Had a great time at Summerfest on Friday night – remember some of it.
Started out at Circle and Madison. Steak tacos were sizzling. So was the band. Sat on the wall listening to covers of Steely Dan and the Beatles, sipping and Summerfest-watching.
Man, though, does not live on beer and classic rock alone. After the set, I stepped into an establishment for a Guinness and to catch up on the Sox game. The man on the stool next to me showed me the treasure trove of CDs he bought at Old School Records for $.33 apiece. Made a mental note to check out the bins.
Heard music was starting at 8 p.m. at House Red but hesitated to enter a beer-free zone. Not to worry, they had craft beers available. I tried one, while I listened to a guitarist cover an eclectic catalogue of songs Ð from Mungo Jerry to Cole Porter. The beer was so cold and crisp; I would have gotten another if they accepted Summerfest tickets.
Ran into a friend who moved here from the Czech Republic. She complained that a raccoon and a possum had invaded her yard. The grotesque appearance of the possum freaked her out, because Europe doesn’t have these critters. I thought everyone liked having marsupials around.
Ran into a friend from Northern Ireland. He reminded me it was the 30th Anniversary of the hunger strike that killed Bobby Sands. He showed me a doctored video of the queen getting sloshed on Guinness during her recent visit to Ireland. He bought me a beer, while we discussed our desire for a united Ireland.
A Review reader stopped me and hired me to serve a summons. It pays to carry a business card at Summerfest.
The night got even better when Our Gang took the stage. Their ’70s funk energized the crowd, motivating a large group to execute the Electric Slide. I never see this kind of uninhibited fun-loving spirit on display when I visit fests in other suburbs. I think credit for this should go, in part, to our fearless leader.
Mayor Calderone was in full swing on the dance floor. The man has Italian soul. He was like Michelangelo Jackson out there. Then Tony joined Our Gang on stage. He wasn’t afraid to keep his dance groove going. He also helped out on vocals, supplying the “House” on “Brick House.”
I couldn’t stay for the last set but made a cameo appearance at Summerfest on Saturday. The Jesse White Tumblers were thrilling. Also got to enjoy the raucous rockabilly of The Imaginary Band.
Summerfest makes me proud to live in a community, where the residents aren’t too reserved to have fun, where a guitarist can play a solo with his teeth and a mayor can inspire us to dance.
John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.