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Wednesday, June 26 News

The Home Team / Extremely odd jobs

When you hear the term “odd jobs,” what comes to mind? Mowing lawns? Shoveling snow? Making deliveries? Staining a deck?

It wasn’t until I made my first visit to Asheville, N. C., that “odd jobs” took on an entirely new meaning.

My wife and I traveled to Asheville to help our oldest son and his fiance (now wife) scout out the sites for what would ultimately be their wedding venue. There was a little bit of down time in our crowded itinerary — and I used it to go for a run.

Since Asheville is a super-hilly town, I wasn’t breaking any speed records, and had ample opportunity to check out all the shingles hanging in front of the funky, Victorian-style office buildings, most of which were painted in some whimsical combination of purples, greens, yellows, reds and blues.

I saw CENTER FOR HOLISTIC MEDICINE on Haywood Road. And NEW ROOTS NATUROPATHS on Grove Street. Wow. So far, pretty mellow. And then, THE ALTERNATIVE CLINIC, on Broadway. That one kind of said it all. Asheville’s not an overly large city; the population is less than 90,000. Seemed like an awful lot of acupuncture and hydrotherapy for a town of that size.

I turned down Liberty Street, and spotted ASHEVILLE YOGA CENTER. I also jogged past VEDA STUDIOS on Merrimon Avenue and ASHEVILLE COMMUNITY YOGA on Brookdale Road. I’d have to say the ’hood was all set in the yoga department.

Nor was there a shortage of massage therapy. EBB & FLOW MASSAGE THERAPY CENTER was just down the block from the Center for Holistic Medicine on Haywood. And there was BLAZING LOTUS HEALING HOUSE on Merrimon, not far from Veda Studios. Also, THE SALT SPA OF ASHEVILLE & HIMALAYAN SALT CAVE SANCTUARY on Hendersonville Road. And that’s just for starters.

Ah — and the spiritualists. Let’s not forget them. ALCHEMY OF THE HEART AND SOUL on Woodfin. UNIFIED SIMPLISM on Lakeside Drive. Plus many, many more.

To my way of thinking, now we’re really talking about odd jobs!

But — what’s this? MOSAIC REALTY, on Biltmore Avenue? An actual business? Well, I suppose that makes sense. All these Eastern medicine practitioners and yoga gurus and massage therapists and psychics are going to need office space, aren’t they?

And lookee here. LANCASTER LAW FIRM, on Central Avenue. Is this where you go if you’re looking for redress for a bad massage?

I ended my run at a Starbucks on Charlotte Street. As I drank my grande cold brew with skim and polished off my spinach, Feta, and egg white wrap, I wondered where the heck this town was hiding its supermarkets and hardware stores and accountants and contractors and dentist offices.

Later that weekend, my wife and I, our son, and his bride-to-be stopped in for drinks at the Burial Beer Co. Brewery. As it happened, we shared our picnic table with some local millennials, and I mentioned my observation that a huge preponderance of Asheville residents seemed to be involved in what I’d call these “odd jobs.” Why was that, I wondered.

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One of them had an instant answer. “We’ve got an awful lot of trustafarians down here.”

And that, I realized, just might explain it.

“The Home Team” appears the first Friday of every month. Keep up with Hank’s adventures on his blog, “Beagle Man,” on the Westport News website, at blog.ctnews.com/beagleman. Email him at DoubleH50@gmail.com.