SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION PDF
From the original reviews of Sometimes a Great Notion. “As in Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey brings to life people you will never forget Getting into this book is getting. □4 SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION J. Along the western slopes of the Oregon Coastal Range come look: the hysterical crashing of tribu- taries as they. ken kesey Sometimes a Great Notion Introduction by charles bowden penguin books From the original reviews of Sometime.
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The magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Following the astonishing success of his first novel, One. Get Free Read & Download Files Ken Kesey Sometimes A Great Notion PDF. KEN KESEY SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION. Download: Ken Kesey Sometimes . Sometimes a Great Notion (Penguin Classics) [Ken Kesey, Charles Bowden] on myavr.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The magnificent second.
Oh my goodness what an incredible book. Absolutely stunning.
'The same old rain': an excerpt from Kesey's "Sometimes A Great Notion"
Sometimes A Great Notion which, btw, gets its title from the Ledbelly song "Goodnight Irene" is the story of the Stamper family, renegade loggers in Oregon in maybe the fifties. It's an incredible family—Henry, the patriarch, the crazed, stubborn old goat who started the logging business; his son Hank stoic, serious, earnest, proud, charming and Hank's cousin Joe Ben brimming with enthusiasm and joy and good after reading: Oh my.
It's an incredible family—Henry, the patriarch, the crazed, stubborn old goat who started the logging business; his son Hank stoic, serious, earnest, proud, charming and Hank's cousin Joe Ben brimming with enthusiasm and joy and good will , who now run the company; Hank's gorgeous and quiet and wonderful wife Viv; and Hank's much younger half-brother Leland, an intellectual and a weakling who fled the rough workaday life as soon as he was old enough, and now lives in New York where he is finishing college.
There has been a lifelong and mostly unspoken rivalry between the brothers, but because the Stampers have run afoul of the logging union, Hank and Joe Ben write to Leland, asking him to come back home to help make a big run. The other important thing is that the entire town despises the Stampers. Currently all the loggers are on strike, but the Stamper clan is still working, and because of that, they are preventing the strike from ending, since there's no reason for the company that wants the lumber to negotiate with the union when the Stampers are doing all the same work.
Everyone has always hated the Stampers anyway, because they are big and strong and stubborn and put everyone else to shame, and now the whole town is seriously turning against them.
Now look. That encapsulation is not only horribly unjust a book of this magnitude deserves much more than a paltry surface summation like that , but also is likely to turn off your average modern reader. I know, I know, an entire novel about logging in the country? And a boring union struggle with a bunch of backwoods hicks?
It wouldn't have caught my attention either. But listen, there is so much more than that here. Above all, this is a book about people, filled with some of the most fascinating and deeply drawn characters I have come across in a terribly long time. Even the supporting cast have rich backstories, like the town prostitute Indian Jenny who calls men to her bed by throwing clamshells and then buying them drinks; Biggy Newton, the overgrown class bully who has been beating up and getting beaten up by Hank since they were in school together; Les Gibbons, an old drunk made bitter by a life of grudges; Boney Stokes, Henry's alleged best friend, who wishes for his downfall more than anyone who hates him; Teddy the fat bartender who thinks he knows everything about the human condition as he waters down all the drinks.
Jan 20, Janet rated it it was amazing Shelves: Kesey's masterful novel about a logging family in the Pacific Northwest and the impact of a strike in collision with their never-say-die attitude towards the world, has been somewhat overshadowed by the success of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and that is unfortunate, for it is one of the best novels written about the west and the western mindset.
A movie was made from it wit Kesey's masterful novel about a logging family in the Pacific Northwest and the impact of a strike in collision with their never-say-die attitude towards the world, has been somewhat overshadowed by the success of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and that is unfortunate, for it is one of the best novels written about the west and the western mindset.
Damned good. View 1 comment. Mar 06, Ursula rated it it was amazing Shelves: It's hard to know where to begin - the back of my edition proclaims, "The earthy, torrid story of a lusty, yelling, Paul Bunyan of a man and his battles with society.
