Author: Cornish, Rick

Glad to be alive

Today's column from Rick Cornish (
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just an absolutely wonderful morning here at Whiskey Creek….the spring sun already warming to an expected 74 degrees, the birds singing their good morning song to anyone or anything that will listen, the dogs just in from their morning perimeter patrol and now ready for the first nap of the day…..the kind of morning that makes a guy glad he’s alive. In fact, I didn’t really know what I’d have to say this morning, but I think I’ve hit upon it…..several excellent reasons to be happy I’m alive.

Here’s a big one--I just now glanced at my Entourage calendar and realized that two weeks from today I’ll be camped at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, which makes me even more glad I’m alive. There’s little else in life, for me at least, that’s as grand as showing up at the fairground the Saturday before the festival and leisurely watching the campgrounds gradually swell into a little city with friends and soon to be friends. It’s a time to stroll around and catch up with people you haven’t seen since last June, practice those tricky fiddle tunes that you know someone’s going to call in a jam later in the week, and scout out what’s happening at Music Camp. It’s my one true annual vacation, and Icouldn’t ask for a better one.

And how about this for a reason to be happy about being alive—a few days ago I got to watch my brand new grandson, Theo, eat his first banana. His VERY FIRST. Think about that, the sweet, pulpy wondrousness of a banana coming at you without warning, a brand new taste you couldn’t even have imagined, and grandma and grandpa got to watch, (and of course snap photos, one of which you can view by clicking here.). This weekend we head down to San Jose for a visit with our grand daughter, Lexy. Ain’t life great!

And if that weren’t enough, I headed down to the big city (no, not Modesto, we’re talking the BIG CITY) to see the Giants on Sunday. San Francisco was its beautiful self, and I spent the entire day and night with two of my oldest and dearest friends, Brooks Judd and his sister Maria. Brooks and I spent the night at Maria’s home, the old Judd family home in the Hayward hills, right next to the old Cornish home, in the neighborhood where we three grew up together. A near perfect day….and the Giants won. (I will admit, I’m not exactly a die-hard baseball fan, but if you haven’t been to the new ball park down on the waterfront, you owe yourself the trip. It’s simply a marvel!)

But wait, there’s more—yesterday, quite unexpectedly, Lynn and I were the recipient of a brand new member of our family. We were given a one year old pygmy goat and is he a looker. Click
here to see our latest herd member, Andy the Goat. Oh, and later this week Lynn and I are driving down to Oakdale to pick out a yet another pasture animal. I want a Herford, she a Guernsey, but whichever it is he’ll be a great addition to the family. Hector, which is the name we’ve picked out for him, has got quite a surprise in store for him; instead of spending the next several months getting fattened up for slaughter, he’ll spend the next several years grazing on tender Jamestown grass, getting the occasional sweet cob treat and hanging with Claire and Gwen and his other pasture pals. (Andy and Hector are replacing the two animals we recently lost to a pack of dogs. It’s a story that has no place in a Welcome column about being happy to be alive.)

Here’s a triumph-snatched-out-of-the-jaws-of-disaster reason for sublime happiness. At the spring campout at Turlock I bought my advance FDF tank top only to find that the double-x’s were actually sized a little smaller than a regular x. Every one of them I tried was the same, and they weren’t even pre-shrunk. (And no, I hadn’t experienced a sudden weight gain as Dr. Brandli speculated—I confirmed with several people that the double-x t-shirts weren’t double-x at all…..probably mislabeled.) This could have been disastrous, as in no tanks to sell to a BUNCH of big people. But enter Rich Evans who called the t-shirt company and got the problem straightened out. Oh men of size, be thee thankful to brother Rich.

Now maybe not all of you will relate to this reason for being happy to be among the living, but a couple days ago, while driving down to the high desert east of L.A. on business, I downloaded a new application for my I-Phone called Google Mobile App. Absolutely astounding. You just click the app open, speak a request into the I-Phone and, viola, a few seconds later you’ve got a hit list just like you’d have with a regular Google search. My colleague Deb, (who I should add was the driver) and I contentedly spent the six hour drive learning about Joan of Arc, the difference between heifers and Herefords, Rasputin, brown recluse spiders, Bill Monroe’s early years with brother Charlie, bat caves…..well, you get the picture.

More happiness on the bluegrass front and just one more reason to be glad I’m still kicking—-my buddy Bill Schneiderman and I have finally found a guitar player/singer with whom to re-ignite the Grass Menagerie bluegrass band. Sean Brenan, newly arrived to Columbia from the Bay Area, fills the bill completely—excellent rhythm picker, can sing all three harmony parts and knows pretty much every bluegrass song we’ve thrown at him. And he’s thrown a lot at us. So good to be back into weekly rehearsal mode. Now to find some gigs.

All right, I’ll stop, (though I could go on). Life’s darned good.

Now, while I’ve got you on the line let me remind you to…..

Buy your FDF ticket on line and save some money.
Contact Deb Livermore and volunteer at GV.
Get that old instrument out and bring it along for our Kids Lending Library.
Closet pickers bring your axe and take part in one of Dan’s Slow Jams.

Posted:  6/2/2009

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