Archive for April, 2013

Country Addenda

April 29th, 2013 36 comments
Heaven on earth!

Heaven on earth!

A neighbor asked, ‘Have you found any morels yet.’ ‘No,’ I answered… Well… when I got home from town tonight, Vanessa and Ginger had picked tomorrow’s dinner. Morels! Yummy, yummy!

Where did she find them? She wouldn’t even tell me. ‘Oh, in the woods…’

No problem… I can hardly wait for tomorrow’s dinner. This may not be health food, but it sure is good! These are big boys too!

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Moving Right Along

April 28th, 2013 26 comments
Redbud on the road

Redbud on the road

Well… I’ve been laying fallow since Wanee. I really wanted to avoid starting to run my mouth about the tragedy in Boston and I’m glad I did. I’m so sick of this, ‘How did they get radicalized,’ BS. How’s about those two morons are just misbegotten murderers and common criminals. Who cares what made them do what they did? I’m glad the one is dead (run over by his own brother) and I hope the other cretin gets tried by the Feds so he can get the death penalty. I’d hate to think of our taxes supporting that SOB for the rest of his life.

I realize you can talk about vigilance all you want… probably no amount of vigilance would have prevented that massacre. I think of our neighbors and myself, where we are an hour away from the nearest response to a 911 call. We are each 911 out here. What does this mean? Not much, it’s just the way things are. I read about the ‘Thankless Immigrant’ rap and I can only say, when my grandparents came over in the late 1890’s, they talked about people they knew who came over from the old country and became criminals. What else is new? If a bare minimum of the folks in this old world almost did the right thing, what a great world it would be.

Old Glory at the Ranch

Old Glory at the Ranch

So with all this pain in the world I almost feel guilty for the blessings I have been enjoying here in Southeast Ohio. The worst stress I have been enduring of late is adapting to the feelings that aging wraps me in. Big deal, right? Richie Havens (my age) passed… You just can’t take your time on earth for granted.

International Food night at Izze's school

International Food night at Izze's school

Friday night was International Food night at Izze’s elementary school. Because of the University in Athens, we have a really diverse community and it sure seems like everyone is a great cook. This was restaurant quality stuff right there in the school cafeteria. Urff… good times and a great dinner.

After dinner on the playground

After dinner on the playground

Plunging into the weekend Saturday morning was Izze’s Recital at the Ohio University School Of Music. The kids all sounded great and Izze and Wendy Blackwood the Master Teacher played a four handed duet on two songs. Now I’m not saying she was the best… but she was great.

Izze and Wendy at the 9 foot Steinway

Izze and Wendy at the 9 foot Steinway

When we got home after the recital, the rescue dog we have been waiting to adopt showed up at Hillside Farm. He’s an eleven month old Boxer-Doodle named Maverick and he fit into the family like he had always been here. We love this dog… and soon we hope he and Zammy The Cat will learn to love each other too.

Today I went over to the Fur Peace Ranch to play for the folks at the Yoga Retreat and show them the Psylo… then home. It’s been raining off and on since last night so it was a perfect time to burn my brush pile which has been growing for a couple of years.

This is what I'm talking about!

This is what I'm talking about!

Last but not least, there’s been some banter about Bob Weir and I can only say that I am not qualified to editorialize on this. He and I have never had a recovery discussion so I’m not going to volunteer opinions. I have known Bob a long time and I love him dearly. I pray that he finds whatever path he needs to follow and that he lives in serenity. Nuff said…

Last but not least, let’s all pull together and make this great country of ours endure!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Wanee Report

April 19th, 2013 34 comments
Me, Mickey Thomas and the birthday boy... Jack

Me, Mickey Thomas and the birthday boy... Jack

The boys and I have been playing Wanee for many years now. We love this gig and the folks there have always treated us like gold! The weather was perfect… and there were 10,000 folks there at the Mushroom Stage. Now, I knew that there was a secret plan to celebrate Jack’s 69th birthday on stage. Jack, I think, was clueless. Here is our set list with the birthday events inserted:

Hot Tuna 16, 2013
The Electric Quartet
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
Barry Mitterhoff & Skoota Warner
Wanee Festival
Live Oak, Florida
Thursday, April 18, 2013

1. I See The Light
2. Children of Zion
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. True Religion
6. Hesitation Blues
7. Jack’s Birthday Celebration

The cake...

The cake...

Myron Hart and a lovely assistant present the cake on stage:

Is that for me?

Is that for me?

Wait, there’s more:

Many more brother... many more!

Many more brother... many more!

More from the set list:

8. A Little Faster
9. Bowlegged Woman
10. Vicksburg Stomp
11. Rock Me Baby
12. Funky # 7

Yep… good times. After the show we drove Barry Mitterhoff, Jack Casady, Skoota Warner and Phil Jacobs back to the hotel at the Jacksonville Airport and Myron, Daniel The Driver and I headed back north to Ohio. Right now we’re somewhere in South Carolina.

As always, more will be revealed!

Of Time And The River And Family

April 18th, 2013 32 comments
Precious Cargo!

Precious Cargo!

I had some blog thoughts in mind this week, but after the mindless tragedy in Boston, somehow they just seemed too trivial to post at this time. I think about my family… my lovely daughter, my handsome son and I wonder what I would do if some evil being harmed them. Truth be told, I do not know what I would and I hope I never have to find out. That said, I think I would require and eye for an eye. Vengeance is not pretty, but justice is necessary.

