In his blog about the Gathering, Dan Gudgel talks about how hard it is to sleep during the Gathering. My trouble is eating enough food.
To read Dan's blog, go to http://dangudgel.wordpress.com .
Yesterday, I had a great breakfast while the artists were meeting- scrambled eggs with cheese, O’Brien potatoes, a biscuit, and some sort of strawberry pastry that had cottage cheese (I think) in it. Yum! My eating for the day started good, but then ....
For the past four Gatherings, I have helped out at the Thursday morning meeting and I love it. It is a great way to see the Gathering performers together in one room, visiting and getting acquainted. It is not about performing on Thursday morning. It is about people being people.
Over the past five weeks, I’ve been making participant packets, name badges, working on a few of the schedules, making phone cards, and working on other projects that had deadlines prior to this week. The work had to get done, so eating (and shopping for food) over the past week has been crazy.
Today is a different day. The projects are done. All of you (poets, musicians, workshop people, panelist, filmmakers, stage crews, audience members, etc.) have taken over. I actually had the day off from my two jobs, so I didn't set my alarm last night and I slept in until 10:30 AM this morning. Then I went to the Are there Cowboys in Florida? discussion and learned more about Cracker cowhunters, and for lunch I had a jack cheese/green chili/red onion quesadilla with a two bean salad on the side and I drank a pomegranate and blueberry juice drink. As I said at the beginning of this paragraph, the projects are done (and my eating reflects that).
Yes, there are cowboys in Florida, but I’m still having trouble visualizing ¼ of a mile of open land between swamps and trees. Oh, that would be like putting swamps and trees around my parent's 40 acre ranch ... I get it now. I wonder what our Florida guests thought about the open space of the Nevada desert when they went on their ranch tour this past Wednesday?
I also learned this morning that calling a Cracker cowhunter a cowboy is a more modern way to describe them. Also, (I learned lots!), they talked about five foot long alligators. Hum, I'm 5' 8".... I'm not sure about those odds! And, if you want a great description of what it means to be a Cracker, ask Iris Wall.
During the discussion, Iris Wall told all of us how to catch an alligator, not that I plan on doing that real soon, but who knows! It involved my toes (I pictured them bare when she explained it, but I'm thinking steel toe boots would be a better idea) in the water with a submerged gator. Picturing me in the water with an alligator is shocking enough... putting my toes near him...! I need to work on this alligator thing some more.
G Three Bar Jam Sessions
So what else have I seen during my “the projects are done!” time? The Thursday Night Jam Session in the G Three Bar here at the Western Folklife Center (WFC) was hopping. Charlie Seemann (WFC Executive Director) was playing guitar in the middle of the musicians’ circle. Standing and sitting around him were Stephanie Davis, Danny Wheetman, Miss V The Gypsy Cowbelle, Richard Chon, and a bunch of other players whose names I don’t know, but whose music I enjoyed. There were 6 fiddles, 3 guitars, 2 banjos, a piano player, and I did my best to add percussion with my improvised drum. Christina Barr and Craig Miller were dancing elegantly just outside of the fireplace nook. I think they were dancing a waltz, but I didn’t start counting (1,2,3 4,5,6) to figure it out. Part of the time I practiced my waltz stepping behind the piano while the music played.
I've practiced my waltz steps since before Christmas and I'm getting to where I don't have to count. Of course, my counting might come back (quickly) if I get the chance to add a dance partner to the mix.
In addition to playing in the circle or listening to the music, the G Three Bar is a great place to just visit with people. While standing outside of the circle last night, I had seperate conversations with Geno Delafose and Demetric Thomas about a local school assembly they performed at this week. I had heard that they got the students and teachers dancing while they played! (See Devon's post Kid Rockin' Boogie for pictures and the details!)
I hope the people who are going to the Friday Night Dance took a nap sometime today. They’re going to need the extra energy to keep up with Geno and French Rockin' Boogie!
Every night the jam sessions are different. One never knows who will show up. No matter what, there is music being played and conversations waiting to be started. Tonight and tomorrow night the G Three Bar Jam Sessions start at 10:00 PM. If you’re looking for something to do, come join the fun. And Saturday night, stay for Corb Lund and The Hurtin’ Albertans who are playing the Midnight to 2 AM dance in the G Three Theater. That will be a late night!
I'm off to see what is happening at the convention center.
My projects are done and it is Friday night!!!!!