The general consensus of opinion is that it was hot at the Kate Wolf Festival, Friday, with the temperature frozen somewhere in the high-nineties. Being a SoCal boy, born and raised, I found it nice and warm.
Closer to approaching my idea of hot, were the three consecutive days of 106-degree weather two years ago, at Reggae on the River. Two of those days were set-up days, prior to the opening of the festivities, and the third was the first actual day of performances.
|"Been dazed and confused for so long it ain't true...|
What’s ten degrees’ difference, amongst friends?
I always derive some measure of comfort, when things are not going as well as I might like, in thinking back to tougher times, as if to remind me that things could always be worse. We could have been in the sun but we weren’t; we were under some of those renowned Black Oak oaks.
There might have been no air movement whatsoever, but instead, there was a gentle breeze much of the day. We might have been isolated in some corner of the venue, but we are actually backed up against the Revival Stage.
The organizers included a two-hour block of open-mic time, and the efforts from stage were most entertaining. Somewhere in the middle of this, an M-80-like explosion ripped the air, sending up a poof of dust/dirt just outside the fence of of the 215 Area, and startling the bejabbers out of me.
Seeking the source of the explosion, I peered through the bamboo fence at the outside world, only to sight a couple staring back at me.
“What WAS that?” I inquired. “Any ideas?”
The dude snapped back, “What do you mean? It came from inside your space.” Though it did not occur to me in that moment to inquire how he could have known this, while facing the stage, it does now.
Startled for the second time in seconds, I replied, “It most certainly did not. I saw the explosion right over there,” gesturing toward a couple of bicycles to the left of the couple. The dude walked over and said, “Golly, gee wilikers,” and if you believe that, I gotta a bridge you might be interested in.
“Must have been the heat,” he opined, leaning over to take a closer look at the blown back tire. “F**k me running. There’s a gash on the side of this tire about six inches long.”
I have no idea what prompted the bike tire to go off like that, but figure it was a combination of being over-filled and being in the heat. I was hoping whoever’s bike it was, would not think anything untoward had occurred, in the form of sabotage. Under most circumstances, what else is the natural conclusion? It just blew up?
My experience is just the opposite, though, at these types of venues: I find time and again, that folks go out of their way to look after the valuables of others. I cite four examples off the top of my somewhat unbalanced head: Tobias’ wallet, Kevin’s guitar, Thomas’ backpack and my electronics.
At the Enchanted Forest gathering two weeks ago, HappyDays farm associate, Tobias, lost his wallet. The following morning it was hand-delivered to him-contents intact-by a young man, who looked as though he had had a rough night.
“TOBIAS? Is that you?” he asked, glancing back and forth between something in his hand, and Tobias’ face. “I have your wallet! I’ve been hunting for you all night.” This guy was obviously not interested in ripping off anyone.
The second example is just one of a thousand such instances, and it involves a guy I had never seen before, named Kevin. Kevin appeared in front of our table at the 215 booth, guitar in hand, and wanted to know if he could leave it somewhere in our booth for a few hours. Why he chose our booth, I do not know, but I was happy to oblige.
No big deal, right? That’s the point; the guy left something of value with strangers, and never thought twice about any risk he might be taking.
Third, a couple of weeks ago, a message appeared on face/book from Thomas, inquiring if anyone had snagged his backpack from the Bell Springs Quarry Market, the night before. He had inadvertently left it behind. Of course, someone had. [Thanks, Big Sherm.]
Thomas had his backpack back within a couple of days.
The fourth example is one that I prattled on about while chronicling my first ROTR, in 2015. I had gone from Volunteer Village to the kitchen, a fifteen-minute walk, to charge up all my electronic equipment: computer, camera and phone. Only I had left the phone behind at the camp.
Friday was the first of three days in the 215 booth for me, at the iconic Kate Wolf Festival. Being the lightweight I am, I was out of there and home by five o’clock, basking in the glow of a great success.
WARNING: More to follow tomorrow…