The Fourth of Favorites – World Cup-idness, Memorable Moments and Tributes!

Germany versus France, can you believe it, the World Cup finals aproacheth! Here I am at my favorite World Cup spot, Lucille’s, a block away and surrounded by people pouring in little by little. And before 10 minutes and you are absorbed in the football game, bam! I am surrounded by 16 people all wearing a variation of France and German jerseys! (Kind of like heading to the beach, early and then waking up after a nap and seeing it populated !)

While this tug of war battle between Germany and France ensues, amazing events noteworthy comments are in order. Yesterday (GREAT SAVE BY GERMANY!) Sorry!   was a lot of Deja vous and a privilege to help someone out, this someone being a little closer to home than expected.

Jason Schell, who I see a little of Pittsburgh in all that he paints, and having several paintings now around Mexico, AND new exciting and amazing new project that will include over 100 painting but wait, I am getting ahead of myself…

Here goes, Jason emailed me the day before and asked if I could help him move several of his wrapped paintings to be shipped to Pittsburgh – BE THERE AUGUST 1st at 5831 Elmsworth Avenue – it will be amazing!)

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I didn’t hesitate, YES was my thought and answer and I loved this project and thought any chance to help heck yeah! I arrived and found tons of traffic (awesome) and found a parking spot but not before I pulled over on Zamora and rang and saw Jason, to what looked like he was a little panicked and covered with sweat and I knew, he was trying to get this “wrapped up” and was feeling some post afternoon stress, so coming back and going up into Jason’s apartment I saw this intimidating package, wrapped already and even though he had a GREAT handle on finishing it, I know he felt he did not because he had been at it all day.

Helping put the final touches on 15 paintings wrapped between wood, plastic wrap and butcher paper, I have to say, I was nervous in seeing these being shipped from Mexico City to Pittsburgh, yes Pittsburgh. After about 30 minutes, of making sure everything was sealed and packaged, we lifted the package down the stairs, down two blocks, and into the back of a smelly truck.   (Um, yeah, my dogs (the pups) have not adjusted to the movement of my truck and well, let’s just say left something behind in the truck despite me cleaning it, so intensive cleaning and defumigation of the truck will need to occur) and off we were through the city to the UPS store . We got there, unloaded, and I forgot, as Jason was putting the address onto the package, on Elmsworth n Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA, I have to say, chills ran up my spine as I recalled Shadyside and the many many amazing memories I have of Pittsburgh in general. It made me exceptionally proud to be a small part of this process.

Funny thing, as we were in the lobby of the UPS store, we heard this annoying high pitched drilling that was so loud it interrupted any conversation and thoughts we might have been having. Over and over, and it almost sounded like it was coming through the…POOF!

Right to the left of my foot, literally, popped the drill bit and pieces of tile with it! I laughed as it seriously was something out of a film, I jumped in unison with the drill bit, it leaving as fast as it appeared, leaving the bits of tile as the only trace it was there. I looked at the UPS clerks, and Jason, and laughed hysterically and tried to see down the hole, but couldn’t. A little humor along the way, not a bad way to spend the lobby time in UPS.   I still had the cool feeling of being so close to Pittsburgh just seeing this package here headed to a city that seemed to be one of its own and a part of me. I missed the Primanti Brother’s experience, the nights along he strip, the views from the Duquesne incline, and so so much more. There is something about being from Pittsburgh.

We set off, picked up Jason’s cool girlfriend, Valeria,  at the metro, headed to my house s I was having leery feelings about the possibility of not shutting the back room door tight and the dogs running amuck in the apartment again. We got to my place, I whistled from the ground floor, the pup’s heads appeared at the window, and I know all was right with the world.

We headed on Eco-bici to maybe the BEST Pozoli in Mexico, La Casa de Tono, and I ordered two Queso Enchiladas and one Papas, and Jason and Valeria,  ordered the classic Pozoli, all of it being DELICIOUS! Gracias Jason!

