He went to high school in Boston, then ended up in Dayton, Ohio. He and his then girlfriend, Barbara, were passing through Charleston in 1989 on the way to visiting her parents in the area, he recalled. "One week turned into three weeks and all of a sudden we had an apartment on Kanawha Boulevard. And I never left -- for 15 years!"
They married and ended up raising three children here. "We felt this was a nurturing community and village. I think there is no better place to raise children than West Virginia."
Even before there was an "Arts in Healthcare" movement, Arevalo had a passion for bringing his drumming skill to the social service field. Armed with a small flotilla of hand drums and hand-held percussion instruments, he led Shawnee Hills workshops for children with disabilities. He took his equipment to juvenile detention centers to encourage discipline and creativity.
He and his wife left Charleston after he got a job with the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., with a program called Latino Initiatives, working with children across the metropolitan era. He began doing sessions around the country with another Smithsonian school workshop program "Rhythms of Identity."
There followed six years in Florida before they decided it was time to return to the Mountain State earlier this year, he said. "Then, we came back to good ol' West by God Virginia."
He recently landed an insurance job by day. By night, he has continued to play percussion widely, on and off through the years, with a variety of regional and national bands, including The Horseflies, Rasta Rafiki and Donna the Buffalo.
"My intent is to play and enjoy and bring happiness and good music to wherever I go. Since I live here, I guess this is where I'll do it. My interest in working with children with disabilities has always been my mission.
"Another area of interest is arts and medicine. It's a tremendous movement that needs to be heard and practiced here in West Virginia. It's undoubtedly one of the best ways to heal. I think arts in medicine will take root here. And I hope to be part of it."Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or call 304-348-3017.