Author: Bartlett, Regina


The Good Old Fashioned Festival was better than ever. The weather was great. There was a meteor shower and great jams wonderful musicians. Thanks to Eric Burman and the Northern California Bluegrass Society, formerly the Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society for producing a great little festival for 20 years!

I had a great time. I drove my new van, “Jackie” to the festival. I always told my Mom that we should rent an rv and go to a festival so now, Jackie goes to all the festivals with me.

Bruce Long was my guest at the GOF. I sure had a great time chatting with him. He hung out at the Kids on Stage camp. He enjoyed watching the kids with instruments that he had helped to put into their hands thru the CBA Lending Library.

As you may know, I direct the Kids on Stage program for the Northern California Bluegrass Society at the GOF. My team of assistants were: Carolyn Kendricks, Cody Porsche, Mike and Larissa Pilatti, and Christine Grimm. Thanks to the NCBS for the gift of the t-shirts for the KOS. They looked great on stage. After our show, we met back at camp and had water balloon fight. I am proud to say that I got Scott Gates and Snap Jackson. I can still hear the kids laughing and giggling and having fun throwing over 200 water balloons.

The Kids on Stage Special Achievement Award was presented to Jonathan Gooding. He has worked as a sideman, in duos, trios, quartets, and does lead and always plays music. He has been steadily learning the art of being a Bluegrass Musician. I am so proud of him. I’m sure John will get some mandolin lessons from his brother Josh.

Ron Rose camped on one side and Tom Naiman and on the other side which also included Ella & Henry just back from Georgia, and Curtis & Megan Leslie and the String Slingers. I sure didn’t have to leave my camp for great Bluegrass music and jams and just across from me was Pete Hicks, Joe Ash, Christine Grimm and Deb Livermore.
All the best pickers were there.

I miss Warren Hellman. Several years ago we met backstage at the GOF while I was with the Kids on Stage. It became an annual thing and we always chatted about Bluegrass Music.

I ran into a former co-worker from Coastal Berry, Stewart Yamamoto and discovered that he (guitar) and his wife (dobra) play Bluegrass music. I hadn’t seen him in almost 15 years. This was quite a surprise

Another surprise was seeing my friend Susan McDougal. She and her husband moved to Colorado over 20 years ago and her son, Christopher plays with Bill Hunter in Carr Creek Crossing. I’ve know Christopher since he was 5 years old. He had his wife and son and daughter there.

I drove my new van, “Jackie” to the festival. I always told my Mom that we should rent an rv and go to a festival so now, Jackie goes to all the festivals with me. It will be nice to go to Strawberry in Yosemite and then Plymouth and camp in style.

I also took my Rose Maddox sign to the GOF and was offered $250 for it. No, it’s going to the International Bluegrass Music Museum as part of the legacy of Rose Maddox.

Remember the book by Murphy Henry, “Pretty Good For A Girl” that Ted Lehmann wrote about, and I did as well. Well I got to get reacquainted with Jackie Miller, who was a guitarist with Sidesaddle many years ago. Well a photo of Sidesaddle and Jackie Miller just happened to open up when Jackie came to my camp. I got her to autograph the page and then we picked for two days. In getting to know her, I was delighted to find out that she had been a member of The Christy Minstrels! Together with Jerry Logan on bass and Tom Naiman on banjo, we played a ‘tweener’ Friday night, just after Bean Creek! It was just so good!

Another outstanding jam I had was with Grassfire. We played J.J. Cale’s “They Call Me The Breeze” and “After Midnight” real bluegrassy and what a moment that was!
I talked Marcos Alvira into playing my guitar and I am so glad I did. Marcos Alvira rocks and can he pick Bluegrass! He and James Judd and Curtis Leslie and a number of great pickers jammed late Saturday night.

Sunday night Pete Hicks, Allen French and I played dulcimers. Pete gave us great rhythm lessons. Allen and I have been playing dulcimer at every festival. Then Pete brought out the ukelele which sounds very fine!

I stayed over until Monday morning. Lora Hicks and I spent sometime together thinking about the great friends we had known thru the Good Old Fashioned Festival that have gone on: Tom Tworek, Yodeling Lady Lolita, the Surf Dawg, Greg Davies and Walter Dodd. We knew that they were there with us and we could almost feel them and hear their music. It’s a small world out there on Harmony Road.

And it feels so good to live my life in song. To let the music travel through the folks I’ve come to know. I feel their melodies down every road I go, here on Harmony Road.

So, until next time or The Strawberry Music Festival or Bluegrassin’ in the Foothills at Plymouth, I’ll see you out there, somewhere, on Harmony Road.

Posted:  8/16/2013

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email