A family Jazz Fest

The end (at the beginning)

The evening of day 7 of Jazz Fest is always bitter sweet. Nothing can explain it better than the photo below, which makes me so happy and breaks my heart at the same time.

While I don’t know this for a fact, I would bet that this couple has loved Jazz Fest in that house, together, for many a decade. And this year is their last. They somehow symbolize what Jazz Fest is all about. It’s not about the music, it’s not about the food. It’s about family. About family love.

My water booth family

The magic of Jazz Fest, for me, happens at the Water booth. Yes, we sell water. “Cold water, 3 dollars…” I have re-mastered my multiplication table of 3. Which is sometimes thrown off by the Monster Energy drink that we sell for $5. No, we don’t sell beer (oh, the hand movements and grimaces we have witnessed in answer to that cold hard fact). No, we don’t sell Coke (despite the bright red Coca Cola truck out of which we get the Dasani water we sell). The magic of the water booth is the family of friends that every year comes to help sell water, manage the cash register, and make Jazz Fest so fun. There are too many to name, but the highlights this year were the sisters… the Smith sisters, the Schwarzmann sisters. Maybe I just think that because I am fascinated by sisters…

My family of friends

The water booth is also amazing because it becomes ground zero for friends. Best friends Josh and Jaclyn are there rain or shine (Jaclyn modeling the classic Jazz Fest rain outfit). Ric and Michelle make the trek from Dallas annually (Michelle rocking the best rain boots ever). And more…

The family of music

There is, of course the music. I didn’t want to like him or them, but I loved Adam Levine and Maroon Five. How could I not?! I wanted to love Fleetwood Mac, and did, but not for as long as I thought I would (the music family in that band, and the re-configuration of those couples is amazing to me). Then, I discovered Phoenix, an alternative rock band from Versailles, France. They are so very French, and there are two brothers playing in that band. My people. Then, of course, there were the Black Keys. Not brothers per se, but Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney could have been… and amazed the crowd with the fact that two musicians can make the sound that seems like it should be coming from a band of 5+.

My family

Above all else, there is family. And that is perhaps the most amazing magic of the Water booth, the fact that it brings family together. Multiple generations. Multiple family units. Multiple brothers. The modern reconfigured family, all coming together, with love, happiness, and an open heart. Thank you Mary for making it all happen. 7 magical days.

My sisters

Of course, there are my three little sisters. I tell them about Jazz Fest, about the music, about the Water booth, about the headsets that their babies can wear to protect their ears. Next year, I hope. Next year, maybe one of my three little Swiss sisters will have the opportunity to experience what I have the pleasure of now calling a family tradition.

The end

It will come as no surprise that these 7 days filled with family and families ended up on a slightly bitter-sweet note. The painting that was created today in the water booth, the

painting that had all of us in it, somehow ended up in the hands of a stranger (at least, a “stranger-to-me”). Then again, we have our family, so who needs the painting? Then again even more, Paris wasn’t in the painting, so it wasn’t a real representation of the family anyway… We will just have to have Alex do another live painting next year… Till 2014, Jazz Fest!