Monica’s story still evolving
By: Dick Hodgetts
Kids today will think you are ancient if you tell them about serial movies back in the “good old days”. Let me recall: Captain Marvel, Boston Blackie, Lone Ranger, and Lash LaRue were my favorite stars in serial movies. The hero would always get into such an impossible fix that you would think: “they got him for sure this week;” at that very moment, the serial movie ended, and you had to come back the next week to see how the hero escaped without a scratch. Then some guy named Ed Hurlihy came on and gave you a voice-over on the news reel that told how we were doing fighting the Germans, Japs, Koreans, or whoever was the axis of evil that decade. If all my chores had been done, and I was pleasant (a rare occurrence); Mom provided 10 cents for the movie, and a nickel for the candy. And maybe, just maybe, I would get to sit next to that cute little blonde at the Ashland Theatre who knew how to smile and get most of my box of candy, saving her own nickel.
In Ecuador, they are even more traditional in bringing up proper Catholic girls. When Monica Culqui went to her first movie with her boyfriend, there was no such thing as a chance of holding hands. She and her little boy friend were accompanied by her father, and both her older brothers. So how do you go from this overly protective environment to become an independent person living in another culture? Further, how do you emerge into a creative artist? It’s an interesting story and it is still evolving.
Today, we see Monica operating a successful business: Sartoria Monica in the Market Place near Town 220. It all started when a sister living in LA introduced her to Arts and Craft shows and demonstrated that items she was knitting could be sold. Mom and Dad were not encouraging; she had been offered a full scholarship to study Pre-med at UCLA, but she chose to become a wife and mother. Her evolution continued as she found a market for her sewing and her knitting in both California and here in Madison. Oh yes, she moved here with a spouse who also wanted her to follow a more traditional role of having a job with benefits. Just like my serial movie hero, she jumped and next week she has opened a store that sells original designer wear, teaches knitting, and is a yarn specialist. After three years, she expands her business to Harmony Crossing and teaches knitting to the Reynolds Plantation crowd, as well as creating original dress wear for her many repeat clientele.
Oh, and if you think she is okay with operating a successful “destination” designer store, she is about to have her first fictional novel published. And, she is working on a book of poetry.
This is like going to a serial movie and watching Boston Blackie get into a jam; and next week when you return for the conclusion, the Lone Ranger has dispatched the bad guys.
Meanwhile, for something truly unique, or for a lesson involving another type of “yarn”; visit Monica at her store. And, if any of you guys have designs on this single lady, her Dad designs jewelry in the store, and will gladly chaperone you to Tequilla Express where the three of you will have a great meal. CNN will be showing on the TV so that you will have the news from the latest axis of evil.
Becoming part of Monica’s clientele is like watching a serial movie; what will the heroine be doing next week? This is a fun story full of artistic expression, but how will it come out? And what hero will she ride into the sunset with? To be continued……..