Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hot Town, Summer in the (Little) City

The incredible Heat Wave of 2010 continues in North Carolina, not to mention the entire eastern half of the country. We've been above 90 almost every day for over a month, with very little rain. Surprisingly, we have had no "hottest day" records set this year. Nearly every day has been 5-10 degrees above normal and the April-June period is the hottest on record, but we haven't set a single "hottest day" milestone. Not yet, at any rate.

This weekend is the Bele Chere festival in Asheville. This is billed as the largest street fair in the southeast, with 300,000 people attending over the 3-day run. Janis and I got with our neighbors, Daryl and Jennifer, last night and went out for dinner at Curras, a very un-typical Mexican restaurant. No burritos here, it's more like what you might find in Mexico City. I had their swordfish special that was probably the best I've ever had. Janis had their carne asada and it was to die for.

Afterwards, we went down to Bele Chere. We wandered the streets a bit, looking at the street vendors and mostly people-watching. When you get that many people crammed into a small area in hot weather, you're going to see some really strange things. Sometimes you just gotta wonder, where do these people come from? I saw one guy in typical festival garb: ratty shorts and T-shirt, dirty ball cap, a beer in one hand and a corn dog in the other ... and the front of his T-shirt said "GOT CULTURE?" Ummm, depends on how you define "culture" ...

The reason we went last night, as opposed to our usual plan of waiting until Sunday (no beer sales on Sunday, so it's a quieter crowd) is that the Fabulous Thunderbirds were playing. We weren't about to miss them. Actually, though, I thought they were more like the Pretty Good Thunderbirds. They were good, but I've heard bands equally as good from around here. What really surprised me, though, was that the crowd was much older than I expected. I mean, most of them were older than me, and I'm in my upper 50's. Never thought of the Thunderbirds as "geezer rock", but that's what I was seeing. There was one group of people right in front of us that was whooping it up, dancing in the street, slinging beer all over the place, and they were all in their mid to late 60's, fer chrissakes. And they looked like, if they were wearing suits, they'd be defending you in court. But when I got to thinking about it, the Thunderbirds have been cranking out music since about 1980, and that was thirty freakin' years ago, so I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised to see an older crowd.

I guess that's something about aging. On one hand, 1980 doesn't seem that long ago to me. I still remember what I was doing and listening to pretty clearly. I still like Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust", Blondie's "Call Me", and Pink Floyd's "The Wall". On the other hand, thirty years is a pretty good period of time. Somehow, my brain has a problem connecting the two.

Geezer rock, here I come!