Author: Bartlett, Regina


Part A:
A few weeks ago, my neighbor’s home, two doors down from mine, burnt down due to an electrical short. Propane canisters exploded like bombs and went through the roof. It was a total loss and there was even damage to my other neighbor’s home and garage. Since then, there have been hazmat companies, contractors, trucks and dumpsters and many people working in my used to be quiet little neighborhood.

This inspired me to clean up my garage. To prepare myself, I watched "Hoarders" on television and read every organizing article I could find on the internet. I keep my camping gear in my garage and was worried about my propane canisters and all the stuff I had inside. I hired an organizing friend and we worked on my garage for over a week and a half. I emptied boxes that I had not opened in forty years! I sorted thru my lifelong possessions and put what I wanted into plastic storage containers. I went to the dump and Good Will many times. I found letters from my Grandma Bonnie, letters and cards from my Mom & Dad, photographs of my daughter and my grandkids, my music notebook and the Jack Tuttle books that I thought I’d lost… and an autographed program from a Roger Miller show I had been to about 45 years ago!

I put my Mom & Dad’s bar at the entrance to my garage then arranged my camping gear along the side and the propane canisters are now outside in my metal tool shed (which is now organized too ). All my albums are sorted and against the wall. Cassettes are in flat boxes and stacked in the corner. What should I do with all of these? I kept the books I really wanted and donated a truckload to the Friends of the Library. I sorted out all my music books. I have every Bluegrass Breakdown I ever read, and programs of every music festival I ever attended. I have thirty years of autographed posters. As a reward for all my hard work, I bought a turntable so that I can now burn cds from all my albums and cassettes. I have a desk and I put down a nice carpet and Christmas lights hang from the rafters and I’m working on a dead guitar chandelier! Now I have a new room to hang out in.

I finally got the garage from hell organized and cleaned up. I have wanted to do this for over 6 years. "I can do this!" became... "I did it!" It took a disaster to motivate me, but I am done now and so grateful for the life I have and the wonderful family, friends and music in it and the California Bluegrass Association.

Part B:
A pinched sciatica nerve kept me home so I didn't make it to the CBA CampOut in Turlock. However, I did make it to Parkfield last week and it was fantastic. Mona, Lucy, Mark, Colleen, Dave Bob, Diana, Rick, Gail, Jessica, Dan, Glen, Slim, Alex, AJ, and Betsy were there too!

I have to rave about Mildred Roberts Criswell and Sam Criswell. Mildred wrote a song about Parkfield and sang it on Mother's Day. It was wonderful and Mildred and Sam were so good. I was so proud of them. Great job my friends!

The Roustabouts were sensational! Craig Wilson has a hot bluegrass band and Kelvin Gregory just rocks as a front man on mandolin. See them on Vern's stage at Father's Day at Grass Valley. I am proud of my buddies and loved their music.

Rock Ridge was very exciting and my friend Larissa Pilatti played bass on stage with them a couple times until Jon Schaffer arrived. Victor Skidanenko played banjo and guitar...then he played with the Central Valley Boys. I think he played with another band too. Victor just tears it up.

Pete Hicks was everywhere and jamming with everyone. The jams were so good at Parkfield. Pete played twin fiddles with Blaine Sprouse on the Central Valley Boys Parkfield Cafe show.

Roland White had Blaine Sprouse, Herb Pedersen and Bill Bryson and Diane Bouska (Mrs. White) in his band. The music was so good that I watched everyone of their shows. It was great to talk with Herb later on too.

Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players sure had full audiences loving their music. Snap and Erin had little Milo and he was enjoying the music too.

The Get Down Boys are still getting down with the Bluegrass. Alex Sharp played with them, and Scott Gates did too. See them on Vern's stage.

LeRoy McNee's Gospel Show with Yvonne & Mike Tater, Paul Lee, and Craig Wilson delivered some wonderful Gospel Music for Mother's Day. Roland White also had LeRoy sit in on a couple tunes. I never miss their Gospel Ministry. Go see them at Grass Valley.

I was surprised by the Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band. They won the band competition in Bakersfield at the Great 48 and really play music with lots of drive. They also played with Gerry Higbie's Kids Bluegrass Music Camp performance. They will be judges at the Topanga Canyon Bluegrass Contest this week. You can see them on Vern's stage.

I am saving the best for last. The Kathy Kallick Band was just so good! Every song had great vocals and beautiful instrumentals. Greg Booth on dobro and banjo; Annie Staninec on fiddle & banjo; Kathy's great rhythm guitar were amazing. I went to every show and bought a cd that I enjoyed on the drive home. What a woman, what a voice...what a band! KKB just made my Mother's Day so special!

I never miss the Parkfield Bluegrass Festival. Put this on your list for next year. There is so much more I could tell you about Parkfield. You'll just have to come see for yourself.

Next week you can go to the Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite or Pete Hick's Memorial Camp Out at Bolado Park in Hollister. Choices for sure. One is 5 hours away with "iffy weather" and the other is much closer to home and the picking is so good. My Camp Howdy friends keep asking which one I'm going to...and I'm still flipping the coin! Since the truck is still packed and the laundry is done I'm ready to go to one or the other...John Prine, Sam Bush.
Until next time or Father's Day at Grass Valley, I'll see you out there on Harmony Road.

Posted:  5/17/2013

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