Feeling old, temperature at 93 degrees and rising. Did I really want to go downtown? Blues Fest weekend — 33rd to be exact. My husband does not like crowds. He is not really into the Blues, Country is his music. Did I really want to go downtown? I knew asking him to go with me in the high heat, and crowds was not good for him. For years I never went down to attend the FREE events — because he didn’t want to go and I didn’t go without him.
One year, their 25th to be exact, I decided to wander down and have been a regular attendee since then. I realized that I really like Rhythm and Blues. Of course there is not much in the way of music that I don’t like. Heavy Metal might be one. The first time I went down, I got in line for the concerts at Petrillo Music Shell, sitting off to the right, three to four rows from the stage. I have enjoyed watching the signers (words into motion) and listening to some of the great Blues artists. Koko Taylor, Muddy Waters, to name a few. I have stayed late and wandered home after dark. I have spoken to people from England that planned their vacation to be in Chicago for the Blue’s Fest.
This year we were back in town. My husband had doctor appointments scheduled for Friday and Monday. Saturday and Sunday were free. The forecast for Friday was in the 90’s. So was Saturday. A cold front was coming in Saturday night so Sunday was scheduled to be cooler. Both of my knees didn’t like me. My good (?) knee tangled with an underwater swimmer in the pool and was damaged. My left knee was still protesting when I wore shoes that affected my knee and hip. Reason told me to stay home.
If you have been reading my thought rambles for some time you are probably aware of the fact that I am stubborn and often don’t listen! 93 temperatures weren’t going to keep me home. I promised to drink plenty of water, stay in the shade and be aware of how I was feeling. I asked which stops had elevators downtown and walked a little farther to avoid taking the stairs. (Both coming and leaving.) I planned to wear new shoes so as not to cause any more injury to my body. I thought carefully of the clothes I was wearing to protect myself from the sun. I decided not to carry a chair — it would be too heavy, I would look for places to sit down. From past experience I knew that sitting on the ground was out, I’d never get up.
I realized that I had been on my feet too long and looked for an empty spot on a bench when I entered the park. Right in front of my eyes was a spot — I asked if I could sit down and was told that I could only until the photographer returned. When he returned, I was invited to stay. THANK YOU!
The gentleman was originally from Illinois, but moved to California where he recently retired. They bought a RV with a toy compartment for his Harley and wander the country visiting Blues Fest’s and Harley Davidson meets. His companion was from the Monterey Bay area. He grows strawberries by the Salinas river. I met my husband in California, our eldest daughter was born in Carmel. I felt right at home — the music was good, the shade comfortable — I stayed until the set was over.
I always wander the whole Fest, checking out the food, the artists. They had amazing FREE rib samples. Wandering here — there, I realized I needed to sit down. Lines where forming for the Music Shell and possibly because of the heat, instead of just one, many lines had formed. I joined one and got FRONT ROW seating. (Sadly my camera was at home.) I totally enjoyed the national anthem sung by Nellie Travis in a beautiful red, blue and white gown. (Sunday I complimented her on her singing and appearance. I asked one of the venue operators to pass on the compliment but it was suggested I tell her myself.)
This has passed the word count I usually use so I will quickly end this. Sunday was cooler, my husband joined me and carried chairs. We used the elevator again and spent time in the shade and also the sun. I saw people that I knew. We didn’t stay for the evening performance and we walked back to the Library to take the elevator. Combined total steps for both days was 37,867. I couldn’t believe it. I’m TIRED but I sure don’t feel OLD!