Currently I am in Armstrong, BC working on a BIG show at the Caravan Farm Theatre. This is my second time at the Farm (I had the great fortune of being here last year) and I love it. It’s one of my favourite places to be on earth. One of the many things that makes the Caravan Farm Theatre so great is the people. One of the people I connected with very quickly was the Caravan Theatre’s swiss army knife, Kim White. Why is he known as the ‘swiss army knife’? Well it’s because he does EVERYTHING and he does everything really well. He builds sets, he is the technical director, farm manager, super repair man, plays guitar, builds guitars (check out his work at Hobo Nation Guitars), makes a mean grilled cheese and BBQ nachos, cuts hair, is hilarious, and just a great person to be around. But the thing that brought us together was basketball.
Last summer Kim wanted to build a basketball net for the Farm. He had gathered a bunch of rims and things that were in disrepair and started to put it together. One of the things that I learned about Kim, and was made quite evident when he was building this net, is that when he builds something he wants it to be ‘the exact way. What the big boys play on.’ So he measured it out and created an official NBA net and placed it in the riding ring on the farm. And as you can see from the photo, it’s a great net and there are quite a few horses that are willing to pass by and see if you got game.
When I asked Kim why he built it he said that he wanted to have something for the kids and himself to play on, but more importantly the community. See at the Caravan Farm during the year they have 2 (soon to be 3) major shows where people are all living together and working on a play together. When that’s happening it can have up to 60 people working to make the show take off. Many of these people (myself included) can go 12 hours a day just solely focused on the play as the play is the thing. (Who am I kidding, these people are thinking and working on this thing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week… myself included) So, as Kim said to me, it was important to have something to take your mind off the work. To set up a time to just shoot around. ‘To actually play in the true sense of the word play’.
So that’s what I have been doing. I play pretty much every day for 30 minutes to unwind and have my mind focus on something else other than the play that I am doing. The basketball boys take shots, talk Lebron, Raps, and the love of the game.
What’s interesting to me, and what Kim talked about when I interviewed him for this blog post, was his desire to give this court to his community. How cool it was for him that in his times playing ball, the stories that people have shared with him about the game and their relationships to it. I can safely say these conversations are solely inspired by the presences of this net.
One of the things that popped out to me in our discussion was thinking about how he built this net as a way of connecting to the outside world. As I mentioned earlier in this post, when the show is up and running the Farm can have as many as 60 people on it, but when the show is done and everyone goes home, that number drops down to under 10. Kim built this net for the community that visits and is built around the play, but also for his smaller community: himself, his lady, and their soon to be baby! The Caravan Farm is special and unique, there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world that I know of, but having a net is something that for Kim connects him to the outside world. Beyond the Farm which was something I understood and felt as well.
Although I am far away from my Collective members, playing basketball with Kim and some of the people on the farm reminds me of the guys back home and along with the joy I feel from playing. Which is separate from any other thing that I do. Kim talked to me about how for him it brings memories of childhood and the other people throughout his life that he associates with the game and I feel the exact same way. It’s amazing how you can connect with this game. Glad to have connected with this man and his love of the game.
Now I gotta get back to work.
— Colin (Team Purple)