Saturday, August 1, 2009

Grassroots Festival Day 3

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Carol slept in while I drove over to Vince's camp. I arrived just in time for a hearty breakfast. Vince, like most Italians, eats well. He always has a good spread and I helped myself to a handful of organic olives before Christie finished whipping up some tasty omelettes. The plan for the morning was for Vince and I to pick up Knut and take him to the Farmers Market and have one last time together. After today, our Triumvirate would go our separate ways. Funny how things turn out. Time just keeps on moving. I think about the years I spent with the two of them in Europe, and now we only see each other for a few days here and there, every few years or so. I suppose we knew it…that these were the days of our youth, but I wish I could have slowed it down and appreciated it more. Maybe that's the lesson to take away in the here and now. Anyway, we had a great time at the market, sitting out on the marina deck and watching the panorama of people go by. We talked of old times, took some pictures, then I dropped off the dynamic duo and headed back to the Casita. Carol was finally stirring.
Unfortunately we did not take the lessons from Mariposa to heart because we didn't get to the festival until 6pm, after a pasta feast at Vince and Christie's camp. Once at the festival, we went to the merchandise tent to buy Donna the Buffalo cd's. Knut's daughter, Blossom, was working there and we had a brief visit with her. She looks like her name. Ah, the sweet glow of youth.

Once we got down to the field I parked our chairs in front of the main stage, thinking it best to stay put rather than spend hours migrating between stages trying to catch each performance. Carol, on the other hand, is much more aggressive. With the performance schedule in her pocket, she zipped between stages so as not to miss any bands that she'd researched and wanted to see. By staying put, I was able to see a given groups' entire performance rather than bits and pieces on the fly. While Carol was out gallivanting around, I listened to The Believers, a Seattle-based band that Carol had shrugged and walked away from after 3 songs. Little did she know that soon Donna the Buffalo would join them for the last half of their act. Instead, she went off to see A Hot Day at the Zoo, a 'zoograss' band in the cabaret tent, whom she later raved about and wished I'd been there. She also saw a Native American performer, Keith Secola, who led the audience in a circle dance that turned into a human spiral. She apparently watched it from a birdseye perspective, standing up on the bleachers so as to see the spiral unwind. She also saw Vince from up there, who'd been walking around taking photos. Meanwhile, not too far from where I was sitting, a topless young woman was dancing away. This, I have to add, did not in any shape, manner or form influence my decision to stay put. After awhile Carol came back with some good, hot phad thai, and we settled in for the finale.

Finally, the closing act. Donna the Buffalo played for about an hour before they started bringing up guest performers. By the end of the night, well after 2 in the morning and five hours of music, every major performer of the festival had played with the Buffalo. The highlight for me was a spontaneous rendition of Billie Jean. The fellow who sang it brought the house down. Had he been able to do the moonwalk, the place would have gone into the 5th dimension. It was that special. Everyone seemed to feel it, the place was electric. Carol and I just kept smiling at each other, then back at the stage where everyone was smiling and playing along.

There were several other great songs and magical moments of the night, and once the last encore ended it was time to go home. After three days, all these strangers seemed almost like old friends. Hope we get to come back again. Maybe next year for the 20th anniversary of this great music fest.

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