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Say what you will about Facebook. Some people passionately argue for its ability to more easily connect friends and family in far-flung corners of our vast nation, others argue that it is full of narcissists that merely want to shout to the world, “look at me!” I can see both sides of the argument, but recently I have found it to be a great connection to my past.

In my artist statement, I have written about my time at Church Street Station’s Rosie O’Grady’s as a Can-Can Girl and how that experience left such a profound impression on me, that it became the genesis for my line of barware. As I move further and further away from my time at Church Street and the wonderful people I met during those five years (I left my second stint at Rosie’s in 2000), I have found myself questioning whether or not that experience should continue to inform the course of my work going forward.

Hurricane Chalices (left) influenced by the signature drink of Church Street Station, The Flaming Hurricane (right, on table).

Recently, though, a Facebook group was started connecting the Church Street Station “Goodtime Gang,” as Church Street employees were referred to. Over the course of the last couple weeks, flurries of memories and pictures have been posted from Goodtime Gang members who worked there in the 1970s through later members – like me – that worked there in the mid- to late-90s. What I have found is that the immense nostalgia I have held for those times in that place is not unique to me. From the first day I started, it felt like you were part of a very large family, one you would never stop being a part of. And, it seems, that generations of the Goodtime Gang agree.

Rosie O’Grady’s and Church Street Station may have officially closed in 2001, but those memories are woven into the fabric of who I am, and I live those memories through my pots. There is no denying that all potters inform their work through past experiences of some kind whether it be time with a relative, a relationship with nature, or in my case a very special relationship with an entertainment complex. 

So, I just wanted to say thanks to Facebook and the Goodtime Gang for reminding me not to deny the influence of my past. It is through using our experiences that potters bring a genuine life story into a three-dimensional realm that we can share with others.

 

“Gulf Coast Sunset” Hurricane Chalices by Jennifer Lachtara, are available for purchase on the Lach Arts’ Etsy site.

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