6 sep 1999        

- covered now with lines and creases -

The last couple of nights have been spent in the darkroom making slow progress up the mountain of printing that lies ahead of me. A few weeks went by without me ever setting foot into my little lab, so now I've got some fun catching up to do. A session of reacquaintance always carries a chance of finding some accidental treasure. The advantage of fresh eyes.

Since Chuck went and put up some shots last week from our Newport Beach Photo Safari in August I figured I'd do the same. You can see them here.

I may go out and do some more shooting today at the local park where the last summer concert is scheduled. Here in my little town we have about a half-dozen concerts in the park, beginning over the Memorial Day Weekend, and they all get a pretty good turnout. The Fourth of July is always the local pops orchestra doing patriotic numbers to go with the fireworks show, but the rest of the dates feature a variety of groups designed to ring a bell with the main park-going demographic. I went out to see Al Stewart back in July (remember "The Year of the Cat"?) and it was so much like a stroll through the '70's that by the time I got home my sideburns had grown an inch and I was wearing wallabies. Most of the adults out there were within five years of my own age.

Despite the conservative nature of this town, there is an element of counterculture to be found. Its members may not live out the free spirit lifestyle in their daily practices, but a concert in the park is sure to bring them out to play. Had the Al Stewart concert been in a beach town, the freaks (and I use that term affectionately) would've been out in droves dancing up a little sandstorm of whoop-de-doo. But in my town - one guy. One. Probably some Webmaster.

Okay, there's one other guy, but he's not a dancer, and he's probably just borderline counterculture. It's Paddleball Man. He's in his late forties, I'd guess, and he wears red shorts and running shoes, no socks. You'll see him out in the audience, way off stage right where folks haven't yet laid out their blankets or set up their chairs, and he starts hitting the ball straight up into the air. The thing is... he's not all that gifted an athlete. He's thin, but awkward, all elbows and knees as he chases his wayward bounces. He has a toothy squint and adjusts his glasses about every fifth stroke as they slide down his nose. After five minutes of this he holds up his extra paddles and moves through the crowd asking "Anybody wanna play paddleball?" Most folks take this opportunity to look at the grass or smooth out their blankets until he starts paddling again, solo. Just from the looks of him I'm almost certain he's a Webmaster.

Most of the citizens in my town are really no fun, but their blankets are very tidy.

Nevertheless, I did spot a few groovers moving their lips and swayin' to those nifty '70's tunes. One woman even provided a cellphone uplink to some friend of hers somewhere who couldn't actually be present for the festivities. That's fandom.

Today's show will feature an imitation Beatles group. They'll be doing the first half as the Fab Four (mop top v.1.0) and then running off to change into their Sgt. Pepper togs for the second half. You don't need to pay any money to see this. It's free. All you need is love, ya-ta-dadadah. Okay, that and a good property tax base to fund the Parks & Rec programs.


  today's music:

"Imagining America" -- Everything But The Girl" -- THE LANGUAGE OF LIFE


today's wisdom:

"I started high school in 1950. Cool was invented in this period... You never let on what bothered you."

- Jack Nicholson