For me, the 2007 Walnut Valley Festival started with Canadian geese shrouded by the clouds of mist rising off the Walnut at dawn on Wednesday, and ended with a loudly repeated owl call, just across the river, just before sunrise on Sunday. The high point in between was that big Swainson's hawk that circled the crowd right at the end of the Kirk Rundstrom memorial at Stage Seven. He went round about three times and then headed back west, across the river, as if he were late for something, just as the last echoes of Kirk's recorded voice bounced off the Cottonwood trees.
So it was definitely a bird festival, but only symbolically. There were some tough old cardinals that stayed for the duration, but other than that and a few sadly outnumbered mosquitos, those geese were heralding the exodus of every living creature that can't somehow make a string vibrate over some kind of box.
I did some string vibratin' myself, as late and as long as I could make it happen. I'm a person that loves to listen to music, but choosing to listen over playing is very difficult for me. I tried to think about Stuart, about searching out folks who knew him or who were around for those early festivals, but the distractions were fast and furious, everything from grandkids to swing music, and staying in the moment seemed the best all-round decision. There's plenty of time for the past.