Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's Been One Week Since You Looked At Me... 

...but over a week without blogging (or, indeed, any communications technology more wideranging than a walkie talkie) has left me a bit befuddled over where and how to begin.

Also, I've changed, I think.

In the absence of the literate urge, and perhaps to better capture the true chaotic mess that is memory after eight days of tentcommunity and fieldlife, Not All Who Wander Are Lost WAS going to be proud to present a sort of quotes-and-moments compendium from this year's Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

And sure, somewhere in my head will always live a list and litany of days: of swimming holes and trips into civilization for forgotten suplies; of Dave and his constant stream of young and sadly heterosexual visitors, Eileen and her Long Island brothers, of nights under the shade tent while the festival built around us.

But in my mind, the true story of this year's Falcon Ridge Festival will be that this was the year I stopped being a mere visitor-participant, and became truly subsumed, at one with the community, an organ of the festival (a small organ -- a pancreas, perhaps -- but a vital components of the organism nonetheless).

You see, when I woke up on Thursday, groggy in the morning sun, watched children while Darcie painted signs, and finally, after lunch, wobbled over to my shift checking in volunteers and press and performers, I was just another volunteer, one of a thousand working his shift with cheer and as much compentence as possible.

But then I was pulled behind a car for a conference with the Volunteer Coordinator, and the weekend turned into a series of starburst moments, a whirlwind of timing and grace:

Being asked to step up as new Crew Chief for Teen Crew -- on Thursday afternoon, just twenty hours before the crew meeting.

Transforming Teen Crew on-the-spot from a loose posse of teens who spent 90% of their time hanging out at maingate into a truly well-regarded team of curious and hardworking adolescents who spend their time making a real difference while, simultaneously, making the kinds of connections and gathering all the experience needed to become the next generation of volunteer movers and shakers.

Enjoying the new privledges accorded Crew Chiefs, such as backstage access, and a total lack of time to take advantage of it.

Realizing that, as Crew Chief, I don't just get to have my finger on the pulse of the festival at all times, but that I now get to be a part of the committee which meets throughout the year to confer, strategize, improve -- and party.

Realizing, too, that this Crew Chief management group is made up of a group of friends and dedicated like-minded folks, people that I respect more than almost anyone else. And that they treat me like an equal, and are generally glad to have me among their ranks.

And driving home in a fog after a luxurious night of play and chat and song and stars, and a day of mellow sun and take-down with old friends and campmates, and suddenly realizing that joining in Crew Chief management means I no longer have to wait until next summer to be a part of Falcon Ridge. That from now on, Falcon Ridge will always be there, a part of my real world, too.

Being charged with such responsibility and knowing that you're the best man for the job -- because you proved it this weekend, didn't you, and under fire -- oh, it's indescribable.

It is an amazing, powerful, awesome thing, this sudden epiphany that you can do this, and well, and in public, and grin happily all the while, and mean it.

But being given Falcon Ridge forever, all year long?

That, perhaps, is the happiest thing of all.

Oh, yeah. There was also some music. It rocked. For those who care, the total count as of Sunday night's closing song:

Grey Fox:
Infamous Stringdusters
Uncle Earl
Danny Barnes
Hot Buttered Rum
Tim & Mollie O'Brien
Austin Lounge Lizards

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival:
Liz Carlisle
Russel Wolfe
Wild Asparagus
David Buskin
John Gorka
Cheryl Wheeler
Christine Lavin
Susan Werner
Shawn Colvin
Crooked Still
David Massengill
Tracy Grammer
Rowan & Rice Quartet
Eliza Gilkyson
Eddie From Ohio
Dan Bern
Greg Greenway
The Rowan Brothers
Lowen & Navarro
Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams

posted by boyhowdy | 3:04 PM |

Hey Josh,
I tried this once before and i have no idea where the message went. what i had said was......
we are honered and privilaged to have you part of the heart of falcon ridge,
the volunteers are the soul and the chiefs are the heart. sounds corny but heres what i mean. the chiefs make the fest run... the volunteers make it work.
you are truly a superman, taking charge with the task that was given you....on such short notice, and running with it. making YOUR crew the best that falcon ridge has ever seen. and i feel you are a superman because you are such a HUGE weight lifter. ( i know at least tons were lifted from me this year, and its because of you. i never could have done it without you. i mean this, this year with all the new stuff that came up. how was i going to handle a bunch of teens, when a lot of them were "first timers".
i thank you from the bottom of MY heart. and words cannot express the graditude i feel.
ok enough mushy,
i'll let you know when the meeting is scheduled, i am looking into a couple of dates. so until then.
love ya,
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