In this article, you will get all the information regarding Vermont Voices: ‘I dance my tears away’ | Local News
Johnny Hinrichs always knew he was a dancer. Through the hearts of life, distant moves, career changes and family commitments, he has always maintained his love of letting things go and living in the moment. For him, that means creating beautiful stained glass and, even at 74, dancing the night away. Johnny speaks with Vermont Voices about his concerns for the environment, dyslexia, lost loves, making the perfect meatless burger and how dancing changed his life. Hinrichs has a stained glass workshop on Route 7A in Sunderland.
“I’ve been working with glass since 1974. I saw someone make a terrarium with silicone sealant, glass and ozone when I lived in California. It was a freestanding structure, and I was hooked. I moved back to Wisconsin after eight months in California, and the California friends I made came to Wisconsin, so we started a little terrarium business. There were five friends working in this double-large, setting them in motion.
“My dad was an Oldsmobile dealer. I was raised to be a car guy. I did years of university, then an automobile school. I realized that I wanted nothing to do with cars. I foresaw what was happening right now, on a planetary level. I knew we were in trouble. I knew the dangers of fossil fuels. It was never really publicized. Nobody believed it at the time. But when I thought about it, I realized that’s what was going to happen. We are going to have big problems. Back then, you know, the icebergs weren’t even melting noticeably in the 60s, but there was a theory that they would. And I mean, it feels so sensitive to me. So I became a blatant anti-establishment hippie.
“I lived for a time in a commune. Yeah, that was fabulous, deep in the woods in northern Wisconsin. We had seven family members. But on the weekend, there were more than 20. People from Milwaukee, from Madison, were hanging out in the woods. I learned to garden. I learned to freeze, I learned to chop, to make firewood, to pull firewood out of the woods, and to live simply by working the land. The truth is that the commune became incestuous, began to change partners. This caused a big problem, so I went to California to pick grapes for a while, but came back.
“One day in a terrarium studio, I heard an hour-long story on Wisconsin Public Radio about dyslexia. I had never heard that word before, but when it was over, I knew This is me This explains it I was almost in tears It was a very emotional moment in my life because I finally knew.
“I am dyslexic. Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, all those brilliant people I’ve heard of, were all suspected dyslexics. At the end of the program, I realized that, you know, the bad grades in school, still playing in school. I was always standing at the desk next to the teacher or in the hallway. I remember it didn’t bother me for some reason. I never felt belittled. But it was a real turning point for me because I realized I had something. I labeled myself as dyslexic, but I also labeled myself as not disabled. I’m extra capable because it gave me certain powers that most people don’t have. Like, I can think in 3D, I draw in 3D. I can see an image, I never forget it. Put a word in front of me, a number in front of me, I forget in six seconds. I can’t remember a phrase or a phone number if you paid me, but show me a picture. That picture they painted on the radio that day was me, forever.
“My father died in 85. And my sister couldn’t stand my mother. She drank a lot. She was hanging out all day in her house, and she was becoming a pain in the ass. So my sister, you know, isn’t begging, but asked me to move here to Vermont. So I came here to live with my mother. Mom was alone for the first time in her life, living at the end of a dead end road with no neighbors in the winter, so she would drink herself to oblivion every night. I lived with her there for the next 20 years.
“The love of my life returned to her former boyfriend. I was crushed. She was a special woman. I had known her for a few years before they became a couple. She and her boyfriend broke up, so she was free. She was adventurous in all the ways that I was, and she was very humble. She founded a shelter and a counseling group for abused women.
“She left on my birthday. I was heartbroken. It’s hard to say out loud, but I ruminated for about a year and a half after that. She just upset me. I just couldn’t kick him. And then I went back to Wisconsin. It was a Saturday morning. I went to the farmers market and she was there with her newborn baby. And we said a few words. Then she put her newborn baby on her breast. And I just walked away. God, it all came back then. I hadn’t got rid of it at all yet, the desire to see her, this beautiful baby, I couldn’t bear it.