We left, grabbed the Ecobici, and this made me crack up hysterically. You do see almost on every corner individuals asking for money, yet here was a lady, sitting on the sidewalk, with two ballcaps, hunkered on the corner, with perhaps the largest blunt of marijuana I have ever smelled, and well saw. Yes, the smell was getting me a little crazy just being there on the corner, and we joked about how we would be affected if we stood there much longer. She knew nothing else was going on around her, NADA. Only in Mexico 😉

I like to go into details sometimes, because the overall day, while a lot of back and forth, was amazing as I am lucky to be around so many good friends, as well as talented individuals who I am lucky to see and witness their acts affect those from so many locations, I only could hope our Repentino. will continue to do the same. I simply want others to realize how much talent can be found in amazing young people’s talent, as well as the power of art to reach across the globe, I believe Repentino. can be a tool to show how so many interdisciplinary needs can be met, I believe a true center of all Common Core hopes to achieve a true hand’s on project-based event that is a reality.

Speaking of good friends, there are quite a few hat need to be remembered that have left ASF but never left our memories, as does happen every year in an international setting. A think a tribute to some (and more to follow) is also in order:

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 3.22.52 AMJoe Edwards – I have to say if you never witnessed one of the lower school concerts, you have missed something. Joe is amazing to be with in public, but amazing with the students as well. His youthful spirit was just, invigorate, and positive, and his spirit was and is contagious. I think I was honored each time I could be a part of what Joe was promoting, and he did it all from his heart and you could not only see it, you could feel it. Everytime he performed as an Open Mic, you felt like he had been there all along, and that was and is the energy of Joe Edwards. Someone and something like that you can’t ever forget nor miss, which is one of the gifts that Joe leaves behind.

Roy and Shifa Isaacs – Other than relocating the whole ASF school to their apartment for a memorable last party, these two just make you smile and laugh and think about a variety of topics. Despite often having hardships that they had to struggle through and they never stayed there in negativity – they continued to laugh, spread funny and memorable moments among those around them, and always lead and be involved in adventures. Those are the type of people you like being around, and make you feel good inside, other than always being held captive in negative areas they give you hope that there is always something to look forward to. Their children happened to always make you laugh or smile, and again, individuals that always left you with a smile for a variety of reasons, their spirit is something you wished all tried to maintain.

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 1.53.42 PMCamila Dever –  firecracker and poster child of Yoga, it was surreal to say goodbye to Camila on Wednesday.  Is is strange, I still standby not wanting to say goodbye because I believe there are no goodbyes thanks to social media.  Through the harassment (Yes Camila, harassment) and good laughs and funny times we had, Camila’s spirit resonates as being able to outdo most young children – and if I believe it right, that is what keeps people alive in spirit and their souls.  Such a spirit and enthusiasm should be directed at everything we do, and for that reason, students, adults, and everyone can feel better with a fresh perspective and not get bogged down in gossip, negative thoughts and focus, as well as always looking to the future ins tea dog looking at our past and other’s pasts.  I believe that her spirit will always be healthy and needed to keep us on the healthy track for ourselves and towards others.  Goodbyes are sad but the energy that is shared and left behind is what keeps us all going together, and that is what many people should never overlook!

(Commerical break)..Anxious at 2:30 for Brazil and Colombia. I have dear friends in both locations, and while I want Colombia to go go go, in my heart I wanted Brazil to go, ages ago all the way…so….we’ll see…..NERVOUS!!!!!!!

Stephanie Brown – Stephanie always has this soft spoken mild mannered approach to the class and all she comes in contact with and those feelings always soaked into the very pyche of all who were around her. Bother her and her partner – amazing to be around – wonderful to be colleagues, from the time they were watching my kitten to the point of where they would always be there for advice, form everything to IB Extended Essays, TOK, to ANYTHING, you always felt you ha d a welcome spot anytime you were around these two Seeing them leave, and knowing they are leaving, is a loss in your heart if you knew these two, and it is kind of an assurance to also know, no one will be able to replace the comraderie one feels with Stephanie in the halls of ASF.

