Over the course of the past 25+ years I have worked at quite a number of festivals, musical events, and outdoor celebrations for dozens of organizations (once I worked as backstage security @ a Beach Boy concert in Bridgeport, CT and refused to let the Mayor backstage; hey he didn’t have the right credentials and besides, I’m from Norwalk, I had no idea he was the Mayor). Anyways, this past weekend i worked at The Gathering of the Vibes, which is essentially a celebration of Grateful Dead culture that has been going on for 17 years.
I had worked for the Vibes several years ago when the event was held in upstate NY, but hadn’t for the last five or six due to my association with the SoNo Arts Celebration, which is just two weeks later. The proximity of the two events and my level of involvement with SoNo precluded me from working the Vibes. Well, as I’m no longer associated with SoNo, I let it be known that I was interested in returning to the Vibe Tribe.
As it turned out I was contacted by them and offered the opportunity to watch the VIP showers (indoor, hot-water showers), and I agreed. Well, I had the best time while there. From the moment I stepped on site of the event (Seaside Park, just off the campus of The University Bridgeport) I was stress-free, and in the groove.
As it turns out, overseeing the entrance to the showers was not only fun, but entertaining as well. Most of the folks passing by my post were wonderful and delightful; several even were quite nice to me, taking pity on me that I was essentially nailed to one spot for 11 hours a day, and brought me all sorts of gifts, including (but not limited to) food (fruit, cookies, etc.), drinks (coffee, beer, water), and the like.
The entertainment value of each day (from my perspective) came in the form of the young ladies who flirted (back) with me while I flirted with them. On day one, two very lovely young lasses (who were clearly feeling no pain) offered to “Do ANYTHING” if I let them shower. (Anything, really, you want to go with “anything”? because I have a pretty vivid imagination as well as a long list as to what “anything” encompasses). On day two, a couple of women asked me if I wanted to shower with them in a 3some. (An offer I seriously considered, but ultimately passed on, but only because there was no one to watch the door and cover my shift had I gone in with them.)
Another gal wanted to know if I could help her get to the “difficult to reach” spots; while a couple of other young ladies were so grateful for the chance to shower they even gave me hugs when they came out. One gal had apparently cut her foot and showed us her injury by lifting her foot and placing it on the table; which was fine, save that she was wearing a short skirt and gave both of us guys at the table a clear shot of her panties. After she wandered off the building manager (who was sitting with me at the time) and I both wondered if she was aware of what she had just done, and concluded that she had to have known.
Also of source of amusement were the folks who didn’t seem to grasp that they had to pay for the showers (VIPs had it built into their ticket price and got first shot at the showers; after 2:00 regular campers could come in but for $5.00 a person). One fellow wandered away muttering “Well I guess that people with money get treated better.” (Well Duh!) Another trio of teen gals had trouble processing that things cost money and inquired as to why they had to pay. I attempted to explain that we had to pay the university for the use of the building and the grounds, the music, food, and all of the things relating to the staging of the festival cost us money to put on, and we acquired that money by taking it from them (they looked at me with that glassy-eyed look of pure astonishment, wonder and utter incomprehension that only teenagers can muster.)
Further, as I was station in one spot, I was under a pop-up (which, along with my complete “Gordon’s Fisherman” style rain gear kept me warm and dry), stationed next to a building with electricity, and with access to, and power for, my nifty (relatively new) Netbook, I also had Optimum WiFi, and was able to get to the Internet, and write all weekend. So while I was working I was also able to read (and review) a book that has been on my desk since January, as well as write half a dozen reviews which I’ll post later today.
In addition to the interesting things that were occurring to me at my station, I did get to interact with my many friends who both work and perform at as well as those that merely attend the Vibes, which was a delight in and of itself. So, yeah, it really was fun, relaxing, and thoroughly entertaining (for which I not only was paid, but was able to get a serious amount of writing done). I’m definitely going to have to do this kind of stuff more often.