Author: Compton, Cliff

Endorphin Moments

Itís four o-clock in the morning, and Iím wondering what Iím doing up. Had a dream about losing a sales account that I donít even have. Laying in bed thinking about slow sales in a down economy.

But I donít like to dwell in that world. Bad times come and go. Gotta keep the faith. It donít take long before Iím drifting off into my happy place.

This music we play is medicine to me. My guess is, it may be that for you as well. Iím thinking about how many endorphin moments of my life revolve around music.

Last weekend, chef Mike put together a big whoop-te-do down at Dillion beach. Invited the usual suspects, then flung the doors wide open for whoever and whatever to come do some picking and thanking for thanksgiving. And now Dillon beach is listed in my book of happy places. There was this Electric fiddle player that showed up. Ripping up the salt air, waking up the neighbors. Bringing the night alive. And Chef Mike was in rare form, singing that Hank Williams and western swing. Thumping that gut bucket bass And Wednesday night, we were alive. Happy to see each other. Itching to play.

And the weekend was too short. The wind was cold, the sun was sporadic, mostly doing itís shining in the middle of thanksgiving dinner, but since Iíve been back home, Iíve been replaying them songs, listening to Armandoís Harmonica, and hearing Bobsí gospel quartet bass voice and Steve Tildenís Dobro over and over again, reminding me of another bunch of reasons why itís good to be alive.

And you could make a list. That jam at fathers day, when this guys pulls a trumpet out from under his coat and Pat Calhoun started pumping that accordion and I was singing ďThis little light of mineĒ and there was bluegrass, and fiddle tunes, and jug band and swing, and one good picker would leave and another would come in, and I think most everybody I like to pick with must have made a cameo appearance in that jam, and we still talk about it, and I still go there, and live it over again.

And there was the first time I jammed with Bruce Campbell. And the Welcome columnists jam at Grass Valley. And Danny Flowers, Singing ďjust a closer walkĒ With Big Jack and myself singing the back up and Jim Nunally, was picking and Bill Wilhelm was playing about the best Iíve ever seen him and, whooeee! What a night!

And we could make a list, couldnít we? Sitting right in front of Jim Hurst at the Fifth string, close enough I could have rested my nose on the bridge of his guitar, or the first time I saw James King, or the Time the Wilders burned up the stage at fathers day, and the fiddle player sent me through puberty all over again. And the night at the golden old time festival in Yreka, when Carl Pagter and Pat Calhoun and another Gentlemen Sang unaccompanied gospel quartet music in the semi darkness, feeling it, lost in the magic.

Most of the great moments of life have been accompanied by music. Singing to my wife on our wedding day. Leaving the hospital after the birth of my son, sticking a C.D. in the player and savoring the night. Discovering God in church accompanied by the voices of saints and angels.

We could make a list, couldnít we?

And itís Five oíclock in the morning, and I need to go back to sleep. But Iím not sure thatís gonna work. Because Iím in that happy place. Reliving the good times. Forgetting the hard times. Wishing I was pickinĒ.

Posted:  12/11/2009

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