City of Roses
Hi, y'all! I'd like to thank everyone who tuned in live the first of the two days I mentioned today, yay!
The transitions between 45-minute music sets were tighter today than they have been in the past, so if you looking forward more to just hearing my voice than hearing the equally as wonderful music, I regret that opportunity was limited, but nonetheless it's a joy simply being there and having that volunteering outlet.
Behind the scenes, during each of the 45-minute sets, I had a whole lot of fun. The first act you heard once I had begun my anchoring shift around noon was Kevin Selfe & The Tornadoes, and I had the pleasure, with my special backstage pass for being a volunteer, of being seated right up there on the right side of the Credit Union Blues Stage, where I got to see the trio perform from no more than fifteen feet away. One fascinating piece of trivia about Kevin Selfe himself was that in 1995, he graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Meteorology (hence explains the band's gusty nickname, LOL!) as he originally was a popular local weatherman. One can only imagine him now returning to his former day job, having a musical anthem for every chunk of meteorological vernacular in the book from the Alberta Clipper to the Zonal Flow! LOL!
Junkyard Jane also put on a scintillating set on the Credit Union Blues Stage today, which the energetic, eclectic and upbeat set reminded me of the deep irony to most modern blues festivals in that women represent a razor-thin fraction of the performances, yet in many of the earliest days of blues music, women literally built the genre no less than men did. Mamie Smith in 1920 released "Crazy Blues", and that went on to sell a million copies in less than six months, which now also is permanently preserved in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. Bessie Smith (unrelated to the aforementioned Smith) remains cited as one of the greatest inspirations and influences of thousands of artists, including Janis Joplin and Billie Holiday. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Victoria Spivey, Ethel Waters; take your pick, women were instrumental in making blues the cultural triumph it is today. And I am blessed that the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival is among a handful of festivals beyond New Orleans that provides women artists with a greater, beyond well-deserved representation.
The Kashi Cereal Company were there too, amidst their "Day of Change Tour 2007" promoting their heart-healthy products and encouraging everyone to make healthy decisions and set positive goals and beneficial changes in their lives. So I picked up a Kashi passport, made my way through the four stations under their tent from the taste-testing of their honey almond flax cereal to stretching out on the lawn with fellow Kashi volunteers, turned in my fully-stamped passport, and got my free Kashi cloth tote bag, spoiling everyone over literally with about two-dozen $1 off Kashi cereal coupons, half-a-dozen $1 off Silk soymilk coupons, a Chocolate Turtle GOLEAN Roll! bar, a Honey Almond Flax TLC Chewy Granola Bar, and one of their bumper stickers that reads "Grainivore". (giggles) I've got my shipping cut out for me all the way to January, LOL!
Yep, they certainly treat all their volunteers there like celebrities every year. They had a claw-foot tub filled with Vitamin Water, a buffet table lined up with southern cuisine and cold cuts, and they even provide you with sunscreen, towels and free music samplers. They're way too generous as you can tell, LOL!
But the main reason I have patented this as a summer tradition of sorts for me personally is because I admire the altruistic aura that surrounds this whole festival. Admission for the Waterfront Blues Festival is $8 and at least two non-perishable food products, which every donated dollar enables the Oregon Food Bank, the hub of a statewide network of nearly 900 hunger-relief agencies and programs serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington, to collect and distribute six pounds of food through it's food distribution program that can feed a family of four for three days.
Oregon is the state that has often led the nation in hunger, where approximately 72,000 children monthly in Oregon eat meals from an emergency food box, where much of the problem revolves around children and low-income families who, affected by the high costs of housing, health care, childcare and fuel The high cost of housing, health care, childcare and fuel, have little additional money at the end of the day to pay for food. And as I'm currently recovering from anorexia, I understand too well the dangers of hunger, and should NOT be allowed to happen.
That's where the Waterfront Blues Festival comes in, being the single-greatest hunger-relief event every year in Oregon for the Oregon Food Bank, where last year visitors donated $545,000 and 103,500 pounds of food to fight hunger and its root causes. And I am more than happy every year to help out in that campaign.
I will be back on Sunday from noon to 3:30 PM Pacific Standard Time, and until then, have a most delightful sun-soaked weekend, y'all!
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"