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My new vision for ‘woke’ Asheville’s Pack Square
Thursday, 21 July 2022 11:38
Special to the Daily Planet

Well, well well…. so the City of Asheville would like to have a new vision for Pack Square. 

Maybe I could help them with a few ideas of my own, although some folks have had the gumption to suggest that we may want to wait until the Vance Monument case is resolved. 

Acht…. Why be so practical? As Klaus Schwab would say, it is time to get moving and reset our world. 

The really great thing about being retired is that you can’t be canceled. Retirement means you’re already canceled or might I say self-canceled. 

So here I am ... ready, willing and able to freely contribute to Asheville’s new “visioning” project for Pack Square. It’s both an honor and a great challenge. Where, oh where, to begin? 

My vision is of a number of themed displays with politically pertinent themes, demonstrating Asheville’s newly “woke” status, scattered all around Pack Square. Some might object saying that Asheville has always been woke, it just took time for the rest of the world to catch up with us.

Well, now that we have almost rid ourselves of the racist ghost of Zebulon “Zebby” Vance, we can really create a vision with meaning. 

After all, what did Zebby ever do for Asheville ... or the state of North Carolina? 

Since the original pedestal is still in place, why not place a statue on it of our current fearless leader falling off his bike. 

That would give it a really human touch and remember how, after it happened, he just got up off the ground and soldiered on like a real hero. 

It would be a testament to human persistence in the face of disaster that pretty much defines the administration in Washington these days. They are persistently having to try to overcome the disasters they have created. 

Hey, Asheville is no longer some sleepy little mountain town. It is no longer just a hip community of artists steeped in the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge. 

We have evolved beyond the enjoyment of the simple things like lazy Sunday afternoon tubing expeditions on the French Broad River.

For Asheville is a city on the move, alive with a new sense of political activism. 

We have “woken” from a deep political coma and are like some former sleeping beauty now on steroids. We’re ready to take on the world and to build back better!

That brings me to a second new idea. Why not turn part of Pack Square into a miniature Disney-like theme park? 

I even have a new Disney character that we could introduce through this new “visionary exhibit” and who is vaguely reminiscent of one of the seven dwarves with cute floppy big ears, as well. 

Dr. Grouchy is his name and he will be brandishing a COVID-19 vaccination needle as he chases little five-year-old children around the park. Above the scene will be an elegantly scribed banner with these words written on it:

“We’re all in this together!” 

As I think about this most exciting “visioning” mission, so many thoughts come to mind. 

How about a testament to the real heroes of January 6th? 

It was, after all, when America came together and put down a serious “insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol. 

Were it not for the heroic actions of a few Capitol policemen, we might have seen the Speaker’s chair taken over for good by a bunch of self-proclaimed patriotic hoodlums who had the nerve to invade the “safe space” of our most noble Capitol building. 

How dare they? 

Oh… and the Viking-like character with the horns has to be part of it. That was such a dramatic moment. 

… And the hits just keep on coming. I can’t seem to stop these visions of “woke” grandeur. They are just overwhelming me. 

I do believe that it is time that we paid proper homage to those who are fighting for our right to vote, which is constantly under threat from right-wing efforts to suppress the vote. 

Why not have a themed exhibit that would highlight the heroic efforts of the “mules” to “deliver” votes to ballot boxes around the country. 

Without their daring efforts, it seems almost impossible that we could have driven a stake through the heart of the “Golden Golem of Greatness,” whose angry political ghost now wanders the halls of Mar-a-Lago, sticking pins in a voodoo doll of Mike Pence.

 I also think that it is most fitting that we pay proper homage to Ukraine. This would show our solidarity to a tiny little nation that is suffering in the shadow of monster Russia, which is tormenting Ukraine like some big black bear emerging from the Pisgah National Forest to terrorize some hapless visiting picknickers. 

With this proposed exhibit, we could exercise our truly patriotic instincts implanted in our breasts by the founders of this great nation. 

Having defeated the “insurrectionists” at the Capitol we can now show our true patriotism to old blue and yellow, as it gave proof through the night by surviving the Russian rockets’ RED glare. 

One extra touch would be an interactive gas pump with prices running up as a testament to the American people’s willingness to sacrifice for Ukraine. 

Ain’t we great?

I can also see a fleet of food trucks strategically placed around the park that would cater to Ashevillians’ appetite for “Beyond Meat” the “GATESway” to better health. 

No more cruelty to bison, beef cattle or infected chickens. No more of those insidious cow farts that are causing global climate change. 

We’re now “woke,” my fellow Ashevillians, and it is high time we showed it by re-visioning Pack Square. 

It has been an honor to give my input. 

I hope the mayor and the City Council will listen. 

What do you think?
Dave Evans, a self-described “independent free-thinker with libertarian leanings” who lives in Arden, once worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, as a contractor for the DoD (DISA and DLA)  — and at NOAA HQ Silver Spring, Md., where he was a project manager.



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