Monday — Not for Me

Monday has become the day of the week that several thousand people have learned to hate the most. Often times, it’s because Monday signifies the day of the week that a bill is due. More often than not, when asked, the average person will respond with something similar to: It’s Monday; gotta go back to work.

Like many people through the course of this rough economy, I have been out of work and Monday doesn’t bother me so much. Even while I was working a full seventy-plus hour work week, Monday was the least of my worries.

For me, the most hated day of the week has been Wednesday. Oh yes, the dreadful Wednesday. To me, it’s Monday. To me, Wednesday needs to be switched with another day of the week; better still, just rename it to something else.

Other than being the name of a character in The Addams Family, played by the young and talented Christina Ricci, Wednesday has nothing of value to offer me. Sure, Wednesday has meaning to other people, but it has lost interest to me.

First of all, I’ve hated Wednesdays, as far as I can remember, because it’s always been the middle of the week, close enough to the weekend that you can almost taste it. That being said: It’s a tease.

Secondly, it was a Wednesday morning around six-thirty that I had an extreme panic attack induced by a combination of sorts, which led me to the hospital only an hour or so afterward. That morning scared the hell out of me. My whole body went completely numb, and according to the E.K.G. that I was hooked up to, my heart was beating around 192-197 times per minute. — Thankfully, I’ve been doing better since that morning.

The following Wednesdays after that horrifying morning were dreadful to me. Each week that passed, I would do everything that I could to remember what I had done that one morning, so I could try my best not to repeat the same steps. I’ve not had an attack similar to the one that morning, and the doctor was unable to tell me what had caused it. — Thanks, Valentine, M. D.(umbass)

Since then though, there have been other measly reasons that I have not enjoyed Wednesdays as much as other days of the week. Most of them, I have to admit, I have forgotten about. There is one other reason that I hate Wednesday.

It was a Tuesday night that began the series of events. Wednesday morning, my ex-girlfriend decided to have a one-night stand. I knew of the whole setup. I saw the e-mails that were arranged. I did nothing at all to stop her. Not a thing. — It’s my fault that she went, you say? — It was her choice to send the e-mails to setup the meeting, grab the keys, and leave the house. Who was it that drove her to the meeting place? Right, right. It was her. It was also her who introduced herself and followed her one-night, if that’s what you consider thirty-five minutes of fun, to the spot that would end our relationship of nine years, two months, and one day. Very, very sad.

So, I have many perfectly suitable reasons to have a distaste for Wednesday. Many of the people who hate Mondays would be better suited with a job they enjoy doing. Then, they too would enjoy Monday as much as they enjoy payday. However, even still, I will continue my distaste for Wednesday.

Out of a simple search of The Addams Family, I have come to learn something new, that I will share with you. Wednesday, the character from Charles Addams’ Addams Family, was said to be named after the phrase, “Wednesday’s child is full of woe,” from the poem “Monday’s Child,” written as a poem to help children remember the days of the week.

One of the many versions available, according to Wikipedia.org editors:

Monday’s child is fair of face
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

As for being born on a Thursday, I’ve come quite a ways. Wednesday being full of woe, I completely understand. Such is life, I suppose.


So, what day of the week do you dislike the most? Leave a comment below to state the day and toss in a short reason to add some flavor.

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L-L-L-Life

Laugh

…as often as you possibly can. Laughter is good for the soul, it clears away dreadful thoughts, and is also contagious on so many levels.

Learn

…whatever it is in life that you want to learn. Put your all into it and give it the best that you’re possibly able.

Live

…for today. Yesterday is gone and Tomorrow isn’t here. So live for Today.

Love

…with all of your heart. Continue to be passionate long after your heart has

been broken. Learn to love again and the troubles will melt away in time.

Best Time to Write

There have been many days that my mind would not shut up. I had to find something to take my mind off of the thoughts that continued to pour in, threatening to drown out even the noises of everyday life around me. Finally, I took to the pen and paper, or sat down at my computer and began writing down some of the ramblings that were going on inside my head. Then, the voices stopped. Only then did I achieve the quiet that I was searching for.

Many days come and go that the ideas and thoughts seem to simply vanish. Other days, like the one mentioned above, I can’t seem to shut them up. Writing occasionally works, but there have been days that I couldn’t type fast enough to keep up with the thoughts and many of them eluded my fast-moving fingers.

