Packin’ up for the road

| August 12, 2017 | Reply

Mary Jane Farmer, Texas Nexus, August 2017

It’s a 3-column list I have worked up — “PACK UP” it’s called. It’s what I have to reference and cling to when getting ready to go to all the music festivals in my life. And there’s a bunch!

Me and Hippie Van head out. She has clean oil, and a clean floor every time. Ready for the road. Of course, she’s packed to the hilt. And for that, I need “Pack Up.”

Clothing: Lots of bandanas (after all, it gets hot at most of those festivals), but a jacket for those chillier nights. Shoes, boots, rain boots, and of course a boot jack. Heavy shoes and boots, not those flimsy rubber thongs. I wore a pair of leather sandals to one of my first Kerrville Fests, they broke, and it was producer Rod Kennedy who — not so gently — chided me for even thinking those were good on that rocky terrain. At WoodyFest, I (and the other 4 photographers) have to go back and forth between four daytime stages, a

“I’ve been replaced by this?” the horse seems to be asking?

couple of churches and nursing homes, and so hard-core walking boots are best there. And believe me, I’ve put the mud boots — we used to call them galoshes — to use many times.

And then there’s the camera equipment — a monopod, a tripod, chargers, extra SD cards, extra batteries, extra camera, plenty of lenses — in fact, all I own. And of course I need my computer to upload those photos and get some of them worked in time to share them while the event is still going on. Again, charge cord, extra batteries for the mouse and keyboard, flash drives, external hard drive. And to tote all that, I have a luggage pull-along. Beyond that, I have to rely on the kindness of strangers to carry my lawn chair.

Essential is my large towel, clearly marked “Photog” with neon yellow duck tape, just in case there’s any question that’s what I do, and it is placed to reserve the best photo vantage-point seat in the house for me.There’s also a few laminated print-outs, too, to designate seats as “Reserved for Festival Photographer.” Sometimes it’s good to have a seat at both ends of the stage.

Lots of energy powders and liquids. And for food, I take anything I can put in a bowl and cover with milk or slather cream cheese onto. Not about to spend time cooking! There’s too many photos that need to be taken! And I can’t forget my “Show-Off Album” of photos I’ve taken over the years.

After all that, plus clothing, more groceries, meds and vitamins — really, there is still room for me in Hippie Van.

The next festivals Hippie Van and I will be traveling to are: Kerrville Fall Festival, Sept 1-3; Wounded Heroes benefit, Sept. 8-9; and LJT’s Rhymes & Vines, Sept. 20-23. Look ‘em up.


Category: 2017, MJ's Story/ Blog

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