Author: Campbell, Bruce

Odds and Ends

That’s “Board Meeting”, not “Bored Meeting”!

The CBA Board meeting this last weekend was a lively one. Some are fairly routine, and some are a little more dramatic. The Robert’s Rules of Order requires a certain amount of patience to work things out, but everyone sure gets a chance to get their say. And the Board isn’t always a stickler for decorum – a parliamentary fight is liable to break out at any time.

If you’ve never been to a CBA Board meeting, I recommend you try it. If you have been to one, I recommend you come to another, because they’re not all the same – you need to temper your impressions with several visits.

As a kid, in 8th grade Civics class, we took a field trip to the county courthouse and sat in on some trials. I remember being very impressed by the system – I still think it’s very fair, and it’s the best thing we ever got from France. Years later, I attended a session of Congress and felt similarly impressed. But they got nothing on the CBA’s Board of Directors, believe me!

We will wrangle, cajole, wheedle, argue and debate every picayune detail, and the details that get the most attention can be very surprising indeed. Voice are raised, along with eyebrows, and individual opinions will be proffered as empirical fact. Everyone who has a say will get a chance to speak, and then others will respond, and then others will respond to the responses. Gradually, points of consensus and compromise are reached, and progress is made.

But when we break for lunch, the same folks who had polarized opposite viewpoints, and defended those viewpoints vehemently, will chat amiably and talk bluegrass and family, without any signs of rancor. It’s a beautiful thing.

To get here, try going there

In the past few months, I have had the chance to play some varying types of music, and while it’s a little stressful to get outside my comfort zone, it seems to shore up my overall musical sense. I wrote some columns a while back about a disastrous foray into some pop music, and now I’m trying some very original music with Lynn Q. and some deeper dives into swing and jazz forms with some other friends. It’s exhilarating, and an unexpected side effect is some detectable sharpening of my bluegrass skills.

If you only listen to, and only play, bluegrass, your ear and your fingers will get stuck into a rut of only interpreting the sounds and rhythms familiar to that genre. If you branch out a bit, you’ll be forced to consider some other musical viewpoints, and open up places to go musically that will end up benefitting your overall playing skills.

The Invisibility Button

I believe each of my vehicles has, hidden somewhere on the dashboard, a button that activates a cloaking device that renders the vehicle invisible. Once activated, my vehicle will remain invisible until I restart the engine. Sadly, since I can’t see the button that renders my vehicle invisible, I often hit it by accident, and the next thing I know, everyone’s pulling out in front of me, or blithely changing lanes into me.

If I ever find that button, I am ripping it out!

Posted:  12/16/2009

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