Author: Cornish, Rick

Enough complaining

Good morning from Whiskey Creek, where entropy, the third law of thermodynamics, which describes the steady, unrelenting creep of all systems in nature from order to disorder and, ultimately, chaos, is the unchallenged ruler of all it surveys. The light fixture in our walk in clothes closet works only intermittently, which is to say it goes on only when I approach it with a step ladder and fresh bulb; the automatic livestock waterer lies empty and incapable of performing its sole purpose in life for the want of a single, $1.85 part that OSH and Tractor’s Supply and J.S. West and Lowes, can, they assure me, order from their Rhode Island distributor once he’s up and about after his triple by-pass, (yes, they all buy it from the same RI guy), the soft, almost subliminal electronic chime of the very expensive Kitchen Aide refrigerator works only too well, alerting us as few dozen times each day that one of its three doors is ajar…except none of them are; two of my three cordless drills stopped working, gave up the ghost, ON THE SAME DAY. Entropy is a cruel master…or mistress, I’m not sure which…made crueler still by the grim daily reminders, an ache, a pain, a blotch on the arm that wasn’t there yesterday, that we, the human systems, are at the top of its list.

Okay, enough complaining. I want to share a little bluegrass news, but first…

We know that a fair number of our daily visitors are back east and we want to say as an Association that our thoughts are with you as the giant storm approaches. You’re in our prayers.

Second, we want to acknowledge that the San Francisco Giants are World Champions after winning their second World Series in three years and we want to say a hearty CONGRATULATIONS to the team, as well as to its loyal fans, some of whom are Association members and love baseball as much as bluegrass.

A few weeks ago I was at a weekend picking party and campout up in North state and stumbled upon a little impromptu and unofficial teaching session between Bill Jirsa and a couple beginner guitar players. Actually, they weren’t so much beginning guitar players as they were beginning bluegrass guitar players, and Bill was able to throw out some very help hints that clearly helped the two have a more enjoyable experience. Later in the day he and I chatted before you knew it we’d decided that we’ll add a new workshop session at the Great 48 Hour Jam in Bakersfield in January. Here’s the description of the workshop that Bill cobbled together…”This workshop is directed at those folks who already know basic finger positions for the chords in the keys of G and C. Perhaps you have just started playing the guitar, or perhaps you are new to bluegrass, and you want to learn some of its quirks and techniques. Maybe you are a little intimidated when you approach a jam. Some of the things we will cover should help you gain the confidence to jump in and play along. Mostly, I hope you will have more fun playing bluegrass on your guitar after coming to this workshop.” Thanks, Mr. Jirsa, for being willing to share your considerable experience holding down the mid-range boom-chuck so essential for any bluegrass jam.

And speaking of the workshops, we will of course do all of the others: guitar, banjo, fiddle, mando and bass. We’ll also have Randy Morton back for an encore of his popular song-writing workshop. Again this year I’m responsible for setting up the sessions and I’ll be derned if I can’t remember who did the mandolin workshop last year. Can anyone help? If so, please drop me a note.

One more thing about the Great 48. It’s time to start booking your rooms at the Doubletree. You can help the staff down there ensure that the ‘bluegrass folk’ get clustered together by booking early. Click here for everything you need to know.

Many of you are aware that our daily news feature, previously known as the Almost Daily News and, later, Bluegrass Scuttlebutt, has been revived. Renamed the More or Less Daily Bluegrass News and Stuff, I must begrudgingly admit that the column is proving to be a pretty useful tool for staying abreast of our community’s happenings. I say begrudgingly because the “MOLD’S” creator insists on remaining anonymous, even with me, the web team leader, and has even gone so far as to enlist the help of another team member to post his daily missiles for him, thus effectively cutting me out of the loop. So much for editorial control. That said, however, I’m sleeping with one eye open; one false move and…

It’s already been close to two weeks since we received the news that Suzanne Denison lost her several-year battle with cancer. Not a day since then have I failed to think about her and the profound impact she had on my life for over a decade. It was Suzanne who took my decision to run for the CBA board seriously, she who showed me the ropes, not to mention the booby-traps in the early years and she who served as my right hand person for many of my years as board chair. It’s simply impossible to work as closely together as we two did...on the phone two or three times a week, solving a myriad of problems, checking one another’s work…without learning to love, or hate, the other person. In our case it was the former, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.

Okay, I’ll close because I’ve got a fifth Tuesday of the month column I need to get started on for tomorrow. Have a terrific week my friends.

Posted:  10/29/2012

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