Carolyn and Mark have an idea!

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Before I tell you about the idea that Carolyn Faubel and Mark Hogan have hatched, let me share an anecdote about my wife, Lynn. Last week she attended a two day water color class up in the Sierras. Friday afternoon, at the end of the first session, Lynn was invited along by some of the class’s students to have dinner with one of the locals in the area. To her delight, following dinner she was treated to some fine old-time music performed by the host and hostess and some of their neighbors. Lynn is even a bigger fan of old-time music than bluegrass, and so the whole affair was a real treat. During a break in the jam, my wife approached one of the pickers and struck up a conversation. “Do you ever go to the Fathers Day Festival in Grass Valley,” she asked the woman? “Oh, no,” the fiddler replied, “I play old-time music, no bluegrass at all.” “Oh,” Lynn said, and then as an after thought added, “you know the California Bluegrass Association is really the California Bluegrass, Old-Time and Gospel Association. That’s their mission….all three types of music.” “You don’t say,” replied the fiddler, “I wasn’t aware of that.”

So now on to Carolyn and Mark. Seems they were talking at the recent Golden Old-Time Campout up in Boonville and got around to the dearth of old-time pickers who are members of the CBA. Carolyn acknowledged the Association’s at-least-one-old-time-band rule for Grass Valley; she admitted that our annual music camps have attracted a good number of old-time players; and she commended Mark on the work he’s done to establish a third CBA campout, the Golden Old-Time. But that said, Carolyn opined that if the CBA wants to draw greater numbers of old-time players into the fold, it needs to make the Association’s cornerstone, the FDF, more attractive to that group. ‘Hey,’ she exclaimed, ‘what about an Old-Time Day at Grass Valley?’ Mark blinked and nodded and, before you could say John Hartford, a new tradition was born, (at least it’ll be a new tradition if it goes over well. Oh, and I must admit I embellished this conversation a little, not having been there…just got the highlights from Mark.)

So what will Old-Time Day at the Fathers Day Festival look like? All I can tell you is that we’ve set aside a little money for the project, identified our Pioneer Stage as the day’s focal point and assigned Mark Hogan to make it all happen; I’m guessing he’ll enlist Carolyn’s help. Mark’s promised me that once plans for Old-Time Day start to firm up he’ll write a guest Welcome column to tell you all about it. <

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