It has been quite a whirlwind. I’ve now got two vehicles. I’ve shot many rolls of film and had them processed at Gordon’s, which is local to my office. It’s like a Portland lab I once used, but closer and without the condescension. They seem to be happy to see their film customers come in the door.
After the amazing time I had at Grass Valley (finished 6/18), I went to another festival in Susanville (6/21-6/23). It was much smaller and intimate. I seem to have graduated as a mandolinist and played in jam circles with the main stage acts. It was an enthusiastic scene. I overheard a banjo player crawl out of his tent on Sunday morning proclaiming that those “ first Jim and Jesse recordings are the shit!” Time and again this weekend, I reflected on my early enthusiasm for bluegrass.
After that, and the multiple car retrieval triangle (Chico-Susanville-Reno), Straight Ahead Bluegrass Band had our first practice in four or five years. Things feel pretty good already.
I am also toying with a solo act that is somewhat of a chautauqua about bluegrass music. At practice, my bass-playing friend Dwayne said he just watched Rachel Liebling’s film High Lonesome. I went home and watched it again. I forget how deeply influential in my bluegrass beginnings. It begins with an old man, Bill Monroe slowly, plaintively reciting his own lyrics,
Back in the days of my childhood
In the evenings when everything was still
I used to sit and listen to the foxhounds
With my dad in the old Kentucky hills.
I’m on my way back to the old home
The road winds on up the hill.
But there’s no light in the window
That shined long ago where I lived.
Remember the fence shot from 2006, when I first got my camera?
I went back a few weeks ago, a couple months shy of six years later.
I’m finding my photography increasingly personal and somewhat private. This may have something to do with film, or not. I’m not really sure.
Mike Melnyk has been the CBA photographer for some time, and we’ve had a neat dialog running for three years now. Last year he set up a backdrop backstage. This year I approached him with my Instax 210, asking if he could set his speedlights to optical triggering, and if he wouldn’t mind posing. It took three exposures, but this is one of the the sharpest Instax 210 photographs I have ever seen.
It has been pretty weird for me here. I am surrounded by old friends, but am quite alone. Misunderstanding seems to be the rule.
Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone
But it all works out
It doesn’t matter much to me
Goats are weird. But where I am staying there are three. It is pretty funny to be talking to them while they just start pissing. All three of them did this while I was trying to finish up a roll in the Hasselblad.
I picked up a refurbished Epson V500, and I think it will work fine. However, the film holders for 120 film suck beyond belief. I had no idea. I may pick up the BetterScanning film holder right away. When I do, I have six rolls from the Hasselblad to get through. Or not. Who cares, right?
Well, a sad lonesome feeling are the blues. When you’re living out in the country like this old home place right here. If you’re around by yourself that feeling can come right in there and stay right there with you. Make you sad. . . the blues will.
Bill Monroe in High Lonesome