Author: Sargent, Geoff

Pig Pen

Camping at a fairground has its pluses and minuses. On one hand, the livestock seems to really enjoy all the music and grunts, baa’s, and bleats wholehearted appreciation while not complaining about how late we are playing. On the other hand, I sometimes have a sympathetic feeling for those penned up beasts, waiting to be displayed and judged, when a crowd of observers gathers around a jam I’m playing. I’ll check them out standing there and wonder if I’m blue ribbon material yet or maybe even honorable mention. Unlike our penned friends though I usually don’t put much thought into how I might add flavor to a curry or stew. I do worry sometimes about getting butchered by an audience by playing a bad set on stage; and I know that experience wouldn’t be like a knock on the head. But, that’s life in the stock pens and performing. If you don’t like it, don’t get born.

I arrived at the spring campout in the Turlock fairgrounds about 3PM on a windy, but sunny Saturday afternoon. The jammers were having at on every corner, in the middle of the road, and in the stock pens. Yep…you read me right; on show for all the attendees to view. Now, in the bay area we have had what I like to call some glorious weather lately with evening light shows and thunderous applause. In Georgia, where I grew up, they are a common occurrence but out here only an occasional pleasure. While I was enjoying the storms, warm and dry in my house, the early spring campers were enjoying them from a different perspective….shall we say maybe even participating in the light show. The available dry refuge was some of the unused stock barns. Sure the roof leaked a bit, but that didn’t appear to matter too much when sitting under a popup shelter. So when I drove up the picture was tents and popups under a stock barn, the trucks were pulled up to help block out some of the wind and weather, and everyone was jamming away. Sweetness.

One of the minuses associated with fairgrounds is that they are not usually located in tranquil neighborhoods. If you want some quality sleep time you will be disappointed. Yet another reason to keep jamming until the livestock comes home…….but then again, they are already here.
Posted:  4/15/2012

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