Meeting New Members
by Arjuna da Silva
We’d love to introduce you to our most recent members, with apologies to all who’ve come before and those after that we neglect to feature. There are so many things to write about, to update you on, that it becomes impossible to include it all. But here’s a little vignette or two about the great folks who recently jumped through all the Earthaven hoops to be full members and become official Earthaven siteholders with their own 99-year, transferable sitehodling leases.
First, meet Robert Carran. Robert’s a carpenter, builder, artist and musician whose latest art form began its quiet development at Paul Caron’s wood shop, located below the White Owl on Another Way. The wood shop is the anchor point for the proposed Earthaven College of Natural Building, and at the moment serves to help focus a variety of wood projects.
Robert’s been toying around with the wood lathe, turning out beautiful bowls and tumblers. Since he began working on his homesite in the newly designated Hickory Knob Compact Sites neighborhood, across the road from Village Terraces, he’s been doing his woodworking over there, too. The site was cleared, provided with power from the Village Center hydro station, and with the help of a couple of terrific work exchangers, a work shed and the frame of a future octagonal living space have gone up.
The octagon has posts each made from a different, distinctive wood, most of which were harvested right on site. Two years ago, before taking an extended time away from the community to consider the full impact of making a sincere commitment, Robert was the inspiration behind what was probably Earthaven’s most successful performing arts events, a terrific spoof about life at Earthaven entitled The Waltz of the Ogres. Council Hall was packed to the rafters that night, and the audience was elated by the insight and good humor that permeated the production. Multi-talented and committed to the vision of sustainable community transformation, Robert’s been pitching in at all levels of community endeavor. Welcome, Robert!
After Robert, the next Full Members to take the jump were Martha Harris, a lawyer living in Durham, NC, and her partner, Lee Finks, a retired librarian. Martha became a Full Member in April and Finch, as we call him, jumped in May. Martha’s still works for the State Legislature in Raleigh and so she and Finch commute to Earthaven most weekends, with occasional week-long stays, a schedule that will probably continue at least until the duplex they are planning to build at Village Terraces is ready for them to move into.
Meanwhile, they’ve both taken on a chunk of Earthaven’s administrative work and, as you can imagine, Martha’s familiarity with the law, and NC law in particular, is of immense assistance to us. On top of that, Martha stepped in as our bookkeeper shortly after she became a Provisional Member, agreeing to work for community service credits (leaps) just when we’d finally agreed to raise our annual fees in order to pay one of us to keep our records straight for a few hours a week. Since the fees had already been raised, the funds will be channeled into other, much-needed community management positions.
These days Martha is also helping us reconstruct our various legal entities to better support our vision and address our everyday reality. Stay tuned for exciting news on this subject. Finch, by the way, is waiting patiently for the time when he can help us develop our sustainability reference library for members and the public alike. Welcome, Martha and Finch!