Remembering Bob Sheldon In A New Chapter of Internationalist’s History

A letter from one of our co-managers

When I began working as a co-manager a few years ago, I already knew about Bob Sheldon. I was born and raised in Chapel Hill, a child of the town and its stories – told and untold. I was a volunteer at the shop as a young teenager. The store, and the people and politics I encountered through it, changed my life immeasurably. If you’ve ever met me, or been to one of our events, you’ve probably heard me go on about how deeply I care for the bookstore and how incredible I think it is to have a project that is home to many generations of struggle. bob_sheldon

Through those generations, Internationalist is strong because it is always dynamic and shifting and growing. So much has changed in the 24 years since Bob’s death. Just in the past year, Internationalist has undergone a huge amount of change. We moved to a new location after nearly 20 years on Franklin St. There is always an amazing combination of people working in our collective, on our board, in the wider circles that intersect with the store, and each person shapes this project in remarkable ways. Especially in this year of great transition, it is our job as a collective to look forward, to embrace change. At the same time in our work, I feel a great responsibility to keep the past close, to honor the many people that have been part of this project and its history. We often think about the ways we honor and keep close the life and legacy of Bob Sheldon. We hold dear who he was and what he created, how it persists and flourishes.

While I’ve always known about Bob, growing up I did not know anyone who knew him. The longer I am in this role at Internationalist, the more I have the gift of hearing from people – all over the community, and all over the country – stories about who Bob was, about their friendships, the work they did together, the store in those days. Just yesterday as I tabled at the zine fest in Durham, many people stopped to say how glad they were to see the project going strong, what it has meant to them at different times. A few people paused, and looked at me, saying, “You know, I knew Bob.”

Each conversation I’ve had like these over the past few years has deepened my love for this project, and for Bob – someone I never had the chance to know, but whose life and work has so shaped mine. I am always so grateful for these conversations, and they all are different. They teach me so much about how things change over time, give me insight into reflections on politics and community and what the long haul might look like. They also give me insight into the strength of love and grief and memory, what it means to have a living relationship to someone lost. With someone like Bob, who was so important to so many, who did extraordinary things, it is often easy for the memory of the person to flatten, to become a myth. Bob’s legacy can tend towards that sometimes. But I have been struck again and again by the intimacy and simplicity that people speak to me with when they talk about Bob, the complexity they remember about this man and those times, the grounded and human way they talk about their friend and comrade. In all the many things that persist about Bob’s life and legacy, this way his memory lives on in such rich ways through those who loved him is always deeply moving.

I like to think of Bob this way, in the dear and loving and ordinary ways old friends have spoken about him. I like to think of that quality of family and friendship and the power it has. I like to think about how Bob teaches me about the enduring spirit that a person can give to the world in their time in it that can inspire something beyond themselves. Because of him, and because of all of us together, we have an amazing place for people to gather, creating something with life of its own. Because of him, and because of all of us together, our community has a project that is beginning a new chapter of its story, without any danger of leaving behind the love and the spirit and the fire of its history.

In a season of so much change and growth, we hold Bob Sheldon in our hearts today, as well as all of his family, friends and comrades.

Tagged

3rd Annual Internationalist Cabaret & Pie Auction Feb. 27

Friday, February 27th
7:00pm
The Nightlight Bar & Club​
405 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill
$10-20 Donation at the door

Join us for an evening filled with puppetry, dance, music, stand up, skits, a local pie auction, and more! All proceeds of this volunteer-run benefit will go directly to Internationalist Books.flyer

The Cabaret has become a favorite yearly tradition, and is one of our most important annual fundraisers. Members of the volunteer collective, folks who do projects at the store, and friends from far and wide contribute acts to a variety show style event. We also auction donated pies throughout the evening.

The Cabaret is also when we announce and celebrate the Bob Sheldon Award, given each year in memory of the founder of Internationalist Books & Community Center.

We’re still looking for volunteers to perform acts, make pies, and assist with the event. Email us at ibooks(at)internationalistbooks.org if you’re interested!

 

Tagged

Support the Unist’ot’en indigenous pipeline blockade! Teach-In and Fundraiser, January 29

Support the Unist’ot’en indigenous pipeline blockade!

Teach-In and Fundraiser, Thursday January 29th at 7:00pm.

The Unist’ot’en, a clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have built permanent camps that stand 578203_446104028797181_1596896284_ndirectly in the path of oil and gas pipelines currently proposed to run through Unist’ot’en territory in so called BC Canada. As long as they stand, no pipelines can be built. There will be a video presentation by a member of Marcellus Shale Earth First! followed by a discussion about the eco-cidal expansion of tar sands and shale gas projects on turtle island.

 

Tagged

MERMUTANTS! The Future of Florida, Theater of the Trashpocalypse, February 5

MERMUTANTS!
The Future of Florida
Theater of the Trashpocalypse
A multimedia collaborative puppet show!mermutant

The oceans have risen, swallowing up all but Florida’s highest hill. As the surviving humans scramble to stay above sea level, sea people thrive below, in the toxic neon slime of the ocean. Through puppetry, storytelling, and original music, Mermutants! explores the dystopian gated community of the last humans, the colorful underwater world of feral mermutants, singing clams, and the bottom-dwelling sea witch, and the garbage-laden shoreline where their worlds collide.

This post-apocalyptic fantasy features natural curiosities and natural disasters, transpeciation and transformation, regeneration and regurgitation.

$5+ suggested donation at the door

The Mermutants are:
Krissy Abdullah
Chelsea Kamm
Ariel Harris-Porada
ellen degenerate
Lazer Goese
Kristal Shaver (aka DJ Krustation)

https://www.facebook.com/mermutantsfutureflorida

Tagged

Calling for Acts & Pies for the 3rd Annual Internationalist Cabaret

We’ve set a date for the 3rd annual Internationalist Cabaret!

Join us on Friday, February 27th for an evening filled with puppetry, dance, music, stand up, skits, a local pie red-megaphoneauction, and more. All proceeds of this volunteer-run benefit will go directly to Internationalist Books. The Cabaret has become a favorite yearly tradition, and is one of our most important annual fundraisers.

We’re now looking for volunteers to perform acts, make pies, and assist with the event. Email us at ibooks(at)internationalistbooks.org if you’re interested!

Tagged