One pleasure of running an independent magazine on the life & times of the Mountain State is taking left turns. Below is a left turn. This video will surely be—correct us if we’re wrong—the only Covid-19 juggling public service announcement you will see this pandemic.
The juggling is by Zach Warren, a talented guy from Charleston WV. I’ve known and published Zach’s work, off and on, for decades in various publications. At WestVirginiaVille World Headquarters, we hope to have more opportunities to show off his skills beyond his juggling mojo.
(NOTE: You may pause for a second and wish to run by Snopes the sentence below that begins: ‘In 2005, he volunteered in Afghanistan as a circus teacher ...’ All true, I hereby testify, as I followed his sometimes hazardous sojourn there.)
Zach used to juggle outside Ellen’s Ice Cream on Capitol Street in West Virginia’s capitol city, and was sometimes seen mixing it up with a torch, an axe, and a bowling ball. In 2005, he volunteered in Afghanistan as a circus teacher for the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children, to develop juggling, unicycling, and magic programs, while finishing graduate school at Harvard Divinity School.
Between 2013-2017, he directed public opinion polls for the Asia Foundation, including the Survey of the Afghan People. He remains a consultant for international aid organizations in Washington, DC. He recently finished a PhD at Georgetown University in psychology, where he focused on ethnicity and identity in Afghanistan.
In 2009, he released a book on “Afghan Jokes” (did I mention he was intriguing?), with help from legendary New Yorker and Esquire humor editor and cartoonist Bob Mankoff . More on that in a future post. | ~ Douglas John Imbrogno
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