I seem to insist on returning to the Madison Green Farmers’ Market in my old hometown in the aughts. It remains a bitter-sweet tour, driving all the old routes that I drove from CT to PA and back when I was married, supporting my family up there. I do appreciate the time spent in the car, listening to my mix tapes, leftist podcasts and enjoying some time to think.

A friend suggested the night before that traveling on a Fourth of July Weekend Friday was, perhaps not the best idea. Taking his suggestion, I left at 9:30 am for the 3:00 pm gig. Good move, and, for the first time in my memory, I didn’t get there “nick o’ time”. Low stress counts for a lot.

There was a new market manager who suggested I turn my back to the market traffic and point out to the open green where folks had been gathering on blankets over the last few months. I really balked at that, especially since I try to aim at the passing grazers for tips, with kids reacting to the music right in front of me. This is a notoriously upscale community, and it’s hard enough to get tips from them.

After one song, one family set up on the lawn so I turned myself around. Screw it. I’ll play for folks who are going to listen. Two young boys took it up right away, and for the next hour and a half, we had a great time. Gradually, other families stopped by and the three hours went quickly. Almost all the tips were one buck. That bothers me, frankly.

Anyway, I enjoy getting out of PA, play for three hours on a lovely summer afternoon on a New England town green.

Twelve hours on the road. Got back to Fourth Street at 9:30 pm. Closure.