8. THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF SUGAR BEAR

By J.J. Colagrande

All Good, indeed. Yes, indeed. Thelonious could be saved. Great news. Awesome. Kurtis pulled me aside Saturday afternoon and told me what he learned, and also how he had spent a sleepless night walking the festival in search of this foe. I agreed to keep it secret from the girls. Geri was pregnant and emotional, no need to get her excited. And Princess, well, she belonged in a special class–although I am learning quickly not to underestimate that girl. Still, with her ankle sprained, not much she could do. All Good. I couldn’t believe it. When he told me the news, I perused the Rolodex in my mind. I knew a Rolling Bear from Tucson, and also a Dancing Bear from Burlington who did some production rigging, but I couldn’t place Sugar Bear. It didn’t matter. The plans for the day sort of changed. Shucks. What the Nitrous Mafia did to Thelonious at Oracledang was unacceptable. If I could do anything to right the wrong committed, well–where did I sign? Kurtis and I both figured Sugar Bear must have been connected to the Nitrous Mafia in some way. With Princess on the disabled list, and Geri pregnant, we spent most of the day Saturday alternately sneaking away, sniffing around for clues. I gotta go to the bathroom. Back in a jiffy. I forgot something in our tent. Anyone need anything from anywhere? I’m going to grab a bite on Shakedown. Want something?  I’ll be right back. We alternated excuse after excuse to sneak away and the girls didn’t know the difference. We set them up with a nice spot inside of the festival grounds, left of the soundboard, closer to the Dragon Stage–see-there’s the dragon again–the dragon will always protect you. We convinced the girls that we should all stay inside and enjoy the Saturday afternoon jams of Donna the Buffalo, JJ Grey, Rebelution and of course YMSB. Are those bands awesome? Indeed. But we really needed a home-base right-in-the-middle of everything–and there was no better central location than inside the show. One thing seemed certain, it’d be easier to find this Sugar Bear under the cover of daylight. That was just a matter of optics. Can’t see so good in the dark. Also, it’s not really kosher to roll up on unknown campsites at night; during the day you might as well post up a welcome sign, but not at night. So we had to use the light to our advantage and I did. I learned from an old time production kid that there was indeed a Sugar Bear from Atlanta on the mountain, in the East Meadow. Kurtis was eager to explore. He made up an excuse. It’s impossible to find any glass here. I need a pipe. I’ll be back. And off he went, nodding at me. There were thirty thousand heads out there. I wished him the best.

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