Flashbacks at the library rock concert

All the librarians at the Redwood City Library this weekend tie-dyed themselves to the core for Bookstock. It had the great small town feel of a lot of the stuff that happens in Redwood City – a little rock concert meant for families, with the psychedelic cover bands The Sippy Cups and The Fifth Grade Dads on stage. Sun-smell, face-painting, hot dogs from a cart, little kids dancing in circles like tiny muppets while clouds of bubbles floated from the grassy park into the baking hot asphalt of the parking lot next to the train tracks. Usually this pocket-sized park is a quiet amalgam of transient guys or just-released prisoners, old ladies walking chihuahuas, city council members eating bag lunches, and moms with strollers. Today it’s carnival heaven!

Chuck, mild-mannered children’s librarian, head-bobbed to the Sippy Cups with such hippiesh authenticity that I wondered if he was stoned. My mohawk was spiked up a foot and a half, and I had two little kids with me. A couple of moms asked dubiously if I was the nanny. (That always happens!) Another mom approached me to ask half in Spanish, half in English, if I knew anything about the “darketas” in Mexico. She was worried about her young niece. I spanglished my ignorance. “Probably it’s like being a goth? G√≥tica? A punk, punketa, sort of obsessed with vampires.. vampiros? Es una cosa de moda, fashion – y musica, creo que es bastante inocente.”

Chuck beamed with joy as he surveyed the crowd. “Oh good! The Beatles! I love this song!”

“What are you talking about, dude, ‘Dear Prudence’ is Siouxsie and the Banshees. I know not this ‘Beetle’ of which you speak.”

The library itself is built in an old fire station on what used to be an island and is now the center of downtown Redwood City. I’m going to teach a free blogging class there in the fall with Julie Meloni, author of “Blogging in a Snap.”

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