Author: Compton, Cliff

The Problem with Cellulites

I got to the fathers day festival on the Friday before the festival started. My wife dumped me off and took off with the car, and I was stuck there precisely where I wanted to be, fifty feet from the restroom with the shower, right next to where Lucy (My guitar hero) was gonna be camping. And I was within a stones throw of camp grump, the gathering spot of the clan of the cave bear, where my dear friend and Hank Williams impersonator, chef Mike miller, plays his gut bucket bass and wields his magic spatula, drawing about himself some of the best people I know. And Henry and Nancy had rolled up the barber shop and hospitality suite next door and I was walking around feeling like a freight train in the middle of Nebraska, thinking about how I thought about this all year long, and now itís here, and Iím falling in love again with everybody I see, and Iím walking around the entire campground thinking, I donít want to miss anybody. And Iím hugging Deb Livermore, thinking how lucky we are to have her and her midnight cheese sandwiches and her helpful and hospitable spirit and Iím looking for David Langeís pop-up because I want to pick a little just to say hello, and heís usually got something I can sit on without breaking and I needed a rest before I went looking for Mel and his Placerville bunch and, what do you know, there was Bruno and the menís crisis center, right in the same place itís been for the last hundred years, and he looked so good I could have kissed him, but I didnít, because well, he really didnít look that good. And that tent city has always got people I donít know, but thatís not a permanent condition. The Friday before the festival starts is relaxed enough to spend some get acquainted time with someone who might just show up in a jam with you sometime later in the week. And what do you know, there was Bob from Thailand, back at grass valley from halfway around the world, and Iím looking at him with a new appreciation, because I discovered Thai food this year, and Iím figuring that I ought to thank him for thatÖsomehow.

And we played that night. Chef Mike and Armando, and deputy Dan, and Larry Kuhn and all the usual suspects. Played that bluegrass and those old country songs. And we tried out the new ones, and resurrected the old ones, and talked about our dearly departed friends and Betty Nolan came and camped with chef Mikes bunch, like she always did when Wayne was still alive, and Mona she was on the other side, and we were talking about Phil, and she gave me one of his old Jackets, and I wore it most of the week in Portland, this July 4th, and I appreciated him every time I put it on.

And Iím walking around the next day talking to the Nevada guys about harmonica players and do they belong in bluegrass, and Iím thinking, we let banjo players play this music, and you canít let a few harmless harmonicaís in? If you discourage them, they grow up to be accordion players, then you have a whole new controversy. And speaking of accordions. Pat Calhoun came in on Tuesday, thank you Jesus, and Iím thinking we could have lost her, and I might not of come, because I donít think I could have got my broken heart back together enough that I could have sung without crying.

And I saw Ernie Hunt, and heard about the illness of Bob James, and I wished I could see him, and tell him what he meant to me. Back when I didnít know bluegrass from bosephus and he treated me like a long lost son.

And the angel choir showed up. Valerie, and Trish, and Mickey and Lucy and Jeanie (Jimmy Rogers) Ramos, and the heavens rejoiced. And meÖ I was lost in the ozone. Singing my heart out.

And then Wednesday. The day before the festival started. I didnít feel good.
Kind of shaky. Couldnít seem to get warm. And by the time My wife and kids came up to celebrate my birthday, it was becoming apparent that something was seriously wrong. My leg was swollen and red.

And that was the end of the festival for me.

And the problem with cellulitIs, is that when you are laying on your couch in Sacramento. with your leg up higher than your heart, you canít hear the music. You donít get to stay up all night with Snap Jackson and Henry singing at the top of your lungs. You donít get to jam with Jonathan Blumiel and the wonderful Pat Calhoun, and the blue fiddle of Rick Cornish, and Randyís mandolin, and Dave Rietz Fiddle. And you barely get to play with Bill Schneiderman, and you donít even see your friend Vic, or Brooks Judd, and you miss the Columnists jam, and the stages arenít even set up when you leave, and Michael Cleveland plays and you donít get to listen, and the Anderson family grows up and you miss them.

And thatís the problem with cellulites.

Donít get it.
Posted:  7/9/2010

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