Monday, September 1, 2008
Labor of Love
My Labor Day Weekend started on Thursday night, with an unforgettable concert at The Britt in Jacksonville, Oregon where I have worked as a volunteer for the past four years. The majority of the volunteers prefer to usher, or work the various concessions, but I love running around the hill selling raffle tickets. The seasonal raffle prize is a for a chance to win two reserved seats to every concert next season, plus parking on the hill. I enjoy telling people, "Its a five thousand dollar prize - parking on the hill...priceless".
If you've hiked the hill to get up to The Britt venue, and most of the patrons have, they crack up. Hopefully Mastercard won't get wind of the fact I have been hustling their ad line over and over and over. This year I have a new line I'm wearing out. Despite the fact that I'm sporting a bright red smock that says in huge white type, RAFFLE TICKETS $1.00 , people always ask me how much? So I respond "only a dollar apiece or five for five". They shake their heads and laugh, but mostly they buy five. I'm not sure if its the power of suggestion or what, but my ticket sales are up this year. Go figure...
Normally I get there early, sell to the folks waiting in line, work intermissions, and then I get to join Dave on the lawn if he's not working the concert too, and enjoy the show.
Thursday night it was a triple header starting out with one of my very favorite groups, The Waifs. From Australia, they have a fantastic new CD -Sun Dirt Water and they were the highlight of the evening. It was too short of a set and they should have been the headliner. The Avett Brothers followed after a short intermission, and they were so uniquely strange and talented, I was glad to be up close to see them perform. Another intermission of running around the hill pushing tickets as it was getting dark, and the headliner, Lucinda Williams came on, lightly toasted. She was more rocking and rauncy than previous shows I've seen her do and the family oriented crowd started to head for the gates, which seemed to upset her but not slow her down a bit.
Saturday night I worked the Willie Nelson concert at Lithia. Dave and I helped an eldery woman to her seat, she was using a walker and we wanted to make sure she didn't get mowed down by the thundering crowd as the gates opened in ten minutes. As she slowly moved across the paved walkway, she told us how she met Willie many years ago at a Farm Workers rally in Salinas, California where they marched for twelve hours until her feet were so blistered, the next day she had to go to the Doctor, who she shook her head laughing, called her tenderfoot. Later that night as I was waiting for some folks in a row behind her to fill out their raffle tickets I pointed her out, and told them how she had marched with Willie. Their respectful awe, and the pride her face then registered was one of those moments I will never forget.
As for Willie, he was a class act, however, I was stunned by the number of woman throwing their bras on stage. I saw seven or eight sail through the air, and one by one he smiled and picked them up stacking them on the amp behind him, remarking it was a bumper crop that night.
Sunday we labored on my vintage retro trailer (see photo above) getting it ready to post for sale on ebay when Joan called to invite us over for a BBQ. We packed up some salsa made a few days earlier and headed over to the lodge and a delightful evening of food and fantastic wine with Joan and Bill, Helen a young 93, Pete and Janice and their kids and three dogs visiting from California, and it was an absolutely wonderful time. On the way over there we stopped to take this picture of a beautiful horse in a field that reminded me of my friend Leahs' horse Jaz.
I'm looking forward to working tonight at The Britt, Bonnie Raitt is headlining. I haven't seen her since 1977 at The Montreux Jazz Festival where she was on stage with Muddy Waters, another simply unforgettable concert experience.
Three concerts in six days, wish I had a pedometer strapped to my leg, bet I will have run a marathon by the end of this holiday weekend.