This weekend I am super pumped to be playing the Jefferson Park Arts and Music Festival, more commonly called JEFF FEST! We take the stage on Sunday 2pm. Back long ago when I was a mere skinny lad with a full head of hair. Back in the summer of 1980 (I think). The place to be was the Jeff Park Pool. My friends and I were part of the first twenty kids in line when it opened. Finally we had a public pool of our own with a diving board! Prior to it opening we had to go to Norwood Park Pool which had two significant problems. One you had to get a ride from a parent to get there. Chauffeur us as they did, a lot (before the seatbelt laws you could get quite a few kids in a station wagon), they had things to do and weren’t always available. Second was the fact it was the coldest damn pool in the Midwest. I recall the pool leaked and instead of fixing it they just kept filling it. I can remember jumping off the diving board, hitting the water and my eyes froze open. Arms and legs felt like they were encased in ice. Did I tell my buddies how cold it was… well the scream as I surfaced may have given it away. They all jumped in anyway. It became a rite passage. The Jeff Park Pool represented freedom. No longer did we have to get rides because it was only a THREE BLOCK WALK and one major intersection to cross. No longer was the pool freezing! By the second week all the lifeguards knew our names and eventually made us junior lifeguards (swim tested at the beach). We all became pool rats and swam every day. The next summer as well. I did once manage to forget my sister once (she claims twice) and she never lets me forget it, Sorry (again) Mouse. Other than that all I can remember is magical days of Marco Polo, can openers off the diving board (bigger splash than a cannonball) and seeing who could swim a length underwater. So if I’m a bit nostalgic on stage on Sunday it’s because I’m remembering all those great times I had back in the day with the kids from this neighborhood. Sunday we’ll be creating new memories and making our own nostalgia.
We’ve been on a 5 month hiatus due to work and life so we’re all primed and ready to rock. Stop on by the show Sunday, July 27th at 2pm. There are a lot of great acts over the weekend so if you can’t catch our show be sure to check a few out. Other than the food everything else takes place in the park proper and it is very family friendly. Drum circles, arts and crafts, kids stage, bouncy houses are all included in the entrance $5 entrance fee (kids 12 and under FREE). Plus don’t forget all the great music which is what Jeff Fest has become known for. We’d be going to this fest even if I wasn’t playing as it’s one of our family favorites. The action starts today. Hope to see you there. Jeff Fest is where it’s at!