A Second Dip of Brooksonian Reality

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(Editors Note: This morning we do the time travel thing and look bravely into the abyss that is the mind of B. Judd. Why risk such a thing? Why, after surviving the frightful glimpse of it so many years before, why, after tempting the notoriously cruel hand of fate do we sidle up the dim lit bar for another round? We’ll tell you why…B. Judd’s welcomes are riddled with the great truths of life, but the truthiest are not seen at once, and for a good reason: one must sip slowly and return again and again. So this morning that’s just what we’ll do.

And while we’re on the subject of Welcome columns, we could sure use a good, dependable Last Tuesday Welcomist. Maybe you’ve thought over the years it would be interesting or fun or challenging or cathartic or who knows what to do an essay a month and share it with our little bluegrass world. If so shoot a note to [email protected] and let’s discuss.)

Ten Items or Less: Rub a Dub Dub, Academy Awards, Pasco, Pet Peeves, Confession, Suits and Ties (April, 2010)

Item 1: Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub: Rick Cornish, fellow Hayward High School baseball team Gold Glove third baseman (1966), Lupe Ybarra, and I spent a week-end boating the San Joaquin Delta a few weeks ago. We were three lost souls who had never seen, let alone read a Delta water ways map or had spent any time aboard a houseboat. Friday was cold, windy, rainy, and downright miserable. The 4” thick T-bone steaks, baked potato, French salad prepared by Rick, and a red Bordeaux (1937) made the inclement Bering Sea type weather a bit easier to accept.

Saturday was spent trying to navigate our houseboat to Isleton only to realize we could not reach it by the waterway we were on. A grateful thank you to the man that helped us dock our houseboat at a windy marina and then was kind enough to drive us five miles to the town of Isleton for supplies. Good Karma all around.Sunday was a lesson in Tai Chi as we tried to remain calm as not one but both of our motors conked out due to lack of oil. We made a phone call to the marina for assistance. We drifted around the treacherous waters subjected to 18” swells and wind gusts up to 3 MPH as we waited for the young mechanic the marina dispatched to fix our problem. The young man filled the thirsty engines with oil and we bid him farewell. We made like Captain Bligh with our combined ability to navigate the treacherous waters that flowed through the unfamiliar sights of the dangerous Delta. We could YAAARRRRR with the best of them and we eventually did find our way out of the maze back to the marina in Stockton, shaken but not stirred. The old salts had done it.

Item 2: Academy Awards: The Hurt Locker won for best movie and best director. Modesto native Jeremy Renner did not win but was nominated for best actor making the Valley very proud. Good job Jeremy!

Item 3: I visited my daughter, son-in-law and grandson in Pasco Washington a few weeks ago. They are in the process of buying their first home. It is currently being built and my daughter and I made daily trips to the home site. Houses are sure built fast these days. Monday the foundation was poured, Tuesday the walls were being put up, Wednesday the windows were being framed and on Thursday the trusses for the roof were about to be hoisted up. Hell it takes me this long to wake up in the morning.

Item 4: English language (cont.): Pet peeve: I don’t know about you but it drives me batty when I hear someone say, “I could care less.” You know the whole point of this misused saying is to let the person you are talking to know that you COULDN”T care less. A shiver runs up my spine when I hear this. By the same token I am more than aware that I say or write things that to the purist may be incorrect. So if your spine is being shivered by me by some usage that is incorrect I’ll buy you a grape Nehi or glass of wine at this years FDF.

Item 5: Father’s Day Festival: I cannot believe it has been 23 years since I sat down in front of the stage at Grass Valley and watched and listened for more than 20 hours in awe at masters Del McCoury, Bobby and Sonny Osborn, Sarah Elizabeth Campbell of Fiddlestix, Rick Abrams and the Piney Creek Weasels, etc. The high lonesome sound of Del McCoury threw me off at first but the more I listened the more I fell in love with it. The sharp suits and ties and professionalism certainly didn’t hurt. What a joy to watch audible harmonized poetry in motion.

Item 6: In a similar vein. The Beatles were great but you have to admit that when they came out in those expensive tailored British suits it gave them added class to the believers and credibility to the non believers. Brian Epstein hit this one right on the head. I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t listened to Brian and continued to wear their leather coats, dirty Levis, and kept their greasy pompadours.

Item7: Last Father’s Day Festival I was in camp and I watched jammers ply their trade from 6 p.m. until 2 A.M. How do you people do it? I know 8 hours is nothing to your typical jam freak but it still boggles my mind. I can coax about two hours out of this old body of mine for a jam before my body shuts down and pillow and mattress are calling my name. My faded hat is off to you crazies out there who are not content to lay your ax down until the sun rises and the cows come home.

Item 8: Wish list: I would like to see some sort of remembrance plaque, quilt, etc. with the names of musicians and fellow CBA members who have gone on to that big jam in the sky. It would be nice to have this posted somewhere around the stage area at Grass Valley. (Maybe Verns?) A person could have a glass of wine and make a toast to those who have left us. Just a random thought.

Until next time: Hug a loved one, pet a dog, stroke a cat, smell a rose, and smile at the cashier at your local grocery store.

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