Monday, February 06, 2006

A Letter Written At My First Winfield

This past week has really brought Winfield back into my consciousness this week. I exchanged some emails with Jacqueline a couple days ago, and then I got to see Ian at a Superbowl party and look at all of his photos from this past September's festival. It's now clear to me that as soon as I realized that I wasn't going to be able to make this past year's gathering that I did my best to put the whole event out of my mind. Since then I've wasted many hours at work pouring through my old pictures, recalling my past two trips out to see everyone at the Walnut Valley music festival. Going through my scrapbooks I found this letter that I posted on my old website just days back from my first trip.

A Note of Thanks From Jason


This is an open letter of thanks to all of the friends I made at the Walnut Valley Festival this year. I was new—I was a first-timer, a greenhorn, a virgin-- and I could not have had a more incredible or meaningful experience. I arrived with no expectations- just the knowledge that I was supposed to be a part of this gathering they called “Winfield”. I left a changed man. You have all made a convert of me. I can only say thank you to each person who welcomed me into this unique family with
hospitality and friendship like I have never known. Thank you to everyone for shepherding me through this first experience. I will certainly be back next year (and for many years after).

It will be impossible to thank everyone who helped me on this journey, but I will try (I apologize if I have omited your name or spelled it incorrectly.):

The Amazing Bill Barwick, Dr. Ian Barwick, Mac, Shelly and Noah, Wade, Larry and his family, (especially his son Aaron, fighting over in Iraq), Doug, Dave and all the guys in the Pecan Grove, Roger and his beautiful 12-string Mossman, Mike and Susan, Mike and Annie, Dave Schapur and his beautiful songs, Mark, Sandy, who helped me meet so many people that first night, Marcia, Sharon, Stan the Man (my Legal Seafood friend), Randy, Mirek, from Canada by way of Poland, Steve and his fabulous dancing partner, The Tom Sisters of California, Gary Bury and his ambulance, Cathy and her family, The Calloway Family, Tommy Emmanuel, Stephen Bennett, Matthew, Rachel and Clover of “Back At The Ranch”, The Hot Club of Cowtown, The Yonder
Mountain String Band, High On The Hog, Carlos Santos, Mark Sganga, Exit 81, Tiffany, The Wilders, Crow Johnson, Pete Huttlinger, Dan Crary, Classical Grass, Roz Brown, The Walnut Valley Men’s Chorus, Small Potatoes, Spontaneous Combustion, Modern Hicks,
Marley’s Ghost, The Prairie Rose Wranglers, Noah and his uke, And the Whole “Group Therapy” family, and, of course, Mr. Bob Redford, who’s vision and hard work have created one of the single best experiences of my life. Though he was already named, I especially want to thank my uncle Ian Barwick for introducing me to this wonderful world of Winfield, and encouraging me to join him on this journey. It changed my life, and I will be forever grateful.

Lastly, I’d like to thank my wife Deena for letting me leave after 10 days of marriage to join this fiesta. I promise I won’t do anything like this again till next year. So, I hope you enjoy this site I put together. If you have any photos you’d like me to exhibit on this site, please email them to me. Likewise, if you’d like to contact me with any comments please do so at my email address. Otherwise, have a safe and healthy year filled with music and friendship, and see you next year at Winfield.

All the best,


Jason Sebell

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