Author: Compton, Cliff

In the pines, in the pines

And it was Saturday morning, and I was about twenty miles west of Willows when the asphault ended and this gravel road started up the side of the mountain and my brakes are three days from replacement and Iíve got a Kia van that is comfortable in the city but ainít quite sure what to do with a gravel road. But heaven awaits somewhere up top of that mountain, and who needs brakes going up hill anyway. And I almost hit a deer a mile back, just a little fellow, hardly enough to raise a dent, and I started thinking about Scott Valley and how I ran over a dead deer in the road, sometime after midnight, 20 miles from nowhere, coming back too fast from a great festival weekend in Etna and I was thinking that happened in my other Kia van, and I remember driving all the way home to Sacramento wondering if I was gonna be leaving my transmission laying on the highway somewhere between Shasta and Redding, and I was wondering if it was worth it all, and I had to admit it was, after I got home and in bed and got to remembering the festival glow, and feeling that itch to get up and do it again.

And Randy Morton or one of the Rumianoís or one of their friends had tied white surveyors tape to trees along the road to mark the way to this weekends heaven and Iím feeling reasonably secure until my engine light came on. Now Iím operating on about five or so hours of sleep after a heavy week, and last night we were whooping it up over at Armondo Garciaís place, playing that bluegrass music, eating his food, entertaining his family, enjoying The Zunigaís and Chef Mike and Rob Wilburn and Larry Kuhn and the rest of our motley crew. And my wife is telling me Iím doiní too much of this, and sheís got a point because the week after next is bluegrassiní in the foothills, and the week after that is Hobbs grove and Iím going to both if them, and Iíd think about some more except that I went left instead of right, and now Iím out here in bear country and my cell phone is getting almost no reception and there still surveyor tape tied to trees, but itís the wrong color, and Iíve got the sense of direction of a 16 year old who just got off of the Tilt -a -Whirl at the fair, and all of a sudden I realize Iím going down hill instead of up so I go on down because there really ainít to place to turn. And Iím remembering how it was a couple of years ago when I took a wrong turn going to the fair grounds in grass valley and hit a rock on a side road because I was talking on my cell phone instead of paying attention to driving and I was in full festival fever thinking about picking and singing and seeing that couple from Montana who sang those cowboy songsÖ

And I finally found a place to turn around and this time I kept my eyes where they should be and I saw sign saying CBAírs welcome, and I see a couple of R.V.s and a an A Frame up on the hill and stop and I hear the musicÖÖ

I recognize that fiddle. Whooee!!
I feel like a freight train in the middle of Nebraska.

These are my people! Pat and John Rumiano have their little piece of paradise.

Up here in this magic place. Loving this music. Drawing these musicians into their beautiful world.

And Iím sitting out here picking. Playing with Kelly Broyles, and Lucy, and Mikki, and Randy Mortonís band. And Tom and Sharon and wonderful people Iíve never met before, but who feel like theyíve always been part of my life. Sitting out here on stage built lovingly on the mountain, in homage to bluegrass and community.

And the deer are feet away. Standing close enough to eat your tortilla. Looking at my Van, telling each other to stay out of itís way. Listening to the music.
Posted:  9/10/2010

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