It is times like this that I would love to be able to type faster than what I do, or know someone that can type faster than I. Unfortunately, I am the fastest typist that I know. Asking someone else to jot down the thoughts while I ramble them off would result in partials here and there; fewer than what I am able to produce, which would lead only to more frustration.

The days the ideas and thoughts take a vacation are usually few and far between for me. The days that I am unable to write, rarely exist. There are still days that the ideas play games, like hide-and-seek, continuously running from me when I threaten to write them down for later consideration. I don’t much care for the games they play.

Still, I find it easiest to write when I have been awake for a few hours, or when I am nearing exhaustion. It’s easiest when I have been awake for over thirteen hours; the ideas and thoughts pour into my head like Niagara Falls into the river below. (Or, rivers below.) I don’t much like staying awake that long just to write down some ideas. By the time I wake, I have forgotten the trail of thought that led me to them, and they usually sit until I can make sense of them.

Many writers have offered advice of writing shortly after waking from a nice, long rest. These writers that I speak of, grab a cup of coffee or a nice and warm cup of tea, sit down in their favorite bean bag chair, run their fingers through their hair and simply allow the thoughts to come naturally.

I’m not much for fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters, especially when I know the work that comes with writing and editing. So, I have to ask if these writers really exist, and if they do, how long did it take them to come up with their ritual of writing? How long did it take them to become the type of writer that writes without stress and worry, and everyday hustle and bustle that keeps the rest of us in our seat pulling our hair out? I’m thinking that the worry-free writer, more often than not, doesn’t exist, though we would like to think she or he does, somewhere.

So, now I am asking you: What is the best time for you to sit down and write? Is there a specific time during the day, or the night, that you prefer? You’re more than welcome to share some of your ritual, if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. That may be my next post.

Last Night of Riverbend 2012

This may not come as a shock to you, but Riverbend 2012 is officially over. Saturday, June 16th was the last night, offering a wide variety of entertainment for the festival-goers who decided to get out of the house.

The night for us started out just about the same as any other, except, I remembered this time to grab the camera before leaving the house. Since we had the extra pin, already, and I knew it meant that everyone was going, I thought it would be fun to grab some pictures of the last night of Riverbend. So, early on, I changed the batteries and set the camera in a spot that I couldn’t possibly miss.

As any other day, we rounded up what we wanted to take with us and loaded it into the cars. Again, we took the two cars to keep everyone comfortable for the trip. We had our tarp, chairs, and sunscreen packed and ready to go.

Since we realized that the Riverbend mugs we purchased were allowed through the gates, we decided to grab ours so we could get a refill as soon as we made it through the crowds.

Of course, while rushing to get things done, nothing ever turns out as we expect it to, but thankfully, we didn’t leave anything behind; that we know of, anyway.

We pulled up at our usual parking spots to find the row of spaces completely empty this time. Surprising; I know. So, we parked and jumped out of the cars. As soon as we had everything unpacked, I began snapping pictures here and there to show you a little bit of what I have been talking about. Mostly, the pictures are of downtown Chattanooga, including the pictures of the festival, so read on and enjoy the snapshots that accompany this one.

There we were: my mother leading the way to the end of the block, my younger brother not too far behind her, and her mommy pushing our daughter along. I was at the back of the pack taking pictures. Surely I looked like a tourist who just arrived in town. I got so many weird looks from passersby that I couldn’t help but smile when I noticed each of them.

Still, I was snapping away with the camera, grabbing memories of everything that I thought would be important when I sat down later that evening. Unfortunately, I took pictures of a bunch of random stuff, and didn’t have time to write down the name of the building, the parking structure, nor the bush.

Needless to say, due to my taking pictures, it took us a little longer to make it to the main gates of Riverbend. Well, the stroller was also run through a puddle of sticky stuff, which led to rocks getting stuck in the tires, I think. So, we made a stop for that, too, and I snapped a few more pictures while waiting around.

There were quite a few people out and about, so I felt that I needed to wait in order to capture a picture with very few people, if any at all. I know I took a picture of the Sheraton Read House Hotel, the Suntrust building, and a poster that was hung in the window of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce on Broad Street.

