Two Love Birds and Victor Wooten Memories…
The following story was lived, re-lived, and put to paper by two proud green team volunteers, Cailin and Michael.
(As told by Michael) Victor Wooten: the man, the legend, and no more than 3 feet away from our faces; we stood in shock. Watching, listening as a musical prodigy explained music as it exists in nature. He filled up our minds with existential thoughts of a natural musical connectivity, and then threw down what must have been the absolute funkiest, nastiest baseline anybody could stand to hear. We knew we were in for a real treat when that bass master would play later that night as well, and we would be stationed in his rough proximity, monitoring recycling receptacles and ensuring compliance by all of Summer Camp's smiling recyclers.
We trotted off to meet up with Murph, an incredibly dedicated and driven yet brilliantly cool and collected individual. He was our Green Team supervisor and the man who gave us the ride to where the two of us would happily be spending the majority of our night, watching Victor Wooten and, later, a Galactic/Dirty Dozen mashup that could hemorrhage the brain with jazzy delight. We got in one of the several Green Team specific Scampmobiles, and we were off. With our water bottles full, and various trash bags in hand, we rode to a far off site near the mysterious "VIP" area. We pulled up beside a fellow Green Teamer and the trio of receptacles he commanded. The young lad handed Murph his shift card and was quickly on his way. Murph turned to the three of us in the golf cart, and stated: "I need someone to stick around here until the girl who is scheduled for this station shows up. It shouldn't be too long." We shifted our gaze towards the other member of our squad who sat beside us in the cart. It was obvious she did not intend on moving. Cailin spoke up and offered to man the post. With that, Cailin was out of the cart, and the rest of us were traveling quickly toward the Moonshine stage.
(As told by Cailin) The minutes passed like hours while I sat at the desolate station. I was the farthest away from where I was supposed to be - with Mikey and Vic. At first, I was more than hopeful that I would see that Green Team golf cart on the horizon with a fellow Green Teamer - the one that was supposed to be stationed here - coming to relieve me from the helpful gesture I had made for Murph. I just wanted to see Victor Wooten and his band. I had been waiting all weekend to see him for the first time in my life, and I had the feeling that the hour I had spent with him in the Soulshine tent was just the beginning. I waited and waited.
After two hours, I realized that no one was coming to take my place, and I was going to be stuck here for my whole shift. Honestly, I wasn’t completely heartbroken that I couldn’t see Victor Wooten; I just wanted to see Mikey’s face when Vic came onstage. There’s nothing like seeing the person you love at their happiest, and nothing makes Mikey more happy than a beautifully composed, funkified bassline prepared by one of the masters themselves. At least Mikey would be able to see him.
You know that weird, cosmic thing that happens when you focus all of your energy and thoughts on someone for a while, and then they manifest themselves through a phone call or an unexpected run-in at the grocery store? You always have the same reaction, and that is, “I was JUST thinking about you!” Well, I had been thinking of that gangly, hairy man of mine for a while. I was thinking about him dancing his pants off at Vic’s show that was bound to start at any minute now, and that’s when I finally saw the golf cart on the horizon. Although it must have been a quarter-mile away, I could easily recognize Mikey’s outline: a shaggy head of hair accompanied by glasses and a giant beard attached to a lanky body covered in tie-dye. I know that description sounds like every other scamper you meet, but I was positive it was him. I was so confused as to why he would be zipping down the hill with Murph, that all I came up with to say to the both of them when they stopped in front of me was, “I was JUST thinking about you!”
The next part happened fast. Mikey got out of the cart, took the trash bags out of my hand, and escorted me to the golf cart. He said with a smile, “You need to see Vic. You’re going to take my station. Tell me everything about it tonight.”
“Uhm, okay,” I whispered as I got into the golf cart.
Murph looked at me incredulously and blurted, “Kiss the man! How many boyfriends would give up Victor for their girlfriend?” He was right. I leapt out of the golf cart, kissed the man, and said thanks. And then we were off.
I can’t even describe to you how great Vic’s set was. He truly is a visionary, and everyone in his band is just bottom-line incredible. After the performance was done, I was picking up recyclables and trash around the stage, when I noticed Victor Wooten on the other side of the fence. His roadies were loading things up, and he was talking to a couple of people. Suddenly, I had an idea. This was going to take a lot of guts, and I’m usually not the most outgoing person in the crowd. I paced around the stage a couple of times before I built up the courage. I knew I had to do it soon because the people backstage with Vic were dwindling, along with his equipment. I marched over to the fence and then squeaked out, “Excuse me?”
Victor, or as he is now referred to in our household, “the man,” turned his head to me and made his way over to the fence. My heart was doing the weirdest things in my chest, and I forgot how to produce coherent speech. He said, “Hey. How’s it going?”
Shoot. It was my turn again...I came up with, “Oh you know, just volunteering...picking up trash and stuff. That was an awesome set. You’re my bassist boyfriend’s hero. Your vocalist made me cry this afternoon. She’s amazing. You’re amazing. Can I have your autograph? My boyfriend would love it. He switched shifts with me so I could see your set.” God, I was so unbelievably cool. I just said, like, fifty words to Victor Wooten and he was still standing there. He just smiled and took my Green Team shift card (the only paper I had on me) and signed it with a green Sharpie. “Thank you so much,” is what worked out of my mouth this time.
“No problem, my friend,” said Victor.
“AHH! We’re friends now!” I thought as I walked away from the fence with the biggest smile on my face.
(As told by Michael) Murph and I chatted as we drove back up to Moonshine stage, the night fresh with scurrying Scampers, getting Summer Camp crazy for one last time until next year. We stopped near the entrance to the Moonshine stage and I hopped out. I shook Murph's hand and thanked him for the opportunity. Just before he pulled away he said to me: "Oh! I almost forgot. Your girlfriend has a surprise for you." Confused, I hurried back to the campsite, our happy home base, and found her, sitting in a lawn chair, smiling. I excitedly spattered out a dozen questions about the quality of the show, all to which Cailin had only one reply. She handed me this: