Well, you have to admit, that’s a snappy title, and I’m sure something will come to me about the tough choices bluegrassers have to make concerning their avocation. I have to call it that because most of us don’t make any money at this to speak of, which is really a clever code that I hope the IRS doesn’t understand.
Let’s face it, despite the fact that traditional bluegrass nuts* are generous to a fault with the things that they have, they are equally famous for their frugality. Where else would you see an old gas stove strapped to the back of a ’72 Chevy pick-up with a brace of twenty-pounders on the running boards, while the operator grills venison chops and brags that the whole shootin’ match, steaks, truck, stove and all only “costed 150 bucks. And a bullet.” **
Be that as it may, there are approximately 17,347 bluegrass festivals in the US each year, some as small as a church picnic and some almost as big as…..ummmm, Akron. So it’s my bet that somebody out there is making money at this thing. Oh, maybe not the big bucks that Darth or Barth or whatever his name is–you know, the bald guy that has to wear that big hat? But there is cash to be had, and of course those wonderful grilled venison chops with sauteed shitaki mushrooms, baby carrots and pearl onions served with a reduction of basalmic vinegar, dago red and a dash of cajun spice.
But on to the dilemnas, which of course is derived from the latin “dile” meaning to call someone,”mnas”, a combinationof “m,” which is latin for “very” and finally “nas”, meaning “now”, or, literaly, “call somebody smart right quick.” And of course you want to call someone when there are tough choices to make, when things are really hard and you have to make a decision which is a tough decision. Even George Bush knows that.
So let’s say you smell the venison steak up there in the third paragraph just when somebody like TJ and Bob Lundy show up with Dan and Mike Paisley right there and Donnie Eldridge wanders over and then they say, “Say, boys, lets play a few.”
You ‘d want to call somebody, right? But you wouldn’t be able to, because you’d be too busy having a dilemna. That’s one warning sign of those things. Another one is somebody wandering around jabbering in latin. Anyhow, I bet you a dollar you’d play anyhow and somebody else would eat those steaks right in front of you, because you can eat that kind of steak any old time, but a session with the Duke, Earl, Protector, Director and the Son of Grass, all at once? Shooooee—eeee! That’s rare.
Like the steak. Hell, you know you’ll still be hungry when the sun comes up, anyway, and the guy with the truck’ll have eggs and homemade bacon cooking next day, and you’ll get you some.
So, yeah. That’s one dilemna. I was going to write about drinking beer and playing, but that’s about as hard as drinking beer and fishing. Or whether to go over here and jam or go over there and jam, but it really doesn’t make any difference, because if you do it right you’ll play every square inch of the campground at some point or another.
I’d recommend you follow your ears first and then your nose. Oh, and make your bed first thing when you get there. There is nothing sweeter than a soft and ready bed after an all-night jam.
Unless it’s the smell of coffee and homemade bacon being fired up on a crisp summer morning.
*”Nother good name for a bluegrass band. Hey–is anybody writing this stuff down out there?
**There’s supposed to be a question mark in there someplace, but it looks wierd. So that’s two dilemnas and I don’t have to change the title. nanner nanner.