Then, I snapped a couple pictures of the Tivoli Theater sign, to show that it also reads: Chattanooga’s Tilvoli. I also took a picture of a poster at a bus stop that offers some information about Chattanooga’s history, and a sign that had been set out to show that available parking lots were charging $10 per vehicle that wanted a place to park.

Then, there’s the picture of the sign that Southern Comfort Steakhouse and Nightclub set out, showing their dinner special. A sign that was painted on the side of a building downtown many years ago still remains, telling that Chattanooga, Tennessee is the world’s first city to bottle the beverage that is now being sold in every nation of the world, save for two or three.

I took a few more pictures of the view of downtown, then grabbed a picture of another sign showing Sweet Pepper’s Deli offering $1 beer …with entree, of course!

Chattanooga’s Creative Discovery Museum is one place that I have heard many parents talking about over the years. I haven’t done much research on the place to find out how much tickets are, or what their specialties are, but I know I’ve heard some good things about it. (I wasn’t interested when I went years back for a friend’s birthday party; still not.) Though, I may end up taking my daughter there when she gets a bit older.

A picture of “downtown” painted on a building was my next subject, followed by a sticker that someone decided to leave on a pole. I like that sticker; it makes me laugh.

Ahh, yes! There’s the entrance of the AT&T Field that I mentioned in one of my lasts posts. I was hoping that I had gotten it. You may not be able to see the sign very well; my apologies, but that is the entrance area of the not-so-new AT&T Field stadium.

The Tennessee Aquariums, well-known for their variety of aquatic creatures, offers sights even before you reach the awkwardly designed building. One of these pictures show the roof, which is actually a solarium that offers views of trees and non-aquatic creatures. (I haven’t visited in a while, so I’m not sure what they have up there now; the area when I last visited was setup as a natural habitat for butterflies.)

The other pictures show the fountains that offer passersby the chance to wade in the water, play when it’s higher, and the horse-drawn carriages. There were a couple others in the back behind these two, but I think the nearby bushes hid them from view.

So, I instead took pictures of the IMAX 3D Movie Theater, and the old-time Bijou Theater, which are nearly right across the street from one another. A quick spin of one-hundred-eighty degrees, and there’s the entrance of the Riverbend Festival; trash can blocking the poster that reads: “Tennessee Lottery Welcomes You To Riverbend”, included.

Right inside the main gates, there are plenty of booths lining the street’s edge that offer many interesting things; including a chance to win a quad-runner, bags, koozies, and many other goodies.

Then comes some of the vendor booths that offer Funnel Cakes, lemonade, alcoholic beverages, and a variety of foods.

Just about all of the area’s local radio stations were present, offering their own selection of goodies to be won by drawing names.

The Coca-Cola Stage in all of it’s glory sits right on the bank of the Tennessee river; literally, it’s actually on a barge that has been docked on the water’s edge. The next picture in the series shows the blanket seating right in front of the stage, which offers seating for blankets only at the price of $10 per person on a blanket.

Following those, I took some pictures that show the seating arrangement at the Coca-Cola Stage, but this view only shows the right side of the stage, along with one of the forklifts used to hold the large screen that everyone stares at.

Up next: The view of the Tennessee Aquariums from the back of the buildings; the Market Street Bridge; and a few shots of the steps at Ross’ Landing, leading down toward where the boats are docked. The sign at the end of the dock reads: Welcome Boaters! Festival admission pin required for entry; which means, basically, that if you don’t have a pin, the festival security will lead you directly back to the boat that you stepped off of.

I don’t usually get too caught up in the happenings at the festival, since I’m usually there for the bands and the music alone, but had I had the extra $5 or $10, I may have stopped by Crazy Chameleon to get some of their attractive artwork airbrushed onto my face, neck, or maybe my arms.

Each year of Riverbend, starting some years ago, they’ve offered the Riverbend Beach area. Sand sculptors come in to shape the sand however they’re asked to do so, and then it’s sprayed with a chemical or two to keep the sand stationary. – Don’t try to destory the work. One man who put his foot through the face of a sculpted performer, due to a light argument, ended up in handcuffs when the police noticed his sand-covered shoe. – This year, they had the sculptors work on several different pieces for the performers. I’m still not entirely sure if it changes nightly, as the happenings of the festival change, or if it’s all done up before Riverbend starts and remains the same. It’s anyone’s guess right now.

