Author: Compton, Cliff


I’m thinking about retirement tonight. Been thinking about it a lot lately. Thinking about how nice it would be to get up in the morning and not have to waste a thought on anything having to do with whatever I’ve had to waste my thoughts on for the last thirty or so years.

Maybe it’s that magic birthday that rolled by me at grass valley this year. Maybe it’s the effort it takes to roll out of bed every day. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s 2 oclock in the morning and I can’t sleep thinking about which customer has decided to use which other company to buy their supplies from instead of buying them from me.


A month ago I was at grass valley, fathers day festival for a week. The following weekend I was in Susanville at the Lassen county fairgrounds with my new band. Last week I was in Portland Oregon for the 4th of July week at a campmeeting, doing a lot of eating, sleeping, and talking to God. This week I’m working.
Now let’s see here….umm

On the one hand, festival, festival new band, campmeeting, eating, sleeping, talking to God. On the other hand…work.

Now, it’s not that I’m ungrateful for my job. A man’s got to eat, though some of us need to do less of that than others of us. No, the job’s been good to me through the years. It has supplied me with festival money, guitars, capo’s, tuners, and strings, and my family with the necessities of life, but the kids are moving on, starting their own lives, All except for my late blessing, eleven year old Joe, who faces the prospect of living on top Ramien and being clothed by Goodwill if I should retire.

But I’ve got to face it. If I work until I can afford to retire, my last act on earth will be selling somebody something as they lower the lid on my coffin.

But if I were to retire…..I could sell my house, and buy an R.V., and go to Rockygrass, and Merle fest, and winterfest, the IBMA, and the grand canyon (If they ever had a festival there). I could volunteer for free tickets, I could go to festivals in Arizona when the temperature was cool. I would go to festivals in Calgary when it was summer. I could travel with my band and make tens of dollars. I could sell my books and make fives of dollars. I could park my R.V. in your driveway, and use your washing machine for free…well, maybe not. I could spend the time to learn to play Jerusalem Ridge note for note… well, maybe not. I could learn to play the banjo like Bela Fleck….yeah, right.

Then again, there are all those home improvement projects I could finally get around to finishing…Oh wait, I forgot. I was gonna sell the house and buy an R.V.

I don’t know.

It sure seems like it would be nice to wake up in the morning and put on two different color socks and have it not matter a wit to anybody.

And it would be nice to have the government giving me some of my money back instead of confiscating it from me every month. (you just had to get political didn’t you, Cliff. Sheesh!)


If you see me walking alongside of the road collecting aluminum cans, or standing on a street corner busking for dollars, you’ll know that I finally decided to retire.

Until then, just keep on pickin’.

Posted:  7/12/2013

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