I want to take a momet to express to you all how very cool this Hippy Hideout thing is. I can't tell you how many emails WIJAM gets, how many messages we receive, how many face to face interactions that I encounter where the overriding tone I'm given is one of gratitude towards lead organizers FlowPoetry, Spencer Houghton, Fractal Graphics, and the Sweet Delta Dawn Team, enthusiasm for the continuance of the series, and fervent ownership by the fan base of its very existence.
Don’t let that last bit scare you. It’s actually a great sign.
When I first moved here from Appleton in 2009, the Elf Lettuce Monday night scene was in full swing. Those kids (all firmly cresting adulthood now) took serious ownership of that scene, as well. It was serious, trust me. It took me several years of residency here before I was able to “break through” and develop actual friends. It was not easy. They were a very loyal bunch, and it seemed to me that that loyalty was only extended close enough for me to see, but far enough to fail to grasp.
And then you mix in my own churlish attitude, and my background including such a strong stable of friends from my hometown; I wasn’t exactly open to new friendships myself. It was only my persistence and intent, the quality and integrity of the local musicianship, and a handful of stubborn friends that allowed me the time to engage the music scene in my own way, as an honest participant, and, more importantly, as an honest observer.
Side note: I should personally thank the Elf Lettuce guys, particularly Alex White, my dear friend FlowPoetry, and my main wookhunter Nick Clutter for really sticking with me, and forcing me into some semblance of friendships. I love those guys like brothers, and I really do love my life here. Because of them, and my wife, I have developed many rewarding relationships in this wondrous city, and several of those friendships have been nurtured in some fashion at the Hippy Hideout.
In a very real way, the Hippy Hideout has already helped me develop as a musician. I played my first ever solo acoustic show on the Hideout stage. Curt and I performed our first ever duo set on that same stage. Heading into September, I have organized a “super group”, if you will, with membership coming from several different in-state groups, all possessing differing backgrounds. The idea here being, “let’s get together and have some fun.” There aren’t many walks of life where that kind of thing is acceptable, let alone encouraged. Talk about building relationships!
Put simply, the only real way to build meaningful relationships is to share experiences with one another. The lucky few have those opportunities laid out before them, sometimes as often as the first Monday of every month, if not more. We’re the lucky few. And we all know it.
The Hippy Hideout has become one of the tapestries on which we create our own reality. Where we conduct our own experiences. Where we cultivate the things that mean the most to us, and where we shed the things that mean the least.
It is more than just a monthly engagement. It is who we are. It’s how we behave “in the wild”. It's pretty pleasant. And it’s pretty spectacular.
Congratulations, you beautiful people. You’ve got me believing again. I said it when I was 16, and 20 years later, I’m saying it again; we can do anything, as long as we stick together.
Peace, love, and understanding -
(Try to do all three, but if you can't, go for one at a time!)