Monday, July 20, 2009

Do Tell, told

Well, the Do Tell festival in Hendersonville was real fun - though, since I was helping manage it, of course, I couldn't hear everyone I wanted to catch. Thanks to all the poets and storytellers who helped make it so cool, and to Rita Hayes and Jenna Nickerson for helping me keep things happening on time.

Karen-Eve Bayne, the festival director, estimated, after the dust had settled a bit, that total attendance at all the festival's performances reached between twelve and fifteen hundred souls. That, friends, is really really good for the first year of a festival taking place in what is still essentially a pretty small town. It's on a par, for instance, with the turnout for Wordfest 2009 in May. And yes, they are somewhat different types of festivals, but, still ...

One nice thing about having a festival in a small town: Late Saturday, as my energy ebbed, I retreated to The Living Room, a downtown coffee and sandwich shop, which had earlier in the day been a performance venue and now hosted our merch table, for my fourth or fifth cup of coffee of the day. Some forgotten distraction arose, and I set the folder which held reading copies of my poems down on the top of an out-of-service display case behind our table, which was just inside the cafe's door. And left it there. I didn't even realize I didn't have it until Sunday afternoon, when I was back in Asheville.

Now, a folder of reading copies ordinarily would be no major loss; I'd just print new copies. These reading copies, though, were covered with notes and revisions going back to last September that I'd never transcribed, so I wasn't happy with myself. I talked with Karen-Eve, who talked with the folks at the cafe; they hadn't seen it. Last week was a busy one, and I couldn't get back to Hendersonville during The Living Room's hours until Friday afternoon. As I walked in the door, spirit fingers crossed, I looked to the right, toward the old case - and there it was, the lost folder, sitting almost exactly where I was sure I'd left it - though during the week someone seemed to have straightened the stack of town maps into which it had been incorporated, since it was carefully square.

Naturally, I sat down and had a cup of coffee, and one of the cafe's really fine sandwiches, as well.

And today I went out and made copies of everything in the folder, just in case.

Somehow I don't think the situation would have been so happily resolved in any city.

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Blogging will continue to be light here. Construction of the new radio station is under way, we have our first production console, other equipment is arriving daily, and we still aim to be internet-worthy by the middle of next month. There will be fundraisers, celebrations, and other hoopla you can be sure I'll encourage you to attend!

Next week I'll be on the road, headed back to Storrs, Connecticut, for another few days of digging into the Olson archive. More about that later.

In the meantime, enjoy the summer, or winter - whatever season reigns where you are. Here, the sound of katydids now fills the soft night air.

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