Hardly Strictly – Day 2

October 4, 2014

Hardly, Strictly – Day 2

These warm days in San Francisco must have people turning strange. One of our hostesses this morning was showing us videos of how not to teach hip hop dancing and comparative videos of quality and not quality twerking! On the jam-sardine-packed bus to the park today, a woman got her bag stuck in the automatic door in such a way that the door would neither open nor close, and unless the door is closed, the bus goes nowhere, and if the bus is not moving, there is no breeze to relieve the sweaty packedness of the bus. After at least five minutes of pushing and pulling the bag came free, the doors closed and we moved on. Until a guy in the back of the express bus started yelling he wanted to get off and the bus kept on going.

We arrived at the festival in time for Alison Brown (really good banjo player “for a girl”) and my brunch of paella. Billed as chicken and rice paella, they were cooking it in HUGE paella pans – 4 feet in diameter – over gas burners. When I saw down to eat mine, I discovered 3 boneless chicken thighs under the mountain of rice. It was delicious, but way to much food, although the best festival deal I’ve seen at $10. Not comparable was the 5 ounces of organic ice cream for $5.

I escaped the relentless sun at the Banjo stage and sought out shade. Fritz and I went different ways at the Rooster Stage, where I found shade and great sound, even though I couldn’t see the stage. I had a nice edge to sit on with me feet on the ground and people around me to chat with between songs and performers.

I talked with a man about my age, rugged guy with a limp. Watched me knitting and asked if could also crochet. Told him “yes” and asked if he was wanting to learn. Yes. He wanted to make little crocheted critters for his grandkids and found the books too confusing. Meanwhile I was knitting gloves with four needles. He told me he knew all about knots but just couldn’t figure this out. If you can do knots, you can crochet. I remembered I had a hook and some spare yarn, so I showed him a few stitches. A woman looked at my pile of points and asked what I was making. She said she was a “one needle” person (meaning crochet). I suggested she talk to my companion. She sent him to Michael’s.

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The Rooster Stage seemed to be set for singer-songwriters today. A group called Striking Matches was playing when we got there. Then there was a Nashville style country girl called Nikki Lane, who has an album produced by T-bone Burnett. I had hoped to hear Shawn Colvin and she did not disappoint. Even though I couldn’t see her, her songs and voice were lovely. And she was joined by Emmy Lou Harris for one song – I thought she said it was a cover of a Tom Waits song – and then by Steve Earle for a rousing arrangement of Wake Up Little Suzie. She sang a beautiful “You and the Mona Lisa.” She closed with a duet with Kate York, another of the line-up from the day, but I didn’t get the name of the song. Just lovely.

We went to hear Robert Earl Keen to close out the day, and he had Ms. Colvin join him for a song as well, so I got a sweet dose of her.

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I didn’t bring my camera but took a few shots with the phone. A lot of the festival is being videoed and recorded, and many acts are also being streamed live. At Robert Earl Keen’s set the most interesting people were the videographer and the recording engineer.

Note this guy’s apples:

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And this guy never stopped dancing (or singing):

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And then there were these guys:

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And finally, an update on the wildlife we are seeing from our deck: (Yes, the ones on the left are parrots. . .)

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