Monday, August 18, 2014

Keep Road Trippin'

by Jamie Bennett

Manifestival destiny brought country music to the furthest western point of these continental United States. Cape Blanco (Blank-O) was held along the southwestern Oregon coast and is a welcome addition to an already successful Bi-mart summer concert series. I know because I was there and have been since the beginning. I saw the whole thing blossom behind quantum black eyes and a frozen, albeit reassuring half moon smile.

My favorite aspect of any music festival is the RVs. Each person’s setup is beautiful, unique and a status symbol. Our brakes went out just before Cape Blanco and my personal Airstream was thrashed. I just put some new solar panels on the 30 foot Land Yacht and was anticipating an easy drive to Junction City when the brakes choose to do nothing about preventing me sailing around the exit ramps railing. My conversion van came out without a scratch but the trailer was totaled. Probably a good thing this happened before the festival weekend but a downer nevertheless. My family status was back to just above the ground sleepers in our big ass loaner rig.

The weather at Cape Blanco was incredible all weekend. Even under my shell I could tell that it was fabulous. The crowd was in high spirits – giving me the energy to go further, wave longer and dance harder than ever before – high fives all around.

Some people get a little frisky when they see an egg. I would like to take this time to apologize to any small children who may have been forever traumatized by a rabidly drunk blonde. I must give off a vibe of vulnerability all dressed up as an egg. People ask me if I am a girl or boy but only as an after thought to the groping. All the drunk sees is a beautiful shell, honking nose and incredible edible legs.

Just five minutes up the road the ocean was foreboding. I went there in my egg suit, walking for portions in typical Oregon fashion. You would have had no idea that the coast was so nasty because the festival experienced the most incredible blue skies with puffy clouds. It was windy for sure but as far as I care to remember there was perfect weather at Cape Blanco. Other parts of Oregon were undoubtedly grey and just east of us was experiencing intense fire.


The scene was serene and the people were outtasight. It was unfortunate that some people found their bodies standing in front of catapulted bottles but that's the natural order. A whole lotta valuable lessons were nearly learned during a time when country music was played. I saw the whole thing and I hope they'd have me back again next year.

During the week I had off between country music festivals we drove to Bend and saw an old Winnebago D-22. It is in rough shape but it's looking more and more like a done deal – provided I can drive it back home over the Cascades. When I saw her last she turned over but was hardly in creepin' condition. I need truckin' condition to get her through Springfield and over to Junction City. Larry is the seller and his apparent wiz named Denis is all over it. We shook hands.

Dawning a fresh cape and new boot goofing, it was time again for the Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival and apparently there are way more confederates than you'd expect to find in the northwest. Maybe it's misappropriation and/or maybe it's an authentic stick. If the Union ever wants to solidify it's victory over the Confederacy than it'd better start buying real estate in the Willamette Valley. I can only pray this is the result of some costume party out in the fray.

At these events people get up early to be the first with their lawn chairs out. I am a giant egg under a hot, hot sun. Sleep is my friend. I have been the egg for over three years now. This is my third year working this festival and fourth year setting up signage. The event has grown into a beast. I like handing out stuff to the crowd, especially in the morning when you know people need some entertainment. They got up super early, the are super bored and hot as balls. These dedicated folks get some glasses, maybe some water and a full double dose of my eggman jig.

Just prior to the gate opening this crowd starts to turn on itself. You can tell that no one's in the mood to be hugged by a sweaty egg. Then it happens, no SWAG! I worry the crowd may turn my best intentions into a blood bath. You can hear the murmuring as the atmosphere shifts from fun to frenzied paranoia.

I double down on an afternoon nap. By the time I wake these people will be hydrated and happily on the other side of the gate. I don’t quite understand waiting all morning in a line to get in. There isn’t a bad seat in the house but when you’re an egg man, people basically let you go anywhere. I walk right up the exit – there are no lines.

I was passing out glow sticks and minding my own business. I blew up some beach balls in my shell, which I laid on the ground like an oversized chicken. I would kick them directly into the crowd to the people’s great delight. I was happy but the groping and grabbing in the beer garden had me wiped out completely.

I began slowly to withdrawal from the crowd. I was ready to head back to my temporary rig when a banshee hurled herself onto my face and began to seizure. I didn’t go down but I was left shaken. These things happen and it was all in good fun.


Thank God I don’t have a heart condition. It’s crazy the things people will do to an egg. It is no small miracle that I come back day in and out to wave to the children and dance my egg man dance.

So that’s it. We packed up Sunday and went home. I was crispy, spent and everything I drank all weekend got sweated back out of me. I called Larry about the Winnebago and he says “it’s running like a baby,” whatever that means. I hope that means it has brakes and I don’t need a diaper to drive it.

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