When a Loved Event Becomes a Trigger
My hometown has a wonderful, well known early fall art and music fair called The Black Swamp Arts Festival. The Fest is nearing its 25th anniversary, and almost from its inception, I felt involved and connected with it.
One of its very first years, after I'd transferred to the state school back home from Ohio University, I was working part time at a clothing store downtown which was right in front of the Main Stage. The parking lot was closed and filled with long picnic tables and a beer garden; food trucks had set up and the scent of fried delicacies wafted in every time the glass doors opened. Even upstairs, we could hear the bands playing. My boss happened to be the mother of the lead singer of the first band, and we all stood at the giant back window looking out over the parking lot at all of the dancing, strolling and eating attendees. I believe we danced too. I'm sure when I got off work at 8:00 I met friends and stayed late. I was 21.
Four summers later, I had landed a job at the hippest spot in town. The storefront on Main Street was a coffee shop (our own roasting company was around the corner) and used bookstore and gathering place of everyone who was anyone. Being a barista in this type of shop was much like being a bartender, and as night manager that year I finally slipped into the life that had always been waiting for me. I found myself, and my husband, and all my friends, and my place in the universe, and the Black Swamp Arts Festival was a big part of that. All of us at the shop were required to sign up for one extra shift that weekend every year so that we would always be fully staffed, and lines would stretch out the door and all the way down the back hallway. The owner of the shop had been one of the founders of the Festival, and he was also the Performing Arts Committee chair, so all year he would play CDs sent by bands and let us know who was being booked. Invariably, these groups were more bluegrassy than most of us would wish, the year he got The English Beat and The Fixx being a fun 1980s exception. When we weren't behind the counter, we would wander around the streets which were filled with gleaming white art fair tents; or volunteer in the children's art and activity area, munching kettle corn. Favorite food items for most people were the beef tips and alligator on a stick, though I never sampled either.
When was your last migraine check-up?