Last Day of Vacation
Saturday morning, after Blue Oyster Cult, I racked myself out of bed and joined the crew at Bucketworks to move. It went well. Plenty of volunteers seemed to show up just as us early birds were running out of gas. It was pretty funky, just rolling carts two blocks down the street, while a big truck was being loaded with the big stuff. The new location -- in the old Swingles Furniture Warehouse/Showroom -- is exciting, and its also a chance for Bucketworks to reposition itself as not only the "health and fitness club for the brain" but as a true arts and small business incubator. This old cynic hasn't volunteered for a lot lately; but this effort somehow touched me to get my rumless daiquiri soaked head out of bed and do something, and I'm glad I did.
I came home with heels ready to explode from the planta fasciatis I suffer from, so I dunked them in an ice bath, and rested up for the evening. The "evening" of course being the South Shore Water Frolics -- our friend Elaine lives a block away and always throws a terrific pre-fireworks soirree at her place. The South Shore fireworks were the best I've seen all summer. (Humbolt Park's 4th of July were disappointing, Summerfest's opening went on long and unvarious, and I wasn't in town for the US Bank show). This was another in a series of plain ol' good vibe events this summer. The South Shore Frolics are a lovely neighborhood festival populated by "the other east side"'s residents, making for a small town feel in the midst of the city. Stella got over her fear of big fireworks noises, and Sammy -- going a mile a minute worked himself into a deep sleep by the time we got home.
Sunday, while F/i rehearsed (oh yeah, news flash, they've scheduled a gig! They're playing for the first time since, since, well at least since Stella was born, August 4 at the Miramar! And it will be the first time since the early 90s Rick Franecki has played out with them on a stage. He's tanned, rested and ready. ) I took the kids to the South Shore Art festival as part of the frolics, and spent money. It's a darn good art/craft fair, I would say right up there with the Morning Glory itself. (I was out of town for Art Vs. Craft, so I can't tell you where it placed on that scale). But I grabbed several business cards, it was a beautiful day, and finally, a festival where the inflatable jumpy rides were reasonably priced, so i could let the kids go wild.
After they crashed, I grabbed my acoustic guitar and headed over to the Stepping Stone on South Howell for Paul Cotter's open stage. I know I could have borrowed an acoustic there, but if I didn't walk in with my own, I would have much easier been able to say "Ah, I'm not singing tonight." So I did. I wasn't all that great, but at least I know what I need to work on. Singing and accompanying one's self solo acoustically is totally different than fronting a punk band, I'll tell you. A bit out of my comfort zone, but you don't grow by staying in your zone, and every time I've ventured out it's done me some good. I had to follow a terrific Dan Smars and his buddy, when I realized that Neil Young's "Helpless" is the same song as Dylan's "Knockin on Heaven's Door." It's nice to know we live in a world where Young and Dylan have better things to do that sue each other.
So, it's Monday. The last day of Vacay, like I said. I went for a bike ride, and if getting caught in a light rain didn't bring me down (it didn't, actually), seeing this sign again did. Van Beck's was a wonderful farm and farm stand that I would hit every weekend last summer. The locally grown produce was always at peak when they displayed it, and the owner had a great connection with a peach farmer in Michigan that resulted in the most perfect peaches I have ever eaten in Wisconsin. They were perfect. Firm, sweet, juicy, squirting peach nectar in your face as you bit in. They were a great mid-bike ride treat; a reqard for climbing east up the hill on College avenue to Pennsylvania.
I don't know why they closed, but they did. Another wonderful local food source bites thedust. I hope it was just that they retired or something. I could do research and find out, but I really don't want to know. I'm just bummed about this. And now I have to get back into daily corporate grind mind by tomorrow.