Author: Cornish, Rick

Good morning

Already quite hot here at Whiskey Creek. The dogs are already in their stretch-as-much-body-surface-on-the-floor-as-possible sleeping position, Lynn’s got her swi suit on for water aerobics and I’m wearing as few clothes as are legally permissible. (And no, I won’t apologize for the lingering image by which some of you have been stricken.)

Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday were some pretty freaky days for me…that was the period of time between giving up all my computer equipment to the MAN, my former employer, and purchasing and setting up and fine tuning all my new gear. Freakish in that I felt pretty much out of the cosmic loop….or at least the bluegrass loop….But, wow, so nice to have the new stuff. Processing time is now measured in nanoseconds.

Funny thread about the imposter Cornish at the Fathers Day Festival. Yes, indeed, I did attend my 35th, but it’s also true I was forced to leave on Friday. I’ve got something strange going on with my body….a reaction, the docs think, to a statin med I’ve been taking. I continue to deal with that issue and am grateful to those of you who’ve sent words of encouragement. This too shall pass.

A word about Marty Varner’s post yesterday. First and foremost, it sure is nice to READ instead of simply guess what our younger constituency thinks about the music, the Association, and the talent decisions made by the board of directors. As Marty pointed out, we had selected a quite edgy band for ’11, Cadillac Sky, but they broke up before they could make the trip west. Normally the plan would have been to replace that edgy band with another edgy band but, as circumstances would have it, we’d just committed to doing our ‘Old-Time Gathering’ at the FDF and the board saw a sudden opening in the line-up as a perfect opportunity to add an O-T act and hence strengthen the special event. To Marty and the other folks, young and old, who like hitting that edge of the envelope, I think I can pretty much guarantee that we’ll be back on track for 2012. There is one caveat, however, that I’d like to make, and that’s a piggy-back on a statement Marty made in his Welcome column. It’s important to understand that the edgier a band is….that is, the more widely accepted it is outside of the bluegrass community, the more expensive it’s going to be. Case in point…Mumford and Sons would cost us the entire Grass Valley entertainment budget…and that would be for one set.

I had an interesting experience leading up to Grass Valley this year. For the first time, it was my name and my phone number that was plastered over everything, hard copy and digital, as the person to call for information regarding the Fathers Day Festival. And boy did that little I-Phone of mine get a work out. I stopped counting calls at 100. I have to admit that, as daunting a task as it was, talking with that many folks about such an incredibly broad spectrum of issues was an eye-opener. You name it, someone had a question about it. One woman, a young mother from Syria, was excited about bringing her two children to a bluegrass festival because she believed it would speed up their Americanization process. Problem was, she didn’t have a tent and could I supply one. I said sure and made a point of throwing my kid’s tattered pup tent into the trailer before leaving. Two different callers, one quite young, the other elderly, gave me a pretty hard time when I had to explain that, no, Bill Monroe would NOT be performing at the festival. Mr. Monroe’s image and name was used in our advertising to celebrate his 100th birthday, I told them. The old guy said he understood; the young guy accused us of false advertising and said he’d be calling the Better Business Bureau. I suggested he give the BBB J.D. Rhynes’ phone number. More serious complaints were those addressed at our ticket price increases. I would say of the hundred plus calls I took, five or six included some discussion of the increases. In each case, I asked the caller how much time they had and, if they said ‘plenty’, I attempted to explain in a fair amount of detail why ticket prices went up….starting of course, with the fact that although our attendance was up in 2011 we actually lost about eight thousand on the event due to increased expenses. Not all of these conversations went well, but at least it felt good knowing I could give our side of the story.

Which leads me to my next sermon. I absolutely, positively and without qualification believe that our new SHARES Card Program could…..and I say COULD….forestall any future price increases and could…..and I say COULD…..even allow us to drop prices in the future. How, you ask? All it would take is 25% to 30% of our members using the SHARES card on a regular basis and our earnings on the program could seriously be factored in to setting prices. Remember, folks, this is a not-for-profit organization; all your leaders are interested in is paying the bills. Time to maybe think out of the box.

Okay, enough sermonizing. I’m feeling a tugging sensation and I think it’s Lynn trying to pull me along to water aerobics. Sometimes it’s easier just to say yes.

Stay cool.

Posted:  7/5/2011

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