What is love? It seems a few hundred folks in Minneapolis who gathered this past Sunday at the annual Barbette’s Bastille Day wanted to celebrate their amour — for France’s independence, for Cotes du Rhone, for Fat Tire brew, for brassy music, for raucous dance, for flying skateboards over and trashing an old Oldsmobile, for a perfect sun-soaked summer day, for a fire-eating and twirling trio finale. 

Love, just like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. Find your passion. Dream. Pursue. Viva! CS7G0098cc

Sometimes love’s not so easy to find. Perhaps a bit concealed. Sometimes without realizing it, we may find we’re staring right at it. That’s kind of how I felt as I roamed about those who were partying like it was 1794. 

No, no, nothing like that. 

More like I was taking a photo of a bloke silk screening of T-shirts with the imprint that read, “I <3 MPLS” Just on the other side of the parking lot there was a vendor selling “SIX ONE TWO” T’s. I understood that. In fact, back when cell phones came out and I was traveling a lot, I had this crazy idea of creating T-shirts that would be sold at gift shops at airports with the urban zip codes. Before I knew it, someone also had the idea and ran with it. Good for them. 

Finally, after a couple of those Cotes du Rhone that mellowed some of inhibitions, I approached the silk-screener. “Excuse me. What does the equation one is less than three MPLS mean?” I asked. He both frowned and smiled at my inquiry and replied, “What?” I pointed to the design and tried my question over again. He got it. “It’s a heart. I love Minneapolis.” We both exploded with laughter, mine at my self revealing ignorance of the text messaging modicom and him with his joy of schooling me. I left telling him “I heart that!”

Best case scenario is we all learn from one another. And generational learning can go both ways. I learned that less than three, <3, is an equation that equals love. And I just heard Lilly Allen sing in “Everything’s Just Wonderful” a saying I first learned from my grandparents, “That’s how the cookie crumbles.” I <3 THAT. 

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