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You might think by the title that I am going to add to the endless babble about the local NFL football team, WRONG! Maybe you think I’m going to write about the courageous and hopeful gold miners from California’s great history or maybe even the two RV parks in the Gold Country named after them (bluegrass content – one of the parks is right next to the Plymouth County Fairgrounds) but that would be wrong too.

No, my title refers to this being my 49th 1st Thursday Welcome Column on the CBA website splash page. I’m proud to say that this column begins my 5th year on the job and I am equally proud to say that I have never missed a 1st Thursday, always with an original piece.

I know there are other more prolific and longstanding columnists such as Bruce Campbell doing over 50 a year and also like our esteemed editor in chief Rick and I am honored to be among them and among the many other welcome column stalwarts including Brooks, Bert, J.D. and too many others to risk mentioning without forgetting someone.

As with 50 of anything, you can be certain some of them were better than others as evidenced by the radio silence (meaning message board silence) of some months following the 1st Thursday but I can guarantee that I had and continue to have a great time writing them. Some months the muse shows up early and the column writes itself. Other times that pesky muse is nowhere to be found and I have to rely on my determination to get it done.

Over the last 4 years, I have told you about many diverse things from winter and short day malaise to the solstices and equinoxes that mark time around them; RV and motorhome travails; finding gigs, getting paid for gigs, rounding up my bands to play the gigs were among some of my topics. I also got to share my passion for playing, talking, practicing, rehearsing and woodshedding on my bass. (I still actually have three uprights and according to some higher authorities that it is still one (1) too (2) many. That doesn’t count my resonator bass or my vintage short scale Fender Mustang.)

Jams and different kind of jams made into a few columns as well. Old time jams got a bit of run as did the only “one bass allowed” per jam rules that can lead to the bass trolling escapades at festivals.

Did I mention Tequila? I believe I have a few times over my tenure.

As I was writing this, I was reminiscing about a few of the good things have happened in these last 4 years relating to me writing this monthly column. Things like working at Vern’s at FDF; finding Lisa Burns for bass lessons; becoming a main Dr. Bert trivia player (and sometime winner) and most significantly turning my Mother into a monthly visitor to the CBA Website on the 1st Thursday of every month.

What I’m trying to say here is that I have been having a load of fun doing this and hope to, if you’ll have me, continue to do so for a long time. Thanks very much to all of the readers and to Rick for giving me a couple of inches a month on this great site.

Catch you next month. Who knows what I’ll have to talk about after a few more weeks of this El Niño stuff. The woodshed could be flooded by then but don’t worry I keep the Tequila on high ground.

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