I found myself at The Red Herring. Or, at least, I found a piece of myself. I’m always looking for the other pieces. If you find them, let me know, I’ll gladly reward you for your troubles.

But, anyway, I found a piece of myself at The Red Herring. It was President’s Day being reclaimed as Citizen’s Day. But in my mind, it was Hunter S. Thompson Remembrance Day, as February 20th marked twelve years since he took his life.

I was selfishly sad at the show, realizing another Giant was no longer with us, but I was also forgetting I was amongst Giants and Giants-in-Progress.

I felt self-conscious about my sadness over a writer I had never met, but that was normal. I am a very self-involved, neurotic, manic mess of a man who is more complicated than any single label you could throw at me to define me. Which made me feel that I had a kindred connection with another human who was seemingly the same. I identify so strongly with this wild card image of HST in my head. But, I’ve never knew the man.

Yet, still, I have this thought that I know some aspect of him through what he left behind. He was a deviant, mischievous, doer of good who stood firm for what he believed. He’s another puzzle piece of me. Some aspect of myself that I wish I could see more clearly. Maybe that is why I found a piece of myself at The Red Herring. The music that night benefitted Duluth for Clean Water—a groovy cause worth further research. Musicians like Charlie Parr, Superior Siren, and Aurora Baer dedicated their time and skill to this cause. I’ve spent most my time trying to find a cause. And, it’s because of this, I felt that Hunter Thompson would’ve wanted me to be there, if only to be around other Giants so as to better see my own reflection.

So, let me tell you about the Giants I saw that night.

Superior Siren was solo and her siren was so superior it was capable of crushing the spines of weak-willed sailors enamored by the sounds she was saying.

Charlie Parr played a steel guitar and it was quite entertaining.

And Aurora Baer was good to hear because I could hear bits and pieces of my favorite folk musicians pushing their way through her vocal chords. Like, she was herself, not imitating anyone else. But what I’m saying is the line between Bob Dylan, Aurora Bayer, and Mason Jennings is so paper thin one can’t help but wonder if there’s something good in the water that makes Minnesota crystal clear when it comes to quality Folk vibrations.

Whatever that good thing in the water is, we should conserve it and make it last forever. After all, life might not be forever, but it’s a lot shorter without clean drinking water.

I liked the noise these people made. And I liked their reasons behind being there and doing what they do. And, as I move my body to the flowing blue joy of a Charlie Parr song, I swear, in that moment, I am as big as Lake Superior.

I was not thinking.

I was just dancing.

And I was part of a shared experience.

Papa Gonzo would have be proud of the water warriors amongst the crowd and stage that raged against the soft, lonesome rain of that night. It was good vibes, good music, good talent, good times, and a good cause. So, rest easy and peacefully, Hunter S. Thompson. And know that the other Giants are picking up the slack caused by your absence. And they are fighting that good fight you fought for so long.

I think I’ll join in.

Places and things to check out:
www.duluthforcleanwater.org
www.redherringlounge.com

People to check out:
Aurora Baer- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJT3IxagT-UblmVinwJm-0g
Charlie Parr- http://www.charlieparr.com/
Superior Siren- http://superiorsiren.com/

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