Author: Cornish, Rick

2008 Grass Valley Resolutions

Today's column from Rick Cornish (
Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yes, itís me again. Itís ten oíclock and I just realized that todayís a fifth Sunday, which means we donít have one of our Welcome contributors scheduled. But thatís okay because I can combine what I was already doing with writing todayís message, which was working on this yearís Grass Valley resolutions.

Whatís a Grass Valley resolution? Well, itís pretty much what it sounds like: I make a list of things that Iíll change, or work on, for the Fathers Day Festival Iím about to attend. You see, for me, the CBA FDF is a lot like the New Yearís holiday, which is to say that my year, at least my bluegrass year, begins when I pull into Gate Four. But my resolutions arenít for the entire year, theyíre for the week Iíll spend in that pine forest. I started this practice about ten years into my Grass Valley history, which will make this yearís set of resolutions my twenty-second. (I wish Iíd saved past resolutions, but I never doóIím not even sure I could find my past tax returns.)

You see, I love experiencing this festival so much that I refuse to believe the experience canít get any better. So each year I make a list of ways Iím going to make my week at the Fathers Day Festival even better than the year before and then I hang the list up inside my trailer, on the mirror where I shave each morning, and check off my progress with a pencil. Okay, so here are my 2008 Grass Valley ResolutionsÖ.

Resolution OneóStay healthy. Last year I arrived at the festival with a sore throat, and by the time I left the Monday after the last day, I had strep. Actually, Iíve started working on this resolution already by staying away from people with colds and not breathing in any lime from concrete bags, which is how I got the throat thing in í07.

Resolution TwoóIn jams, take a break every time one is offered to me, regardless of what key the songís in. Oh, and not start skulking away when I hear somebody mention the key of B. This is another one Iíve started working on; Iím practicing B and Bb and F scales twenty minutes or so a day.

Resolution ThreeóStay in chairs longer. This is a really, really difficult one for me. In fact, Iíve probably included this resolution, worded any number of ways, a dozen or so times in my past lists. You see, Iíve been clinically diagnosed with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, and, in a festival setting, this translates into many, many, many very brief conversations with people. And itís so strange, because when I do sit for an extended period of time, and really become engaged in a conversation, I enjoy it tremendously.

Resolution FouróTake more photos. Itís not that we ever have a shortage of photos submitted to Kenny Reynolds after an event; itís just that there are some people who seem never to have their picture taken. These are the people Iíll be stalking and shooting, and Iíve got a feeling this will be one of my more successful resolutions, given that this year Iíll have my I-Phone, with high resolution camera, in my pocket day and night.

Resolution FiveóEat five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day. In my early Grass Valley days, Iíd actually come home after a week in the woods with pre-scurvy conditions. Over the years Iíve stalked up on more and more apples and carrots and such, but this year Iím going full bore: two 12 ounce glasses of low sodium V-8 juice each day and Iíll be taking in everything the USDA insists upon.

Resolution SixóWhen itís my turn in a jam, select new songs, not my standard old ones. ĎOh, here comes Cornish, get ready to play Your Love is Like a Flower.í Well, not this year, darn it. Iíve been working on a big bunch of new songs, and Iíve got lyrics to 250 bluegrass tunes loaded into my I-Phone. I WILL succeed with this resolution.

Resolution SevenóGo to bed early Wednesday night and get up fresh and rested Thursday morning. This is an important one. You see, they let me MC the first show of the festival, first thing Thursday morning. Yes, I know, theyíve given me this slot because itís the shortest of all slots and there are fewer people in the audience, but I donít careóthis year Iím going to be fully awake and articulate and full of enthusiasm and I will have practiced saying the name of each band I am to introduce. The whole deal depends on Wednesday night. Please, if you see me Wednesday after midnight, send me to bed.

Resolution EightóIntroduce my wife to as many people as possible. Lynn almost never comes to bluegrass events, and when she comes to Grass Valley she only stays for a couple days, usually Thursday and Friday, and she sleeps in a motel. Itís for this reason, that many, many people I know from my bluegrass life believe that I am a single man whoís either a liar or delusional. Frankly, Iím not sure which is worse. In any event, Iím going to do everything I can this year to make my wife stand out.

Resolution NineóHang out with Ed Alston more. This is actually one that my wife, Lynn, has insisted I add to this yearís list. Itís a resolution that has less to do with improving my GV experience and more to do with improving meÖ.as a person. Lynn points out, I must admit accurately, that Ed is a man of great integrity, a man with few if any bad habits. Someone with social aplomb, a quick mind and just plain good manners. My wife believes I can learn a lot from Ed Alston.

Resolution TenóSpend far less time with J.D. Rhynes. Again, one added by my wife.

So there you have it. One manís game plan for making the Thirty-Third Annual California Bluegrass Association Fathers Day Festival even better than the Thirty-Second. If youíre interested in seeing how I do, just jog over to the old Argosy twenty-footer anytimeóthe list will be scotch-taped to the bathroom mirror.
Posted:  5/25/2008

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