Sara chats with Roberto at the Kerrtry Store and Kafe. Photo by Rachel Chaney.

Yesterday, I took a day trip to Kerrville to enjoy some of the 44th Annual Kerrville Folk Festival. Of course, you can find lots of music at the festival — between the concerts by big name artists like David Crosby and the various workshops for songwriting, harmonica, blues guitar, and voice. For many campers, however, the down time in between the structured concerts and classes is the most rich.

This unstructured time is an opportunity for verbal and musical conversation and for creativity of all types to flourish. You walk the campground and find all sorts of “interestingly curious things” as one staff member put it. A woman in a red dress brushes her teeth outside. A land-locked man with a white beard builds sand castles with child-like wonder. Campers without a lot of possessions generously share their supplies, time, and art with one another. And self-described drifters and gypsies return year after year — longing for a sense of familiarity, home, and family.

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You have until Sunday, June 7, to enjoy the music and the family of the Kerrville Folk Festival for yourself. You can go for the day or for a single concert, or you can camp overnight. I left yesterday looking over my shoulder thinking about all the stories that I didn’t get to hear and the stories I didn’t get to tell. It’s probably a similar longing that these songwriters experience as their half-baked songs roll around in their heads. I look forward to meeting up with them again next year to tell more stories together.

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Rachel Chaney is a photographer and native Texan. You can reach her at

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