Saturday, June 05, 2010

Street Fair

The local three short block downtown had its annual Chamber of Commerce sponsored street fair today. What had been a lazy affair at best in previous years was splendid this year, like walking through and being a participant in a Bruegel painting.

The band this year was set up outside the last remaining Irish dive bar in town( there were five or six when we moved here 24 years ago and by dive bar I only mean one that makes maybe 80% of its money on booze and the rest on wings, chicken fingers, and shephards pie) and the music was darn good. Next to the band the man known as the Fifth Beatle around town played air guitar and air vocal. With his hair mop or wig of '65 Beatles look he is part of the landscape, ten years younger or older than me I have no idea. The band played mostly Allmans, other southern rock, some bad Clapton and 70's stuff, nostalgic Joe Cocker. Some worked really well, some not so great, but for a small town street fair it was out of this world. Two drummers, believe it, both good and playing as offsets, so unusual here in the suburbs. Of course I talked to them. The drummers are ten years apart in age and "just click". The lead singer of these guys in their 50's was my surprisingly my electrician, but maybe not so since he's the only house service provider I have that doesn't overcharge me. The name of the band is Chicken Head, I guess a carnival reference, I didn't ask.

So having forgotten that this was an event, three hours later I headed back up the hill with an astonishly good grilled bratwurst in my stomach from the German deli's set up outside of their store, some shish-ka-bobs to grill from Kenny''s butcher shop, and some bbq grill cleaner(probably toxic) so I can get into the season.

What was so compelling about the scene in this little town was people watching, which a good band allowed a well meaning, a little older, person to do. In front of the band most everyone passing by that was over 80 or under 5 covered their ears. Every young Asian family in town may have attended, happily enjoying an outing. Older folks than me strolled, odd couples young and old foreign and local pot belly and skinny, even pursed lipped guys with famous golf courses labeled on their polo shirts with their townie trophy wives, enjoyed the comraderie of a local event. It seemed to be the height of life for 10 year olds or those around that age, free and do I remember that.

Eddie my barber and I stood and talked for a while before he had a head to cut. In Taskent he had never heard of the Allman Brother's Band so Amazon is on the way. Kenny and his father Leo at the butcher cut the green pepper, red pepper, onion, and porterhouse tail shish-k-bob, and at the diner Sylvia from Peru, who helped me rescue my father several years ago, made the vanilla milk shake for my daughter with a sore throat.

I bought a lottery ticket from the Knights of Columbus.



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