Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less: Express Lane: Cash Only

Item: # 1: I had written my column about my Isleton experience and saved it. Monday morning the “Home from the Delta” column, written by another Welcomer, appeared. As I read the column I realized that it was saying just about the same thing I had written. What to do? Should I title my column, “Yet another View about Isleton” or should I re write my column?

Item #2: I attended the Isleton camp-out Thursday-Friday and it was indeed a well run show. Kudos to Pat and George Calhoun for all their hard work. As the Monday column stated the setting was absolutely gorgeous with well manicured grounds. As usual everyone walking around was smiling and friendly. I did have a little problem with the heat. I am used to hot weather living in the thriving metropolis of Turlock for the past thirty years and I know what heat is. I also know what fog is but that is a different story. The heat in Isleton was spiced up with a touch of humidity. With all the beautiful Delta waters just a few yards away one would have thought we were in New Orleans not Isleton.

Now I am not exaggerating or making this up. It was so hot and humid that I actually saw two small dogs owned by our own Bill and Mary Schneiderman chasing a squirrel through the luxurious grounds: All three were walking.

Item #3: Back to Isleton. Once again by attending a CBA function I was able to meet members I have known only through the CBA web site or the CBA Breakdown. I finally met the gourmand, Chef Mike. The friendly and burly Cliff Compton made the introduction. Cliff and I were nursing a cold diet Pepsi at the bar when Chef Mike strolled over. As you all know Chef Mike is one of the biggest contributors to the CBA in time given. Apparently there is a lot less of the Chef Mike because a lot of him has evaporated. You can read how Chef Mike’s body shrunk in Cliff Compton’s outstanding book of poetry, “Playing on the Right Side of the Grass.”

Item # 4: Speaking of Cliff’s book, you can not find a better gift for yourself or someone you care about. I had a chance to briefly read most of the poems in Cliff’s book and am amazed at how Cliff can draw such vivid portraits with his carefully chosen descriptive words. This book should be on your nightstand.

Item# 5: I was able to finally meet the talented Carl Pagter and Larry Kuhn. We were sitting around talking and Carl serenaded our little group with bluegrass songs and to show us how diverse he sang a couple of hilarious Tom Lehrer songs. Carl has an outstanding voice and is one decent individual. We did sing a raucous version of “The Tattooed Lady” together that for some strange reason we both knew all the words. It was the first time I had met Larry and was impressed at how reserved and soft spoken he is. I immediately liked him. If I keep on meeting nice friendly people like this I may need to attend more CBA functions.

Item # 6: Recently one of the threads listed the past and current occupations of the CBA board members. Mulling over the list I have come to the conclusion that our board members could be MENSA bound. (Could this be one of the reasons why CBA folks don’t want to run for the CBA BOARD?) Running the CBA is one thing but realizing the intellect that IS the CBA BOARD I humbly propose that our board members should:

A.) Research and find a cure for cancer and fix the hole in the ozone.

B.) Find a solution to the Health Care Issue.

C.) Discover a way that would alter the chemical elements in chocolate, pizza, and beer that would now make these three basic food items not only non fattening but healthy for you.

Item # 7: For those of you who have read my columns or know me personally are aware of my love for the great Jimmie Rodgers. Since my first bluegrass festival in 1987 I have been trying to find a thread to connect Jimmie Rodgers to Bluegrass music. Barry Mazor, a gifted writer out of Nashville has done just that. Not only has Barry Mazor connected these dots but has gone to great lengths to show exactly how Jimmie impacted not only country and western music but bluegrass, jazz, blues, rock and roll and even hip hop in his outstanding new book, “Meeting Jimmie Rodgers (How America’s Original Roots Music Hero CHANGED the Pop Sounds of a Century.”

Jimmie Rodgers was:

One of the first three people to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961.

--Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

--Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

--Blue Yodel # 9 selected as one of the top 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll.

I found my missing thread in these words Barry wrote about the Monroe Brothers:

“The Monroe Brothers, one of the most accomplished of the “30s brother acts, offered soaring, riveting harmonies and, sometimes, manic mandolin playing from Bill that presaged the groundbreaking directions he would take next. Charlie had been buying Rodgers records in his teens, just as they came out, and had shared them with his younger brother. They recorded a strongly Rodgers-influenced, yodeling take on the Carter Family’s “(On Some) Foggy Mountain Top” and a faster version of Jimmie’s “Dear Old Sunny South,” retitled, “In my Dear Old Southern Home”, as two sides on a 1936 single. It is not difficult to fathom what in Jimmie’s “Sunny South” had grabbed the Monroe’s attention. His original version featured, in addition to a Hawaiian steel guitar intro, a break featuring a rhythmic, hard-chopped ukulele and mandolin combination. The arrangement sped along, providing an excuse for on of Jimmie’s most extended, energetic yodels-all very provocative, forward-looking stuff, and that was Jimmie himself on the uke. The Monroes would record the song still faster and put Bill’s mandolin pyrotechnics on display.”

Barry Mazor’s book is another book that any lover of bluegrass, country, blues, jazz or rock and roll should have. Barry is a stickler for detail and his book is filled with not only facts but has many quotes from musicians from all genres talking about how Jimmie influenced them.

Item # 8: Finally the recession keeps on keeping on. I saw on CNN today that it appears UPS will be merging with Federal Express to create FED UP EXPRESS……
Posted:  9/4/2009

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