February 5, 2003
The sound man places his bowl of vegan chili on the equipment case. Earnest-looking people of all ages are tuning guitars. A four-year-old with scraggly blonde pigtails and layers of pink hippie clothing is running around barefoot. There is a goodnatured call for donations – Our basket is a little light tonight, folks! – and then one by one they step onto the little stage and sing-strum-and-otherwise-perform the meaning-infused songs they have written. Some are surprisingly good. One young woman sings Big Yellow Taxi. It is open mike night at the Still Life Café in Fremont and it feels just like home.