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A Hot FloydFest Date

fftillfoller.jpgAt first I thought my husband, Joe, had sold his soul to the FloydFest devil. Since he took the job of coordinating parking at the festival, I hadn’t seen him for days. For the past five years, he’s volunteered his time in exchange for a weekend pass, but this year, as the Floyd High soccer coach, he signed on to head up one of the hardest behind the scenes jobs. In exchange the FF promoters will make a substantial donation to the soccer program.

In years past, Joe and I watched many of our Floyd friends whiz around on golf carts while taking care of FloydFest business, as we lowly festival goers trudged around the sprawling site on foot. There looked to be a certain appeal to being in the immediate FF family and having entry to places festival goers don’t go. jogolf2f.jpg But we rarely saw those same friends on the dance floor, hanging out in the beer garden, spinning a hula hoop, climbing the climbing wall, having their fortune’s read, or sitting in a fold-up lawn chair in front of the main stage for a performance.

I knew if I wanted to spend any time with Joe I would have to come into the fold and see FF through the windshield of a golf cart. I had earned my own pink sparkly wristband, a weekend pass for performing poetry with a woman’s ensemble on a Global Village Stage, but hanging out with Joe gave me VIP status. Not only were we able to enjoy the back stage hospitality tent, where we were served food and beer on tap, I discovered there were other hospitality stations further back in the back stage of the FF world, some with comfy couches.

He picked me up in the golf cart for our "date." I pulled in close and put my arm around him as he drove. Feeling like a Jedi zooming through the back woods pathways, I wondered how fast a golf cart could actually go and shouted, more than once, “Watch out, don’t hit anyone!” I took pictures as we tooled through the crowds, down the winding cart paths, up to the entrance at the Blue Ridge Parkway, where I snapped one of the parking lot, the result of days of Joe's and other volunteer’s hard work. ffmaracolfjo.jpg

We hopped out of the cart so that Joe could give me a tour of FF headquarters, the on-site trailer where twenty or so walkie talkies were spread out on a table being charged, computers were lit up, and several busy people were talking all at once. Down by the old barn by the pond, Joe filled up the cart at what I called the FF gas station.

On more than one occasion our date was interrupted with walkie talkie talk, a run to the front gate to attend to a problem, or to train a replacement volunteer. “This is my wife,” Joe announced to all the volunteer workers he stopped to talk to. I had a black cherry ice cream in a homemade waffle cone from a nearby vendor's stand while he briefly attended a meeting.

Sometimes we parked the golf cart. Although Joe was able to attend my 3:30 poetry performance, OUTLOUD, he missed the readings later at the Coffee Bus, in which I and other poets took turns jumping up on a makeshift soapbox and reading (shouting) poetry, mostly about Peter Pan. We edged out on the ledge like Peter as we read. When I jumped off the box, making room for the next poet, I pretended I was jumping off Captain Hook’s plank. ffmainstage.jpg

We actually danced to the whole set of Donna the Buffalo (which is when I spotted Deana, off in the throng of people enjoying the show). After sunset we followed the moon. It was rising full behind the main stage. A coolness descended on the mountain, as Joe walked me to my car, where we kissed goodnight to the tune of Cat Empire's final song. It was the end of a perfect date (and I didn’t have to open my umbrella once).

Update: It’s Sunday morning and Joe is back to work as I am typing this and am about to begin putting Floyd’s August Museletter together. That’s me, Mara, and Joe in the third photo, dancing on the Poet’s Soapbox to Donna the Buffalo. For an animated clip of the first photo above, the new Hill Holler Stage, click HERE. Also check out the other Floyd bloggers coverage of FF HERE and HERE. More photos coming soon …


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hello Colleen, Michele sent me.
It seems you had a wonderfully busy weekend at the Festival - but it all ended up nicely and quietly.
I like the photo with the full moon.

Colleen I have a picture of you performing on your soap box. I was so excited to get to see you perform. I was on my way to meet Martin so I couldn't stay long but you sounded just great. I noticed your husband dancing first at Donna and then just looked for a visor and sure enough, there you were. I hate I didn't dance more...they are my faves and I had gotten hot and held out for Funkyside that didn't even get played! I only danced to one song, I feel ashamed. But I danced all day Friday which is what wore me down to Saturday's pathetic energy level and sore feet!
I think the festival was a huge huge success this year don't you! I had a great time though next year I may sleep at home!

Deana, I did get a brief glimpse of you from the top of the soap box! I'm glad you got a picture because no one else did. What a hoot! I spent most of my dance quota on Donna and the Buffalos. Even with sleeping at home and attending one full day (4 hours on Thursday and one hour on Friday) I had to meter out my energy. A big chunk went to our earlier stage performance in the Global Village. I thought it was the best fest yet and the attendance was over the top!

Thanks for the great look at Floydfest; as wonderful as ever! I won a hula hoop one year while I was there, but no one has ever seen me dancing with it!

What a great peak into the underpinnings of Floyd Fest. Love those pink boots Colleen.

As always, this looks like so much fun. It is always fun to get a behind-the-scenes look at things. joe must be tired today.

I love zipping around in golf carts. Sounds like a rigorous job, your husband had there.

Just noticed, reading the Muse, that you have changed your name to "RedQueen". ;-)


Susan, ever since a feminist friend pointed out to me how patriarchal many last names are, ending in "man" and "son," and she started calling me Redone, I've been changing my last name to suit the circumstance, but only in the Museletter where I'm most free to have that kind of fun. More about my chameleon name changes in this post: http://www.looseleafnotes.com/notes/2005/06/name_spell.html xo

Sounds like Floyd was hopping once again this year. Looks like everyone had a great time.

Did you happen to run into Pat and Tom? I'm pretty sure they always go.

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