San Mateo Country Fair

On Tuesday, August 14, 2007, after spending much of the day at an off-site for work at Menlo College, I headed to the San Mateo County Fair in the evening. I went to watch a performance by a band that a college roommate introduced me to, The Charlie Daniels Band.

It was a typical county fair: a combination of amusement park, carnival (games and such), hokey oddities (pay $1 to see a thousand-pound pig), festival (booths and all), local contests (kids baking cookies and cakes), and food concessions (more places selling hot dogs on a stick than I can count on one hand, plus the usual deep-fried foods and sugary treats such as funnel cakes and cotton candy). There's probably more--I didn't stay too longer before or after the show. I simply wasn't in the mood.

The concert was pretty good, though short (about 75 minutes). But, it was free, so I really can't complain. Because I own the band's best of CD, I recognized a number of the songs they played And even the songs I didn't recognize, I enjoyed. The story-telling aspect of this genre, folk rock, make songs interesting.

Charlie Daniels has been performing since the 50s and has had national fame since the 70s. Yet, many of the current band members (guitarists, keyboardist, drummer) are in their 30s and 40s. These musicians likely grew up listening to Charlie Daniels's music. It must be weird for them to perform with someone they listened to on the radio. They're probably playing songs they used to practice while learning their instruments.

The crowd at the concert was unusual for the bay area: some people wore cowboy hats, and the way the crowd cheered and reacted to Charlie Daniels's comments about Iraq, the troops, and gun control, made it clear the crowd was more conservative than the traditional bay area resident.

I had a pretty respectable gyro at the county fair for dinner: sliced lamb, tomato chunks, a little sliced white onion, tzatziki sauce, and a decent, chewy flat bread. After finishing it at the concert, as I crumpled up the remains, I spilled some sauce on my neighbor's jeans. Embarrassingly, she put her hand in it before I got a chance to point it out and offer her a napkin. She seemed to take it in stride though.

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