Monday, May 25, 2009

Hello. A linen tablecloth, sunny day and graffiti on the patio...a view from the kitchen table.

I'm back. Between network problems at home, censorship at my office and lack of motivation, I've been derelict in my blogging. Oh, how I miss it. We had a wonderful gathering a couple of days ago. Friends, old and new, filled our yard with good food, drink and smoke. A warming fire, guitar play and brotherly love carried us into the early morning hours. The best part of this gathering was the common bond...a love for music. Music brought all of us to this crossroad in our lives. I'm thankful for the relationships we have.

How do we choose which opportunities to pass on and which ones to act on? I think a person should experience as much life as you can. However, that line of thinking can create problems. It is difficult to refrain from stuffing your pockets with all the goodies life has to offer. It's like being a kid in the candy store with only 50 cents in your pocket. You know you can't taste all of it so you choose the ones you know you like. Then you wonder...what would that pretty little piece of candy on the shelf taste like? I've written before about my father questioning his path in the final days of his life. In his own words, "I never took any risks." He didn't say he regretted not tasting more life, but I've always thought that in a small way, he may have. We can't have it all...or can we?

I've taken a big bite out of life. Some of it has left a bad taste in my mouth. I guess that's what we get when our eyes are bigger than our hearts.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hello. A view from the kitchen table...pretty yellow flowers growing...oh wait, that's a yard full of pretty! Hello Robin Redbreast!

Our journey to the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis was quite an experience. It opened my eyes to a BIG festival, southern hospitality and mud. The festival fills Tom Lee Park which runs along the banks of the Mississippi River. Three massive stages and a big-ass tent played host to some of the top artists of today along with several veterans. I am involved with our local fest, Saturday in the Park, so I have an understanding of the effort that goes into producing such an event. As we strolled slack-jawed through the 33 acres of the Beale Street Festival, I took notice of things like staging, beer sales and clean up. The producers of this event are dealing with numbers that make their situation a lot tougher than ours. They have 4 stages compared to 2, 60 bands compared to 10, 115,000 fans compared to 25,000 and 3 days compared to 1 great day. Now I have a different perspective on our festival.

The people in Memphis must have missed the "southern hospitality" class. From the waitstaff in the bars to the people we bumped into at the park, they appear to have lost their personality in the Civil War. Maybe they treat foreigners worse than the home-boys. Have you ever noticed that a southern accent can make someone sound, well...stupid? What makes a person talk this way? As we tried to communicate with these folks, I wondered how people of European decent developed a language like this. I think a lot of the people who settled the South were of French descent. Mix French with African tongue and you have a lazy language that is very difficult to understand.

It began to rain about 11:00 pm Friday night and stopped Monday morning. Needless to say, this turned the park/river bottom into a sea of mud. This didn't slow the large crowd down at all. They all ate, drank and rocked-out like it was 80 degrees and sunny. I have never seen anything like it. Apparently these southern folk don't mind wallowing in mud while they enjoy their music. If the same circumstances were taking place 300 miles north, the park would have been near empty. But, when in Memphis, do as the Memphiseans.