By Robin Wheeler
I shook hands with the lumberjack and we went our opposite ways. I never did get a real close look at him in the clouds; and when he walked away, his head and shoulders just sort of swum away in the fog of the morning. I had made another friend I couldn’t see. And I walked along thinking, Well, now, I don’t know if I’ll ever see that man again or not, but I’ll see a lot of men a lot of places and I’ll wonder if that could be him. “The House on the Hill” from “Bound for Glory”
While strangers might not have been so friendly (or interesting) in the hotel bar on Friday night, my decision to do some time in there was a good one in the long run. The emotional prophylactic of that sterile environment prepped me for the heart-bursting level of emotion that was Saturday.
Saturday morning, none of the issues that plagued my travel attempts to Lincoln Square on Friday night reappeared. Pretty sure the universe really wanted me to stay put that night. Arrived at the Old Town School of Folk with plenty of time to stake out a good spot for Billy Bragg’s workshop: “Why Write a Song?: Protest Music in the Digital Age.” Not that there was a bad spot; the audience was kept at around 100 people, hosted in an acoustically-perfect room, going 90 minutes instead of the allotted 60.
All that for $35. And I never would have known about it had I not called the box office, begging for concert tickets two weeks ago. Sometimes it pays to be a pest.