Last night was the 4th Annual Family Tradition, hosted by the Lonesome Billies. It was put on at the My Voice music studio, benefitting My Voice Music and everyone who showed up looking for a fun night.
People were strolling in through the door with pine-cone pies, biscuit loaves and fresh salads. There were three fantastic tables set with tablecloths to host the potluck-style dinner and everyone was checking in with everyone else to make sure they’d gotten something to eat- it felt like a real family get together.
The kids were probably the best entertainment of the night (outside of the live music that was being performed- that’s a given). Tiny tots were twirling in endless circles in front of the stage, suddenly darting off in an obscure direction to chase another kid or two. I was run into more times than I could count and saw so many kids take complete shit-eating falls that my knees started to hurt. But luckly these kids were made of rubber and having the best time in the world.
As part of the fundraising event, The Billies hosted an auction with over 20 donated items, ranging from beautiful Oregon Pendleton blankets to amazing Transworld Skate photos. I helped out as a runner during the auction, finding people once they’d won a lot and getting their information. It was fun! There were three of us standing up in front of the crowd, right next to the auctioneer shouting out, “I got three and a quarter, threeandaqueater, threeandaquater, do I have four? Do I have four? Do I have four?” in his shiny, glittering vest. That guy knew how to work a crowd for money.
After the auction the stage was re-set for some rowdy foot-stompin’ tunes. A band from Seattle took the stage and I ran into a friend who had just moved to seattle but was down in Portland for the weekend. Coincidence- well, it probably was. I enjoyed the music, moving from one group of friends to the next, getting slightly drunker- definitely due in part to the free ‘volunteer’ drinks I was being served, but also getting drunker off of the atmosphere. I kept running into more and more friends, and dancing with more and more people. I couldn’t toss a stick into the crowd without it tapping on at least two-to-three people I’ve known in Portland for a while now. It was like coming back home to my second home again.
These were the reasons I wanted to move back to this city- one friend and I caught up on his latest filming project and reminisced on our terrible roommate from a while back, while another friend and I discussed how I could help her get work done while making sure she never handed her new-born baby into the hands of a un-known nanny. Building community is important, and maintaining it just as much so. I ended the night drunk, happy, and sitting on a sidewalk listening to someone play accordion on the street. Drunk off free cider, and drunk off free love (no- not the kind from the ’60s here). So, Thank You Lonesome Billies for putting on the best Family Tradition fundraiser potluck yet! I can’t wait to go to the next one.