“Home” is a concept that is both solid and nebulous. To many, home is the city where you currently reside, the plot of land you call your own, or simply the bed where you lay your head. These concepts of home are all true. But then there is “home” as a place of origin. The space that helped shape who you are. In the United States, this often brings to mind lots of Norman Rockwell imagery of simple, small town life and all of its nostalgic charms. As the setting of this story is my hometown of Graham, Texas; located in Young County, not far from the infamous Possum Kingdom Lake. And as we made our trek from Austin, my home for the last five years, those feelings of nostalgia started to trickle in and by the time we drove through Mineral Wells, were simply overflowing. For the first time in my adult life, my past and my present were locking horns in a fury of anxiety and excitement.
I first became aware of the “Cars and Stars” event through Facebook. Local Rockabilly/Alt-Country act, the Octanes played the show in 2013 and the pictures of my old town square drew me in like an old hound dog to a soup bone. If you had told my teenaged-self that there was going to be a festival with Rock ‘n’ Roll bands, hot rods, and pin-up models in my humble and conservative hometown my younger self would have no doubt scoffed in disbelief at the notion. But there it was, clear as day and it set my brain on fire. I had to see this for myself. Then lightning struck and I knew. Danger*Cakes, my wife, Jamie’s band needed to get in on this festival. Nothing would make me happier than to see them play at the town square where I had spent so much of my childhood. I had to make this happen.
Fast forward almost a year later to April 11th. Jamie, the band, and myself were all packing up late Friday night for a four hour drive through the Texas hill country. My mood was electric and the night was just chilly enough to have that atmospheric quality. By the time we finally rolled into Graham around 1AM, the town seemed empty, reminding me of the many misspent nights roaming the town streets with my friends, often ending up at the local cemetery, if we felt brave enough. Although this night my gang of friends and I simply ended up at the local Holiday Inn, a relatively new addition to the town.
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