Author: Cornish, Rick

No Bruce today

Good Wednesday morning from Whiskey Creek.

It’s rare that I find myself writing a Wednesday Welcome, and rarer still that my mind is as utterly void of ideas for the column as it is this morning since, typically, I have the advantage of a few days of warning and I can begin the rumination process or, in the worst case, I’m told at least the night before that a writer cannot make the deadline and I’m able to at least snooze on a topic but, this particular Wednesday morning I’ve gone directly from reading a 5:38 a.m. email from Bruce Campbell, who finds himself on the road, a business trip, and unable to upload his piece for June 27th due to hotel network problems, to my Mac, who waits patiently—maybe I’m reading something into her big, bright cheery screen—for me to scratch out something that at least approaches the caliber of Welcome you’ve all come to expect from our mid-week guy, a writer who manages week after week after week to concoct a piece that, well…that nails it…the it being a humorous but always containing a useful, serious take-away, a very personal but always relatable, and a bluegrassy but always big-picture, slice of life essay, the type of essay born of a simple and small personal experience, seemingly unimportant bud holding the bud of a life lesson or small kernel of self-discovery, say for example, like running into my neighbor Tom Stafford, who has lived with his wife on a few acres above us for the past eleven years but with whom I hadn’t spoken more than a dozen sentences in all that time, due, we both want to believe, more to the fact that we were both obsessively wedded to our careers until we retired, me a year ago, Tom, six months ago, than that we’re both a little shy and don’t talk much, until, that is, we discovered while chatting over the pasture fence that we had a few things in common, such as age, grown kids, careers that allowed us to melt into them and hence be more in control of the quantity and depth of interpersonal relationships, and wives who had, independently but very predictably, begun to impatiently tap their feet waiting for us to find whatever it is we’re going to find to do with our sixteen hours of waking time that would keep us out of our respective houses, or at least out of our respective wives’ hair, which, as luck would have it, is music--me, my fiddle, jamming every chance I get, volunteer work for the Association, managing a bluegrass-dedicated web site; he, an electric bass which he plays behind 60’s rock music and, more recently, a dog house bass used to play behind his structural engineer daughter’s fiddle—though, to date, we’ve only talked over the fence about playing some together, (the shyness thing being the greatest obstacle), and agreeing that surely an opportunity would arise, which, when I ran into Tom Monday, it—the opportunity—had, indeed popped up in the form of my annual post-Fourth of July picking party, a gathering of enough people playing at enough different levels to ensure that my neighbor would surely find just the right jam for his introduction to bluegrass…but only, Tom said, if he has a couple of weeks to listen to and thump along with the kinds of tunes we’ll be playing at the party…and thus my new friend’s request for a compilation CD of typical jam tunes to be culled and burned by Wednesday, today; a seemingly simple request, especially of someone who’s been listening to this music for three and a half decades, until you consider that the jams that occur out on our back deck are not typical given the atypical guest list, which is all to say I’d better end this Welcome and get to the compilation, which I’ve already decided will begin with The Old Home Place.

Have a terrific Wednesday. Bruce will be back next week…I promise.

Posted:  6/27/2012

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