October 01, 2002

FloydFest: The Debriefing

Not that anyone has inquired about my perspectives on FloydFest #1. But neither has anyone emailed to request essays on turtles or millipedes...which has not kept me from waxing loquacious on such topics; so why not expound on the Biggest Thing Ever in Floyd County which we witnessed this past weekend?

It was a lot of things. There assembled were all the County Crazies and hippies and artistes and a few of the old Establishment Straights (well, Slightly Bents) like me and Ann. FloydFest was, for our adopted county and in my own imprecise reckoning, the following:

  • the largest congregation of gray pony tails, ever.
  • the grandest-ever assemblage of funny hats and head adornments, not to mention a public display of 101 things to do with dreadlocks (paritally hidden under some of those strange headtoppings)
  • a wonderful and varied display of gluteal cleavage tattoos (the gals, I'm talking. If any of the guys had one, I have mercifully wiped that recollection from my mind).

Oh, yes. There was also some music. And great crafts displays way beyond the country-cute crap that passes for art at some such festivals. The quality of the offerings was most impressive and I am proud for the promoters for putting some qualifiers on who could show. We will go back next year, if for nothing but the crafts and arts. The crowd was well-behaved, if new-agey and the accommodations were adequate.

But my take-home memory: The bus ride from off-site parking to the festival gates.

This, perhaps, has to do with my one control issue: I drive. Sorry, I make a really crummy passenger. I don't care about your flawless driving record. You cannot drive as safely and prudently as I do, and sitting in the passenger's seat of your car, or mine, is inevitably a white-knucled high-sphincter-tone trauma for me. So there you have it.

And because of this one tiny flaw in my otherwise impeccable character, I never really SEE much more than the asphalt on our drives around the county.

On Saturday, in my grudging role as a passenger, I watched the Appalachian mountains and forest and rail fences pass as one who was seeing it as a stranger, discovering it for the first time. The high perch of the bus seat also was a sufficiently different perspective to grant me the blessing of an altered vision, making the familiar and common seem incredibly pristine, buccolic and new in a way that I had not experienced before.

I saw my home through the eyes of these tourist visitors from Winston and Charlotte, for whom this hill country is a foreign place of high rocky ridges and wide vistas of rolling green hills; of quaint country farms and expansive spaces where nothing was made but by God alone.

Maybe I have learned, on this bus ride, that I need to hand the wheel of control in my life over to someone else from time to time. The scenery is much more enjoyable. I wonder: is there a larger life lesson in here somewhere?

Posted by fred1st at October 1, 2002 07:08 PM

I don't know about the others, but I have been checking in to get your take on FloydFest. I had planned to go until I found out how much it was going to cost. Sounds like it was worth it. Maybe next year. We had some friends there this year selling their wares. If you happen to remember "touch the earth"...(whose symbol is a turtle, btw...do do do do do(twilight zone music))Scott would have been that gentleman with the long gray ponytail...no, the other one. He is the PT from Stuart I was telling you about. Glad you and Ann had a good time. Maybe we'll see you there next year.

Posted by: Lisa at October 2, 2002 07:28 AM

But Fred, what about the music? And more particularly, how was Aaron Neville?

Posted by: sainteros at October 2, 2002 08:56 AM

Hello! I linked over from jellybeans.blogspot (Glovefox's blog) because Dang It, HALF MY FAMILY IS FROM FLOYD COUNTY. I can't BELIEVE Glovefox would not mention it to me personally since She herself developed my pics of the castle in jolly ol' England where some ancestors that moved to Floyd are from (the Hyltons). Ever been to a Harris 400 person reunion? I've been to a couple...

My great-aunt lives ont eh farm with the waterfall in the back. I love that place. I always felt like an outsider in my family growing up though - I'm a city girl, raised in DC. My great-uncle and his wife used to own the dry-cleaning shop downtown, by the car wash. I will be linking toyour site from mine, and checking in regularly on the country, the hippie farms, the X-mas tree farms and whatever else you choose to write about, glad to have an inlet back "home" on the Net.

Posted by: pup at October 2, 2002 09:24 AM

Hey! Not fair! I didn't mention Fred's blog cos I didn't realise your family's from Floyd county (or it slipped my mind!).

Anyway Fred, I named you "King of Feelgood Blogs" on my posting today-- thank you for building and writing such a nice calm oasis of a blog!

Posted by: glovefox at October 2, 2002 12:05 PM

Sometimes it takes more control to give up control. The lessons are many, but what fun in learning them!

Posted by: Cat. at October 2, 2002 01:41 PM

Wow...here we go again! 2003

Posted by: Kris Hodges at June 12, 2003 01:51 PM

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