Life is ephemeral at best and you cannot mandate or legislate, goodness or common sense. Evil exists in this world whether you believe in it or not. If your are lucky enough not to have been touched by it, count your blessings… but be prepared. Deserving has nothing to do with how the universe treats us. We are fortunate to live in a society governed for the most part by the rule of law. That said, the veneer of civilization is very thin and the the last analysis, personal vigilance is all that will protect us and our loved ones.

I hope that the guilty responsible for the horrific tragedy in Boston are quickly found, tried, convicted and disposed of like the garbage they are. Have a nice day!

Here in my little world, things are considerably brighter today. I am in Florida and the boys and I are getting ready to play the Wanee Festival in Live Oak, Florida. If nothing else, Hot Tuna is always ready to play. Always have been… always will be! I will write more bout this tonight after the show.

Living in the moment requires a smile and I’ve got mine on.


Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

The Rites Of Spring

April 11th, 2013 21 comments
The Spring wind at the FPR

The Spring wind at the FPR

Yesterday I was getting my hair cut in town. I knew that it was an early release date for the Elementary School kids and Vanessa picked Izze up and met me in town so she could come back to the house and hang with the Old Man while Ness worked a the Ranch. ‘Dad, I’ve been thinking,’ Izze said to me with a serious look on her face. ‘I think this would be a great day for a motorcycle ride,’ she continued. ‘Wow, sweetie! Are you serious? If you are let’s go home and get the bike and grab some gone!’ I could hardly believe my ears. ‘Just one thing,’ she went on. ‘Don’t drive crazy fast.’ I reassured her. ‘I’ll drive any way you want me to!’

We went home, parked the truck and got the scooter out. She went upstairs and got her helmet, and Harley jacket while I did a preflight check on the rig. I always keep the bikes ready to go. I never put them away for the winter. Oil, tire pressure, suspension pressure… good. Let’s go.

After about twenty miles, izze wanted a snack so we stopped by the Fur Peace Ranch in time for milk and Girl Scout cookies. Snacking satisfaction achieved, we took the back roads and another 15 miles to home. Like the Singing Brakeman Jimmy would way, ‘Good times here but better on down the road.’ Scooter riding credo indeed… of course, at the end of the day, it’s always good to come home.

Shiny side up... always!

Shiny side up... always!

That’s my girl.

Screw it… let’s ride!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch Tags:

Barry And Jorma?

April 9th, 2013 14 comments

Categories: Diary, Friends Tags:

Mountain Heart Comes To Town

April 7th, 2013 12 comments
Soaring with eagles... me and Mountain Heart

Soaring with eagles... me and Mountain Heart

Last night Mountain Heart graced the boards of the stage here at the Fur Peace Station. In addition to Barry Abernathy (of course) there was Seth Taylor, Josh Shilling, Molly Cherryholmes, Aaron Ramsey, and Jason Moore.

I met the gang a couple of years when Hot Tuna did Woodsongs down in Lexington, Kentucky. I was thrilled when we got them to come to the Fur Peace Station here in Darwin, and more than thrilled when they asked me to join them for their second set.

Truly, how good does it have to get. If I was any happier, I’d have to take something for it!

Thanks, Lady and Gents! Lets do it again sometime!


Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Hot Tuna, Venues Tags:

The Vicissitudes Of Spring

April 4th, 2013 12 comments

Here it is the Fourth Of April… well into the beginning of Spring, if the calendar is to be believed. Perhaps… but this morning when I got up to take Izze to school, it was twenty eight degrees. Twenty eight degrees… and it’s been this way all week. Yeah, I know. Before I know it, I’ll be complaining of heat and humidity, a staple here in Southeast Ohio.

So I go outside a couple of days ago to uncover the pool and start opening it up for the warm weather I have been told is coming. It’s in the low thirties but what the heck. It’s Spring, right? I pull the cover back and find that the temperature fluctuations over the Winter have wrinkled the liner severely. Now I realize that complaining about swimming pool problems is an embarrassment of riches. If I didn’t have the pool, I wouldn’t have the problem. I get it. But I do have the pool, and I do have the problem. So I start draining the pool… the water is freezing cold and it’s hard to imagine that it will ever be warm enough to ever swim again. There is a somewhat complex series of solutions that must be effected to fix this thing and of course, I called an expert. Good news? It’s still so cold and so early in the year that I am first in line. OK. I have every confidence that things will work out and when it gets warmer the sound of joyous children will fill the back yard again. Ever the eternal optimist… that’s me!

Tomorrow the Fur Peace Ranch opens for the second weekend of our sixteenth year and we will be hosting Pete Huttlinger and Toby Walker who will be on board to share their skill and artistry with their lucky students. Of course, Marjorie Thompson will be at my side to help demystify the process for our Level II/III Students.

Saturday night we host a concert at the Fur Peace Station with the great progressive Bluegrass Band, Mountain Heart. I will be joining the boys Saturday night as much as they will allow so it promises to be a great evening for everyone… especially me!

OK… nuff said for now. Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Equal Means Equal

April 2nd, 2013 21 comments
Nuff Said!

Nuff Said!

This is America… equal means equal!

(With thanks and compliments to Ally White for the beautiful work creating the guitar symbols!)

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags: