Yes, indeed, things have been exciting around the Silverstar place lately. First thing, Thursday the batteries arrived for Epona, coincidentally on the day that the Boyo was expected to visit. Two exciting things! I would have my freedom back! I could go places! Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Yeah!
And then when we put the batteries in, the scooter didn’t work. More excitement. And then it did. And then it didn’t. Finally traced it down to a faulty battery connection and got it fixed. And we were off!
The next excitement was going to the library. When I went to check out my books, my wallet wasn’t there! I had stowed it in a new place, which it apparently had fallen out of. But where? At home? Or somewhere along the nine blocks to the Library? Envisioning identity theft, and the pain and suffering of replacing ID, debit cards, etc, I sped home, keeping my eyes to the ground, in case I happened to spy it. If I had lost it, I had also lost the bit of money I had set aside for the fun of my weekend.
No sign of it on the way home, but when I unlocked my apartment door, there it was, intact. Joy. That meant I could go to the festival I had been planning to go to.
And so it was on to Northwest Folklife. I love Folklife. I have gone every year since I have lived in Seattle. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I live three blocks away from Seattle Center, where it is held. I love folk music, the focus of Folklife. Especially I love Celtic music, and they always have one stage that is pretty much dedicated to Celtic music.
Now for more excitement. The weather in Seattle was splediferous Saturday, unlike the Gnukid’s OK Weather. It was 75 degrees Farenheight, lovely, sunny, so unlike the usual Folklife weather, which is usually cloudy, drizzly, and generally sucky. But that doesn’t keep Folklife fans away. However, the wonderful weather, high gas prices, and closed campgrounds due to the winter that lingered into spring, conspired to bring everybody and their dog, almost literally, to Seattle Center. It was packed. I even saw a couple of parrots there.
Now this is an agoraphobic’s nightmare. I considered turning around, except that the crowd was so thick, I couldn’t. So I hung on to Friday for dear life, and made my way to the stage for the Celtic shows. Which was, of course, as far across Seattle Center from where I entered as possible. I would have tried the periphery, but I did want to get some festival food. Who can resist festival food? Especially the roasted corn. Yum!
This picture is of the crowd on Sunday. Double it, and you have an idea what the crowd was like on Saturday.
The shows were wonderful, but when they started to have different music, and I was sunburned to a crisp despite precautions, I decided to head home, stopping on the way for dessert. As I headed down the alley for the dessert, I spied numerous emergency vehicles on the grounds. Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances. I had heard the sirens, of course, but I live two blocks from the busiest fire station in Seattle. I don’t notice them that much. Obviously something BIG had happened.
About that time the medics came whizzing by me pushing a man on a gurney, his arm wrapped up in gauze, with blood staining it. He looked very shocky, but although I knew it wouldn’t be fun, he would probably survive whatever had happened.
It was not until the 11o’clock news that Silverstar knew that she had been closer to a shooting than she ever wanted to be. Which is surprising in that the crowd at Folklife is generally a mellow, crunchy-granola crowd. I guess the gun went off while a man was pistol-whipping another man, hitting two bystanders. There are rumors the guy had an ankle holster and a concealed carry permit. The utter stupidity of bringing a weapon to a crowd that size floors me. Now I am afraid they will have metal detectors and strip searches before we can enter next year, and that will mean we can’t carry in our own food, as they won’t allow bags, like they do now at Key Arena. Although I suspect that is more due to the vendors wanting to sell their overpriced food than for any real security reason. I hate living in the United States of Paranoia.
Apparently the man I saw was shot in the hand, and let’s hope he is a righty, since if I recall correctly, he was shot in the left. (Note to a local author: Quit shooting your protagonist in the hand. It’s not funny, it’s not something you can put a bandaid on. There are so many bones, nerves and blood vessels in the hand any injury can cause major damage.) The woman, his girlfriend was shot in the leg.
So, did that keep me from going to Folklife again yesterday? Nope. I just put on my tee-shirt that reads “Dance as if no one is watching, Sing as if no one is listening, Live each day as if it’s the last day of your life”, mounted Epona and went. The weather was a little cooler, the crowd a little thinner, but the shows were spectacular. The weather today is the usual Memorial Day sucky, but I may venture over to see the Urban Indian movies. They have an indoor venue. And that’s been my exciting weekend.
Update: And now we learn the shooter also injured another person with the same bullet, shooting him at close range through the nose. In addition, the man has substance abuse and mental health problems. He was apparently trying to pull the gun from an ankle holster when it went off. And his Dad goes on and on about how he is a good kid and not a flight risk. Thank Ronald Reagan for dumping mental patients on the street.