The only other time I remember attending a county fair was also in Marin. I think I was probably ten years old, and my aunt and uncle dropped off me and my cousin with a wad of cash while they went to watch Linda Ronstadt perform. Which I thought was odd. I had no conception of the county fair concert circuit and, even in college, passing billboards on the way back from weekend visits home, I never fully understood how such once-prevalent musical acts could draw prominent crowds at something called the Dixon Fair Grounds.
During this recent Fourth of July weekend, I made my second trip to San Rafael for a county fair. Demystified. Pig races, turkey legs, face-paint bets, and firework lights sans Karl diffusion. I should be doing this every summer. And, on that bandstand island, in a remarkably civil and well ushered concert tent, The Wailers performing on their Legend thirtieth anniversary tour.
Ironic that, a week ago, I blogged about all those darn kids and their camera phones screwing up my Rickshaw Stop stageview with bobbing video captures. As soon as The Wailers opened with “No Woman, No Cry” a host of phones sprang into record mode, mostly operated by gray-haired retirees. Unlike the ersatz hipster videographers, however, there was a lot more dancing. And, conscious of their own lack of interaction (or timed out by the limits of their technological know-how), these lawyers, stock brokers, and real estate developers, perhaps reminded of more carefree longer-hair days, soon put their phones away and bounced around as awkwardly and enthusiastically as possible. It was kinda awesome.
Decades from now, I want to have as much fun watching Thom Yorke twiddle knobs at some solar-powered landfill-turned-water treatment plant festival. Or at The Marin County Fair. Either venue seems fairly likely.