Sunday, August 07, 2005

Musikfest - Alone

Musikfest - "America's Music Festival" - Well, maybe.
But it is a very large musical event taking place yearly in downtown Bethlehem, PA where one can listen to music free. The free part may be for a limited amount of time as ArtsQuest, Musikfest's mother-company, ponders putting all the venues in a gated site. But be that as it may - for now, this year, most of the performances are free.

I usually take the entire week off so I can walk through the venues peacefully during the day and listen to new groups and new music. I discovered Bill Miller this way years ago. But this year is different. Work intrudes upon vacation time and Musikfest for me will be after work and weekends. I started last night with one of my favorite groups: The Arrogant Worms - a funny, satirical singing group that always raises my spirits - and my spirits needed raising.

I was doing Musikfest alone . . .
Not that I haven't done it alone before - well, most of the time I've been going, I've been going alone. The woman sitting by herself reading a book in between acts. The woman trying to juggle purse, drink, food and tickets because there's no one to save her seat. The woman whose been asked (and sometimes not politely) to move from her seat (the one she got to early in order to have a good view of the act) so that a group could please, please, please sit together. BTW: I've lately taken to saying, "No. I came here early just to sit here."

Oh, there were a couple of years that I had a gentlemen joining me - but none of them were as interested in the music as Mark. For many years Mark was my companion - as many days as he was able - at the festival. Mark loved folk music and we were always able to find something that we both enjoyed.

Musikfest will be difficult this year - not only because I can't take the week off, not only because I'll be alone, not only because Mark and I are no longer together. Musikfest will be hard this year because it holds one of my fondest memories:

Mark and I were sitting outside the large and very crowded Volksplatz tent and storm clouds were boiling in the sky. I was worried about getting caught outside in a downpour. Mark put his arm around me and said, "Don't worry. I'll take care of you." No one had ever said that to me. Ever. I was usually the one who said that to others.

"Don't worry. I'll take care of you." Will I ever hear that again?

Musikfest will be hard this year.


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7:45 AM  
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1:12 PM  
Blogger hugh said...

Oh Mitzi, Mitzi, Mitzi - It was rather sad to read of you being alone like this. Can you not recall as fondly as myself the times we had together? Or have those days disappeared in the mist of ages past?

3:49 PM  

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