Wednesday, August 12, 2015
They were known for their free popcorn and judging from these pictures, I'd say it didn't all pop in the fire. Let this crop be a lesson if you think your soil isn't good enough to grow some food.
Anybody want to play a game of pool? A local claim to fame, we got the last game of pool at the Chappy.
Public Art Commission in Ithaca, and some city officials that are willing to accept some creative ideas. Our new parking czar thought a way to make a parking garage seem less dismal was to have some murals painted in it. My idea would be to get rid of the cars, but his line of thought was pictures of NASCAR or classic cars. When the art commission got on the project they went for whatever people wanted to paint. There's quite a bit of science and personal history of the artist in the top one, some kids in a local art program asked the big question about climate change, flowers melted onto the floor, and an old poem by an African-American girl got illustrated.
I volunteered at the first one because I didn't have the $25 for a ticket. Volunteers did any job that came up over the weekend rather than work on a specific crew like they do now. That first year I was putting wristbands on people when the gates opened the first time, and was checking in musicians at the Rabbit Run Road gate when the Frank Family arrived from Louisiana.
Connie and Andy have been putting their camper in Staff Camping area since before I met them in the last century, and Alan has been running the infield set-up and special projects for as long. It's a treat to be a part of Alan's crew, working with him and Andy, and not just because Connie feeds us. It turns the festival into so much more, it turns it into a two-week affair actually.
Here's to 25 more years. Can you imagine?
Last year Mary Ellen attended for a day, she was in a wheelchair at that point, but couldn't use the new bathrooms as they had two steps to get into. She and I went into the port-o-john a dozen times that day, she was also still doing chemo and had to drink water non-stop.
It was one of the most exciting sets in my 24 years of the festival. The bass player was celebrating his birthday, and after they were done he happened to walk by our hang-out and joined us for awhile when we started singing "Happy Birthday" to him.
That's the kind of stuff that's been happening for 25 years at GrassRoots.
Then he played a great set mostly of blues from his new cd.
That's local music scene writer Jim Cat checking out all 25 posters and program covers they had on display. I got a picture of him taking a picture but it didn't come out. Over the course of the weekend I made a point of taking a picture of him getting pictures of the bands. Got to give Jim a lot of credit for doing what he does so people know how rich our music scene is, same for many dj's on the local radio stations.
Last fall Gail and I were starting to plan an early summer bike trip which would have possibly meant not working for tickets during set-up so we bought two. Plans changed, I gave them to Melissa as a graduation present and she shared the extra with her boyfriend. They are the young people in all these pictures. Ran into Darby and Anthony a bunch, Darby was still "at work" once when I saw her, but I don't think she was in this picture.
As you can see in the bottom one, Gail made it too.
They've also added a performance space, GrassRoots Fifth Stage, and put on a Saturday show, I think they call themselves the Ditch Ravens or something.
I got to watch Ellen and Paul's newest addition while they played.
Hey, there's Jim Cat taking another band photo.
And Sunday afternoon is a good time to discover a new sensation, don't know why I haven't been listening to Anna Coogan for all the years she's been playing gigs in the area, but I know I'll be catching some soon. She rocks, and everybody sounds great with Willie B on drums and pedal bass.
Below is Mark who I team up with in assembling the infield stage as part of Alan's crew.