• Pete Garfinkel

Blue Collar Bar is about finding comfort in the familiar.

My people – the importance of finding my people, my place.

And the need to belong.

I think that explains a lot of the craziness right now – people want to belong one way or another. It can be a positive thing or a negative.

The neighborhood pub is a home away from home in some communities.

Just being able to relax and kick back, and giving yourself permission to do it.

A lot of things are clawing at you for your time and your energy.

Places, people and music recharge the batteries.

Here’s Tim Seay singing a song we wrote called “Blue Collar Bar.”

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  • Pete Garfinkel

How do you find comfort? How do you find peace and satisfaction?

There’s only so much you can do to control what your future brings.

5 or 6 years ago when my parents were in ill health, I started thinking, “I should go out for a walk and get some exercise, because one day, it would be a pleasure to be able to do that.”

One day I’ll miss the ability to be able to do that.

What brings one comfort? Spiritually – what brings you peace?

What’s important for me is peace and calmness.

What washes away one’s fears? What washes away the dark clouds?

Working to identify what works for you, and maybe meditate on that.

What can you do to find personal comfort?

Catching up with a friend, getting more exercise, reaching out to someone and patching up an old problem, or maybe just saying enough is enough and moving on.

It’s kind of scary to wake up and think about life as fleeting. People talk about it, but how many people really think about it beyond a quick saying?

What does it really mean, that life is short?

How do you make the most of that undetermined time?

Whatever works for you is good. There’s no litmus test.

For me, one of those things is writing songs, especially with Amanda Colleen Williams.

Here is “I Am Saved” words and music by Pete Garfinkel and Amanda Colleen Williams.

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There are so many amazing lines in this song.

“You don’t come here for no reason… surrounded by smallness.. you know what your country cousins did behind the woodshed.”

It paints a striking picture of strength, struggle and independence.

I think about making one’s way, making a life without the creature comforts people have grown used to in the cities.

You make your own opportunities and work with your people.

I respect a fierce loyalty to family. We take care of our own.

I think that sometimes can get lost in city life. The safety net is a lot bigger in the city.

You grow up resourceful when you grow up in the country.

You learn how to fix things. You learn how to make things. You learn what it means to prepare for hard times.

You can’t just run down for a gallon of milk.

That’s why I liked doing rural home healthcare. The strength and the people who are used to doing for themselves.

In the country, you know your neighbors. How many people know your neighbors in your neighborhood these days?

Most of my childhood years were in rural Indiana. I think about how life would be different if you grew up in a city. I guess you get a different skill set. Is one better than the other? It’s hard to say.

I think you look at problems differently.

Maybe it has something to do with the anonymity of city life as opposed to country life. You don’t go unnoticed in country life. Everyone knows everyone.

In a big city, you may not see the same person ever again. What does that do to you? To ride the "L" in Chicago, you and how many thousands of people taking the train every day. Being in such close proximity and no one talking to anyone.

In a small town, you can’t not talk to somebody.

As an example, I remember when I first moved to South Carolina – and someone asked me how are you doing today. I gave a standard, fine, answer – but it occurred to me after, no they really meant it. It wasn’t a perfunctory comment. I thought, wow, that’s kind of neat. I think we lose things like that if we’re not careful.

Sometimes we gotta slow down, or we’ll miss the good stuff.

Here’s “Appalachia Kid” words and music Pete Garfinkel and Amanda Colleen Williams

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