Working our way through the crowds of the festival, again, you’re presented with a better idea of how many people attend the festival on a nightly basis. Then, we reach the vendor booths. Pizza and breadsticks, hamburgers, fresh lemonade, among many other drinks and foods, are readily available to anyone at the festival. – I still say that five tokens ($2.50) is a complete scam for a bottle of Dasani, but people still pay up when they get thirsty. Again, just my opinion here; no offense meant.

Ahhh. Yum! Fresh lemonade, a Bloomin’ Onion, and some tater tots smothered in cheese and chili. Who wouldn’t want to dig in? I mean, depending on the price, of course.

Here we have a couple of the booths setup to serve alcoholic beverages, which also hand out beer wristbands; to those old enough to claim one. If I’m not mistaken, they only serve people who are wearing a wristband. Or, you have to wear the wristband to signify you’re of age. Never tried; not sure. I did hear one of the guys yell out something like “Get your wristband here!” which was followed by a girl screaming, “Can I have one?” that was quickly replied to with a resounding “No!” – I laughed.

Then comes the trailer for Kangaroo Express gas stations, offering a wide variety on their menu. Sausage Dogs, Cheddarwurst, and Nachos on one side. Do you notice the TUMS on the opposite? – Intelligent thinking there, people. Way to go!

From the vendors, I was stuck pushing the stroller for a bit to make it through a tough crowd without being slowed, and to give my friend the benefit of the doubt of making it through the crowd while carrying a 32 oz. mug of Dr. Pepper with a small stack of Philadelphia Steak and Cheese sandwiches.

We met back up with my mother and younger brother at the cozy, little shaded spot by the water’s edge, and I took a few more pictures of the water, the pillars that support the Olgiatti bridge, and the Southern Belle. I recently found out, to board the Southern Belle, you must first pay a fourteen dollar cover charge.

After we finished our snack and meals, we managed our way through the crowds to get refills before wandering back to the tarp and chairs. I snapped a few pictures of the crowd, and the people that had returned to their chairs before we made it back.

Then, I took pictures of the water, the crowd, and the side of the stage to show you the speakers that were blasting into the crowd the tunes that were played on the stage. Can you see those big, black boxes? Those are definitely speakers.

Following are some pictures of the crowd, another of the Market Street Bridge, boats on the water, and a picture of a plane tagging alone a message that reads: Wright Jewelers – Put a ring on it, followed by their phone number. – I laughed when I saw the message in the sky. Mainly due to arguing with my ex-girlfriend about personal issues that include marriage.

The bright screen changed from one of the other stages and began showing messages, so I started up my firing finger and snapped pictures of what we were offered.

Naturally, I would have thought that the welcome would have surely come before anything else. If you guessed the same, we both would’ve been wrong.

The sun lowered behind the mountains and it started getting dark. So, most of the pictures are too blurred to really see much of anything good.

Lauren Alaina made her way onto the stage shortly after and began singing. I didn’t really get to watch the beginning of the performance, though. I was tending to my daughter, who decided that she wanted to throw a fit out of being tired and thirsty. My mother and her mother had already gone to get food and drinks, so neither of them were available for me to tell to get her something.

When they returned, I snapped a few more pictures of the screen and decided that it was time to start back for home. I rounded up my daughter and started through the crowds. – If the stroller happened to catch your ankle, I do apologize. In my defense, I was lightly screaming: “Stroller coming through! Excuse us!”

I left the camera behind for pictures to be taken, but completely neglected to mention what, specifically, I wanted pictures of. So, pictures were taken of the firework display that went up at the end of the last night, but no pictures were taken of the walk back to the car, to show downtown during the night, as I had hoped. We all miss out on that view together, I guess.

On the way out, we stopped by one of the EMT tents for a sippycup full of water, then proceeded to the exit, and finally the long walk back to the car with a tired child in a stroller. I reassured her several times during the walk that I would get her more to drink and some food as soon as we made it back home, but after the water, she seemed to be all right.

We made it back home in one piece, though a car beside us got pulled over for having no lights on around 10:45pm, even after a police officer flashed his lights at the car. Smooth move there to ignore the warning.

