Every year on this weekend my mind goes back to those many years that I attended the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Making the trip to Telluride every year was my own pilgrimage to my personal mecca....in 1999, the first year since 1986 that I didn't attend, I spent the weekend at home gardening and listening to whatever artist was on the stage at that time. (of course there were a couple that I wasn't familiar with, or didn't have any of their music; but I did have most of them!)
These days the part of the festival that I miss the most is definitely all of the wonderful friends that I met! I do get to see a handful of them at other festivals around the country...some have been so sweet as to come to these festivals specifically to see me! (and it didn't hurt that these festivals are also top-notch...>g<)
Anyhoo....amongst all of the wonderful memories that I have of the Telluride experience one of my favorites happened one early morning while sitting in the line to get in. The Telluride tarp line happenin' turned out to be one of the things about the festival that I didn't care for; I came to hate it actually, but I don't need to get into the reasons why. (at the same time, I did have some good times in the line and did have lots of giggles and I did make friends because of the line.) At the time of this story the tarp line was not nearly as intense or obnoxious as it came to be....
Before the festival started I had met a new friend from Austin; it was his first time at Telluride and he was FIRED up! He was diggin' everything and smiling all the while... So---at 3:15am Thursday morning I am awakened by my tent being shaken, and hearing him calling: "com'on, David...let's go! Let's go to the line!" I of course tried to tell him that it really wasn't necessary to go sooo early, especially on the first day of the festival! But, he was insistent, so I reluctantly dragged my butt out of my nice warm sleeping bag and joined him.
When we got to the line there were maybe 50 folks already there, curled up in sleeping bags on the ground and sleeping away. My friend (I have to admit that his name is gone from my memory at the moment...) promptly laid down, crawled into his sleeping bag, and despite his excitement, fell immediately asleep. So there I was, wide awake, 3:30 in the morning, sitting in the mountain cold. I did manage to entertain myself; it was a beautiful sky-lit Colorado night and I had a way and a mean to keep myself amused, so it really wasn't that bad. >g<
The line was located next to a soccer field....a field that had to be irrigated to keep the grass green. So, at about 5:00 that morning, while it was still mostly dark and most definitely still mighty cold, the irrigation sprinklers automatically started doin' their thing! I was still awake and sitting in my chair at the end of the line, so I was the first to notice this....but it really didn't take long for all the folks sleeping so snugly to figure out that something was up! It was simply downright hilarious (at least for me!)...these sprinklers were goin' full blast, and the sleeping folks were getting a direct hit. (again, being at the end of the line and being away from the sprinklers had its advantage...)It was a surreal sight; everyone moving in a VERY slow motion at first, most of then goin' "WHAT the....!" but then scrambling like crazy to get up and out of their bags when they realized that they were being rained on in the freezing morning air! Eventually a couple of fellows were able to find a couple of big garbage cans that they used to put over the sprinklers, hence stopping the "rain"... At this point I was in the middle of "splitting a gut", as they say; I had never seen anything funnier. (hey...even the folks that got sprayed thought it was hilarious...in retrospect! >g<)
And at 6:30am, when the next person came to line up and got in line right behind me I had the fun of telling the story and also pointing out that if she would have got here 3 hours ago that she could have been sitting right where I was! She thought I was pretty funny, too....