Rainy days make me homesick. I'm from Seattle, so that's to be expected. The drizzlier the better, days like this take me back to countless times spent walking in the rain, hiking in the rain, camping in the rain and just living life..........in the rain.
As a Seattleite, I considered rain just a normal background to whatever was going on. It's just water, it will dry. Driving in the rain was a favorite past time, especially when I got my learner's permit and had a 1966 powder blue Lincoln Continental with suicide doors at my disposal. It was my mom's car, but she was very liberal with the keys. My friends and I would pile in and cruise Broadway or one of the streets in the suburbs to the North, obeying traffic rules of course, and loving life and the simple joy of being young.
Seattle has an event every Labor Day weekend known as "Bumbershoot."
Bumbershoot is the Quilute term for "umbrella," a very fitting symbol for the area.
Bumbershoot weekend is a big deal, held at Seattle Center, and is officially an "Art and Music Celebration". I loved to work Bumbershoot, either for Starbucks or for Wherehouse Music, but Wherehouse was my favorite because that meant that I'd be in a booth either selling T-shirts and other merchandise for a band I'd get to meet and rub elbows with, or helping with meet-and-greet activities for assorted musicians appearing at the event.
Admission for those working was free, and I saw so many great bands and made lasting memories.
In 1995, I remember seeing a completely unknown band called the "Barenaked Ladies" open for the Violent Femmes. I was blown away by their music and stage presence and became a huge fan, attending every show in Seattle from then on. BNL fans have an inside joke with the band, bringing macaroni noodles to hurl at the band during it's song "If I Had a Million Dollars." Eventually the band got so big and the venues so tired of sweeping up dried pasta that the tradition was officially banned, and fans had to get creative, wearing macaroni necklaces to their shows, breaking them off and hurling noodles with abandon at the proper moment.
I can recall one show at Seattle's Moore Theater in which I'd brought a small stuffed monkey to hurl during the song's lyric "Haven't you always wanted a mon-key?"
This particular monkey wore a ribbon around its neck, and lead singer Steven Page picked it up and wore the monkey from his wrist for the remainder of the song. I felt so special.
I hope to be able to visit my hometown this summer, and if I can get there before July 16, my son Jake promises to take me to see the Barenaked Ladies. My fingers are crossed, wish me luck and I may need a little help stringing macaroni noodles if anybody has time.