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In the Wheat Field's Wake

This one ain't so much about the show, but the journey to. The end justified the means by far and the band, the band was indefatigable. The journey began with one. She borowed her parents car and was to go from Camrose to Edmonton to spent a couple of days with some friends. Instead she carried on through Edmonton, west to Jasper. Teary eyed from the get go due to a defining argument with her best freind. An argument that would set the course for the rest of her life. She was 16 years young. By the time she reached Jasper all her tears were spent. She had been driving since 5:00 a.m. It was now noon. A quick stop at the local Greyhound would introduce two complete strangers into her life. A young man, Jackson, and his roomie, Angela. They were instructed by yours truly to meet her there. I was stationesd 100 k.m. south at the Athabasca Glacial tour staff accom. Although her composure was kept, Angela could sense something amiss. Tension was eased with the introduction of weed, and our heroine opened up, giving birth to an unbreakable comradery that would be shared until the journey's end. Once the final pick-up was done at the staff accom. the four of us set out on a 48hr binge of cigarettes and coffee, psilocybin and beer. The night was long, and lonely despite the folk that allowed us to park at their campsite. The Beaumont class of '95 were having their farewell bash, and we were outsiders. Our daughter of the ditch (as she would be tagged due to an incident the following morning involving a culvert and resulting in a tracter tow)slept a sleep that would wake the dead once we finally found a plot of grass to park on. Jackson and I bonded over kazoos and a football and Angela did what she could do to keep up with us. Hours before the show and shortly after the culvert the four of us found ourselves on our backs in a wheatfield. We greeted the sunrise with squinted eyes and open arms. We couldn't believe we made it this far and had not been questioned by authorities. Jackson's wallet fell from his jacket piocket into the dirt. When we arrived at the venue, it was chaos. We were toasted, running on empty. Fuel came by the way of whiskey and rye. Our baggies saw us through the Rheos, and Blues Traveller. Spirit of the West is hazey, but Ziggy made perfect sense.Then things went terribly wrong. We were front and center. Well I was, with our driver under one arm and Ang. under the other. We were linked together for support, both mental and physical. It felt as though the crowd of 30,000 was directly on top of us, and our collective strength was our only means of stabalization. It was humid, 20 watts. That's when he appeared. I swear he yodelled and instantaneously went off on a rant about a dog. Then the band appeared in the twilight behind him and had to catch up. Both girls sank into the crowd with New Orleans. One, Ang. had a pace maker (she was only 18!) But the surrounding brotherhood was strong.They helped me yank them up and out. Ang. was crying, but couldn't take her eyes off him. Once on solid ground she insisted that Shanon and I go back into the vortex and soak up all that is the Gordfather and friends. We did. Everything else becomes blurry. We were sober now and on guard for falling limbs. Shanon clung to my forearm as laminar flow guided me to the front railings. Relief from the heat came in the form of a storm cloud that moved in overhead from the west, behind the band. I think it was

Submitted by: Scott Crabbe

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