That sort of describes an aspect of the book, but mostly it's kind of like those ads for action movies where they play up the love story angle to try to get the women to come and see it - you know how they cut together the 5 minutes of time actually devoted to the supposed love story and t It's hard to know where to begin - the back of my edition proclaims, "The earthy, torrid story of a lusty, yelling, Paul Bunyan of a man and his battles with society.
That sort of describes an aspect of the book, but mostly it's kind of like those ads for action movies where they play up the love story angle to try to get the women to come and see it - you know how they cut together the 5 minutes of time actually devoted to the supposed love story and then have a voiceover of something like, "a love that wouldn't be denied"?
Like that. Okay, let me back up and explain a little about the bones of the book. It's about the Stamper family, who came west to Oregon sometime around the turn of the 20th century.
We get to know Henry, the patriarch of the family, who came to Oregon and found his occupation logging and trying to "whup" the land. He has two sons: Hank, by his first wife, and Leland Stanford by his second.
The second wife eventually leaves him she was from the east and not the kind of woman cut out for living in a shack on the shore of a river in the middle of nowhere Oregon , taking young Lee with her. Lee leaves with not much feeling at all about his father, but a hatred for Hank because Hank has been carrying on an affair with Lee's mother. Years later, Lee is a college student in New York when he receives a postcard from his family in Oregon requesting that he come back and help out with the family business.
Lee comes back, much to everyone's surprise, but he returns with complex motivations. He gets to know his family - irascible Henry; his cousin Joe Ben, who is the self-appointed ray of sunshine; Viv, Hank's wife; and of course brother Hank, who Lee immediately sets about sizing up and deciding how best to take his revenge on.
Against this backdrop is the drama the family is embroiled in with the town, involving a loggers' strike and a deal the Stampers have made with a lumber company. A multitude of themes are at work in the book - what family means, loyalty, the need for every man to prove himself, whether any man can truly be an island, revenge and its price, the lines between love, obsession, and duty, strength and weakness and what defines each are just a few.
The writing style is a little confusing at times - Kesey employs a few tactics that can be difficult to follow at first. In order to cover several viewpoints, he will jump between scenes of what different characters are doing and saying at any given moment in time. He uses parenthetical or italicized text to give a character's thoughts on whatever is going on.
He also switches from third-person to first-person narration at the drop of a hat, and the first-person narration is not always by the same person, even within the course of a few paragraphs. These techniques can definitely be hard on the reader, but they're very effective once you get into the rhythm of it. I really loved this one. Recommended for: The go-away-closer disease. Starving for contact and calling it poison when it is offered Never accept candy from strangers.
Or from friends. Sneak off a sack of gumdrops when nobody's looking if you can, but don't accept, never accept Because it is caring that lulls you into letting down your guard and leaving up your shades May 25, Stephanie Griffin rated it it was amazing Shelves: I live in the Northwest.
The page classic, written by Ken Kesey of the Merry Pranksters group, has become seared into my brain. Published in , the plot revolves around the fictional Stamper logging family who reside along the Oregon coast. The setting is the mids, when loyalty still meant something.
The logging industry, as dangerous as ever, also fa I live in the Northwest. The logging industry, as dangerous as ever, also faced challenges in unions and strikes. The story itself is told in an ever-changing, and sometimes challenging, POV between the main characters of Hank Stamper, the oldest son, Lee, the half-brother of Hank, and to a lesser extent Old Henry, the patriarch.
In the Stamper family there swirls the permeation of orneriness, perseverance, resolution, and obliviousness, among other attributes. The mythos of brotherly love is also put to the test. Lee, having been on the East coast since the age of twelve, returns to the family home in Wakonda as a young man bent on settling a score.
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A wide variety of characters inhabit the small town of Wakonda and they all have important struggles within themselves. The local prostitute, Simone, struggles with her religious background. Willard, a quiet man with a secret, struggles with a life-altering decision. We each have our own struggles and in that, we can closely relate with some of these people. Kesey grew up in Oregon and he describes the flora and fauna in exquisite detail: In the Scandinavian slums at the edge of town bloodroot vines reach garroting fingers for knotholes, warpholes, and window sills.
