The strangest thing. A small and almost unstructured community has come into existence right here, in the park.
A spontaneous and fragile birth of a tiny fruit-fly nymph: Dolania Ephemeroptera.
First, a family from Switzerland in an RV tentatively joins us for a few unforgettable days. Next, a young couple from Germany travelling around North America by car decide to stay and stick with us for an undetermined period of time, hopefully longer. And recently, a woman with a dog currently living in a car, are often to be seen around. An intense and unfamiliar spirit of solidarity can be detected here, early in the morning, at noon, and late at night. As well as in between-time. It is defined, I believe, by the uncertainty of future outcomes. In other words, we are all staying here until they kick us out, or until we choose to leave, whichever comes first. But Wally says they wont because it’s up to him, and every time this sounds reassuring. Wally is the mayor (here in the park). He is not really a person, but a place. An icon and a legend, Wally is our nucleus. I will write more about him, as well as each and everyone of them in my next posts.
The Family from Switzerland
After two days and nights of undisturbed squatting in the park’s parking near Turtle Beach in Florida, a small rental RV joins us. Michele, un italiano vero, Claudia, his beautiful better half, and their kids, the six-years-old twins Laura, and Fabio, decide to move on the other side of the campground’s fence next to our Baba Ghanoush, where the grass is greener, the sky is bluer, there is no fees, no structure, no order (no showers, no electricity, no full hook-up).
They are on vacation from Switzerland, travelling all over Florida. We quickly become friends. Together, we are driven by the irresistible impulse to have fun. At the beach or (when the Red Tide is raging there) somewhere else. We play volleyball, we play football (the Americans wrongly call it soccer but we are all with European roots); in the evening, in our park, we have BBQ and lots of vino. The kids, like innocent shamans, are playing with burning sticks near the lake. Fabio and Laura, who only speak Italian and some Swiss-German dialect which to me sounds as beautiful as butterflies, are teaching Viktor and Maya a song which they now only remember in their dreams. How is it possible that kids of different languages always find a way to communicate? Isn’t it magical?
Their feet covered with grey dirt, fingers sticky, eyes heavy with sleep, the kids are transported into their beds in the campers. Tomorrow they will continue the game.
Around the fire, Michele continues to sing gently, and we all join in, the songs of Adriano Celentano, Toto Cutugno, and Al Bano and Romina Power. The night will never end.
A few days pass, and our new friends have to continue their journey. Departure is the saddest part of every friendship. We didn’t have enough of each other and yet it is time to say goodbye.
Who will sing to us Felicita now, Michele?
When will you play with Maya again, Laura?
Who am I going to photograph now, and how are we ever going to play football without you, Fabio?
When are we going to savour again the best spaghetti with tomato sauce, Claudia?
We miss you, guys…
The Unstoppable, Unbeatable, Football Legend: Fabio