Get to know your community. Leaha.
This week I bring to you an amazing woman named Leaha. Leaha is originally from Fort Pierce, Florida. She now lives in Lake Worth (L-Dub!), where she is an attorney. When I asked her what she wanted to be as a kid when she grew up, she said, “A Lawyer! No Lie. I did an autobiography of myself in the first grade, and my aspiration was an international corporate attorney.” She laughed and said, “I don’t think I even knew what a lawyer was at that time. I’m really good at reading and writing so this was a natural fit I think.” She is also starting her own business, which led to her unknowingly inspiring and motivating me to create this website. That is one of many reasons why I wanted to let you meet her.
We met at Bonnaroo in 2012 which just happens to be the first camping music festival that either of us had ever attended. It was kind of a crazy thing, she was a friend of my sisters that I had never met before. Have you ever gone to a music festival with someone you don’t know? I do it at almost every festival nowadays by finding new groups online beforehand. Since that Roo we’ve been to a few additional festivals and shows together, like Suwanee Hulaween and My Morning Jacket, among others. I have some great memories with Leaha over the last few years and we are making more all the time. I’m glad to have found such a great friend that makes me smile when I’m having a bad day. If you find that in someone make sure to keep them around. When I asked Leaha, What is one thing, besides music, that she has to do at a music festival, she said, “Camping, if it’s offered. The camp grounds are where the magic happens and usually some shenanigans that will be talked about amongst your friends long after the festival ends.” This rings true in my mind as well, as I have some fond memories of Leaha from camp. Just this past year at Hulaween, she was riding her bike through our neighbor’s camp site with a beer in one hand and a smoke in the other, you figure it out. I’m not sure how it happened but she just starts yelling “I’m a LAWYER!” As if to say, I do what I want. It’s that carefree side that makes her so much fun to be around, you never know what will happen next.
- If you could go back to any time and place, when would it be? What would you be
doing? How old would you be?
“I’d go back to my late teens early 20’s. My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer when I was 19, and he died when I was 21. He was the first one to die that I felt close to but for some reason when he was sick, I backed away. I hardly visited him. A defense mechanism I guess. I regret that so much. So as far as what I would do: I’d be more attentive, more compassionate, and more nurturing with my relationships with other people… especially him.”
- What does live music mean to you?
“Community, for one. It’s quite a feeling standing in a crowd with hundreds of other people who are there for the very same reason. A climactic part in the show comes on and you look over to another person, lock eyes, whether it be by a smile, nod, or an enthusiastic high five. There’s a connection without either one saying a word.
Another thing that is meaningful to me about live music is a live show unveils the quality of the artist or band. Live shows are real; there is no studio, no double takes, no auto tune… whatever that is? It’s not diluted.”
- Favorite Festival Memory?
“Oh gosh. I have so many, but one that sticks out is the late-night show at Allgood 2013. My friend and I were in our campsite and right next door was the stage with a band called Moon Hooch. Literally, four dudes that the producers picked up from a NYC subway the night before. They play different horn instruments. My friend and I dragged our chairs and cooler near the entrance of the stage and just watched the people roll in from the main stage. Inebriated people, a guy on crutches, a guy holding a blow-up whale, and a guy holding a blow-up Southern Comfort bottle. I have never laughed so hard from people watching in my life. In my top three list of fun times at a festival. Moon Hooch wasn’t bad either. They went on to be kinda popular. I always tell my friend that we saw them before they blew up.”
- Which artist were you not a fan of but they won you over with their live performance?
“PHISH! Seriously, I absolutely could not get into them before I saw them live in 2012. I tried, starting in 2007, after graduating college. I listened to live recordings, studio recordings. I couldn’t understand the fascination until I saw them live! Phish is one big dance party. I could see them live over and over and I’d never tire of them. Sometimes I don’t understand my own love for them.”
I will leave you with her mantra, although simple, it is something that everyone should want to do. “Live life to the fullest and be kind to everyone, even the ones that aren’t kind to you.”