Shay Carlstrom – Shay has the characteristic, blunt and honest to the point of if offending or not, he still will remain blunt and honest. I love that about him and his quality teaching style was felt from all students. You saw in when you walked past the classroom, he would not tolerate being interrupted for the sake of his students, and his students knew he was there for them as well. An AMAZNG geography and trivia player at the Legion, hysterical wearing glasses and known as Shay Charles, being over generous with the treating of friends in dinner and after dinner, as well as being a huge advocate of NANO, supporter of all things literary and Geographical, Shay’s energy, in your face or like it or not, and overall presence was hysterical and present always – Shay – you are missed and remembered equally every day!

Memri Teagle and Tiana – It’s strange some things hit you harder after the fact on right on the cusp of something happening. This happened with Memri and Tiana. I remember moving into the apartment I am in now, and having items for Memri to give from the former tenant. Then I remember Tiana, seeing Tiana in school, not much I knew about her, and then it seems like a flash forward, she was on staff and I wondered why she had not been on staff before she was a senior and already, I was saying goodbye. Not fair. I know for sure that Memri is going to be amazing in the Dominican Republic and that Tiana is going to thrive and THEN SOME in Boston, but I know this, I miss a portion of my feeling of what ASF and Repentino. is without them here.

Sandra Shannon – There are friends you settle in with and often, nothing has to be said when you are with someone, you just enjoy doing things without always having to speak or say anything. Sandra was in the Middle School so not a lot of people might have realized how calming, laid back, and easy going she was. Yet, everyone needs time to decompress, and often, just not saying anything and sharing the stress you contain within a without having to detail it, is well what is needed. Film buff, and accomplice in crime for milkshakes and chili fries at Barracuda Diner, Shannon was someone I could escape the fears I had inside with, and she calmed me just as she did her students and those around her. Despite the problems she had with the various adjustments she had with the air here, she never hesitated to maintain a friendship that gave more than was being asked for, which made the vet fact that a friend did not have to be anything at all except themselves.

Carlos Arriola – It’s funny, his smile I could almost sense across the hall, and yet, despite a somewhat quiet demeanor, his power of putting people at ease and a confidence that just WAS remained with you when you were in his presence and even when you were not. Positive, friendly and this sense that anything you needed could be brought up, left at his feet, and discussed and he would be there to hear and also offer his critique. This quit energy, yet constantly present throughout who the person Carlos Arriola always was, leaves you with an emptiness when he was not around, and such is the emptiness that exists without him here.

Jordan Horner – Few people maybe realized how early Mr. Horner arrived at ASF but in the mornings was the chance I received to calm down, ready for the day, talk about things past present, future, and be able to check out what the day held of me and laugh a little with Jordan.  Aside from the frequent coffee runs to Starbucks, this always settled me in for the day.  I can’t say that his remarks off-handedly were’t simply hysterical, (they were) and his ability to survive skateboarding, extreme bicycling (even against other cars) and come back like Superman – he was and is pretty resilient when it comes to all things, and that is what makes Jordan a good friend.  Amazing knowledge about bicycles and cycling, his conversations can easily go from that hot topic to those about the latest changes for good or worse, in the government.  Someone around that can sympathize, relate and advice, Jordan is the all around friend that in the early mornings, can make the day operate well for you – definitely, Jordan has been someone I expect to see in the morning to know the day will be as usual and without him, definitely not the same.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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2 Responses to The Fourth of Favorites – World Cup-idness, Memorable Moments and Tributes!

  1. Curtis tutt says:

    Would you please tell Tiana Tutt to call her dad Curtis Tutt. He has been trying to reach her for years. (661)945_0476

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