Tuesday, May 12, 2009

That Merlefest Story

Our flight leaving Addis Ababa last spring didn't depart until 9pm, so we had most of the day to spend doing final things in the city. Ted had gone out that morning to take photos, and in the afternoon, we took that drive up to Entoto Mountain and back down. When we got back to Ayat House to gather our things, another family had arrived and moved their things into the living room to wait for us to leave.

We had a nice conversation with them, albeit a short one since we were on our way to the airport. They were really nice people. I almost forgot about meeting them in the chaos of that day.

Fast forward a year and a month to Merlefest. While in Addis, we were able to meet and take photos of little Samuel Albertson, and his mom Becca and I have become good friends since then. I really love Becca and have campaigned for them to move to Oregon. I don't think it's working. We agreed to meet up for the day on Saturday at Merlefest since they live only an hour away and dig the festival anyway.

This was our first time to meet in person, and I was excited. I already knew it would be awesome to hang out with Becca, and I was really happy to find out what a cool person Zach is too. I mean, these folks are fun, and what hilarious cute kids they have. Love all around.

So we went with the Albertsons to catch The Duhks show in the hillside stage, and we got all settled in to a shady spot really high up on the hill. Through the music, I can hear Zach and Becca talking to someone behind us and pointing our direction.

I turn around and notice a little girl there, Ethiopian. Her parents tell me their names. They are the family who we met in Addis at Ayat House on our last day. We all sort of flipped out so much that the guy sitting next to us got irritated, telling us he was trying to listen to the music (um...hello? it's an outdoor concert in the heat of the day at a crowded family-style festival...give us a break). What are the chances that we would, at a festival with seven stages and thousands of people, meet up with this family?

After the concert, we parted ways for lunch and said goodbye, with no plans to meet up again. We all have lunch and decide to watch the show at the Americana stage. My dad (who was not there for The Duhks concert and hadn't heard the story yet) took our blankets to claim a shady spot. We go to settle in to the place my dad picked out and find out that he had placed our blankets directly beside the same family. Again, in a festival full of thousands of people, we bumped into each other.

It's crazy, I'm telling you. We swapped emails and have decided to stay in touch. You never know.

Reason #642 to love the Albertsons: they love funnel cake as much as we do.

Abe kisses Samuel

Abe and Leah watch the mime at the Little Pickers tent. I loved how Abe sat here for a solid 15 minutes, hands clasped, mesmerized.

Pappy entertains the little ones at the Americana stage.

Beauty. We think this photo should be used for next year's Merlefest program.

Reason #1,209 to love the Albertsons: They think Ted is funny and not just really scary.

Later that night, Emmylou performed "Orphan Girl" while I sobbed.

Later, later, later that night, we goofed around back at the campground, listening to the pickin' session going on by our fellow campers. We also stayed up way to late listening to pretty incredible stories from my dad about the early dating days with him and my mom, and I thought, "This is what it's about."

We flew through D.C. to get home. Abe was, unfortunately, unimpressed while meeting our president.


Danni and Tommy said...

so glad you guys had such a great time with such good people!

Amy B. said...

I love that story! I too love Becca Albertson and I too think Ted is hilarious (and not too scary:))

Now I wish more than ever that I had been there too. Maybe next year...


becca merlefest albertson said...

and we, of course, ADORE the rooneys :). and YES AMY BREEDLOVE! you should totally come next year! LOVE all around! And, Lori, don't give up on us... we may end up in Portland. We may be 74, but we'll get there...

Jocelyn said...

That is the craziest story, how amazing that you ran into them there!! Sounds like you had a great time and it looks like so much fun!!

PVZ said...

Umm sorry, but I thought Ted was scary...still love oyu guys but I would have been running and screaming if that were me.

More Dorrs said...


1. What are the odds of you bumping into the same people??!?!?!? How cool. It is a small world after all (thank you, Walt Disney).

2. I will sign the petition to move the Albertsons to Portland.


Julie said...


Claudia said...

Ah, that WAS a great story! Worth waiting for!

zach said...

Holy cow. What a crazy story. It was soooooo great to hang with you all. And I was totally embarrassed, because I was about to be really rude to that fun-hating turd-bucket who was complaining about our relatively quiet hysteria. Someone had pissed in his raisin bran, and I was going to light into him, and then you and Ted were so gentle and apologetic...I was relieved you did that just seconds before my mantrum, thinking, 'maybe Ted and Lori will still think I'm nice.' So fun.

Oh, and I've never seen a more passionate kiss between two orphan boys.