RHYTHM & ROOTS 2012: FRIDAY

Friday, September 14th was set up day. We were unloaded by 10:30, set up by 11:30, and killing time until the folks started coming in around 4:30. Of course, killing time at a festival meant scoping out the other tents and figuring out what I will eat. Lots of interesting choices but the vendor with the gigantic woks full of jambalaya made it easy. At 7:37 I was scheduled to read a chapter from “Why Bristol?” on a live radio show called “Tennessee Shines.” Station WDVX put of Knoxville hosted the show from the Paramount stage. Paige, the host, told me, “You’ll be fine, I’m sure you’ve done this 100 times.” I didn’t tell her that even though I speak in front of groups all the time I avoid reading because I tend to jump words when I read out loud, then I get nervous and run out of air. I told myself it wouldn’t happen because I was reading my own writing, but I didn’t believe me. So I rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed. When the time came and I stepped out on stage I started with a joke (so I didn’t have to read) I told them my detective my detective had an office “that way” on State Street. Then I added, “The folks at home can’t see that I just pointed to my right and only the folks in the front row can see from my shirt that I had jambalaya for dinner.” It got a snicker, which was all I needed to begin. And all was well for the first 2 pages, but that’s when I couldn’t swallow any more. That last page took forever

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