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What a treat, I get today’s welcome column and it will probably be one the last ones anyone reads before heading out to the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Actually, Linda and I are not getting to the festival until Wednesday morning this year as we have a family wedding on Sunday that pushes our arrival date a few days but I’m sure we will still have plenty of time to enjoy the festival. We finally got smart this year and are not heading home until Monday.

We got our FHU site number for this year’s festival and the magic number is 3. I promised you all I would let you know where we would be so that you can drop by for a taste of anejo tequila and maybe pick a song or two. Linda and I are looking forward to your visit.

This year we requested a site a little farther away from the main drag outside the ice gate where we were camped for the last two years. We had a lot fun camping in that area as that row is “Main St” into the festival grounds through the ice gate. Being social guy, I enjoyed saying hello or howdy to all the folks as they walked by but for this year though, we wanted to get a little father away from the action and closer to the electric only camp sites while still basking in the luxury of the full hook ups and we are grateful to David Brace for accommodating us (and for all the rest he does to make the festival the success that it is).

There are a couple of reasons we asked for a change of scenery this year. The first being that we wanted to be closer to some of our friends in the electric only area but the most important reason we were looking for another site a little farther off Main St was we are bringing our dog for the first time. We have had him for 13 years and never brought him along to festivals. For the first 10 years we didn’t bring him because well……. he wasn’t allowed and for the last 3 in our motorhome, we weren’t sure he would like it too much. We have started bringing him along on our almost monthly camping trips and he seems to like them and does very well camping with us. He is older now and he doesn’t like to be left alone or with a “sitter” for a long time. He would much rather be with us so we bring him. His name is Henry (or as we affectionately call him Hank Williams) and he is friendly, mellow and actually quite shy. This will be his first festival but on all the other camping trips we have been on with him, Linda and I play music all the time and he just sits and listens but we don’t play banjo so we will have to be careful if any of them show up. Anyhow that is why we wanted a site a little further away from the action so we can make Hank feel at home.

I am working at Vern’s again this year and I just checked the schedule. There are lots of terrific bands playing on the Vern’s stage beginning on Wednesday night after Music Camp. So come by and see me there as well. If you ask for me at the bar because you read it here, I’m liable to buy you a beer or a glass of wine.

Let’s see if I can wrap this up. A new (to us) motorhome with a bed always available, a new site # 3, Hank Williams is along for the ride, plenty of tequila to share, hopefully lots of jamming, working and seeing lots of folks at Vern’s, lots of great acts on the all the stages, staying until Monday, it all sounds fantastic to me. Heck, I might even find Rick’s campsite for the welcome columnist jam.

See you there.

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