Now that we’ve had some temperatures below freezing, and it’s starting raining a lot, I figured “outdoor season” was over for the year in one-man-banding. But then the rain let up, temperatures rose, and the dream resurfaced: the dream of playing in St. Johns.
St. Johns is a somewhat remote, isolated neighborhood in Portland, with a kind of magical appeal to me after attending a couple of St. Johns Parades. And then my pals Meghan and John at Stencilitis told me they were going to have a booth at the Winterfest…and would I like to play my one man band there for a while? I couldn’t say no.
Strategically choosing what I hoped would be the warmest time of day, I arrived at the booth around 2pm, and got the show going around 2:30pm. It was nice to be on asphalt again (see Sumner-Albina City Park show) and though it was still kind of cold and grey, I thought the vigorous activity would keep me warm enough.
As soon as I started playing, a woman and her little tyke sat down to watch. I saw a lot more kids passing by as I played, some stopping to watch with their folks. (So much for all the profanity-laced songs I usually play!) I made sure to give a 360° perspective of the drum gizmo on my back, which seems to especially fascinate the youngsters.
I played a little less than an hour, because although I was sweating a bit, my fingers were going numb from the cold. As the last note faded, the person in charge came over and asked why I didn’t want to play in the middle of the agora, so more people could see me. Here I thought I was about to get the boot—that maybe I had just pulled off a perfect crime—and I was being invited to play more. Oh, St. Johns, how you beguile me.
As I mentioned in some earlier posts, my friend Priya is trying to raise money for a handicap-accessible van. I forgot to bring my donation box to the show, but you can always donate on her campaign site. And I hope that you do.