The Last Word Goes To Sidney

All this festival malarkey has got to me a bit this weekend. I got around to catching Radiohead’s set on YouTube. I’ve been a fan since seeing them at the acoustically challenging Southampton Guildhall, in 1995. This morning I enjoyed a bit of Royal Blood, over a cuppa, and I even managed a bit of Foo Fighters before lunch. But is Dave Grohl morphing into Barry Gibb?

Yesterday we got along to the village fête. It was a shower-free afternoon, well spent. People seemed generally happy and there was a buzz about the place, aside from the one generated by a dodgy PA system. And I connected with a face from my past. I was as surprised to see a former line manager in her role as a Guide Leader, as she was to see me in the company of three grandchildren. In fact, she didn’t recognise me and was subjected to several prompts before saying, “Oh yes, of course. You’ve lost weight since I last saw you.” Actually, is that any better than someone telling you that you’ve ballooned to a point beyond recollection? Well, I was on secondment and it was 14 or 15 years ago. Although you’d have thought she’d recall the daftest job title I ever had – Postgraduate Research Web Information Officer, or, as it turned out, MUG, for short.
Anyway, we politely exchanged stories and brought each other up-to-speed. We had, as she would have said back in the day, “touched base”.
Remembering faces or putting names to them isn’t something that comes easily to everyone. But one face that has stayed fresh in my mind, is that of Sidney Westerfeld. He appears in the introduction to Woodstock – the movie. I think he’s great. The then owner of an antique tavern…Monmouth Valley, New York State, delivered this short but classic monologue. He’s obviously been touched by festival magic.

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