Author: Cornish, Rick


Good morning from Whiskey Creek, where one dog is a dog but three are a pack, where Jamestown springs make you feel like you’ll live forever, where there are as many shades of green on a May afternoon as there are grains of sand on Poipu Beach and where all is well and right with the world provided Lynn is happy, which, thankfully, she is most of the time. Beautiful morning and I’m loving it more than I can say. Some news.

The commercialization of space is under way. The wire press reports that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. rocket lifted off today in the company's second attempt to send the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station. A good thing? Terrible? We’ll finally get the answer, sometime this decade.

The IBMA membership is deeply in the grips of selecting this year’s SONG OF THE YEAR for the awards show in October. If you’re a member you know this and have probably been losing sleep over it. Oh, and the IBMA board, not its membership, have been doing some other important selecting…that of the 2013 location for its big annual affair. Raleigh, North Carolina’s the spot. Read what the yokels out west think.

And speaking of boards and their infinite wisdom, the CBA’s thirteen-member rogues gallery voted ten aye, two nay and one absent to reduce its numbers down to eleven. Lots of thought and no small amount of discussion dedicated to the issue over two meetings. It’s hoped that the reduction will streamline the decision making process so that board meetings will only seem like an eternity, rather than the current never-ending eternity.

And another note worthy decision—FDF 2012 will see the re-institution of the Wednesday night volunteer dinner. Our new Festival Director, David Brace, brought the idea to the board, and I for one recited all of the reasons that led up to ending the practice three years ago. Mr. Brace had done his homework and countered each negative with cogent, substantive positives. There WILL be enough food; we will NOT be crammed into the claustrophobic Miners Building; there will NOT be block-long serving lines. If Dave’s plan for resurrecting the volunteer dinner is any indication of his logistics skills, we’re in for a very, very good bluegrass festival next month.

More good news— a man survived a 180-foot plunge over Niagara Falls on Monday, becoming only the fourth person to do so without any protective devices, according to news reports. The man, who has not been identified, climbed over a retaining wall above the Canadian Horseshoe Falls before jumping into the Niagara River and being swept over the falls, according to a report from CNN affiliate CTV. The poor guy was trying to commit suicide. You’ve got to hope that the absolutely incredible luck he had surviving will cause him to reassess his situation. That the fellow was meant to hang in there for a while longer seems pretty derned evident.

Congratulations to Rusty Shackleford and John Karsemeyer. Their moving recitations of exactly why they, above any other human on the planet, deserved two tickets to the Strawberry Festival held later this week were, well, moving. If we’re lucky they’ll share their respective Yosemite adventures with us on the Message Board next week.

If you’re a regular on the Message Board, this may not seem like news but we’re going to do the plug here anyways. Randy Shelton, bluegrass-CBA new guy who, bless his soul, stepped up to the considerable task of managing this year’s Grass Valley Gate Crew, still needs a few more volunteers, to wit-- Thanks to all who have volunteered for the FDF Gate Crew. There are still fourteen 4 hour shifts unfilled. If you would like to help with one two or three shifts please contact me. Anyone who volunteers for 12 hours will receive a free ticket for Thursday-Sunday including camping. (; 530 409 0655).

Pretty big news out of Morgan Hill—Tim Edes reported to the board Saturday that he’s booked the Lonesome River Band for his 2013 Night at the Grange Concert. These guys have hung on to their spot on the national bluegrass scene for a long time now and you’ll have an up close and personal chance to see why come next winter. No, tickets aren’t on sale yet but mark you calendar; once Tim gets rolling the seats go real fast.

For all its wide selection and low, low, low prices, Wal-Mart takes its share of hits in the arena of public opinion. Well, here’s one more nose bleed for Sam Walton…according to the S.F. Chronicle, “A man says he reached down to pick up a stick lying in the gardening aisle of a Wal-Mart in eastern Washington state, only to discover that it was a rattlesnake that then bit his hand. Mica Craig says he was shopping in the outdoor garden department of a Clarkston store when he was bitten Saturday. The 47-year-old man says it latched onto his hand and that he screamed, shook loose the snake and stomped it to death. The Lewiston Tribune ( ) in Idaho reports a bystander drove Craig to an emergency room in nearby Lewiston. Craig says he was treated with six bags of anti-venom and was told that his hand could be permanently disfigured. He says doctors expect him to remain hospitalized until Tuesday.

Okay, in all honesty, this next item is less news that praise. Mark Varner, our Breakdown Editor, just sent off the Fathers Day Festival 2012 program to the printers. If you haven’t worked in journalism/publicity jobs, or haven’t lived with someone who has, it’s pretty much impossible to describe just what a challenge it is to get one of these suckers signed, sealed and delivered. And even more of a challenge to do a really, really good one, which, of course, Mark manages to do time and time again. Congrats Mr. Varner.

And finally from our ‘what would life be without cheese’ department, you may have noticed that the Rumiano Cheese Company has become a sponsor of our Message Board. Pat Rumiano, solid CBA member and steadily progressing new fiddle player, and her husband head up what is the oldest family-owned business dedicated to the manufacture and distribution of the highest quality cheese. Now, I may not know much about much, but here’s one thing I do know…have known since way, way before I met Pat—the Rumiano’s Dry Jack, along with a juicy green apple eaten under a tall pine tree at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, is ample reason for ANYONE not to jump over Niagara Falls, with or without a barrel.

Posted:  5/22/2012

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