I just posted a message to our little mailing list which contains so many of our friends who usually go to Cornestone Music Festival with us each summer. I thought I might post some of those thoughts here, too, because Cornerstone occupies a significant spot in our lives and our relationship.
Cornerstone is a music festival put on by a bunch of Jesus-Freak hippies out of Chicago. The fest is in outside the tiny town of Bushnell, IL in western Illinois and draws tens of thousands of people every year. From Austin, it’s a two day drive, but it’s worth it!
We’re not able to go this year, mainly because of the need to take vacation time for wedding planning and a honeymoon this fall. But, we’re both missing it incredibly.
Steve and I went to our first Cornerstone in 1998. Matt’s been doing the trip since he lived in the midwest — about 10 years now.
We met there, really, for the first time in 1998. I don’t think Matt and I took much notice to each other that first year (or at least not I to him — it was just so overwhelming to finally be in Bushnell for the festival at all!). By the time 2000 rolled around, though, I was at the fest while back home we were packing for me to move to Austin and Mom & Dad to move to Connecticut. The story goes on from there. But, this year, no Austin contingency (or at least not *this* Austin contingency) in the “hiz-house” (or however you spell that phrase!).
Steve will still be at the fest, along with quite a few dear friends. But, many of the usual crowd will be missing, including us, for one reason or another. I hope those who do go will enjoy the fest a little bit on our behalf.
I’ll be here: working, planning a retreat, planning a wedding, preparing for nasal-reconstruction surgery on the 7th, and so much more.
We’ll be missing stoping enroute at Andy’s Frozen Custard in Springfield Missouri. I’ll be missing joking with Matt about every single sign to the Precious Moments Chapel — but I bet he won’t mind me not jokingly wanting to stop (get that, I don’t really want to stop!) We’ll not be seeing the Meramac Caverns billboards that take you across Missouri, nor the “Den of Metal Arts” along the interstate, nor all the places that sell walnut bowls. And, we won’t be stopping at as many QTs as possible (for icy cold drinks).
We’ll be missing eating a yummy rib-eye sandwich at the fest, cooked up by the Bushnell Locker. Austin needs a real midwestern meat locker and a nice small-town style bakery, but that’s another story.
We’ll be missing out on the sunburns, the showers that smell like sulfur, the porta-poties, the silly t-shirt vendors, the kids in temporary mohawks, the sore feet after walking too far, the strawberry-lemon shakeups, the funnel cakes & elephant ears (no, we don’t exactly eat healthy there…), the crazy golf-cart drivers, the unending game to come up with new band names, and everything else.
We’ll be missing the concerts — staying awake through & loving Over the Rhine, managing to sleep through some a screaming “band” or two, discovering something new, wanting The Violet Burning to play in Austin sometime, and all the rest. (We will not, however, be missing ApologetiX, who for some unknown reason are playing the fest this year — but that’s also another story only appreciated by a few of you, so I’ll stop!)
But, mostly, we’ll be missing the friends and what that place means to us. Silly to think of something like that in such sentimental terms, but there you go.
I hope to see everyone again next year, if not sooner…