“That night, I had a mini stroke, a TIA. As soon as I left, my heart was beating so fast, leaping out of my chest. And then it would slow down. I sat with my head between my legs on a bench. I felt it two or three times, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. When I crawled into their house, one side of my face was all crumpled up. I obviously had a stroke or something. They took me to the hospital. It was a transient ischemic attack. It’s like a stroke, except it was thick blood, not a blood clot. Generally, it disappears in 10 to 24 hours. I spent the night in the hospital. I don’t remember any of this, but in the morning I could rewrite my name.
“At some point, shortly after, I sat down with myself and said, ‘You have to forgive the woman. You could have died or been disabled. You have to forget it, free my heart. So, for the first time, I let him go.
“The most enjoyable 10 seconds of every order is when they come in here, and they see what I’ve done, and they’re like, ‘Oh my god!’ It’s all because I create something that they love. And I think the fact that I’m most proud of in my stained glass career is that I’ve never seen a piece that I’ve done turned down. Often times , they don’t even know what they’re getting. This person said “I just wanted abstract”. I did a really crazy abstract, and they loved it. Right after that, I did the fish Orvis for their window. I’m proud of that too.
“I want to continue my nut burger business. I make a fabulous veggie nut burger. I ate my first veggie burger in 1970, I’m a burger. This one, that one. Friends used to make them for me. Some of them were fine, but none were good. Mine isn’t grain-based. It’s not veg-based. J I put eggs in it, so it’s not vegan. I’m not going to succumb to vegans. They’re a bit strong for me. (laughs) Everyone who has this burger told me it was the best burger they’ve ever had. I want to have a food truck and go to rock ‘n’ roll festivals.
“Saturday I went to Bennington and danced three hours to Julie Shay. I don’t know what to say to someone who doesn’t dance. They just have to overcome their shyness. That’s all it is. They don’t want to look like fools there. I never want to be a fool. I’m the last person to make fun of myself. Except on the dance floor.
“I also listen to rockabilly in the studio. I take a break from the glass and just dance for a few minutes. I do it often. I put the album “Dirty Boogie” by Brian Setzer. For the first three songs, I’m warmed up and ready to go. I am a fairly active dancer. I mean, it was dangerous before, but I keep my eyes peeled when I’m around people now.
When I was 6, my sister brought “Rock Around the Clock,” Bill Haley, into the house. I played it over and over and over again. I danced around our fireplace. And then it was in elementary school that mom taught me to chop-chop. So we go out to dinner, and there’s music after. I would go with mom. People were like, ‘Oh, isn’t Johnny cute? I can dance.’ I was born to dance.
“Well, what can I say about the future? Two words: we’re screwed. The planet is going to throw us out in the next five decades, and we’re not going to believe it. We don’t believe it now We’re not gonna believe it until it’s all gone We’re the dumbest nation We’ve got more money than any other nation, and we all sit on our asses not trying to change I mean, seas are rising, glaciers are melting, everything is flooding, droughts, every place is drowning.
“There’s something we could do, but we’re not going to do it. Yeah, we could. We could reduce our driving by 50%. We all couldn’t buy anything plastic. Don’t buy anything you can’t reuse. I mean, there’s a lot of things we could do – buy a car for a family to share, carpool. You have a family with two children. They have four cars. It does not mean anything.
“We are in the midst of political upheaval right now. But the sensibility will reign again one day in the end. It may take a few years, a few elections, before everything is settled. But, I mean, if Trump gets elected, he’s going to drive us even further into the environmental chasm. And if that happens, after four more years, I think people will finally start to wake up. We must have woken up 30 years ago.
“I have no hope for the planet. That’s why I never had children. I was not going to give birth to a child who would have to fight for his breath.
“The only hope I have is to try to be in the moment because the future is unknown. The past, you can’t change it. I mean, everyone’s heard that before, but few many people are going through it. And since I can’t do anything about the future, I’m not going to worry about it because I won’t be there. So, I’m just dancing. I’m dancing my tears. You’re in the present , listening to the beat, moving your body. Maybe I’ll try a new move, you know, try a trick. Maybe it’ll even be pretty good.”
Vermont Voices: ‘I dance my tears away’ | Local News
Latest News by ReportedCrime.com