Tuesday, February 28, 2006

06-01 Will Fest, Florida

Will Fest

March 2006

Florida happenings. Welcome back to Doug’s Roving reports! I head out April 1st.

I’ve been enjoying the company of many old friends and new friends here in Pasco and Hernando County in Florida. But the other day, I had to take a break from all the parties, dinners, flea-markets and attend the Will Mclean Music Festival, or Will Fest!

What a great way to enrich ones mind with music, stories about Florida and some of the hippest hip musicians in the area. I sure wish I could sing or play an instrument, because this festival also has over 15 workshops to improve a musicians skills.

Will Mclean 1919-1990 was a Florida Troubadour and wrote many songs about life in Florida. The festival keeps alive the songs and song writers and poets of Florida. Three stages were set up with continuous music from early in the morning until late at night.

I loved the song by Will Mclean about the first execution in Florida. How they were ready to execute the prisoner, but two leading officials were arguing about who had the right to flip the switch. They argued in front of everyone for a long time, and finally a pre ALCU type lawyer gets up and says the new Florida statue forbids a length execution and they had reached that limit. The prisoner was sent back to prison and was not executed. Later, because of good behavior, and having jumped over the prison fence to save a drowning woman and child, he was set free. True Story.

Another singer songwriter, I believe it was Red Henry, who sang a song he wrote, about the American Indians up near Jacksonville around the 1800‘s, that were given old Ledgers to document their lives through pictographs. The fort commander new these people had kept records of their lives and passed them down to their next generation. Since they didn’t have anything else that could be used, he gave them old ledgers with lines and numbers printed all over them, so they could draw their stories over the old entries. A haunting story of history almost lost.

For those who live in or near Florida, you have a another chance to experience something like this up at White Springs Florida. The end of May, they have the Florida Folk Festival, with many more stages with musicians and story tellers. If you love history, music and Florida, this is a must!

Join me again on Doug’s Adventure! To be continued…

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