Shortly after pulling up, she gave me an awkward look, silently asking: “What’s that noise?” So, I turned around on the front porch and pointed out the fireworks that were visible through the trees. Once I explained to her that they were being shot into the air from where we had been only minutes before (downtown), she released a disappointed sigh and put her head down. Right about that time, I felt bad for bringing her home, but I knew that she was so tired after so much excitement.

We got into the house and I cleaned her up, got her some juice in her sippycup, and by the time I was coming back through to ask what she wanted to eat, she had already grabbed her blanket, ready for bed.

I did the usual daddy routine of telling her good-night and sweet dreams, and within just a few minutes, she was out cold. I felt better once I knew for sure that she was exhausted and ready for sleep. Then, I came into the kitchen and sat down at my computer, where I began jotting down my thoughts and notes for the previous night or two of Riverbend.

Of course, I’m missing some details about each of the nights that everyone went, because I was busy paying attention to so many things, but I think it turned out all right in the long run.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m told, and I took plenty of pictures while we were at Riverbend, even before we made it to the main gate. I know I had fun during the nights that I went, and I’m sure my daughter, mother, younger brother, and friend also enjoyed themselves during the concerts. So, all in all, I think it turned out pretty well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the experiences. Below, you will find more information about the festival, and my Facebook account, so you can view all of the photos that were taken during the last night of Riverbend 2012.


C. A. Husted @ Facebook.com: ca.husted.1 …to see the pictures that were taken. WordPress isn’t wanting to cooperate with my images.

RiverbendFestival.com – Information about the nine day festival in downtown Chattanooga, straight from the Friends of the Festival; those who are responsible for hosting the event. The website offers information about the entry prices, the upcoming events, and so much more.

Riverbend on Facebook! – Catch news from the volunteers as well as comments and pictures of the festival!

Riverbend on Twitter! – Jump in the conversations using the hashtag: #riverbend.


The events in this blog posting took place on Saturday, June 16, 2012.

Professional “Whoops!”

I’m here to say that even “professionals”, those who are paid to write, occasionally screw up the piece that they’re working on. There are many types of screw-ups that range from word usage through to grammar and spelling. The least common that I have found, though, especially while reading about featured news events: The misplaced phrase.

Teachers even warned about this sort of thing in school. It’s the whole reason for that month-long lecture about nouns, adjectives, proper nouns, and verbal phrases. Of course, some of us never got that lecture; others lectured ourselves.

Straight from the Yahoo! News website, posted on Monday, June 25, 2012, around one in the morning:

DENVER (Reuters) – A fast-growing wildfire in Colorado forced 11,000 people from their homes at least briefly on Sunday and threatened popular summer camping grounds beneath Pikes Peak, whose vistas helped inspire the patriotic tune “America the Beautiful.”

Just from reading it once… Are you able to spot the flaw? Can you identify where the writer should’ve chosen to place the phrasal accident? Is it an honest mistake, or was the writer too caught up in the event? Too personal, perhaps? — Maybe a comma is needed in order to break up the mixture of thoughts to help make more sense of what’s being shared.

No matter the reasoning behind the Whoops!, writers everywhere should stay aware of this mistake and should continuously search their own work for such errors.

If you haven’t spotted it, yet, consider these two phrases:

  • A fast-growing wildfire in Colorado forced 11,000 people from their homes at least briefly on Sunday and threatened …
  • A swift wildfire in Colorado forced at least 11,000 people from their homes on Sunday and threatened …

No, I wasn’t about to type out that whole breath-taking paragraph. I understand the effect of capturing the news in an instant, but there should be some type of grammatical pauses thrown in there, at the very least.

From the two phrases above, you should have a better understanding of the phrasal accident that lies within. All writers, novice to professional, personal to widely known, should be aware of this issue and avoid it.

Not only does this article carry this flaw, but it also introduces another that novice writers in particular should refrain from using. Notice that the first four paragraphs are a single sentence each.

Using single sentences usually enhances an event, so writers try to incorporate as much information as possible into a single sententce and try their hardest to make it work, though it might fall quite a bit short of what they’re actually trying to do.

If you read the above paragraph aloud, you’ll notice that the commas are spaced just so. The sentence continues on. The thoughts become mixed and each begs for attention. The same can be said for many other long paragraphs of single sentences.

