I saw the word palooza the other day... which took me back a few years and allowed me to reminisce a bit about some crazy times with friends as we put on Palo Alto Palooza (Fall 2003) and Palo Alto Palooza II (Fall 2004).
Back in 2003, after teaching little guys with autism for awhile, I had the grand idea to put on a benefit concert to raise money for Parents Helping Parents and SF Chapter of The Autism Society of America. I have no real musical talent, but I have friends who do... and we used to organize concerts in Utah... so I decided I'd be able to do it here in Cali. So... Palo Alto Palooza: A Benefit Concert for Autism was born.
The first Palo Alto Palooza was held at Escondido Elementary School on a freezing cold night at the end of October.
The highlights of the night included making hot cocoa in a HUGE McDonalds Gatorade container and stirring it with a semi-clean lacrosse stick (not my idea- and I didn't drink it :)) and then a mishap with the school sprinklers halfway through the performance which then caused all performers and guests to have to make a run for it so they wouldn't get soaked. The evening was beautiful nonetheless. Some super moms from PHP even came to talk about autism. Two of my favorite performers (Josh & Laura) got married (not any of my doing... but a fun fact)... and my friend Scott later worked at KPMG with Kevin and was Kevin's biggest cheerleader (besides my mom and Elise) when we were starting to date :)
The next year we moved onto a bigger and better (and less chilly) location at the Palo Alto Art Center. We had a real green room for musicians to wait in and actual sound. We also had an official emcee and my darling little class of special little people performed the opening number along with their 1st grade regular ed friends from my friend/performer Laura's class. They sang and signed to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. The musicians who performed were great and tons of my friends donated treats for us to serve. It was an incredible evening! Both classes of elementary students also displayed artwork that portrayed what a wonderful world would look like. Looking back, the most comical part of the event was that Kevin auditioned to perform at the concert and I turned him down. :)
I need to reminisce more often... and I really need to find some of the pictures from this night and scan them.
I did discover that part of the 2003 performance was recorded and is online here. So seriously awesome.
I need a bumper sticker that says, "If it wasn't blogged, did it happen?" That's how I feel about unblogged parts of my life. I have no memory of them if I didn't write them down. Everything before 2008 is a blur.
I definitely need to work on jotting them down from time to time.
If you were at any of the Palo Alto Palooza concerts, what do you remember?
(PS- Elise designed my flier above. I had forgotten about that too)