The tide grinds piling against dock, dock against piling. It was a bit disconcerting to have the POV changing so often, especially when it happened two or three times in one paragraph, but it was an interesting effect when the heat was turned up and the pace of the thoughts ran faster as well.
A build-up of a feeling of dread was pervasive about mid-way through the book and it was not unwarranted. The characters were entirely believable and fleshed-out.
Joe-Ben was a favorite goof-ball and the thoughts of bar-owner Teddy were circumspect. Jul 26, Martin rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Written in that no-nonsense way that great American writers do so well, that seems effortless yet still full of similes and all the other tricks of the trade. Like sitting around a campfire listening to an old-timer telling his life story, his face taking on the expressions of every character he describes, the darkness of night around the golden fire making you edge closer and closer, mouth gaping, eyes wide.
Gave me the feeling I used to get watching The Waltons on a lazy Sunday in my youth.
He is asked to return home to help with the family logging business due to strike action and even before he gets there he is going over in his head what will happen when he sees his family again and especially his oldest brother as there are certain tensions between them.
This relationship with the brother is the main story, about East meets West ideologies, and of course inherent family issues. Also showing how people believe what they want no matter how the facts look when they are in their face, the bar scene for an example of this.
There is another brother who is like a child with his never ending positivism and joy of life who I found to be one of the best characters I have ever had the pleasure to get to know. Some people have mentioned that it is hard going, it is true to some extent, you really have to wade in as some chapters are huge and seem to be endless but the story and style keep you going for sheer pleasure.
My only advice is to avoid the version with the orange cover as the print is far too small for a book that size and with chapters that long. This is my favourite book of all time! Jun 02, Dara Salley rated it it was amazing. The friend who recommended this book to me that it was a little difficult warned me. I was completely at sea for the first 30 or so pages. Eventually the characters and settings fell into place and that was when the book became completely engrossing.
Kesey switches between inner monologues, dialogue and description frequently. He also switches between characters, often within the same paragraph. Often the same event is viewed from several different perspectives. It takes a little getting used to but the effect is worth the effort.
The setting is integral to the novel as the characters are controlled and influenced by the weather as if they were puppets. The book is full of loving descriptions of the beauty and bleakness of Oregon. The actual plot of the novel is almost irrelevant. It involves a quirky family, named the Stampers, who are singlehandedly keeping the entire town on strike. The town is a logging town and the inhabitants are striking for better wages.
The logging company has made a deal with the Stampers to provide the seasonal quota on their own in an attempt to break the strike. Extra conflict arrives in the form of young Leland Stamper, an unbalanced, East coast educated member of the family bent on revenge. The main draw of the novel is to watch the conflicts between the Stampers and the town and between the members of the family themselves.
All this plays against a mood of encroaching disaster. A book starts with a human arm giving the finger suspended from a flag pole. And it ain't the game of thrones. You know its gonna be good. Really loved every second of this book this time. Kesey could have taken that LSD and run wild with it, A book starts with a human arm giving the finger suspended from a flag pole.
Kesey could have taken that LSD and run wild with it, yet I think it opened his mind so that he could really get into some characters, and really see the relationship between man and nature. So glad I had enough beers before seeing the movie I didn't remember a lick.
Here's a sage review of the movie from IMDB It is a great movie whether it was faithful to the book or not. Kesey was high on drugs when he wrote the book and from what I understand it is obvious to the reader. If people like that then that is fine for them. That doesn't diminish the straightforward message of this movie. Sorry fella, no weirdness here. Dec 13, Carolyn rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Lovers of rain.
Recommended to Carolyn by: Rain Rain Go Away. This is a wet novel. Set in the rainy season in Oregon you get pruned fingers flipping through the pages.
It's lovely. The writing is lovely. I was constantly thinking of turning down corners to mark passages only to turn the page and find something more beautifully written.
This can come off as a man's story at first, it's about loggers and brothers, sons and fathers, but I'm not a man and I was completely caught up from the middle to the end. You have to be patient in the b Rain Rain Go Away.
