I was disappointed when my Uncle Stuart Pacetti informed me in the end of April that he would not be able to make it this year, as he would be visiting his son in Tennessee. Unfortunately, by that time it was too late for me to sign up as a participant, so I could not set up a little castnet display of my own. Therefore, instead of spending the weekend working on castnets under our usual sprawling live oak tree, I spent the weekend with my dad talking about reenacting with passing spectators. Of course, we had a great time doing that, too.
This is a first-person view of how I spent much of my weekend. Shaving down a cow bone for a catnet gauge stick, working on my net in progress, and spinning embellished tales with some old crackers were favorite pasttimes. I really seem to fit in better with these old folks than with people my age. It's not that I'm a loner at school...That's a post for another time.
The 7-foot mullet net, my first, is nearly finished! Two more hours of work, and it's ready for the water! I finished attaching the leadline and eight pounds of sinkers at the festival, and it will be completed as soon as Uncle Stu returns from Tennessee.
The most valuable results of attending events like the Folk Festival, besides the experience of being among kindred spirits, are the connections and friends that one makes. My dad and I happened to be set up next to the Save our Suwannee organization, and I had a good talk with the people there about the river. When one of the members heard that I cast my own sinkers for my castnets (I melt down scrap lead and mold them into sinkers), he came over and informed me that that he had two buckets of lead he needed to get rid of. He used to be a diver and a stained glass artist, both of which required lead, and he had a lot of scrap that he was willing to give to me. I came home with about 40 pounds of good scap lead that will make about 500 sinkers.
In the absence of his father, Sam Pacetti awed the crowds yet again with his amazing fingerstyle guitar picking. I will post some videos of him playing soon, but you can visit his MySpace page and hear his amazing work now if you wish.