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Archive for January, 2017

Back In Lahaina

January 30th, 2017 Jorma 20 comments
The Banyan tree on Front St.

The Banyan tree on Front St.

Well, it was a long day of travel from Columbus to Kahalui, but hey, how tough could it be? We started today with a trip to Front St. in Lahaina and had a hearty Moco Loco for breakfast. A little snack shopping and back to our hotel on the beach where starting tomorrow we will enjoy our first Fur Peace Ranch ‘camp’ for this year… on the road in the sun as well.

Twenty steps from our abode...

Twenty steps from our abode...

Yeah, sure there’s more traffic than when we were here five or six years ago, but that’s OK.

Nephew Montana, Izze an Nessa eyeing paradise.

Nephew Montana, Izze an Nessa eyeing paradise.

A good couple of miles walking on the beach and a plunge in the Pacific. Yeah…

Awesome... and warm too!

Awesome... and warm too!

Yeah, we start ‘working’ tomorrow. I’ve got the best gig in the world on any given day! A delicious dinner, and a beautiful sunset!

And tomorrow is another day!

And tomorrow is another day!

More anon… for now, to bed!

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The Measure Of Time

January 25th, 2017 Jorma 26 comments

We all hold the measure of time in our own eye, our own vision. Early this morning I heard of Butch Trucks’ passing and I was saddened by this news. I usually got to see Butch at least once a year at Wanee and we always had a great hang. I’m at an age where I get news about my contemporaries that can go either way… could be good, could be bad. Butch will be missed. He was always in it to win it and in my minimal relationship with him, he lived to play.

Vanessa was lamenting the passing of so many people and it is sad to see the fabric of our world diminished in any way… but we are designed for this. We are gifted with a life on earth and a chance to make something of it. For a while we will have some relevance in our present but as our time passes this will diminish. I know something of my parent’s life, but very little of my grandparents. Their dreams and aspirations will always be a mystery to. My children’s children will know they had a grandfather and probably not much more.

I believe there is an inherent self involvement in those of us who have been chosen to be artists and that’s OK… if not carried to an extreme. Sometimes I look around at the world that surrounds me and my family and I am amazed how we got here from where we started so long ago.

Our world today

Our world today

When I moved to Southeast Ohio in 1991 I could never have imagined how this decision would play out in my life, but here I am. I could not have written this script in a million years.

Nothing by blue skies...

Nothing by blue skies...

Today my world fits comfortably like an old pair of jeans or an old shoe. There was a time when nothing was comfortable, and yet… here I am.

Mr. and Mrs. Kaukonen look to the sky

Mr. and Mrs. Kaukonen look to the sky

Each day is filled with measured duties… some more enjoyable than others, but all necessary. To be able to perform these as needed is a blessing indeed. As for Butch, rest in peace my friend. I’ll miss those spring chats and the fact that we were both on the same side of the pale.

There’s not much more to say.

The Welch boys' stairs behind my house...

The Welch boys' stairs behind my house...

All things are one step at a time.

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Moving Right Along…

January 23rd, 2017 Jorma 28 comments
Can't get enough aerial shots of the Fur Peace Ranch

Can't get enough aerial shots of the Fur Peace Ranch

Moving right along here, and there’s no need for an editorial from me. I’m just going to say, ‘Alternative facts?’ Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining. If my kids tried this on me I’d point out that not only is it bullsh*t, it’s just plain lying. Nuff said.

Down here here in Southeast Ohio we’re experiencing the dank and wet part of winter. With this in mind, I’m sure going to enjoy teaching in Hawaii for two weeks. I’ve got the best job in the world. I’ve been hanging out with the family for the last month or so and now I’ve got Hawaii and a great string of gigs. When my dad was my age, he was struggling to find things to do that meant something to him. I don’t have that problem, that’s for sure. Check out this tour page:

http://jormakaukonen.com/tour.php

Yep, the good old fun loving Hot Tuna Trio will be out with the Tedeschi/Trucks Band and the Wood Brothers for the month of July. Yep, it’s going to be a great year for us for sure. This has got me really fired up! There’s going to lots of jamming… that’s for sure.

I was hoping to get a motorcycle ride in before we left, but with the storms passing through it doesn’t look like that’s in the cards. It’s OK. My trusty motorcycle is in the garage plugged into a battery minder and ready to go at a moments notice.

Things could be a lot worse… a lot worse…

Onward!

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Winter Waxes And Wanes

January 16th, 2017 Jorma 57 comments
Fur Peace Station in the snow

Fur Peace Station in the snow

The weather is, well, changeable as the weather. Yeah, there was some bitter cold and a little snow. Never a bad time to put the drone up and take some pictures though.

The tiny Shade River swollen by melting snow and rain.

The tiny Shade River swollen by melting snow and rain.

Those of us fortunate enough to live in the country know what I’m talking about. I’m not a farmer, so I’m not one with the land in that pure and unarguable way. I’m am, however, connected to it enough to feel it breathe and change. The frigid cold came and went and so far the ice storms have bypassed our little part of the world. Lots of rain, but still some breathing time to put the drone up again.

From 380 feet in the air.

From 380 feet in the air.

Yeah, hiking through the woods sure gives a different picture from the aerial shots. I’m getting to know my little corner of the world in a completely different way.

Fur Peace Station, Psylodelic gallery and Company store... in short lived snow

Fur Peace Station, Psylodelic gallery and Company store... in short lived snow

Yesterday there was a break in the weather action and my bud Jerry and I decided to suit up and go over to Athens Fish And Game and do a little shooting.

Nanook Of The North prepares to head out to Robinette Ridge Rd.

