It’s been a good run of Rose Garden farmers’ markets this year, once a month this summer, and this year, they found some money to sponsor me. I play in the middle of a green area under a large tree, and, over the season, the shade has made for a very pleasant spot among the vendors. I’ve developed some nice relationships with them and today was particularly fine. I lent out my mandolin to a young sparkling tea vendor to play while things were slow for him. Another vendor is a blues harpist and it gave me the idea of a potential flash band, with music popping up among the vendors with me in the middle. A nice thought. It was nice to add some encouragement to a younger player.
As I started, I realized I hadn’t played much over the last week, and I was rusty. With a gig with John Christie coming up this afternoon, I was glad I had a chance to get my performance feet back on the ground. Gotta stay in shape.
Towards the end, kids and families gathered for some good interaction, including Abigail Adams in costume. I mentioned that she was the first AA in American history. Another funny spot happened earlier on when two young twin boys finally stopped tormenting each other and played some tambourine with me, loudly and quite loosely. With some of the vendors looking on, I said how hard it was to play with white percussionists, and they all chuckled. Later on, while I was playing Pay Bo Diddley, those same folks were trying to find the groove with little luck and I repeated my comment. We all had a big laugh together. The connections with the vendors is as important as those with the kids.
I was able to chat with several good friends from my Bethlehem past and pass some nods, comments and conversations between us. A warm September Saturday at the Rose Garden. Several vendors and market organizers thanked me for doing these over the summer, making the time go quickly for everyone. I have had a good time doing it.