Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

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Winnipeg Folk Festival

Another lovely time at this great event. I was smarter in my timing this year, taking time off from work to be able to go up on Wednesday and return on Monday without having to work on Monday night. So I'm now returning to work for the first time since Tuesday night.

I drove up with minnehaha K, 90_percent_sure and her son, Will, and kalikanzara. We got a later start than we wanted because my car decided to throw me a few curves. Having done the smart thing and had its oil changed (it was time anyway) the day before the trip, I had its battery die on me while running last-minute errands. $500 later, I have a new alternator and battery along with rough quotes for another $800 worth of work that could be done (muffler and timing chain).

But we got loaded up and picked up minnehaha K and hit the freeway. We had a "personal FM transceiver" provided by kalikanzara to keep the convoy in communication and exchange vital information along the road. Some examples:
  • What's the yellow stuff?
  • Dude.
  • You are so high. That's totally an inflow band.
  • What's brown and sticky? A stick. (Remember this one.)

We hit some heavy rain that slowed us down a little but had no major travel mishaps. During one stop, we had a lovely conversation with a state trooper who was admiring the used trooper vehicle that kalikanzara had picked up at auction. They geeked on cars, storms, etc. and we got some interesting information about how troopers operate.

Our transition to Canada was easy and painless and the Baggiecon campground right where we expected it to be. We were able to get set up and settled in despite a light rain.

The remaining days zipped by in a blur of music during the day, fabulous cocktail hour treats from our own mizzlaurajean, mainstage shows, whiskey and music around the fire at night and sleep under the early morning light. One highlight was the main stage performance by Billie Bragg. During a break he was tuning and did the traditional folk-singer thing to fill time, he told a joke: What's brown and sticky? Everyone on the front baggie (and a few others nearby) shouted out "A stick!" He responded with, "OK, what do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?" Again, we shout out, "A stick!" He seems a bit perturbed and says, "OK, what's the last thing a stripper does to her asshole before going on stage?" When we didn't have a snappy answer, he provided it, "Drops him off at the sound check." and then proceeded to let us know that we'd forced him into this territory. That it could have been "a stick, ha ha" and that was that, but, no, we had been "clever." Fun.

I remember that Thursday and Friday nights were marked by the spectacular northern lights display. Saturday had the traditional Baggiecon mugging for new members.

Sunday was remarkable in that it started with the wind. Strong winds were tugging at tents and shade structures, tossing bits of light-weight objects around the campground as people got their breakfasts and headed over to the festival sight. Since I didn't have anything I particularly wanted to see on Sunday until about 4:00 p.m., I hung around the campground. This turned out to be fortuitous, as I was one of the four people (everyone in our convoy, coincidentally) around when things started turning worse.

A few stakes from the shower structure started to go first. We secured those and started the tour around the campground to make sure other structures were doing O.K. Just then K calls out for help and we go to help with her tent. Despite our valiant struggles it was reduced, as she put it, to "a pile of sticks." Another tent had a rainfly pierced and would end up needing a pole repair at some point.

Things were settled down a bit and, from what we could tell, decently secured. It was getting time for things to get started on main stage so we headed over the festival site. We saw the damage the wind had been doing to the rest of the campground, some of them not as fortunate as us. We started getting a bit silly and K's enjoyment of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack on my iPod on the way up lead us to make variations of the song I'll Fly Away as sung by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch. By the time we reached the festival site, we'd knocked out most of the song and decided that we'd need to sing our version for Baggiecon at the campfire that evening.

So here is Tents Fly Away as performed in their debut/farewell performance by the Soggy Tent Gospel Singer Family Hour before "artistic differences" drove them into retirement:
If the wind pulls out my tent pegs,
My tent falls down.
My tent falls down, O Glory!
My tent falls down, in the morning,
When I rise, hallelujah, by and by,
I need my tent.

If the wind tears off my rain fly,
My tent will leak.
My tent will leak, O Glory!
My tent will leak, in the morning,
When I rise, hallelujah, by and by,
I love my tent.

When, at last, this wind storm is o'er,
I'll find my tent.
I'll find my tent, O Glory!
I'll find my tent, in the morning,
When I rise, hallelujah, by and by,
I miss my tent.

When I rise, hallelujah, by and by,
I miss my tent.
(There will have to an update to the second verse as I don't have my program book with me and may have misremembered it.)

Monday, we pack up and head home. Travel is again uneventful, for which we are grateful. (Particularly seeing the big crash on the opposite side of I-94 as we got close to the Twin Cities. Yikes!)

I got home and gave Ericka the brief report on the weekend. I started getting my laundry ready but collapsed on the bed with the cat, "for a couple of hours" before I got it off the couch. I awoke briefly six hours later to help Ericka get ready to have her new helper take her to the pool (the first she's been there in months) then went back to bed and slept until about 4:00. Had my dinner and another nap, then up and a shower and off here to work.

I carried extra stuff for minnehaha back in my car (B was off to Las Vegas and K driving their car and passengers back on Tuesday). I'm supposed to hook up with B for an early-morning bike ride and unpacking of the car, but given how little I did today, I think I'll bail on the bike ride portion of the program.

Overall, a tiring but fabulously fun weekend. Looking forward to next year already. Having seen a Good Eats program on omelettes before my shower, I'm thinking that I'm wanting to make breakfasts for the group; I may wise up before next July. I showed the program to my massage-therapist friend David and he was excited enough to pencil in the time in his calendar (he thinks his new wife Judith has been there before, as well). 90_percent_sure wants to make a memories book and we all discussed a music-swap party on the drive back.

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