Author: Compton, Cliff

Ghosts in the trees

Itís three in the morning, and I canít sleep. Thinking about fathers day.

Iím going down to the fifth string on Alhambra and J street. Gotta pick up my survival gear before Grass Valley. Picks and strings, a new capo. Probably a tuner. Maybe rosin for the fiddle Iíll bring but wonít play. And Iíve been listening close to eight more miles to Louisville on my ipod. Playing it over and over, trying to learn the words. Been checking out the stage acts scheduled for the big stage, to see if thereís anybody playing that I want to see bad enough that it will pull me away from the parking lot where Iíll be picking with some of the finest people I know. And a week ago I had a ganglion cyst popped on my wrist, because lately itís been causing me trouble when I pick til three in the morning and lifeís too short to miss an opportunity pick with your friends. And Iím going up today. Setting up camp. Trying to get a spot close to the bathrooms. Someplace not too far from Chef MikeĎs camp, camp grump, my home away from home. And Iíll be walking through the camp looking for those familiar R.Vís, our little metal cabin homes on the hill, and listening for the old songs that never go away. Sung by the people who do. And Iíll be singing some of them. Sitting on top of the world, Iím a pilgram (Lloyd Butler) crying my eyes out over you, mary anne (Wayne Nolan) maybe fried green tomatoes (Kern Brieux) and Iím wondering whoís gonna step up and open their heart and campsite to the new ones who are just discovering this wonderful music and this beautiful community.

And there are some people missing this year. Seven were personal friends of mine. Friends who left this mortal coil this year, others who I did not know, and Iím gonna be missing them. Seeing their ghosts in the trees. Hearing there voices singing in the night.
So this year, maybe more than ever before, Iím gonna love my friends. Iím gonna cherish the time I spend with them. Iím not taking it for granted. Iím gonna listen to their songs from the heart. Iím gonna thank those that deserve thanking. Iím gonna appreciate every handshake and hug, and sunrise.
See you there.

Posted:  6/11/2010

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