I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me โ that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter โ except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
June 17, 2013 - 11:37 a.m.
I'm procrastinating because I'm a bit intimidated with the prospect of writing about what's gone one since Friday night. I'm more intimidated with knowing what I have to do when I'm done. I won't think about that now, I'll think about Clearwater.
Saturday morning I set my alarm for 7 AM so I could get to Clearwater before the gates opened and meet Rona, Bob, Lori not LORi, and Joe. I was on Rona's list. I got up early and wrote here but didn't leave time to eat. I was starving when I got there. but I made the very first bus from the train to the Festival. I used to park my car at the train and take the bus because it was cheaper and easier to get in and out and I don't remember the busses starting so late. I was the first person on line in those days. I must be confusing different years.
I met everyone and went to their tarp, and that was my last time there all day. I did not see anything on the main stage. I was not particularly looking forward to going to this year's festival, the headliners didn't impress me and very few of MY artists were playing anywhere. But of course I'm glad I did. I can always find things I like and at a Festival I'll always have plenty of friends.
Before the music started I went to get some breakfast with Joe. They did not have much breakfast food, just a spinach omelet, I got a $6 small grass fed hot dog. It was below average in taste. It was pretty much an abomination. I did have some OK iced coffee.
I won't make you guess who I saw. Here's the list for Saturday and where I saw them
I started the day as I've been starting many days recently with a sinus headache. I got an acetaminophen from Linda at the WfUV and that worked. LORi says it's the change in pressure that triggers them.
Stephane plays Gypsy Swing ala Django Reinhardt and was great. He didn't blow me away but I still had a bit of a headache and was not an easy audience.
The Last Bison were described in the program as "a rare blend of folk that is poetically steeped in classical influences." I thought I might get something along the lines of Brittany Haas, Jordan Tice, and Paul Kowert who blew me away on Friday night. Nope. this was soulless and boring. I should have been tipped off by the poorly phrased praise. A rare blend of folk with what? The "a rare blend of" has no place in the sentence. How can I trust the ascetic judgment of someone who wrote that?
I left early and took advantage of the time to get lunch. I went to the southern barbecue for overpriced pulled pork. It wasn't bad but not great and the guy selling it was surly. Taste Budds made up for that. I go to Clearwater and Falcon Ridge just to eat at Taste Budds. The music is just a bonus. I double indulged myself with my usual Frozen Chocolate Chiller plus one of their chipper bars. I had peanut butter and chocolate. They are sort of long thin brownies and amazingly good.
Then I went to see Elizabeth Mitchell at the family stage. She is a children's performer I know through Carey. Her set was fun and if I had kids I'd certainly take them but I didn't find her special for an adult. I thought I had seen some videos of hers, or Carey played her stuff on turntable.fm that I loved. She had another set later for adults and thought maybe she'd do what I loved there.
Next was Mike & Ruthy, my only friends playing that day. It has been way too long since I've seen them. I saw Ruthy with Sometymes Why but I haven't seen Mike since they had their daughter a year ago. They did a great set with songs of their new album and songs even newer than that along with some old favorites. Willie, their son, was in front of the stage dancing with his friends. The only disappointment is that I didn't get to talk to them. I love them as people too.
I watched the Last Bison with Howard and recommended Elizabeth Mitchell to him. Going into the day she was the one I was most excited about seeing. He joined me for her set, and both of us found he disappointing, I must have confused her with someone else. When Carey gets back from Ireland I'll try and work it out with her. Mike and Ruthy are Elizabeth's friends and neighbors so I so wanted to love her, but I didn't, and we both left before she was finished.
That's worked out well as I went to see Susan Werner who started before Elizabeth's set was over. Susan gave her usual great show. There was a period in there where she was less than enchanting me. I think it was when she was singing standards. Now it's back to her originals and her wit and she's not just fun but fun with content. She has something to say. She's also totally nuts. I love totally nuts. She was on the Hudson Stage and kept on saying that she was going to jump in the River when she was done. Guess what. She did! We all raced over to the river to watch. I was on the far side and got there late so I could just make out the splash but then watched her swim. She was fully clothed and did a hell of a job swimming. She swam up the river and came back and then had to figure out how to get back on shore. There's a seawall there and no place to climb up. Someone lowered what look like towels down to her and she climbed and got pulled up. She's in some shape. Do NOT get in a fight with Susan Werner. She'll kick your ass. Folk musicians are tough. That is going to enter Clearwater legend.
I then went over to the dance stage to see Jay & Molly and the family band, Mike & Ruthy joined them. I didn't dance, I sat at the edge of the floor and watched. I was very tired, I only had four and a half hours sleep. I decided to head home early. I made the 6:50 train, the express. When I got off in Harlem I decided to walk the mile plus home. I had my first good meal of the day at Popeye's. It was cheaper and better than any of the meals, not chocolate, at the festival.
I look back and it was not a great musical day. Mike & Ruthy, Susan, and Jay & Molly were the highlights. But I still had a great day. My depression and anxiety were gone. I saw lots of friends. I was at a beautiful location. The weather was perfect. I got great use out of my new stadium chair, hat, and convertible pants. I didn't get a hint of sunburn. I took good care of myself. I love that hat,
I had planned on writing about Sunday too but I don't have time. I'll get to it. Except for the Susan Werner swim better things to write about too.
OK now I have to make breakfast and get my day started. I hope there is a slotted spoon somewhere so I can make poached eggs. Otherwise it's bacon and eggs again.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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