Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's a block-party world

The festivity of the weekend: the KSUT fund-raising block party on Durango's Main Avenue on Saturday night. And it made me realize that if there is a statement-though-action about our Tribe, it may very well be the block party.

Over the past ten or fifteen years, Durango has added several events that close down sections of its main street in favor of food, music, beer, margaritas, and general convivial camaraderie. Good stuff. The proper values, I believe. And the best use of all that pavement in the heart of our lovely little downtown.

This event featured New Orleans goodtime band The Iguanas. The way the block party was set up, though, was a bit unusual: Main Avenue between 12th and 13th was blocked off for concessions and alcohol, but The Iguanas show was in Buckley Park, the city park abutting that section of road. The rule was, alcohol had to stay in the little corral and out of the virginal cleanliness of the city commons (even though said park is already locally known as "Stoner Park" ...).

This lead to an interesting filtering of the event's attendees. While lots of people, of course, moved over to the park to be near the stage -- since that's what the $20 entry fee was ostensibly for -- a whole mass of folks opted to stay in their pen and drink Ska beer and margaritas and socialize. It was after all, a lovely evening -- cool after the stark heat of the midday, and shaded by some of those summer thunderheads spilling off the La Platas. And for some of us -- Sarah and I, obviously, chose the corral -- we also found pooled up in that pen was a strange and wonderful little tribal vortex.

Well, that's what I found anyway. For in those four hours we passed milling around in the middle of the street, Sarah and I ran into dozens of folks we knew from dozens of little nooks and crannies of our Four Corners life - some that hadn't been poked into in quite some time. And in those meetings, we discovered some unexpected cross-threadings of relationships among people we knew, and we didn't know knew each other. It was like the core weave holding together the intertwined lives of those we would most consider members of the same tribe was revealed.

Or something like that. Whatever it was, it was a fine way to spend a Summer Saturday evening in our little town -- spent rounded up with others who chose to spend it the same way.

And the band? They were good, I hear. I don't really know. And the $20? Well, we were really there to support one of our regional public radio stations, right?

It was worth it all around.

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