clearwater festival

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I'm bringing back some oldies because I've been thinking about this day a lot in the past week.

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We were in upstate New York at Pete Seeger's Clearwater Festival;  Joe Purdy had an afternoon set with the Giving Tree Band backing. I've been to a lot of music festivals, I've been in the company of a lot notable characters, but I never had the privilege of standing beside a personal hero before. It's funny how things like that happen: one quick and minuscule moment can completely rattle your world. I was in the open-air backstage, watching the flurry of stage hands setting up for Amy Helm's upcoming set and up walks Pete Seeger. He was stopped by a festival official with some logistical question and I stood starstruck, three feet away, trying to maintain the conversation I was in but completely distracted by the aura of this folk giant. And then just like that, he was brisked away. It was just this brief moment that so dramatically shifted something in me. I had thought of Pete Seeger as a hero since my education in folk music began and there we were, sharing the same air. He would come back again and be taken away again, and for just that day, I got to witness a man I admired in a setting that he had passionately generated.

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That was a pretty good day.

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