The whole purpose of writing is provide information, of one subject or another, in a suitable fashion that readers will be able to understand what they’ve read. Break it down into smaller sentences if need be. Don’t attempt to drag your reader through the mud and wear them out before they begin. Readers don’t appreciate that, though they enjoy the information.

Also, since I’m on the subject: Don’t you hate it when a writer uses some philosophical word that just seems completely out of place? It likely pulls your eyes back to it every few seconds to question whether it should be there, or if another word would better explain. — Yeah, readers don’t like that either.

Novelists are prone to do such things. Article writers are usually less likely to toss in a word that you need a dictionary or thesaurus to figure out, unless the article is about an uncommon topic. Then, it’s understandable.

There are many other issues that are just as serious as the flaws pointed out in this little piece of work. No matter the severity: Keep your eyes open; you’ll begin to see the flaws that are unconsciously made. Take note and send the author a message. They may get prissy about it, but in the end, you’ll have helped to make them a better writer. In turn, that will help them better convey the message that they would like to share with others.


To read the news article in its entirety, please direct your web browser to: http://news.yahoo.com/colorado-fire-near-pikes-peak-forces-11-000-014551591.html or search the Yahoo! website for Colorado fire; surely it will be in the results.


This blog article was written to point out to other writers that even professional writers occasionally choose the wrong word or phrase to best get the point across. It happens to the best writers, no matter the skill level.

No offense is intended by this blog article, as it is simply a single personal opinion that has been voiced.

Perhaps I’m the one who’s made a mistake here by having read it wrong. Be sure to leave a comment below if the original makes sense to you. Share your opinion; let your voice be heard.

Riverbend, Again

I’ve been trying to piece this evening’s events together and I’m afraid that I took too much time dealing with other things that I haven’t been able to remember everything that happened for several different reasons.

First, I have to say that a friend of the family wanted to go with us, but we only had three pins at the time. So, we hunted for someone who had an extra pin. After finding one, we had to run out to pick it up.

By the time we made it back, my mother was ready to leave the house and head to the festival, so there was little time to think about much of anything else. We ended up driving two cars so that we all fit comfortably.

Following behind my mother, I found minor conversation with the friend of mine that went along with us for the fun. Unfortunately, I had so many other things running through my mind that I don’t remember everything that we talked about, nor the things that we saw.

I can say that we arrived first, due to slow traffic being on my side. My mother pulled up behind us and we spent a few minutes getting things together. Due to my younger brother, who also joined us for the event, I forgot about getting the extra tokens I had stuffed into one of the consoles in my car. Instead, I focused on getting the stroller out of my mother’s car so that my daughter was able to get out of the car and begin looking around.

Once we had everything in order, we made our way to the end of the block to wait for the light to change. We crossed Broad Street and then another and continued down Broad until we reached Aquarium Way. We made the left and hurried to the main gate of the Riverbend Festival.

My mind being focused on several things at once, I remembered to stop my mother long enough for her to spin a wheel at one of the booths. I think it was the booth that State Farm setup for the festival. The employees who were there deserve a raise in my opinion. Each time a person won something, which was quite often, each of them shouted and praised the winner, even if the prize was only a koozie.

After that booth, we continued on toward the lawns of Ross’ Landing to set out our tarp and chairs. It took a few extra minutes due to having a few chairs to setup to keep the tarp from blowing away. We managed without too much hassle, though.

We started back up the stairs and got left behind due to trying to maneuver the stroller through the crowds of people, but caught up with my mother and younger brother a few booths down. I think they were stopped at one of the tents to buy tokens.

After a quick stroll up to the lottery tent, we walked back down through the main area to the vendors who offered our Riverbend mugs that light up. I bought my second mug, had it filled with Dr. Pepper again, since none of them offer the wonderful and amazing Mt. Dew, then grabbed some food before wandering back to our shaded patch of grass.

We sat and snacked while looking around. I’m sure there was conversations to be heard, but I don’t remember now what they were.

Shortly before the beginning of the performance, we all got up to throw away our trash, our cigarette butts (poor smokers), then headed back toward the tarp and chairs.

We all sat and waited for The Goo Goo Dolls to walk up the stairs at the back of the stage, since we were able to see everyone walking up to get on the stage. Then, the crowds began whistling and shouting. It was almost time.

