BRATWURST & PINK FLOYD

It is understandable that the many attractions of The Great Wallingford Wurst Festival cannot be fathomed from any one perspective, even a panoramic one like this.  Far beyond this playground is the music stage and the food court (with emphasis on bratwurst and sauerkraut) and inside St. Benedict School (on the right) much more, like craft booths, a book sale, a good old Catholic raffle, and something else you will not find at the Presbyterian Party – if they have one – a Biergarten.  This year the school celebrates its centennial, and the 26th Annual Wurst Festival was a good way to gather the alums and neighbors, especially the one’s with children.  It is a two day affair, Sept. 12-13, on the school grounds at 48th Street and Wallingford Avenue.  You may have missed it.

I ordered a tasty salmon sandwich at $4.50, and sat next to an about ten-year-old boy with a Pink Floyd t-shirt printed with a 1972 tour date.  I took the opportunity to brag to the boy and his father that I had interviewed Pink Floyd in 1969 (or it might have been 1968) when their first American tour brought them to the Helix office as friendly artists looking for a local plug.  I can tell you they really were “delightful lads.”  At the time the band was not yet well known.  In the office was a boy about the age of the boy I told this story to, and I invited him to interview the band with me, which he did.  And he got the bi-line.

(Mouse the pan to make it wider.)

SKY RIVER – 40th ANNIVERSARY (plus one week)

Last weekend – Labor Day weekend – while thousands (for forty dollars a day) were reflecting on the condition of the arts in our contemporary failing democracy at the three day gated seminar named Bumbershoot, some of us may have paused to recall what happened in the mud 40 years earlier on a strawberry farm – Betty  Nelson’s Strawberry Farm – a few miles south of Sultan, Washington, off of HIghway 2, on the way to Stevens Pass.   (The Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair was the reason – it will be argued, with conditions, in the forthcoming video “Sky River Rock Fire” – Bumbershoot was founded.)  Sky River, for short, was the first three-day outdoor rock/jazz festival staged where nothing had been staged before – in this case an about 40-acre farm.

It rained most of that Labor Day weekend, although it was not a cold rain and the estimated 40 thousand who showed up made the most of it by dancing in the mud and periodically chanting for the sun in circle dances which to the Christians, who from a small plane were dropping pamphlets reading “Christ Is Coming,” must have seemed like a pagan ritual.   The music was pretty much non-stop.  The “lighter than air fair” part of it was an inflated balloon of about eight feet in diameter that could get about as far off the ground as it was wide — but with a running jump by an athletic person.  (I may be wrong in this for I did not ride the thing.)

The cost of admittance was $6 for the three  days or $4 for a single day, but a large minority paid nothing, for aside from the flimsy farm fence there was no security.  Still the bands appeared for next to nothing and the reputation of the event, even while it was underway, was sufficient to inspire the Grateful Dead, for instance, to fly up from San Francisco on their own and appear late on Monday, the last day.   I remember that County Joe and the Fish, then a very popular Berkeley band, flew in from a concert in New Orleans.  Joe was wearing a rather nifty white suit that, I believe, he purchased there.  I also remember setting the microphone for a relatively unknown comedian, Richard Pryor.  Santana was resounding across the Skykomish valley at 3 a.m., and although we must have slept, I do not remember it.

I was interviewed about SKY RIVER a few days before the 40th Anniversary by Everett Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein for their Aug. 31 offering of Heraldnet. Here is the Everett Herald link.

One of the two photos included here was also printed with the August 31, Heraldnet piece with caption included.  Fred Bauer (long since moved to the wild California coastline west of Garberville) took the camp life detail from the festival.  The other is a record of both covers from a Helix published the following spring.  It was not unusual to use the covers to promote an event, in this case a benefit concert (although that is too puny a description for those Eagles Auditorium all-day events) for Helix and KRAB radio.

The Pope in Paris

Sent today, another hot scoop and visual feast from our intrepid and inspired Parisienne:

We were waiting for the Pope for two days, no cars parked in the street, so many cops around, no shops opened around rue de Poissy …

And suddenly this morning, after canceling an appointment with a printer, and explaining to him that he could never make it to me because of traffic jams and the metro stations being closed, I decided just to live the event : “the pope’s visit”.

I paid a visit to my friends who own the hotel Familia rue des Ecoles just in front of the rue de Poissy. They feel so fine since the grand opening of the College des bernardins; the musicians playing there are staying at the hotel along with many visitors too. They invited me to come to room 53 and photograph.

(click on photos to enlarge)

In the adjoining rooms, my neighbors were also interested in the pope:

Marvelous Sylvie who, with her husband, owns the Familia and Minerva hotels:

The pope arrives but he is so far away. We feel so disappointed.

I went down to street level. If I could just find a little place along the Quai from the college des bernardins to Notre Dame, I imagined it might be my only chance to see the pope.

What a thrill!

Of course, I was new in the crowd and was surprised when everyone began screaming in rhythm “Benedetto…Benedetto!” as they call Benoit XVI. It was a very happy time anyway.

Pope to visit the Collège des Bernardins in Paris

(received yesterday from BB:)

Another great day in the 5th arrondissement. Benoit XVI is going to visit the brand new and restored Collège des Bernardins which just reopened last Thursday on the rue des Bernardins.  The Cistercian college was built in 1245, was a famous place of research, diverted during  the revolution,   became a fire station in the 19è century, and now is returned to research, lectures …

All the cars had to move off the surrounding streets and the shops will be closed. The poor Pope couldn’t bring back “little souvenirs” to his family from the dead 5th arrondissement.

Here are a few photos of the opening, many priests, sponsors and a few catholic ladies, impressive and cold.

(click to see full photos)

Cousins from Aveyron

A little hello from cousin goats from Aveyron; sweet, curious, they answer to their name and come to say hello, cut the grass, give delicious milk for cheese, and also if they are curly like the white angora one on the left, they give wool.  
Do you know the story of “La chèvre de Monsieur Seguin”? Monsieur Seguin’s goat behaves courageously and fights a wolf all night long because she wants to live free.
For this story and more, read “Les lettres de mon moulin” (“Letters from my Mill”) by Alphonse Daudet – delicious tales from Provence.

Rent-a-ruminant

Howard Lev called me last week after having driven past a patch of downtown greenery filled with goats. I ran down and snapped a few shots of these delightful creatures. 

Chatted with Tammy of Rent-A-Ruminant, who asserted this was a cutting edge example of green business sense. The goats gently munch away brush, then poop, and leave.

Mostly, they’re just sweet and pettable and the opposite of camera-shy.

These bright curious animals approached me eagerly, virtually nuzzling my lens. More ham than goat, it seemed to me.

Now & Then here and now