Tuesday Viewsday: Willie Nelson’s Grandson?

It doesn’t seem like it’s been a week since our last time together, but it has been. This past weekend, the girl and I headed out to Elandorf Music Festival, a local festival actually started by the girl’s father back in the 1970’s and carried on today to the tune of over 5,000 attendees. Where is it, you ask? As my mother would say, “a few miles past where Jesus lost his shoes.”

I was looking forward to capturing some of the bands with my camera, as I’m prone to do from time to time, but it ended up that we were stuck inside due to major storms in the area. Rumor has it that the bands played on, but with the amount of lightning that I saw, I don’t know how they could with all the insurance liabilities and whatnot. Hippie music festivals just ain’t what they used to be, I guess…

Willie’s Kid?

Willie's Boy (2009)

Willie’s Boy (2009)

Speaking of hippie music festivals, I snapped the image you see here during my very first Summer Camp experience. For those who aren’t aware, Summer Camp isn’t just that place you shuffle your kids off to every year in the hopes that you and the Mrs. get a little peace and quiet (or something else for that matter) for a few weeks; it’s also an awesome homegrown music festival held in the small town of Chillicothe, Illinois, just north of Peoria.

What started off slowly with only a few bands every year is now a full-on three-day music extravaganza that hosts over 50 bands and 16,000+ attendees. Let’s just say it takes an entire year to air the park out where Summer Camp is held from all the patchouli and Bermuda grass.

I have very fond memories of the few years I got to go and the story behind this image is definitely among them. As I’ve said before, my good friend, Dude, was able to get me and a few buddies a job at Summer Camp parking RV’s every year. In turn for some super easy hard work, we got to catch all of the shows and stay the entire weekend for free! You can’t beat that.

On the last day of the festival, my buddies and I headed over to the main stage to catch Los Lobos who were to open up for Willie Nelson. Dude had grabbed me a press pass so I was able to walk about freely and snap images, free as a song. Big Steve and I were intently watching Los Lobos from slightly to stage right when I noticed this little kid, covered head to toe in mud, just wandering aimlessly, no parents or guardians in sight.

Steve said it was one of Willie’s grandchildren as he tends to travel with an entourage of his family, no matter how distantly related to him they are. I’m not exactly sure if that was true, but I’d like to think it is so I watched this kid for a few minutes as he looked out over the crowd. The boy had absolutely no interest whatsoever in Los Lobos, who were rocking the hell out of the stage not ten feet from where the kid was standing. Instead, he just stared off as if he was in a room by himself and not surrounded by throngs of dread-heads.

I was only able to capture one image and what you see here is it. I love everything about this shot as a candid portrait, the closest I’ve come to street photography really, and the expression on his face makes it for me.

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