The Goo Goo Dolls came out on the stage and our eyes were glued to the large screen in front of us. One by one, they performed Black Balloon, Slide, and ended the night with the song Iris.
They made several changes to the lyrics, to accommodate Chattanooga, Tennessee into a few of their songs. The lead singer made a few announcements that I’m now unable to remember.

I was focusing between the clouds that looked a little threatening, the crowds of people who were cheering, dancing, and singing along with many of the songs, and my little girl, who was interested in dancing in her stroller while the music was playing. As always, she was adorable.


If you would like more information about the Riverbend Festival, held on Ross’ Landing in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, please direct your web browser to: www.RiverbendFestival.com. There, you will find information about the performers who are scheduled to appear on one of the many stages, pricing for pins and daily admission, and much more. Of course, you’re always welcome to grab a map and join us on the grasses surrounding the stages. Hope to see you there!

Also, if you’re interested in seeing pictures from this year’s festival, you can stop by and look at the pictures that I took by going to my Facebook and clicking on the Photos link: www.facebook.com/ca.husted.1


The events in this blog posting took place on Friday, June 15, 2012.

Another Night of Riverbend

I hadn’t even attempted to stick my toes outside when I heard someone say that it was hot outside today. It was hot and muggy, and the day was nearing the hottest part of the day. I thought to myself a moment about checking the weather, then let the thought slip by while other thoughts began to pour in.

My mother came home from work saying that she was ready to leave, but the weather was just a bit too hot for her to go back out right away. So, to keep from standing outside during the hottest part of the day, we started our trip a bit later than usual.

After letting the day cool off, we got everything ready to go. We drove the few minutes that it takes to get to downtown Chattanooga and found the parking spaces that we had used before to be full; the entire row of spaces on the block had already been filled. Thankfully, there was an open spot just around the corner.

Being my second day of Riverbend in about seven years, I knew what to expect and checked my pocket for the pin that would allow me unlimited access to the festival. It was there. I had it. Whew.

After the long walk to the main gates at the intersection of Aquarium Way and Chestnut Street, I pulled the pin from my pocket and greeted a few of the volunteers on my way through the gate, pausing a moment to give one of them a piece of my mind. The volunteer that I spoke with seemed to have many of the same issues with the festival that I brought up, and after a simple conversation, I continued on to find that I had lost my mother momentarily.

I caught back up to her in a couple of minutes and we passed a few booths on our way to set out a tarp on the lawn of Ross’ Landing. We adjusted it and staked it using some pieces of wood that we found around the area. One of them, I think was a corndog stick that had been broken in half; not entirely sure.

As soon as I looked around, I noticed that the ground was littered with trash of all sorts, ranging from empty beer cans and bottles to the cellophane wrappers from cigarette packs. I understand that the festival is done for the public, but people could at least make sure that their trash makes it to one of the many trash cans available. Come on, people; help keep Chattanooga beautiful for the next generation!

We, my mother and I, walked back up a set of stairs through the crowds of bustling people toward the booths. I knew what I wanted to do right off and started for the booth that the Tennessee Lottery had setup. I paid $10 to get five tickets of the usual $2 Jumbo Bucks, then stepped to the side to find out if I was a winner.

After scratching my tickets, we strolled on down through the crowds to the long row of vendors that offer everything from simple bottled beverages to the more extravagant foods; like, Curled Potatoes (maybe, Curly Potatoes) and Bloomin’ Onions. We picked up a 32 oz. mug that lights up for fourteen tokens each, then grabbed a Curly Potato and walked through the crowds to a smoking section. There, we sat down and talked about many different topics while snacking away atop the bank of the Tennessee river.

There were several boats on the water, including a nice looking sail boat that had been docked by one of the pillars of the Olgiatti bridge; the interstate that passes over Ross’ Landing. The water was rippled here and there with boaters that were out and about for the festival, and the sun was surely shining. Thankfully, we were in a shaded section with a cool breeze blowing on us.

After we finished our snacking, we walked back to get a refill of our drinks, at a cost of two tokens, then headed back down to the tarp that we laid out to catch the beginning of the show. Of course, one of the local stations put out a broadcast that covered the evening for Riverbend’s events, and told of a few storms that were heading directly for us. My mother and I had already spotted the lightning in some clouds a good way off, but it wasn’t until the news began that we learned those clouds were nearly fifteen miles away. Even so, she made a comment about packing up to head for shelter before the clouds reached us.

