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On a cold and dreary day…

OK, here’s what I want to know: Who stole my summer and when are they going to give it back?

As I mentioned in my last post, we go to the Cabrillo Festival every single year. And I remember many festivals, many afternoons of trying to stay out of the sun, getting to wear a new summer dress, needing my hat not only because I know that UV comes through clouds, too.

And I must preface this by saying that I’m no fog wimp. I actually like fog. I prefer living here on the coast where “God gave us air conditioning.” I like chilly evenings and walking on the beach on a cold, foggy morning.

But what gives this year? I read recently someone who said, the problem now is that you can’t even talk about the one traditionally safe topic — the weather — without getting into a political argument. But heck, I could do with a little coastal warming right now to go along with our global warming.

But despite the gloom, the cheer was out in force today at the festival downtown. I was a little dismayed yesterday to see that the street fair part of the festival was sparsely attended. Geez, I thought, you can’t get better than free music and some pretty good street food. But cancel that, today had the turnout of the century. The family concert was packed, every last seat. A few people sat in the aisles, and a few people brought their own seats (in the form of wheelchairs).

Fun was had by all, I’d say. The instrument petting zoo is always amusing, but the main attraction varies according to which composer is brought in each year. This year it was composer Nathaniel Stookey with a story by Lemony Snicket. My kids are actually not big Snicket fans, but I have to say that this was probably the best composed-for-children piece I’ve heard in a while. The composer not only composed bits to introduce the functions of the various sections of the orchestra without boring us, but he also theatrically read the story and got some really good belly laughs from the audience. (Perhaps more from the adults, who got some of the jokes, the best of which was a play on composer and decompose.)

(Watch The Composer is Dead on YouTube.)

Not bad for free.

And then the audience was once more disgorged into the gloom. Briefly, while I stood talking to another homeschooling mom while my daughter did free art in the children’s art area, the sun came out. We both looked up with the awe of an Alaskan who opens his curtains one morning in January to find the sun pouring down. Sun! we exclaimed. Then away it went, but the good cheer stayed.

I guess I may have to save my sun dress for Sacramento this year, darn it. But at least I got that charge of our community once again turning out in full glory to hear orchestral music, be wowed by Watsonville Taiko (including kids playing taiko this year, a real treat), do free art, and relax in the su- –I mean– gloom of yet another foggy day in Santa Cruz.

Posted in Arts & Music.

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