|From A.E. Pearson's website|
Partly it's because the idea of walking around in a big field with a whole bunch of people, all day long, 95 degrees and southern-humid, just doesn't seem like a great idea, particularly as my fiddle has done blowed up twice now, in the last two or three years, under hot, humid conditions. I think it was that 4th of July Parade on Ocracoke I participated in, back in '98 or so, when I was riding in an open truck and fiddling. There was no place to hide from the sun, and the ole fid got too hot. She kept on a runnin', but something had happened. I've got her put back together strong now, but I don't want to test the elements. (What I need is a $38 plastic fid, but I don't have one at the moment.) So's most likely I'm not going to go to Mt. Airy this weekend, where many of my old friends and many more acoustic music 'feciandos I ain't never even met will be pickin' and grinnin' for 24 hours straight, at a minimum. Nope. I see the Yard Boss in my weekend, and the couch, a couple of Sierras, some good vittles, definitely the Truck Race on Friday night. And of course the Nationwide Saturday. And then, topping off the weekend, surely the Sprint on Sunday. Maybe I'll fool around some with a song I'm working on. Before too long it'll be Monday morning already. Damn if Fats Domino didn't have it right.
We are fooled by our memories of Spring. I'm realizing this as we swelter through this last week in May, and now move blessedly to, oh, it's June, and still not even Summer. People say this every year, at least in North Carolina. "Can you believe it's not even Summer yet?" It was 98 or something here yesterday. I'm in an office these days and not on the scaffold or laying block--that's ok with me, by gawd. The people who came in and out were soaking. The salutation of the day was, "Drink some ice water or lemonade, you hear." Probably it is some hotter than back when. But it's also our memories. Spring, as a picture in our minds, is about that budding first part, even the little part that comes "early," when people are saying stuff like "my crocuses are already blooming and there's still patchy snow in the shady spots." Spring starts around here in late February. It starts when the first idea that the Winter is definitely coming to an end cannot be brushed aside by a real North Wind, or when the concern about enough firewood is first obviously a paranoia rather than merely a remote possibility. Sometimes this Spring can be dashed as early as March, with a day in the 90s. It happens in NC. But usually after a week of that it's back to cool and rainy.
It's in May that our idea of Spring is dashed by the reality of Spring, every year. The ticks come out with the leaves. The humidity rises and rises. Some years there are tornadoes. There are always violent thunderstorms. Either the ground's too wet to plow, or it's already dried out. (I decided to skip the garden this year--I know I'll sorely miss the maters, but our water supply struggled last summer with the task of keeping the garden a little wet, and I just decided I didn't care enough to haul all those buckets again. I figure next spring the spot will be rested, and I'll add some fertilizer or chicken manure if I can find it, and maybe gardening will seem all fresh and exciting after a year off.)
So I think of June 1st as sort of a special day. We're starting the Summer campaign now. I'm looking forward to it. Mt. Airy is part of that official signal, that flare shot into the night sky. I know it'll be rolling along up there, just two hours at most away. I hope everyone has a great time, and that the fiddles don't blow up. The other reason I'm not going is this video my daughter sent me via the emails this morning. Check it out.
And check out A.E. Pearson's website of photos from Mt. Airy:
Update: Oh, let me make myself perfectly clear, if I didn't this morning. Those kids in the video are awesome, they can play, and god bless em. Keep on pickin'. They just impart a certain necessary perspective to a geezer like me. Like my kid used to say, back when I was still picking her up from Friends School, "You are old Father William."