The Cambrian

Lady Tie Di: From playing as if in Middle Ages to middle-age playing

“Reporting live from Groove Phest 2010 in Lake Piru, California …” OK, so I’m really back in Thousand Oaks for a minute, but what a “long, strange trip it’s been”—quoting from the Grateful Dead song. Now to get back to reality ....

The young son didn’t want to take a trip over spring break this year, so I was quite ready to jump at any excuse to leave town (no offense, Cambria). A friend offered to share booth space at a new four-day music festival not far out of L.A. this week. Reggae, Grateful Dead-esque jam bands, funk— sounded like fun. I figured, heck, even if I sold no tie dyes at all, I’d be out camping, listening to some good music. Mini vacation.

Flash back (tho’ there certainly was cause to, given the crowd there—glad it wasn’t me spinning like that …) to my youth. In 1968, my mom took us to a love-in in Griffith Park. The cast from the musical “Hair” was performing there on the grass.

“Now, if anyone offers you anything to drink or eat just politely decline. It could have acid.” I was 9 years old at the time and wondered why anyone would put “acid” in something to be consumed. Duh.

Mom was always trying to broaden our horizons. She took us to the first Renaissance Faire down south. Much bawdier in those days, let me tell you. Of course, she also took us to bluegrass festivals, the symphony, the desert, lilac farms and anywhere else that seemed interesting.

Flash forward a number of years to my first child. My dear friend at the time had managed to secure a booth for her handmade sheepskin boots and leather pouches at that same old Renaissance Faire. I was thrilled at the prospect of actually working at it! Of course, life was a little different now—I had a child of my own to tote along.

Those faires were a type of commune. Everyone looked out for everyone. Food, beverage, product all flowed freely. The kids ran around like they owned the place. All within the confines of an Elizabethan village.

Having attended my fair share of Grateful Dead concerts, Live Oak Music Festivals and other epic musical events, I was looking forward to seeing what this new venue at Lake Piru would hold in store in the way of adventure and camaraderie.

There were enough dreadlocks to make a rope manufacturer drool. It was a beautiful setting amongst the rolling hills behind Fillmore, huge stage and lots and lots of little kids bouncing around. Hmm, definitely some promise here. My friend and I wondered how the local sheriffs wandering around felt about the heavy “scent” on the air. I wondered myself if I’d have taken my child to such an openly pro-pot event. What would mom do?

Unfortunately, the festival was terribly under-attended, and those great bands played to crowds of no more than three hundred swaying and swirling bodies. But, the crowd was peaceful and the children were incredibly well-behaved and the potential for another “community” is there. It made my heart good to see young married people hand-sewing clothes to sell and wear and minding their children, spreading the love, as it were.

I was happy to join in…and not have to worry about what my kid was doing! Keep their minds open, people….

E-mail Lady Tie Di, aka Dianne Brooke, a member of the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees, at tiedi@att . net, or visit her Web site at