Day 52: Interstate Tour 2018
Let me preface this post by saying that it rained all day.
And it rained...and it rained...The Deluge.
What was really interesting is this: it would chill out on the deluge during workshops and then start pelting people with liquid darts right at the workshop changes. What's up with that?
My thumb was still ache-y, so I kept just one compression glove on to tamp things down a bit. I've been hardcore playing, performing and being active with my hands in a musical fashion since the beginning of June, 8-10 hours a day, and the strain is starting to show. I had planned on joining Matthew Dickerson during his Saturday evening set, but had to bow out because my thumb was paining me so.
I taught another Rock 'n' Roll Mountain Dulcimer class and then did the same with a Native American flute class. Repeating the workshop made for more manageable class sizes, as it's very difficult, sometimes, to teach with such large numbers. Not everyone gets the care that they need in that circumstance.
In each of the succeeding five years that I've been performing/teaching/vending at the ODPC Funfest, I've had the opportunity to serve in some interesting ways, from performing the National Anthem twice to co-emceeing the Saturday evening Hammered Dulcimer concert with Dale Palecek, something I've done for the past few years.
With the yucky weather not showing any signs of going away, the concert was moved to the community room of the Osceola County Fairgrounds. With the normally established routine sort of rudely interrupted and re-routed, Dale and I winged it to make the show run as smooth as possible.
Though mountain dulcimers have found a welcoming community here, it's still hammered dulcimers that thrills like no other and the program was filled with the fire of both legends and hot newcomers alike.
Emceeing a show is much like performing in concert. You have a general plan of how things are gonna go, but you also have a Plan B, and many other sub-plans, for when things don't go exactly the way you hoped. Dale and I would consult between acts about approaches, take note of announcements that needed to be made, facilitate the movement of performers and instruments (most of them trapezoidal in shape and very large and heavy) while keeping the whole thing quick-moving and entertaining across the board. It's fun, and it's a lot of work. Dale's a pro, and he's got absolutely limitless reservoirs of energy to tap into, plus, he's a performer as well, so he understands the needs of the artists and the flow of the show.
By the time it was all said and done, I was said and done, too. Cooked to a happy, browned crisp. I got back into Imua around 10:30 pm, then Butch Ross popped in with a bottle of Buffalo Trace, boyee, and we shot the shit for a couple of hours. Butch has been a big influence in my music and he's one of a handful of dulcimer folks that I claim as a close friend. We definitely share common DNA in how we process all of This.
And, that's it. ODPC Funfest 2018 burned fast and hard and glowed brightly for three days. The morning would bring breaking camp, departures and bittersweet farewells.
But first, the wee hours would bring much-needed sleep. Toast. Stewed. I'm a-ready for a little downtime.