The Gift of a Decade

This past Saturday barely dawned through heavy mist. Still, my hero (Jeff) bravely persevered and by 7:30 a.m. had staked down a tarp near the main stage for:

I have gone every year and this was the 10th anniversary. The first year, my friends and I parked two blocks away from the meadow, and although it was well past the start time, we still managed to nab a spot right near the front of the stage. At that time it was a one day, one stage event. Now it last three days, on 6 stages, boasts an attendance exceeding the population of San Francisco and requires favor from the Gods of Parking. All thanks to the generosity of Warren Hellman. A former investment banker, Warren is a bluegrass afficionado, a pretty good banjo player and the benefactor of this absolutely free event. Last year he announced that his children agreed to a final- will -and- testament amendment…that provision be made for the festival after his departure. Thank you Warren.

Not a bad spot, right? This was the "Banjo" stage, and featured acts such as Gillian Welch, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Joan Baez, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Doc Watson, Emmylou Harris...a drop in the hat of the first rate names playing all over the festival. Is San Francisco lucky, or what?
Obtaining a bag of kettle corn is always first on the agenda. This was Fern's first taste....
...I don't know. Do you think she liked it?
High on sugary popcorn, Fern enjoyed hanging with Uncle Shane and clapping enthusiastically after every song.
And then she crashed, oblivious to everything.
Best way to wake up. Best way to breastfeed.
Being small is hard in a huge crowd. First time on Daddy's shoulders.
To get a better view of The Carolina Chocolate Drops. They were phenomenal. The crowd blew up during their last song...a cover of Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style"
Our friend Will, and Fern (in her new handmade gnome hoody that America gifted her for her bday. Thanks Meri!)
We got to connect with friends Will and Teresa (newlyweds! aw...)
Despite a sun that remained hidden, the day was filled with warmth.

8 thoughts on “The Gift of a Decade

  1. Sounds like everyone had a wonderful time! I believe that was Fern’s way of saying “me likes, me likes” in the photo of her trying the kettle corn for the first time.

  2. HSB is the best! I was at a performance of “Much Ado About Nothing” (CalShakes) on Saturday or I would have seen the Carolina Chocolate Drops for sure. They rock! We played them on our podcast – Dudebabe Radio. In fact, i chose “Hit ‘Em Up Style” for the broadcast because it is such an awesome cover. I really wanted to see Patti Smith too – but I had to study for a chemistry midterm all weekend (aside from Shakespeare). Glad you guys enjoyed it all – one of the things that makes SF a special place. Thank you Warren Hellman!!

    Check out Dudebabe Radio if you are so inclined. We discuss and play 3 songs – review 2 micorbrews – then play 3 more songs – all in a half-hour package! Excellent accompaniment to washing dishes!

  3. Hello,

    First time reader to your blog. Really enjoyed the photos and your beautiful babe.

    I hope you don’t mind me bringing it up. I’m sure you’re already aware, but I couldn’t help but notice the sling you’re using in one of the photos. That is the exact same one (same pattern and all) that I used for my baby 2 years ago. Recently, they have recalled those slings for causing some suffocation deaths. I nearly had a heart attack when I found out, even though she had already stopped using them. I really hope I don’t seem intrusive, but I just had to say something. Your baby is so beautiful. I really loved the post about the wagon. I would like to get one for my own daughter when the budget allows.

    Warm wishes,

    Mama Bee

    1. thanks for your concern! we do know that it’s the recalled sling. the danger in using it is for babies under 4 months, and we never used it for her then. i have never used it at all. i is a hand-me-down and just didn’t work for me. however, our daughter still needs to be “walked down” to sleep, so my partner uses it to help support her back and butt when he is schlepping her around. 🙂

  4. Phew. That’s a relief. I had no idea myself when the recall happened. I stopped using it with her when she was a tiny baby because I noticed she was all scrunched up in it and I just thought it didn’t seem safe. Nearly 2 years later they recalled them for being unsafe. Thank God for mama intuition.

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