I admit it, in many ways I'm apparently not much of a "people person", so why am I worried about building "community".
Perhaps, it's not that I"m antisocial, or not a team player, but that I've not been able to find a team I fit with since High School band. You see, in my (obviously filtered) memory, the last two years of High School band are my gauge against which pretty much everything else has been measured. We had a band director, that while a complete tool in many ways, this being his first job out of College, and obviously not yet understanding we were High School and Junior High kids, not college kids, and the antics of University Frats aren't quite appropriate for 14 year olds, he was great at one thing... He set standards and held us to them, with the firm and complete belief we could achieve them.
We went from my Sophmore year, maybe playing tunes like "The Horse", and "I'd like to teach the world to sing", incorporated into a so-called half-time show, where we played one tune marching straight out from the sideline into a half moon. From there we would stand still, play a song for the majorettes and flags to perform to, one for the dance squad and then walk off to drum taps under one band director (who was burnt out), to having a completely new halftime show every week, tunes like "Malagueña", non-stop marching, and completely by memory. If you couldn't do it Friday afternoon in practice, you rode the bench Friday night.
We all quickly learned, being a "team player" meant you play your notes, be in your spot, and marching your route and that was your responsibility. If everyone did their part, the whole worked perfectly.
Unfortunately in the decades that followed, in pretty much every job or organization I was in, they all claimed to be "teams" and emphasized being a team player, but that seemed to be expressed by each person paying more attention to what others were or were not doing, some slacking while others picked up the slack, in short, while things may have gotten done, it was haphazard, chaotic and far from what would have been possible.
Hence why I keep searching for, or trying to create my version of community.
Current social media platforms, be they the huge ones everyone seems to be on (and which I'm beginning to leave), or even the more lifestyle-oriented ones, for me, still don't have that true community feel, mostly because, to me, the community is face to face. We may use a phone or email for some communication (or blog), but the real communication requires words, tone, facial expression and body language, which really needs to be in person. Thus while there may be an "Arkansas" group on a given platform, that may still mean the members are 2 hours or more away from each other, not really a situation where if someone needs a quick hand for a 30 min job, you can drop what you're doing to go help. Weekly gatherings for food and fellowship just can't happen.
Thus, I've tried doing community gardens, and Facebook groups, with very limited success. I've now left Facebook, and attempting to start a local monthly newsletter that is currently called "The Delta Homesteader". It will be distributed solely by email and can be saved, printed or forwarded as the recipients wish. I do hope for contributions by multiple people, either for content, layout, email list management etc. I hope for input from the old hands with decades of experience as well as the next generations (with parental approval and support depending on age).
Most of all, I want to use it as a tool to build community in my very local area.