It is no exaggeration to say that over my lifetime, I have taken thousands of photos, but of them all, this one may be the most memorable.
Doesn't look like much, does it? We were at the Paul Picnic and had just taken a group photo and this one was supposed to be those in the group who had performed with Acme Theatre Company.
I stepped in next to someone else to take a photo. I was wearing, as I always do, my Birkenstocks. The ground was uneven and there was a slight slope. I could feel myself start to lose balance and tried desperately, using my cane, to steady myself, but it was too late. I could feel myself out of balance more and more and eventually ending up flat on my back in the dirt, my head down the slope.
As if that weren't embarrassing enough, when I am on the ground, I can't get up. It's why I don't ever do exercises that involve getting on the floor, or getting on the floor to play with the grandkids. We tried all sorts of things and ultimately it took three people, one on each side and one in front (and maybe someone pushing from behind) to get me on my feet again. So glad that my kids and their friends are strong!
I expected to be more sore today than I am, so I guess there was no serious damage, except to my ego.
Before this photo, we had taken a group photo...
So I could be in the photo, Ned handed my phone to young Charlie, who didn't want to be in the picture. I'm not sure how old Charlie is, but I think he's either in kindergarten or 1st grade. Charlie took one hundred and forty photos, several of which looked like this.
It was another fun day. The park, in Richmond (near Berkeley) has lots of nice picnic spots, many of which are up hills so there is a guy with a truck at the entrance of the park there to ferry people to where they want to go. I got in the truck this time and he said "I remember you--you're with the musicians, right?"
We have had larger groups, but this was the core faithful. Kag, who hosts this picnic every year, was at the BBQ cooking lots and lots of ribs.
And what I love about picnicking with musicians is that there is always music.
And its always a place where Walt can relax...
Each year as I look at the second generation kids of this group, I am reminded of how long Paul has been dead. Milo is the oldest of the group, and he was not conceived at the time of Paul's death.
He's heading off to college this year.
Kag told me that the longer we do this, the more surreal it gets because all in the group are now middle aged and Paul is stuck at 30 and he realizes how different the adult group is than the group when Paul died.
But it's a nice tradition and I am glad that Kag continues to host it.
There was a large Hispanic group picnicking down the hill from where we were. Parents and kids of all ages, including some toddlers. I watched them all play and envisioned ICE jackboots marching in and ripping the little kids out of their parents hands and taking them off, losing them. It hurt my heart so much, especially when one Mom climbed the hill where we were with a little girl who looked to be about 3 and was smiling and saying "I'll help you, Mommy." All I could see was someone picking up this little girl, terrifying her, and taking her away from her mother.