Honestly, I think I paid attention to the clouds more than anything else. Lightning streaked from the clouds to the ground every fifteen to forty-five seconds. It wouldn’t have caught my attention so easily had the lightning been a pale white, but the lightning appeared to be shades of blue, occasionally showing as purple. It was a sight that I wish I had a worthy camera for.

Once the news went off and the performers began climbing the stairs at the back of the stage, more people began moving closer to the large screen provided. The surrounding area that had once been clear of people suddenly seemed packed. There were pockets here and there of fresh air, but many people moved closer to catch the beginning performance of Charlie Wilson, live in Chattanooga on the Coca-Cola Stage at Riverbend.

Many people were staring up at the large screen. Others were watching the clouds that were still threatening to pour down rain on top of everyone there. I was one of the many who was caught between watching the lightning flash and the large screen directly in front of us.

Charlie Wilson, or Uncle Charlie, as some of his fans call him, I had never before seen in person. He took the stage and began shortly after one of his band members introduced him. The crowds were cheering, ready for his music to begin. Then, he appeared and everyone went nuts for a moment, and then silenced as soon as he began to talk.

Lightning crashed in the distance, distracting me several times from the words that were blasting out of the speakers at the side of the stage. The flash of blue and purple in the clouds held my attention for a few moments and I had to struggle to turn my head away, hoping that I wouldn’t miss something interesting about the performance.

He sang many songs that I had never heard before, or that I hadn’t recently heard, and ended the show with the song Charlie, Last Name Wilson. During his performance, I continuously looked around, witnessing people who chose to stand when asked, others who had been standing to dance, and others who were dancing while sitting on the ground or in a chair.

Tonight was a good night. It was loads of fun to watch Charlie hopping around on the stage, yelling at people in the audience to say this or do that, and even more fun when he made a funny and everyone laughed.

Though I have heard his songs and never seen him before in person, I must say: After watching him and his band members tonight, I will try to catch any and all shows that I am capable of making it to; not just to stare at the dancers that were on stage with him.

It was definitely some great fun and loads of laughs with Charlie Wilson. The most memorable moment, I think, was when he announced some of his past, leading off with being an alcoholic and a crack-cocaine addict who had finally found the Lord. Of course, he tossed in some humor to lessen the heavy subject, but then he added in some other unfortunate news. He cleared all of it up by saying that he’s been clean and sober for the passed eighteen years. The crowds cheered.

The storms that were heading directly for Riverbend got cut short. The rains never made it to the festival. The lightning provided a nice show in the distance before and during the performance, but also faded into the clouds sometime during the performance. By the end of it, which had definitely come much too soon, the clouds had scattered, leaving many areas of the starlit sky visible. By this time, my mother said that she was glad we hadn’t loaded everything up and made a run for it.

I had considered going back to get a refill of Dr. Pepper before leaving, but I knew that the lines would be non-existant since everyone had already begun heading toward the exits. In turn, the vendors likely had already begun packing as well. So, we headed for our usual exit.

The police had it barricaded, so we had to walk back down Riverfront Parkway to the main gates in order to leave Ross’ Landing.

The walk was just as long on the way back to the car as it was on the way from the car to the entrance. On the way out, I noticed the large street sign at the corner that read: Aquarium Way. We crossed the street and made it to the sidewalk, then began another series of short conversations.

My attention tonight was less on the surrounding building and more on the events that had taken place, the people dancing and cheering, the lightning show in the distance, and the fun that I had been missing out on.

Even I got up a few times to dance and shout praises for Charlie Wilson, which is a rare case, indeed. Still, I enjoyed myself and found conversation during the show a few times with others who had come for the fun.


If you would like more information about the Riverbend Festival, held on Ross’ Landing in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, please direct your web browser to: www.RiverbendFestival.com. There, you will find information about the performers who are scheduled to appear on one of the many stages, pricing for pins and daily admission, and much more. Of course, you’re always welcome to grab a map and join us on the grasses surrounding the stages. Hope to see you there!

Also, if you’re interested in seeing pictures from this year’s festival, you can stop by and look at the pictures that I took by going to my Facebook and clicking on the Photos link: www.facebook.com/ca.husted.1


The events in this blog posting took place on Thursday, June 14, 2012.