The Bluegrass Baby

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Dear Friends,

We want to congratulate everyone’s friend Snap Jackson and his significant other Erin Van Zant on the birth of their child, Milo Sebastian Borrego. This young man has been born into a world we can only wish more children could share. I have a little experience in this matter, so allow me to enumerate some of the blessings that the average Bluegrass Baby will receive.

The Bluegrass Baby is born into a big family. This child will have so many uncles and grandmas and sisters and cousins it’s hard to say where blood relations end and bluegrass relations begin. We live in a world where so many children are lucky just to have two good parents to love them and extended family to enjoy. What a blessing to have a surplus! Even crusty old goobers wanna hold Bluegrass Baby, the cute little thing!

The Bluegrass Baby gets born into a culture. Bluegrass culture. It’s a culture that transcends culture, country of origin, and religious affiliation. We are bound by bonds that have their roots in the ancient tones; We are thrust forward by every young band that picks up the mantle of Vern Williams or the Stanleys. We proudly identify as “bluegrassers.” Here we are in the 21st century and bluegrass is our culture. How about that? The association that hosts this very page is dedicated in its charter to preserving and promoting this culture. Bluegrass Baby is part of that chain of love.

The Bluegrass Baby is born into a world of music and art. The old joke is of the musician/father who warned his children to stay away from his instruments, thereby inviting mischief of the most gracious kind in the predictably contrary youngsters. The Bluegrass Baby has been listening to Mama and Daddy picking and singing before ever even taking a breath of air. It sounds good in there, too. The Bluegrass Baby’s fingers wiggle when they hear some music.

The Bluegrass Baby gets toys. As soon as Bluegrass Baby’s fingers get long enough to wrap around the neck of a 1/16 size fiddle, such like will be thrust upon the child. Later on… maybe a tiny banjo or a travel guitar. Oh boy! Need something, parents? Go straight to the CBA’s instrument closet, the Darrell Johnston Kid’s Lending Library. They’ll have an instrument to loan out to that child.

The Bluegrass Baby gets Lazy Dog ice cream. The Bluegrass Baby gets all kinds of fine festival food like Blue Sun. The Bluegrass Baby has breakfast with Larry Baker, dines with the Ole Cowboy Pard, J.D. Rhynes, and eats 4th meal when Deb Livermore makes grilled cheese sandwiches.

The Bluegrass Baby has a spot in the Kids on Bluegrass program at the Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival or the King’s River Festival. A few years and a few lessons and a space on stage is waiting for this child. And they’ll never have a chance to learn to be afraid to get up in front of an audience. That just may help them out a whole lot as they become adults.

The Bluegrass Baby gets to camp out. Lots of fresh air and sunshine and nights under the stars. Bluegrass Baby has slumber parties in this friend’s tent or that friend’s trailer. Bluegrass Baby gets to see the bats come out to play in the twilight and gets to catch little fish in the lake. Bluegrass Baby does not want to leave on Sunday. Bluegrass Baby will cry as they drive out the gate.

The Bluegrass Baby shares good times with Mom and Dad. So much good music to learn about and enjoy hearing. So interesting to see all the older players and the latest hipster in traveling bands. Lots of cool tunes to learn and play. Plenty of fun memories over the years. And one heck of a great example for those Bluegrass Grandkids of the future, the next generation.

Your pal,
Mark Varner
[email protected]

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