Author: Ramos, Jean

At My Door the Leaves are Falling

I’m writing this on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving because I know things are going to start getting crazy here in a day or so. It’s Tuesday! You know what that means? It’s the night I listen to the CBA Bluegrass Show on KCSS. Marcos Alvira and his crew of weekly hosts are doing a great job. I’ve learned so much from these folks as they often give a background story on the songs and the artists whose music they are playing. I always keep a pencil and paper handy in case I hear a song that I think I’d like to learn or to add to my music library. What a great resource, give them a listen.

I think I mentioned before that I was born on Thanksgiving, many moons ago. As I get older, I’m noticing a theme to the spam in my e mail box; burial insurance, senior care, Medicare supplements, Laser eye surgery, walk-in bath tubs, reverse mortgages, pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements for everything that afflicts the senior citizen. This harassment needs to stop or somebody’s going to get whacked with my cane!

All joking aside, I really try to live a life of gratitude. I have so many things to be thankful for; good health, a comfortable life, wonderful husband (who is very indulgent when it comes to me and my music), a great family and my very special CBA friends.

When we left from the Fall Camp-Out in Colusa I was feeling a little down because I didn’t know how long it would be before I’d be able to get together and jam with my friends again. It turns out; I didn’t have to wait too long. Jonathan and Martha Bluemel hosted a great “Pic-O-Ween” party at their home in Pittsburg. There were as many as three jams going on at a time. As darkness fell on the Delta, we all gathered on their deck overlooking the marina and jammed into the warm autumn night. Folks came from near and far and we all agreed this needs to be a yearly gathering.

I met a fiddle player at the Pic-O-Ween party named Maria. She gives violin/fiddle lessons locally. With a little encouragement from my husband, I decided there was no time like the present to begin formal lessons. JD Rhynes gave me a fine fiddle a couple years ago and said that he hoped to one day hear me play Sally Goodin. I hope to do just that the next time I see him. The world is not ready for me yet…yesterday when I was taking my lesson, I hit a note on the E string and Maria’s dog started howling. I think she tried not to laugh at first, but it was too funny.

Lately Terry has decided that Saturday was to be our “date night.” A couple weeks ago we went to hear Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players at a venue in Walnut Creek. It was a great way to spend the evening. What a gifted group of musicians and singers. Oak Grove opened for them and Snap had the Schwartz boys and Alex Sharps join his group for a couple numbers.

I was reminded of Randy Morton’s encouragement to get out and listen to the various bands as they travel through our area. Frank Solivan will be at the Freight and Salvage, Thursday, December 1 at 8:30pm. He will also be at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico (with Sierra Hull) on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30pm.

Rob Ickes and Jim Hurst will be in concert on Saturday, December 3 at 7:00pm in Copperopolis at the Lake Tulloch Bible Church, doors open at 6:30pm. For info, call Elida Ickes at 209 586-2042. Please note that admission is only $10. I’m going to choose this event for our next “date night.”

If Mountain View is closer for you, catch the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (Keith Little, Michael Witcher and Paul Knight) and special guest fiddlers, Paul Shelasky and Annie Staninec. That will be on December 3, First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View, doors open at 5:00, concert at 7:00. For info, call 650-691-9982.

Have you made your reservations for the 48 Hour Jam at the Double Tree in Bakersfield? It’s getting bigger and better every year. I know of several folks who will be attending for the first time. Dates are officially January 6-8, 2012. Many people will be arriving on the 5th. Reservations should be made no later than Dec. 2, 2011, according to the information given on the CBA Online Calendar. See you in Bakersfield.

My next column will appear on Christmas Day. It may compete with Bruce Campbell’s yearly “least read” column that appears while everyone is at Grass Valley. That being said let me wish you all a blessed holiday. We made a promise to spend Christmas in NY with our daughter and family. I’m secretly wishing for a “not so white” Christmas. I can handle the chestnuts roasting on an open fire but I’m not so keen about Jack Frost nipping at my nose (or my toes). Terry and I both bought some fur-lined boots just in case; as Robert Frost said in my favorite poem, “But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep… and miles to go before I sleep.”

Posted:  11/27/2011

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