I like this retirement thing and I took full advantage of it. In fact, I probably went a little too far in pushing my privileged status at Comfest to the limits. I knew I had no business accepting the Main Stage supervisor’s last-minute offer to do my regular Friday night MCing in his place, but I was unable to resist knowing that no one could do it better than I could. The fact that I did a good job or that I am a retired organizer with an honored past might not be a good enough excuse considering my recent media over-exposure at Comfest’s expense. I rationalized that my free-wheeling behavior was a product of Comfest’s volatile atmosphere, where the unexpected might happen, where rules might be discreetly broken, where barriers let down, clothes come off and spirits fly. Comfest is a well-run production organized by seasoned veterans but it isn’t executed in a strict professional or corporate manner. The work is done by volunteers who can be flexible and loose. For all the planning, a lot gets done on the fly and I remember often thinking that we got by on a wing and a prayer. The stages are so intimate and seemingly permeable to interaction with the audience that it seems electricity could be spontaneously created as if inside a thundercloud. The Brownian movement of the crowd, through the light and shade, between the trees, flowing around the village of booths, colliding in hugs, radiating with happiness, spinning, dancing and hula-hooping, creates an atmosphere where the release of energy feels unpredictable and just a little beyond control. Maybe that is what freedom feels like.
Thursday, tonight, I will be heading over to the patio at Hyatt on Capitol Square to see The Randys at 6 PM. At 7 PM, Paul Brown will be appearing at the Purple Box in the Gateway Center as part of The Creative Strings Festival put on by Chris Howes. The CSF will also be at Dick's tonight. Circus has Darynyck, Monolithic Cloud Parade and Alert New London and Rumba has Couch Forts.
Friday, The Drowsy Lads are at Byrne's, the CSF returns to Dick's, The Wet Darlings are at Outland, Righteous Buck & the Skull Scorchers are at Woodlands Tavern and Rumba has The Woosley Band, Erika Carey & the Calamities and The Wells. The Ooh La Las present "Stars & Strips" at Ruby's that will benefit Operation Homefront of Ohio which serves the military and their families. They've got a lot of stuff going on including Apocalypso and some out of town burlesque artistes. Veterans get in free!
Saturday. the CSF is at Dick's once again and I don't see anything in the way of competition so if you haven't supported Chris and his wonderful Creative Strings Festival yet, Saturday night is the night!
Sunday, Doo Dah, Doo Dah! Join the Doo Dah Marching Band by rendezvousing at Chez Maneri, the carriage house behind 1031 Highland Ave. around noon. Bring something with which to make noise or music, dress as outrageously as possible, be prepared to party hard and march in the best parade Columbus has to offer. It's all about having lots of fun and celebrating this crazy, crazy country of ours.
Freedom Freedom. mark