Sunday, July 5, 2009

Portland Waterfront Blues Festival 2009

Portland Waterfront Blues Festival

I returned to my Portland home about midnight on 6/30, so July 1 was a catch-up day for laundry, mail, bills, etc.

July 2 was mostly a work day. Among my favorite activities as a lawyer is preparing to take the deposition of a corporate witness adverse to my client. I figure it takes about two or three hours of preparation for each hour of deposition. I enjoyed about six hours of reviewing documents, lining up questions, and thinking: How do I corner a witness into telling the truth? How can I get past their prepared lines? Where can I get some ammunition to help my client? How can I shake the confidence of the other attorney by developing areas of inquiry that he or she never even thought of?

Then it was time for the Blues.

Portland’s Blues Festival is a big deal. A fundraiser and food-raiser for the needy, it has grown tremendously. 20 years ago, or so, when I went on an afternoon, the grassy “bowl” sloping down to the Willamette River was relatively empty, so one could easily drag a chair from the stage on one side to the stage on the other. The format is to alternate bands, so the music never stops - hour after hour, day after day after day after day. The festival now runs four days and nights.

There are the two main stages in the Bowl plus two other stages, so there are times when three bands blast out the music at the same time. Even the first afternoon and evening – on a workday - gets crowded. I set up between the stages. Two chairs, some water, food, and a couple of books made it seem like a backyard hangout with good live music and many thousands of friends and neighbors.

The afternoon was hot and dry, but beautiful in the shady spot. An armada of partiers floated in the adjacent river, drinking, sunning, hula hooping, etc. Some people are smart enough to camp on their boats for several days to soak in the sun and atmosphere.

Photos of boats and stage right follow:

Allyson walked from work to join me, which was a great way to unwind from a work day: music, people, and food. And here are a couple notes on 2009 technology: (1) A’ reserved a hotel room in Europe with her iphone as we sat there in the open air, and (2) I took a photo of A’ and E-mailed it to her dad with a “hello” and a short music clip.

Keb Mo headlined today’s event, filling in for an ailing Etta James. YouTube has video his music and our 360° view:


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