Author Jerry Kelley presents an entertaining and enriching multi-media tribute to the historic work of Alan Lomax.
Alan Lomax (January 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was one of the great American field collectors of folk music of the 20th century. He was also a folklorist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, writer, scholar, political activist, oral historian, and film-maker. Lomax also produced recordings, concerts, and radio shows in the US and in England, which played an important role in both the American and British folk revivals of the 1940s, ’50s and early ’60s. During the New Deal, with his father, famed folklorist and collector John A. Lomax and later alone and with others, Lomax recorded thousands of songs and interviews for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress on aluminum and acetate discs.
After 1942, when Congress cut off the Library of Congress’s funding for folk song collecting, Lomax continued to collect independently in Britain, Ireland, the Caribbean, Italy, and Spain, as well as the United States, using the latest recording technology, assembling a treasure trove of American and international culture. With the start of the Cold War, Lomax continued to speak out for a public role for folklore, even as academic folklorists turned inward. He devoted much of the latter part of his life to advocating what he called Cultural Equity, which he sought to put on a solid theoretical foundation through to his Cantometrics research (which included a prototype Cantometrics-based educational program, the Global Jukebox). In the 1970s and 80s Lomax advised the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival and produced a series of films about folk music, American Patchwork, which aired on PBS in 1991. In his late seventies, Lomax completed a long-deferred memoir, The Land Where the Blues Began (1995), linking the birth of the blues to debt peonage, segregation, and forced labor in the American South.
JERRY KELLEY holds a BA degree from Harvard University. He has published poetry in The Texas Observer as well as a number of little magazines in North Texas. His fiction has appeared in Southwest Review. Jeremiah is also a founding member of WordSpace Board of Directors and world traveler. Born in Dallas, he attended St. Mark’s School. From Boston and Harvard in the 60s to the Canadian Bush in the 70s, he now lives in Dallas with his wife, poet Patty Turner. His multi-media presentations on writers such as William Blake have been educationally enriching, intellectually stimulating- and very entertaining!
Spiral Diner owner, Sara Tomerlin.
Spiral Diner & Bakery opened its door on August 21, 2002. But first, let’s go back a little further than that. The founder of Spiral Diner & Bakery, Amy McNutt, while making a short film about factory-farmed cows in California she learned about the heartless practices of the dairy and egg industries. Overnight this experience turned the long time vegetarian into a vegan. Amy began to research and study the plight of animals, soon extending her studies to environmentalism as well. She began to take part in educational activism and tried her best to keep an open dialogue with people about Veganism and its relation to the environment. In doing this she discovered that most people, once they have a total understanding of Veganism, agree it’s a necessary step for survival on this planet. However, they have difficulty changing their lifestyles for lack of access to information and most importantly, GOOD VEGAN FOOD. So, after a year of working in the film industry Amy decided to move on to her other love: Food. In an attempt to provide delicious cruelty-free and organic food to those who need it most she left L.A. and moved back home to Texas where she opened Spiral Diner in Fort Worth.
The original location was a small lunch counter at the Fort Worth Rail Market in downtown. There was only 800 square feet of kitchen space, 5 employees, and less than ten items on the menu! After being open a few months Amy and James started dating and after only two months they got hitched. Turns out that James was an old school vegan foodie himself so he quit his lucrative job as a bounty hunter and immediately joined Amy to help run Spiral.
After a year and a half at the Rail Market Spiral was bursting at the seams. The customer base was growing and growing and they were running out of space in the kitchen. They needed a bigger and better place. With financial support from Amy’s wonderful mom and many regular customers who came on board as lenders the move to Magnolia was on. They found an old gutted building in the Near Southside and along with the landlord’s help were able to fix it up. And on their second anniversary Spiral Diner Fort Worth was born anew. With fancy new digs and expanded menu Spiral quickly became a Fort Worth institution and a destination for vegan travelers. All the while they kept a great core crew of employees that stuck with them through thick and thin. In 2007 Spiral pulled off a real coup: The little vegan restaurant in Cowtown, TX was awarded Best Vegetarian Restaurant in America by VegNews magazine!
(That’s right, Texas!).
In 2006, Sara Tomerlin, a recent TCU grad and longtime Spiral employee decided she wanted to share good vegan food with the rest of DFW and she asked if she could open a Spiral Diner in Dallas. Since Sara’s the best, Amy said “yes”. In February of 2008, after two long years of planning and location hunting, Spiral Diner Dallas opened its doors. Located in a beautiful old neighborhood in Oak Cliff, Spiral Dallas has quickly become a second home for many locals and for the 20 employees who work so hard to make the place awesome.
In January of 2008 Spiral Fort Worth’s wonderful and amazing longtime manager, Lindsey Akey, took over ownership of Spiral Fort Worth. Lindsey’s supernatural work ethic and brains for miles make Spiral Fort Worth awesome. As does the positivity and hard work of our 20 Fort Worth employees who work their little butts off every day in the name of good vegan food and
Today, Amy and James still own and run the company as benevolent overlords while Lindsey and Sara own and run their respective locations. This allows them have more time to work on recipes, teach cooking classes, work on filmmaking and plan the opening of an art house theater in Fort Worth. They love their customers and co-workers who have given them the opportunity to do what they love most… save animals and watch movies!