As August wanes, many a Tuolumne County resident begins to hear the call of the Strawberry Music Festival. An institution since 1982, music might be the headliner of the festival, but community is the glue. Old friends gather at the same campsites year after year. Well, the same campsites until the Rim Fire crept right up to the edges of Camp Mather, the home of the festival for 30 years. After the fire, the Strawberry Music Festival had to relocate.

I wasn’t thinking about the Strawberry Music Festival as I drove down Evergreen Road earlier this month, but my blood and bones took in every curve and pothole and I was engulfed by a giant wave of nostalgia. I wrestled with the wistful longing, surprised by the intensity, until I realized that my history with Evergreen Road and Camp Mather stretched back to the 1950s.

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