Author: Cornish, Rick

I’m not really here

Good morning from Whiskey Creek, just a few square feet under six acres that is more demanding than a young bride born with a silver spoon in her mouth, six acres populated by one house, one barn, one feed shed and one wood shed that all have roofs just aching to leak once the rains come, six acres of a crisscrossing, madcap maze of underground plastic and metal pipe strategically positioned to be ruptured by thousands upon thousands of linear feet of tree routes, six acres of fences that share an unyielding loyalty to the proposition that what goes up must come down, six acres of oaks and pines and bays and cotton wood trees who share a single raison d'être, that of keeping a rake clutched in the arthritic fingers of the land owner. Ha, did I say land ‘owner’. No one owns this land. The parcels, big and small, majestic and scrawny, in town and in the country, just let us think we do so lawns get mowed and trees get pruned.

It’s pretty much impossible to skulk around Facebook these last few days without reading the enthusiastic and excited accounts of the goings on in Nashville. I’ve done the IBMA scene enough times to know how crazy fun it is. And how engaging and even inspiring. I was always amazed at how much work actually gets done in the midst of all the celebrating. Work? Bluegrass? Yep, it’s true…hard to believe, but true. Bluegrass music is an industry, and the first five or so days of the IBMA—World of Bluegrass is a trade show, where deals are cemented, contacts made and ideas hatched. We wish the best to our folks back there…Larry and Caroline Kuhn, Mark Varner and all the others…and know they’ll put the CBA’s best foot forward.

If you haven’t yet, please vote in the board of directors election. Last Saturday I chaired my last meeting and, in addition to becoming a little nostalgic now that I’ve reached the end of my twelve-year journey, my belief in the value of the Association and the importance of its leadership team was renewed. I remember Lisa Burns saying to me a few times over the years when we were able, as a board, to squeeze out a little accomplishment….’You know, Rick, it’s God’s work that we do.’ I believe that it is.

And please consider driving down to Sanger, CA, this weekend for the Kings River Festival. The weather will be perfect, the stage acts excellent, the jamming non-stop and the spirit of this little festival a thing to behold. Our brethren in the central San Joaquin are very proud of their annual gathering and they have every reason to be. If at all possible drive down, or up, or over and discover what the Hobbs-turned-Kings River thing is all about. I’m leaving Thursday morning, and I’m not sure who’s happier, me or my wife Lynn.

Couldn’t write a Welcome column without mentioning one more time the absolutely joyful gathering held in the little town of Plymouth week before last. Larry and Sondra Baker brought off another Bluegrassin’ in the Foothills Festival in the fashion that only they can achieve. We owe a debt to these two…and an obligation to let the greater bluegrass community know when their future efforts are approaching. Grass Valley, Plymouth, Hollister, Susanville, Sonoma, Sanger, SBOT, Summergrass—we’re all in this together.

We’ve had a Welcome columnist announce his retirement recently. If you’ve thought you’d like to try your hand at writing a monthly column, please send me a note.

Finally, an observation—In all my years in the bluegrass community observing, along with everyone else, the hard and fast and generally unspoken rule that politics and religion are to be left at the door I do not believe that we’ve ever had a more challenging election cycle than the current one. Please remember, (and I’m saying this to myself as much as anyone else), soon the election will be over and, no matter who wins, bluegrass and old-time music will just keep humming along, making their wonderful sounds and bringing us all together.

Post Script
Thanks to the wonders of modern science and to my wife Lynn who’s maintaining the web page for a few days, I say to you good morning from the Kings River Festival at Hobbs Grove in Sanger, California. Though written before I left for the fest, I feel quite safe in saying I’m having a wonderful time, stayed up late last night jamming, will be heading off to my uke workshop with Snap Jackson a little later and will pull a shift at the CBA Membership booth again today. If the past is any indication of the future, last night I ate steak Diablo at my favorite Mexican café in Sanger, Rico’s, and had to eat half a bottle of Tums to get to sleep.

The Kings River Festival is a small, intimate event set in an absolutely charming spot in the heart of the Valley’s breadbasket and put on by a group of people who are dedicated to bluegrass music and to the community that’s grown up around it. If you can drive down or up or over and join us today or tomorrow we’ll both be glad you did.
Posted:  9/29/2012

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