Author: Judd, Brooks

Express Lane: Ten Items or Less

Item 1: Exit polls were confirmed and the results verified what CNN and MSNBC had predicted; there were no surprises in this year’s CBA election. You cannot find a more dedicated group of people than our CBA elected board members and it is because of them we have an outstanding CBA. There will be a time in the future when a few members of the CBA will decide it is time to take that difficult first step and toss their hat (and or banjo) into the ring and decide to run for the CBA board. Until that time arrives, congratulations to the incumbent CBA Board members. Stay healthy, live long and prosper.

Item 2: A related piece of information: The CBA has 2,993 members of which 437 members or about 14 % voted in this year’s election. Ten per cent of the CBA members need to vote to validate the election. It appears the CBA dodged a bullet this election. I spoke to a high ranking CBA official about what would happen if less than 10% of the members voted and was told under the promise of anonymity that a special “squad” of banjo pickers would be ready in a “strike mode” armed with a list of members who failed to vote and a plethora of out of tune banjos. This elite tactical squad would drive from home to home and stake themselves out on the non-voting member’s lawn and play Dueling Banjos continuously until the members cast their vote. I questioned the board member if this wasn’t cruel and unusual punishment. The CBA Board member replied, “Sometimes you just gotta be tough!”

Item 3: Well, the 9th Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Event is over and smiles abound. Unfortunately there is a little rain on the horizon. In fact there seems to be thunderclouds approaching as next years festival is already being put together. The problem? Too may people, not enough space, too congested, not enough parking. Some people were overheard saying at this year’s festival that maybe there should be some sort of admission charged. Stay tuned. We certainly don’t want what Yogi Berra said to become a reality: “Nobody goes to that place anymore because it is too crowded.”

Item 4: I just watched an outstanding documentary I rented from Net Flix called, “Riding the Rails, An American Experience”. If you have a soft spot in your heart for the young men and women who rode the rails during the Depression years in hopes of finding work, this film is for you. The film is blessed with the music of Doc Watson, Woody Guthrie, and of course the great Jimmie Rodgers creating just the right atmosphere. Check it out.

Item 5: My last column mentioned my love for a certain whiter shade of pale electric bass guitar elicited a couple of comments from CBA members. Larry Carlin sent me a picture of his gorgeous 1961 Fender Precision bass that he purchased in 1968. It is his pride and joy and it is a beauty. Marcos Alvira, fellow Giants fan and Dylan-phile , posted a note that he has a 1973 Telecaster (not a bass but that’s ok) that literally takes his breath away every time he opens up the guitar case and see his beauty nestled against the cherry red velour padding inside the case. It appears there are at least two closet electric-holics out there in CBA land.

Item 6: Instruments: Pets: CBA members care and treat them the same. That’s a good thing.

Item 7: Skippy Peanut Butter—Skippy Dog Food…… Don’t you wonder just a bit?

Item 8: From the Associated Press: “Hummer, the off-road vehicle that once epitomized America’s love for hulking (and unnecessary) trucks, is now in the hands of a Chinese heavy equipment maker.

General Motors Co. and Sichuan Tengzhon Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. finally signed the much anticipated deal Friday (Oct.9) for GM to sell the brand.” I think this has bluegrass lyrical content written all over it.
Item 9: From the pages on the Los Angeles Times: “In a surprise union of two quintessentially American composers for different eras-one the 1960’s mastermind of “Good Vibrations,” the other the Jazz Age creator of “Rhapsody in Blue”- former Beach Boy Brian Wilson has been authorized by the estate of George Gershwin to complete unfinished songs Gershwin left behind when he died in 1937. Brian plans to finish and record at least two such pieces on an album of Gershwin music he hopes to release next year.” I am picking up “Good Vibrations” about this project, but “God Only Knows” if Brian will have “Fun, Fun, Fun,” doing this project which may take him, “All Summer Long.”

Item 10: I was in a 5th grade class last week and the students split into separate groups for choir, band, and orchestra classes. I went with the choir group. The excellent choir instructor was leading the students in a catchy Halloween song about skeletons to the tune of, “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. The kids began rocking out so I blurted out, “Disco lives!” and several 5th grade voices yelled back, “What is Disco?” Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Until next time, make someone laugh, read a book, and if you can, say something nice behind someone’s back.

Posted:  11/6/2009

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