Nanook Of The North prepares to head out to Robinette Ridge Rd.

Athens Fish And Game is a beautiful facility that is both family and conservation oriented. I thought about the venison meatloaf I had for breakfast as I was driving over and took a moment out to thank the Great Spirit for sending that buck our way.

My good bud Jer' and partner in crime.

My good bud Jer' and partner in crime.

Yeah, we had a great time plinking around. I came home in time to clean my pieces and eat some of Vanessa’s killer home made chicken soup. Almost all of the food on our table these days comes from the land around us. It’s a nice way to be.

Well… time to walk the Big Dog again… best to all, and honor Martin Luther King on this day!

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Jahrzeit For My Father

January 8th, 2017 Jorma 21 comments
The Shade River from the A-Frame Trail... Jan. 8, 2017

The Shade River from the A-Frame Trail... Jan. 8, 2017

Jarhzeit For My Father
Jorma Kaukonen,
October 24, 1910-January 8, 1997

Dad on the fridge gallery... circa 1944

Dad on the fridge gallery... circa 1944

Twenty years ago I had driven over from Hillside Farm to the property on St. Clair Rd. where the Fur Peace Ranch would bloom the following year. Though it was January, it was not an exceptionally cold day like it is today. Ranch construction was already under way and the following year we would open for the first time. I was down at the little A frame which at the time was a functioning studio. I don’t remember why I was there on that winter day, or what I was doing. We had been in California over the New Year and had spent time with mom and dad and my brother Peter. We had only been home a couple of days.

Dad circa 1995

Dad circa 1995

This was before any of us had cell phones, if you can imagine such a thing. I had just returned to Hillside Farm and as I got out of my truck and walked across the driveway in front of the barn, Vanessa called out, ‘Your father just died,’ Vanessa told me. ‘You have to go back to California.’ Mortality is always with us but sad to say, for me up to this point it was an abstract concept. Friends of the family had passed… true. My grandparents had passed… also true… but for some reason in the order of things that’s just the way it was.

This was different on many levels.

Vanessa couldn’t leave the farm untended at that time soI was on a plane back to California the next day. I got together with my brother Peter and our dear friends Chuck and Donna and along with my Mom, went to the funeral home where there was a viewing. The moment was so surreal. We had just seen dad the week before, and here he was in a funeral chapel…

My father was as human as any of us. In life he was, as I am, an imperfect man. That said, he always did the best he could and loved his family with a passion all his own. In life that kid who was born in 1910 in Ironwood, Michigan in Gogebic County to Finnish Immigrants would stride across the world with very long legs. My relationship with him as a young man was always contentious and in retrospect that is more on me than it is on him. Late in life I was blessed to be able to call him friend. We were often able to show love for each other… to be able to say, ‘I love you!’ Death leaves many things left undone, unsaid… but this was not one of them.

I remember so well the last time I saw my father. After our time with mom and dad over those Christmas holidays Vanessa and I stopped by their house in Mill Valley to say goodbye. Dad already had a far away look in his eyes, as if he could already see another place waiting for him. I did not see it then… but over they years I have came to recognize that look when I see it today. We all hugged each other and as I was getting into the car dad went up to Vanessa. He looked at me and then at her and said, ‘Is the kid going to be all right?’ I don’t know what Vanessa answered but I can tell you today, ‘Yeah dad, the kid is all right.’

I miss you dad.

May your memory be a blessing!

Jormason and Maverick contemplate the world

Jormason and Maverick contemplate the world

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

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Happy New Year… We Welcome 2017

January 1st, 2017 Jorma 18 comments
The Chinese Lantern Festival at Columbus Expo

The Chinese Lantern Festival at Columbus Expo

In the waning days of 2016, Vanessa and Izze and I joined some friends on a snowy cold night at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Columbus. Well worth it!

An amazing show...

An amazing show...

It was Freeze Ass Cold… but only the strong survive!

The mighty Dragon... I'm Year Of The Dragon...

The mighty Dragon... I'm Year Of The Dragon...

This is really good stuff!

This is really good stuff!

That was on Thursday… then on New Year’s Eve we joined Kevin Morgan and his wonderful family for a New Year’s Get Together. We’ve been doing this with the Morgans for a decade and a half. Back home at the Fur Peace Ranch in time to watch the ball drop in the comfort of our own home, and today a New Year’s adventure in Vinton County.

Sy's place... Truly remarkable!

Sy's place... Truly remarkable!

The Union Ridge Wildlife Center is an amazing place in Vinton County, Ohio where wild animals that have been mistreated or otherwise out lived their usefulness in previous surroundings find a home for life!

Here there be tygers...

Here there be tygers...

These animals are so beautiful!

Oh my...

Oh my...

Sy and his friends are doing awesome work, giving these beautiful animals a place to live out their lives in peace!

Proud as a peacock

Proud as a peacock

What a great facility!

What a great facility!

After an hour or so at the preserve, we returned home and Izze helped me fly my drone.

The path to the Fur Peace Station

The path to the Fur Peace Station

I love taking aerials of the Ranch!

Some afternoon...

Some afternoon...

And last but not least…

Izze and Dad contemplating the controller...

Izze and Dad contemplating the controller...

2016 was one of those years when we lost a lot of colleagues and friends. It’s quite a list and it’s easy to find so I don’t need to enumerate it again here. I’m getting to that age when the sound of the phone ringing could be good… could be bad. I know none of us will live forever but friends are departing for the other side at an alarming rate. The guard is changing… eras are beginning and ending and the only constant is change.

Here’s to us and those like us! Damn few left. May 2017 bring serenity and enlightenment to my family… and all of yours.

Be well, and keep smiling!

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