In downtown Silver City, just a block from my office, is one of the highlights of the town. Alotta Gelato is an Italian Icecream store that is a mainstay of our community. Mitch Hellman and Star Belksy have run it for a number of years now. It is a meeting place for people, sitting around the small tables eating wonderful cold treats. When there are theater events in town (and this town has no less than 3 community theater groups) you can always buy a ticket at Alotta Gelato. Their signature flavor is “Gila Conglomerate,” a mixture of lumps of chocolate, nuts, and who-knows-what-else. Kids plead with their parents to go there!
And they are closing their doors in a little over 4 days.
(Yes, stunned silence is appropriate, and then a little prayer and a wonderment about where the world is going these days! And then the thought—wanna buy the place? Mitch and Star will sell it to you, and if you can run it like they do, we’d all be grateful…
But these kinds of things happen, and in a small town like ours the closing of a place like this, or the last vestige of the Old Wild West, the Buffalo Bar, have a higher profile. They remind us that life moves along, that changes happen, and that today’s scandal will probably be tomorrow’s commonplace, today’s heresy will be tomorrow’s gospel.
The relationship between the conservative (resisting change) and the progressive (encouraging change) is not whether one or the other is successful, but the tension between them that controls change. Neither side should “win;” neither side should get everything they want. Wise hearts need to have the voice and power to monitor the process of change so that the wisdom of the longest, widest and most compassionate perspective possible guides us.