In my last post, I wrote about attending California WorldFest in Grass Valley and how fun it is. I have been attending this music festival for five years, and, before that, I camped at the Strawberry Music Festival, just outside Yosemite, focusing on bluegrass and folk for several years. When the Grateful Dead was still around, I attended four of the band’s concerts. My favorite of these concerts turned out to be the one I had the most trepidation about - on a big, grassy soccer field. I guess you could call me a deadhead, although nothing like the attendant I had who pulled my van over and burst into tears when he heard on the radio that Jerry Garcia had died (I really had to try not to laugh).
I have to admit, however, that, when I’m at these festivals and loving it, I find myself curious and, yes, bothered that there are people, especially men, in their 40's, 50's and 60's there. Sometimes, I catch myself appalled when I see an older guy frolicking and dancing around on the lawn and in the dust. I totally get it with guys who are 18 and in their 20's, but what are these older men doing there?
I think a lot of this is that I can’t imagine my dad doing such a thing. And aren’t these guys supposed to be playing golf, or talking about work while playing golf, or something.
And, yes, it does weird me out a bit that Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger are about 70.
But the weirdest thing is what I realized last week: I turn 52 this week, and here I am, frolicking on the grass, dancing in the dust - not to mention lounging back in my new tilting wheelchair - with the rest of them. What’s more, I’m doing this shirtless in brightly colored overalls and mismatched high-tops with rainbow laces and sporting dreadlocks and now spiked mohawk.
Which is pretty much my standard look, festival or no festival.