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linnea-leidy

Photo: Zulekha Nathoo/CBC
Singer Linnea Leidy, 20, says she has relatives in Mexico and hopes the drop-in choir event on two sides of the border can “defuse some of the myths around these families who live around here.”

Sometimes our country feels noble for providing aid somewhere, and that’s OK. But how do we feel when other countries do the same for us — for example, when other countries stepped up because we failed to provide timely aid to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria? I think we need to be grateful and accept graciously, not get a chip on our shoulder. A similar dynamic can be seen in journalism. If we aren’t covering it, it’s great that another country does. Not sure if US journalists captured the following story, but I’m glad Canadians did.

Zulekha Nathoo reported at CBC about a Toronto choir that arranged a special friendship event at the US-Mexico border.

“The Toronto-based singing group Choir!Choir!Choir! staged a performance [in October] at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the decision was based on a desire to foster community rather than on politics alone.

“With a barbed wire fence and border patrol dividing two groups of drop-in singers, one located on the beach at Border Field State Park in San Diego, Calif., and the other just metres away in the border town of Tijuana, Mexico, the popular choral group performed a rendition of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ by The Beatles. …

“About 300 people took part on the U.S. side and 500 across the divide in Tijuana.’We’re just trying to create a moment that can be shared and that will bring people hope,’ said Daveed Goldman, co-founder of Choir!Choir!Choir!. …

“Tens of thousands of migrants from across Central America are seeking asylum. … It has led to stiffer immigration policies, including forced family separation.

‘These people are no different than the rest of us,’ said Linnea Leidy, 20, who came to sing. She said she has family in Mexico. ‘[This event] can help defuse some of the myths around these families who live around here.’

“A short walk from the singers is the famous Friendship Park, a bi-national space at the border where residents from both sides can meet their loved ones through a guarded fence. The spaces in the fence barely allow a pinky finger to fit through. …

” ‘There are things that we can’t solve by singing, obviously,’ said Molly Clark, who works at ArtPower at University of California San Diego, which helped organize the event. ‘But I hope that in the end, we just feel more connected to one another.’

“Choir!Choir!Choir!, which invites audience members to join singalongs around the world in an effort to build a sense of community, was founded by Goldman and fellow Canadian artist Nobu Adilman in 2011. The pair teaches a song’s arrangements to participants before performing it live as a group. In addition to travelling across Canada, the duo has put on shows around the U.S. and in Europe. …

“Adilman, who was directing singers on the Tijuana side, couldn’t be seen through the fencing, but his voice could be heard on the San Diego side through loudspeakers set up near the stage.

” ‘We stand with you,’ Adilman told the Tijuana crowd. ‘We just want you to know: you have a lot of friends who you haven’t met yet.’ ”

Choir!Choir!Choir! does these events a lot and probably has the logistics and partnerships down to a science, but I’m still impressed with the organizational chops.

More at CBC, here.

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It was KerryCan who told me about a Canadian who supports himself on things other people throw out.

As he explains at his blog Things I Find in the Garbage, “I’m a professional scavenger and entrepreneur making a living selling curbside garbage. This blog details my finds and sales. It also acts as an archive for things beautiful and historic that would otherwise have been destroyed.” Each week he tells us how much he made on selling the castoffs.

Today he has a long post that includes: “My favourite find since last post came totally by accident. I was out walking to a friend’s house in the Mile End on Saturday and came across this stuff on Clark. It had been raining heavily. This trunk caught my eye immediately. It was beautiful and I wanted it bad – I just had to make sure there weren’t any bugs involved in its tossing.

“Fortunately, while I doing an inspection a pizza delivery guy came and rang the bell of the house. After the transaction was completed I asked the person who lived there if they were throwing out the trunk, and if it was good to take. He told me he was moving and he didn’t have any use for it, which is what I expected given the “for sale” sign in front of his house and the delivered pizza (classic moving food!). I called my friend and she helped me get it home.

“It’s a really great piece. It was made from cedar by the Honderich Furniture Company of Milverton Ontario, likely in the 30s or 40s. It has the usual trunk space but also a shelf at the bottom. There’s a few small cosmetic issues but overall it’s in amazing condition. If I were to sell it I imagine I could get at least 200, maybe even 300 dollars for it, but since it’s so useful for storage I’m going to keep it myself.” More here.

It’s a lot of work to sell things that aren’t wanted anymore. Last summer, I sold a Singer sewing machine from the 1950s on eBay, and I can’t imagine doing that for everything that I no longer use. Too time consuming. My cousin Margot sells on eBay so often she doesn’t seem to mind it. She even sells things for friends. The Canadian “garbage picker” appears to have a variety of sales outlets, including his blog.

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