one that I really did not ask for — then this is my message:

I love Florence. So do you. It’s one thing we all have in common. I have loved this place since the very first time I came here. There is nowhere in the world as amazing as this place. While we will never agree on many things, this is a good place to start.

I want to start a movement: “I LOVE FLORENCE.”

For a community our size, there’s not another town on the coast, or in the state for that matter, that offers anything close to Florence.

It is easy to hate but takes energy to love. Florence is worthy of that energy.

“I Love Florence.”

That is my one and only message.

if we can not agree on anything else, surely we can agree on this.


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