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Archive for August 19th, 2003

Charlotte Asks a Question

Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

Neon Sign in Allegan, MICharlotte wrote: I’m enjoying your account of the Fiber Festival. Must say it sounds a bit lonely so far. Was there a special reason you went so early?

I replied (paraphrased): “It actually *was* lonely.

“I went early because I was mistaken about the kind of crowd there would be. I thought people would go and hang out together, and thought I’d meet new friends. I mean, when I go to Boston I go to bead stores and art stores and talk to people and make friends, and hang out. When I go to music festivals, people stay up till 6am playing tunes because they all love music. You don’t know one another when you get there, but you make friends and enjoy each other. (I’ve had pretty good luck going to fiber guilds alone and making friends, as well.)

“This festival surprised me that way. There was nobody to hang with. I sat alone and knit. I had no idea that was what I’d do, or I probably would not have gone that early. It was good for me to mellow out a bit, but being alone that much was too much. I just figured a fiber fest would be people addicted to fiber stuff who wanted to talk and connect about it. I pictured circles of spinners talking until the wee hours. No such luck.

“Live and learn. I did need a vacation and I got one. And it did get more lively on the weekend!”

Oh, I also went Wednesday because there was an afternoon workshop I’d have enjoyed taking if it was open. The website showed it open, but I wasn’t that lucky. So that was another reason I went when I did.

And I must confess, the extreme heat may have had something to do with the fact that nobody was outdoors at night. The crowd was more affluent (is that the word I want?) than I expected. People had big campers for the most part, or hotel rooms. They had access to air conditioning, and they took advantage of that. People disappeared at dinnertime, and didn’t return.

You don’t see hotel folks attending a music festival, you know? At least at the festivals I have attended, it is just not done. There are lots of tents, but even the camper-trailer people come out in the open. You sit together outdoors and endure the heat (or cold) while playing a few tunes to distract you. Sometimes people put up protective canopies against wind and rain, but you keep on playin’ until your eyes won’t stay open any longer.

Today I have a busy afternoon at Foster Center followed by Borders in Ann Arbor. They close at 11pm so we often get home after midnight. More on the Allegan story tomorrow. I promise, it gets more social in the next part of the story!

My picture today is a neon sign not too far from the Fairgrounds. I love neon signs!