You have to be patient in the beginning, it takes a while to set the stage, but once the stage is set I can't seem to find a way to tell you about it without ruining the surprise. I knew nothing about this book when it was handed to me. I hadn't read any reviews. I think that is the best way to read this novel. Let it surprise you. I will say this. It's a bit unsatisfying, the ending, but it has occupied my mind from the second I turned the last page.
I want to hop on the boat with the boys and on the bus with the girl and see where these characters go. Perhaps that's the best ending of all. Go read it. Jul 20, Ned rated it really liked it. The Story The struggle and ultimate acquiescence to nature and reckoning with ultimate power [God] is the theme of this huge, rollicking, informative and most interesting story: Nature seen in the ever-present rain and wind, the rivers, the trees, seasons, the moon and the entire animal kingdom.
Namely, the indomitable Hank Stamper with his relentless self-denial and muscular struggles against the virgin hardwoods, represents the iron against many have struck and lost. His attempts to dominate The Story The struggle and ultimate acquiescence to nature and reckoning with ultimate power [God] is the theme of this huge, rollicking, informative and most interesting story: His attempts to dominate the land are beautifully described, but mostly his battle against his own father, his family, and the entire town of Waukanda, Oregon consume over pages.
This story is told from a huge array of characters, each defined in loving detail, including their unvarnished physicality as well as their frame of mind. Nature Kesey tells of the old time ways and inexplicable response of a wild animal upon being rescued analogous to himself, as we will see , on coming on a swimming deer while checking with an old Swede his crab pots in the mouth of the river leading to the ocean p.
So we get a line on him and haul him in.
He was pretty nearly gone. Not that kind of scared, as near as I could make out, but pure scared…. It kinda got me, you know? This told in the broken language of the uneducated oldtimer of a father. Pouring out rain as they went, they had rolled over the beaches and town, into the farmlands and low hills, finally piling headlong up against the wall of the Coastal Range mountains with a soft, massive inertia.
All night long a few piled to the mountaintops and over in tot h Willamette Valley with the overloads of rain, but the majority, the great bulk of that multitude gathered and blown from the distant stretches of the sea, came rebounding heavily back in to the other clouds. They exploded above the town like colliding lakes. These characters are archetypical, this is a classic fable.
I never minded work so much. Hank is in tune with nature in a physical and metaphysical sense. The final battle Spoiler here: Finally Lee the brother in law confronts his fear his brother in law and enacts revenge by seducing his wife — to resolve an old wound. The final battle after many with the townsfolk and a couple of untimely deaths and suicides by those overcome comes down to the brothers in law who test themselves and no longer does Lee cower in fear, even as he is beaten.
But ultimately he realizes the pettiness of his hatred grudge, and that the women in his life are equally complicit in the his sense of injury. All are players acting out their ultimate destinies, railing against the power of nature human and earthly.
Which remains unresolved, as in all great novels. The style This novel has so many interwoven points of view, often changing midsentence, going back to the past constantly, and returning in a split second.
The characters thoughts and words are intermixed, defined by all caps and quotes variously. Lee is the protagonist, but his is not the dominant character. I got accustomed to the style about halfway through, and it smoothed to a nice comprehensible pattern for me. The characters are well described and consistently back-referenced, and Kesey has a fine sense of the dramatic and foreshadowing.
The humor comes from the foibles and flaws of these most colorful and well rendered characters, often hilariously so.
A great read all in all. Oct 12, Ansky rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone with a brain. By far my favorite book ever I read it again about every 3 years.
I've worn out half a dozen copies and given away as many , and would just about trade my soul for a hardcover version -- just can't afford it. Yes, it's extremely difficult, and it took me a few tries to get going, but the opening description of the river and the Stamper house on the bank had me hooked and I kept coming back.
Once I acclimated to the shifting viewpoints I could barely put it down. There is one passage of obser By far my favorite book ever There is one passage of observations from the family hound's perspective that is beyond description, but perhaps one of the most amazing examples of pure writing. Dec 21, Alexia Kelly rated it it was amazing.
This book is mind blowingly amazing. The first pages are a real slog, but once you're in the story is like a river current that won't let you go. A quintessential Northwest read, I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a moving, memorable and challenging read. Feb 14, Metaphorosis rated it did not like it Shelves: When Hank writes to ask for help in the family's Oregon logging operation, Leland comes back from his East coast school to finally teach Hank a lesson.
