Howdy, all! Just checking in with a bit of personal news & general observations. No Sepia Saturday this week, & with a weekend performing schedule that’s filling up, I think it’s likely I’ll be bowing out of that group for awhile.
I’m off to the Cambridge, Idaho Farmer’s Market shortly, where I’ll be performing with friend & student Heather U., who sings & plays some wonderful contemporary “folk”—Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Natalie Merchant, Neil Young, Nanci Griffith. Yours truly is just filling in the gaps on my resonator guitars. Afterwards, I’ll play a set of the old-time blues. Next weekend, Eberle & I will be playing a wedding, & at least one aspect of the event is a first—we’ll be transported to the island where the wedding is being held on a pontoon boat. This will be the first time I’ve caught a pontoon boat to a gig! In addition, I’m exploring some regular performing options in McCall—a resort town, hence a good place to play—& it looks like I’ll be forming a trio up there (or quartet, when Eberle’s free) playing the old blues. One of the trio members will be familiar to regular Robert Frost’s Banjo readers: Lois Fry, the violin player from the Alice in Wonder Band. Those who are curious to know more about Lois can read her delightful Musical Questions interview right here.
On the more problematic side, I learned yesterday that the job I’ve held since September 1989 (with a few gaps here & there) with a “major manufacturer of household consumer goods” is no more. I’d been laid off all year—first, it was a 3-month lay-off, as company policy had been amended to dictate that all contract workers must take a 3-month lay-off every two years. That freed me up for the great cross-country odyssey, & I returned from this fully expecting to go back to my telecommuting self. At that point I was informed that they couldn’t take me back until the new fiscal year. The new fiscal year came, & finally, so did the answer.
As Eberle has pointed out, this is not altogether bad news. For one thing, this job isn’t my main income source, & it’s likely the income can be replaced to a large degree by music—I’d cut way back on teaching of late, & it looks like it’s time to expand again. Who knows: there may even be more Music Teacher’s Notebook posts! She also points out that it will free me up to travel more, & it’s true I seem to have a major case of wanderlust following the big road trip.
Still, it is a transition point to say the least. I moved to San Francisco in July 1989 & first started working as a temp with this Oakland-based company in September; I left in 1993, but came back in 1994; my job (along with most of the consumer service jobs) was eliminated in 1996, but I was back as a contract worker in 1997. When I moved to Idaho in 1998, I began telecommuting. & as riots went down in Oakland on Thursday evening in the wake of the Johannes Mehserle verdict, it took me back to the time we were all hustled out of City Center Oakland after the Rodney King verdict in Simi Valley. Let’s all hope for both justice & peace in the Bay Area.
& a happy weekend to you all!