The Territorial Dispatch
September 18, 1996
For me the Prune
Festival has crossed the threshold...
For me the Prune Festival
has crossed the threshold... from annual festival to
tradition. The euphoric disposition of the people make it
great... the people who volunteer their time, the people who
are paid to perform and do other duties, the people who come
to enjoy... all have special attitudes... relaxed and
carefree... if only for the day.
Is it the music? The
crisp purple and white decor? The (almost always) perfect
weather? Is it because you usually see someone you haven't
seen in ages? Or have time to sit and chat with someone you
never have much time to visit with on busy work days?
Whatever it is it's wonderful!
Almost everyone stretches
their comfort zone to taste something made of prunes. And
everyone wears a smile... well everyone except the man who
stopped me and abruptly asked where I had gotten my pink
shopping bag. I pointed out the Sunsweet location and said
if he only wanted the bag he wouldn't have to wait in the
The woman he was with
told me, apologetically, that he wanted to leave already and
they had just gotten there. I couldn't help but wonder if
there was someone at the exit not letting folks leave unless
they had a bright pink shopping bag!
I hope Sunsweet
appreciates the marketing genius that thought up that pink
shopping bag idea. There must have been 15,000 of us
marching about advertising for them! And all of us seemingly
happy to do it!
Maybe it's the Jazz that
makes the festival great. Jazz itself is great... three to
six, or eight, musicians on a stage with instruments. They
begin by a discussion among themselves until they can decide
on the beat... then they all play whatever they want to.
This actually sounds good, as long as they all stick with
the chosen beat.
During each number they
take turns playing individually while the others stand aside
and make funny faces at each other, at the player, and at
the audience. The result is some really toe-tapping tunes
that, as often as not, sound almost like something you may
have heard before.
The Prune Festival
features many kinds of music, entertainment and displays.
There's always something for everyone.
If your partner isn't the
type that likes to browse the art colony, investigate the
prune pavilion or shop the craft booths you just park 'em at
one of the entertainment stages and make the rounds
yourself! No Problem. You can hear music almost
I am totally fascinated
with the Buddhist Church's Taiko drummers. They are really
fantastic. I would like to be in the group... and they said
if anyone was interested in joining they should talk to them
after the performance. Anybody, any age, any background can
become a part of this energetic group. But, when they
finished, I needed to hustle up to the Celebrity Chef stage
to see Johnny Ciao cook, while playing the harmonica to the
accompaniment of Lee and Curt's son, Michael, playing his
I loved the displays of
old trucks, old tractors and old motorcycles. But, to me,
the most awesome of all the displays on the grounds was the
huge 16 foot x 6 foot photograph of the Sutter
The photograph was done
by Vanessa Helder. The panoramic view was used by project
chair Ellie Cary as a backdrop for the Sutter County booth
at the California State Fair this year. I hadn't gotten down
there to see it, but it would have been worth the trip. It
is AWESOME! ...And it's almost life-size!
It is actually a
photograph printed from an 8 x 10 inch negative on a single
sheet of photographic paper 16 x 6 feet. If you've ever had
the experience of developing prints by sloshing them around
in a shallow tray full of developer in a darkroom you have
to be awed by the magnitude of this project.
Every element of the
project is key. First you must have the world's smallest
mountain range in your backyard. Then you have to have an
eye for balance, lighting, content, framing, etc., and an
acute feel for aesthetics. Next you need a big Ansel Adams
format camera and click! With that done, you send your film
off (not to the local drugstore) and tell them you want the
But first of all you need
the imagination to dream it up and the knowledge to know it
can be done. Vanessa has that. She knows her craft. She is
Quote of the week:
For the mystic what is how. For the craftsman how is what.
For the artist what and how are one.