there were so many amazing moments at camp casey in crawford. i veered from tears to laughter at amazing speeds while there and was prone to burst into sobs for days after... this of course, for me, is the only logical response to war and loss and the phoenix of fearlessness that is rising from it.
the last day i was at camp i spent packing up and donating my leftover goods to the cause. i had lots of leftovers. my mother and grandmother equipped me very well and i was supplied with everything from first aid for fire ants (bleach) to heavy duty rubber gloves i brought for scrubbing portapotties to peanut butter, honey and crackers for snacking. (those goods went on to camp casey covington where they were used by folks in much more dire straights.)
my tent was right behind this yellow peace sign and closest to the blogging area. brad friedman was broadcasting, or bradcasting, his radio show from there and it looked like there were quite a few interesting interviews going on, but i never had time to stop and listen. however, that last day i took time to meander around camp and hang out.
i was excited to see that brad was setting up to interview jesse dyen. jesse does sound for the revolution. he showed up early and ended up being the sound guy. not quite sure how that happened, but he's a musician so he must have been the nearest soul not afraid of a mixing board -- tada! sound guy!
that meant that jesse was the defacto gatekeeper of the microphone and stage. he had to deal with the hoardes of "artists" who came to donate their talent. unfortunately some of these "artists" didn't feel the need to donate anything else, like labor or time. instead they just stalked jesse and anyone else whom they thought would let them perform.
so jesse spent days, long days, telling folks that they couldn't get on the stage yet, maybe later. the truth is, he didn't have the last say on that, he just had all the responsibility and none of the authority. sounds like many dayjobs i've quit.
and the thing is, jesse is a really good musician -- and a generous soul. he'd entertain the entertainers and get them up on stage asap. and all the while he had true talent that he wasn't pushing on anyone.
but late at night, as the "staff" decompressed by sitting around those big round tables at 2am -- the first break we'd get all day -- jesse would pull out his gitfiddle and sing.
the first time i joined the late night "round table warriors" cindy had just returned to camp after taking care of her mother in california. she couldn't sleep and was out with us trying to check her email and relax. finally jesse got to play an original song he'd written for her.
i fell in love with the song. it's an anthem i've been waiting for. it got stuck in my head and i told that to brad from bradradio/blog right before he started his segment with jesse. and then i sat back to watch.
but right when jesse started singing a mean wind blew up. i saw that brad was holding a notebook up trying to shield the mic, but it didn't look big enough. so i grabbed the lid to the plastic tub my mom had packed for me and supplemented his wind screen. and then one of those "camp casey" moments happened. within seconds there were eight of us, each using protest signs, t shirts or their bodies to create this instant sound booth around jesse and his guitar. kinda like when you're trying to light a cigarette/joint/pipe match in a wind storm and you and your friends huddle together for the cause... only without the cancer and the second hand smoke or risk of arrest...
you can listen to this event here. please do.