It’s been DAYS, hasn’t it?
I’ve been busy hanging out with my rockstar wife — The Whoreshoes played the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and oh LORD was it the best thing ever. First, they rocked the show. Everyone who walked by (they were close to the entrance) stopped and stayed for the show. People danced. They had a shirtless bearded fellow dancing, and that’s always a sign of success at a festival.
And they got backstage passes! I got one, too! That meant clean bathrooms and free food, water, and beer. But the best part, to me, was the party that night. Warren Hellman, the billionaire who puts on the free concert for San Francisco every year, rents out Slims every year and puts on a party for the performers. It was catered with really super fancy food, things I do not normally get to eat, like prime rib, and there was an open bar, which meant I would have had a fancy drink like an Old Fashioned had I been feeling better and not been driving, and we were hanging out with EVERYONE. Seriously. This may not mean much to those of you not into bluegrass, but Del McCoury patted Lala on the back. I sat at a table and watched a New Lost City Rambler realize that Whoreshoes is spelled with a W and not an H (he was rather taken aback). Laurie Lewis, who was setting up the entertainment, a casual MC of sorts, grabbed performers and pulled them up on stage — everyone doing two songs. The Whoreshoes played while Hazel Dickens, Michelle Shocked, Bela Fleck, and David Rawlings watched. My favorite part of the entertainment was standing mere feet away from Bela Fleck, David Rawlings, and Abigail Washburn as they did a simple tune. Bela Fleck just played instead of losing his damn mind like he sometimes does. David Rawlings looked like an angel, and Abigail Washburn IS one, I think.
Sigh. It was something, all right.
The second day, Sunday, we took Clara and Harriet with us. Harriet, at 16, turns out to be a Festival Dog. Of course, this is because she knows that this is another name for Giant Sandwich Bar of Heaven. Keep your nose down on the ground enough and you’ll come up with the GOOD stuff at a festival.
Clara, on the other hand, usually such a mellow content dog, hated it at first. Hated the crowds, hated the noise, hated the bass, HATED the applause. My border collie at my side turned into a bagel, wrapping herself up tighter and tighter during the first set we watched (Red Wine, of Italian Cats CD fame — Mom, remember?). I coddled her and soothed her and spoke softly into her ear and nothing helped. Then I remembered our dog trainer’s words: don’t LET her be scared. I stopped coddling and rewarded her when she acted brave, and in a little while she was just fine.
Here she’s watching Earl Scruggs:
She likes the banjo. It’s a family thing.
Harriet the Haystack got very sleepy:
(Last two courtesy of my friend Will. )
So, yes, they were big, big rockstars, and I was really pleased to be able to be part of it. Plus, I spent a while talking to the most delightful man about his cats, and it turned out later he was Doc Watson’s grandson. (I know it’s name-dropping, but it’s bluegrass, so does it really even count?)
And for those of you keeping score, there’s an unofficial tally of scores on the First Chapters Romance competition. The voting for the second round has now closed, and I repeat, this is an UNOFFICIAL LIST. Just one guy’s best estimate. The five moving on to the last round won’t be announced till Thursday, but unofficially, my book Love Spun might just be moving on. Maybe. Knitters rule, people. Muggles have no idea.
And because you rule, one more picture. I’m at work on an 18 hour shift (think about it, you work eight, and then you work ten more), and Lala just sent me this to cheer me up:
Not-dead Digit in front (DOESN’T HE LOOK GOOD?!?) and silly Waylon in the back, plotting how to leap on Digit’s tail again and get clobbered for the fourteenth time in ten minutes. Lala didn’t tell me what’s going on, I just know.
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