In the ragged logging community where they both grew up, things don't go entirely as planned. He was a hazy, ill-behaved member of a self-important, rambunctious group that I lacked interest in. I completely failed to identify him as the author of the excellent One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , a book that left images in my mind that remain today e. All of this came together to remind me that I liked Kesey's writing, that I had never read Sometimes a Great Notion , and that perhaps 'someday' had come.
I tend not to use bookmarks. Books give all kinds of cues as to where you left off reading, from where they naturally open, to ink smudges on the edge, to remembered bits of dialogue or description.
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With a physical book, it's generally an easy trick to pick up a closed book and find my place very quickly, and it's less fiddly than using a bookmark.
Sometimes a Great Notion , however, is a book without landmarks. The chapters are few and far between, the text is dense, the time-sense wanders erratically, and there's a sameness to the description and actions.
I found it difficult to recover my sense of place in the book, and eventually inserted a bookmark. The book itself - is terrible.
I don't mean that in the sense of 'awesome' or 'frightening'. I mean that it is a very bad book, and not one you should read. The viewpoint shifts constantly and erratically - within the same paragraph. The prose drones and slogs through a welter of half-digested metaphors and puerile yearnings. Even the setting is fairly generic - as someone suggested to me, a book about Western Oregon by someone who had heard about it, or maybe driven through it once. To be fair, Kesey knew the area much better than that, but it doesn't come out.
There is a certain grand, very Greek and tragedic aspect to the plot - larger than life family members and all the wrong people having sex. Very little of it, however, is interesting. Instead, it's a muddle of confused and mumbled vows and half-hearted longings.
More than anything, it's as if Kesey took Holden Caulfield, dropped him onto a rainy, muddy riverbank, and left him to whine about how unloved he is - for pages, and without any of Holden's redeeming grandeur of spirit. Even the ending doesn't work - it's as much of a soggy mess as the rest of the book. A lot of people love this book, but for the life of me, I can't say why. As my November 3 letter suggested, the first big controversy concerning when the regular board would be elected.
The temporary board had just begun functioning well together. Naturally conservative folks wanted to maintain the status quo for a year and lay a solid foundation. Hard choices had to be made, and they would rather have the people they know make them. The other faction felt it was time to move ahead with a regular election and get the organization fully functioning as soon as possible.
By December we had reached a compromise that called for postal elections in the spring with the first regular board taking office on July 1, The debate, however, suggested deeper divisions and concerns.
Distrust between fans of contemporary and traditional bluegrass that manifested non-musical issues. Although based in gross generalizations, assumptions existed causing dysfunction. Despite a plethora of counter-examples, the traditionalists, those most concerned with defining bluegrass, saw progressive wing as the descendants of the hippies, younger, more liberal, and less religious.
In addition to the opposite of those mores, many progressives assigned segregationist tendencies to the traditionalists. Conflict sometimes existed among local, regional, and national bands, since the latter felt the other two groups took much needed gigs from them by working for small fees. The former feared the more popular bands dominating IBMA.
Regional divisions, especially East Coast — West Coast were apparent since the two seemed to live separate worlds, with the occasional, usually East Cost, bands touring on the other side of the continent.
While the lower Midwest was closely tied to eastern bluegrass, west of the Mississippi was its own community with its own set of popular bands and a decidedly traditional leaning.
Tellingly, the temporary board consisted all of people east of the Mississippi except for the west Texan Hartin as an alternate. Others wondered whether IBMA locating the headquarters in Nashville would be advantageous or a signal of following the country music waye. Some simply were skeptical and unwilling to put in an effort.
Robert Redford, not the act nor a heartthrob but promoter of the Winfield Kansas Bluegrass Festival which , despite its location, successfully wed contemporary acts with a family style atmosphere, frankly told me IBMA could never work. He asserted that bluegrass people could not work together for the common good.
