Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Major decision: Football or Music and Heritage Festival

So it's 9 a.m. on the opening Saturday of the college football season and instead of sitting down to watch "College Gameday" I'm instead getting ready for the long drive Downtown from the suburbs. What was I thinking when I suggested this excursion?

See, I'm a college football fanatic. I have missed all of one University of Memphis home football game that I've been in town for in the past 15 years. One. And when I'm not attending Memphis games at the Liberty Bowl I'm usually sitting in front of my TV watching a game or on the road with friends at a random game.

But on this, the opening Saturday of the 2010 college football season? I'm preparing to drive my family to the Memphis Farmers Market for some food shopping, music listening, arts perusing and, well, a morning not watching "College Gameday" followed by whatever Big 10 game comes on ESPN.

And this afternoon? Well, I'm at least a little more excited about this but it's still a little baffling to think this was all my idea. We'll be attending the first couple hours of the annual Memphis Music and Heritage Festival.

OK, so the above scenario didn't really happen. When I woke up Saturday morning I had every intention of following through with that plan. But in the end I chose college football. I guess in this instance "man" won out over "arts." But hey, there was always Sunday.

And that's when we really did make the trek Downtown to the Music and Heritage Festival. We arrived at noon -- before the music really got under way (except Valerie June who was doing a kid's show). My 3-year-old son, to my surprise, wanted no part in it. See, he's more into the indie rock scene (seriously) and he must not have wanted to listen to fun music intended for his age bracket.

But it probably actually had more to do with the the line of African drums sitting unused at the Watoto Memphis booth. And it especially helped that the Watoto people were very encouraging when Colby sat down and put on display his already well-developed rhythm.

Instead of enjoying live music on the stages and perusing art, I stood there while my son performed a long drum solo. So honestly I can't tell you much about the festival. Having a 3-year-old in tow meant we couldn't stay too long anyway.
But I will be forever grateful to the Watoto people who instead of shooing away a little boy from their drums they were instead very encouraging of his playing.

Sure, it's important to put this city's many talented musicians on stage so we can listen and appreciate them. But it's even more important to encourage our youth along their artistic journeys. And the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival and Watoto Memphis went above and beyond on that mission. Job well done.

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I thought he put on a great show. What little I saw of it.