Menius-Johnson Chapter two page 18 A bifurcated view of Nashville colored matters. For many, including Monroe, Nashville was the home of country music, musicians representing several genre, music publishers and recording labels, and the Grand Ole Opry. It was a city on the Cumberland River where people lived and conducted business in perfect location for touring much of the nation. For others, especially among the part-time bands and fans, a symbol of the changes in the country music industry since Many artists and fans, especially those who followed bluegrass as the only form of traditional country still around, remembered this process and recoiled from something that resembled the CMA.
I realized the irony that I was writing and would continue until the end of about bluegrass for a mainstream country publication, while advocating its separation from that genre.
The editor, Vernell Hackett, kindly paired the announcement with a story featuring a photo of Monroe, Skaggs, and Earl Scruggs. I harbored another dream, a very personal one, of a class or workers who could be called bluegrass professionals. A golfer since age eight, I saw parallels between those two worlds.
In both, fans were often practitioners themselves, usually doing more playing themselves than watching. Both golf and bluegrass have thriving equipment business with the amateurs being the primary customers, and the professionals living demonstrators of their wares. The top golfers and bluegrass artists live on the road and are independent contractors without guaranteed income. What captivated me was the division between professional golfers, who play for ever increasing sums of money on television, and the golf professionals, who served the needs of the amateurs whether instruction or golf balls.
I envisioned those of us who worked in non-performing roles being considered as bluegrass professionals, the promoters, record company people, agents, sound crews, and others who made it possible for the musicians to play. I stressed that IBMA was not a social club, anything but a threat to other bluegrass organizations, and not trying to change the music. Much of this volume concerns how my non-musical work would change bluegrass and folk, sometimes in ways I did not support.
A veteran discographer and record collector, whose magisterial seven-volume Ethnic Music on Record remains an essential reference, Spottswood had contributed to Bluegrass Unlimited since he participated in its beginning. Established as one of the best minds in roots music, he made a compelling case for skepticism, although he would soon become an IBMA supporter.
Done this way, my guest editorial did not appear as aggressive promotion. I asserted, therefore, that the potential audience for that organic expansion existed. Bluegrass was not, as some promoted after the mainstream success of Skaggs and his former New South bandmate Keith Whitley, a minor league developing talent for country. We appreciated the success of those from our music who rose to greater popularity as we did the respect so many country artists had for bluegrass.
The bluegrass music industry, however, did not exist for this purpose. This was an expression of a Declaration of Independence from country music. It only meant that we say Nashville as a convenient location that suggested our intention to be a professional trade association. Menius-Johnson Chapter two page 21 Figure 6 Bluegrass Unlimited March xvi Other people, meanwhile, were trying to achieve their own dreams two hours north of Nashville.
Starting before IBMA and without knowing about its inception, people in Owensboro talked about a bluegrass festival, a bluegrass trade association, a bluegrass trade show, a bluegrass museum as part of a broader downtown revitalization.
Eventually Poss met Woodward, who owned the Owensboro-based Disk Jockey record store chain, at the convention of independent recording labels. Woodward quickly realized that IBMA would not just save them the trouble of forming a trade association.
In partnership with Owensboro, IBMA could instantly validate their efforts and connect them Menius-Johnson Chapter two page 22 to the bluegrass industry and its leaders.
IBMA could then take over producing a bluegrass festival and professional convention there. An astute businessman, he assumed correctly that IBMA needed money, personnel, and a home. Many of their goals paralleled those of IBMA, and they included creation of a bluegrass trade association.
Step One was the free festival on September. Goals included state funded Bluegrass Hall of Fame; trade show; awards show; all designed to give Owensboro the same recognition for bluegrass music that Nashville has for country music with related businesses clustering around Owensboro as the center of bluegrass.
IBMA office in Owensboro "not absolutely necessary I see no problems with business meetings in Nashville and fan oriented activities in Owensboro. In great measure, in my opinion, the changed came in realization that a town cannot artificially make itself the center of a musical form when only one business, a recording studio, moved there. If the partner they funded would not relocate there, who would? Our relatively brief courtship during the winter of proved nonetheless heated.
Some feared that IBMA was moving away from a music industry center to a backwater. Others saw the move as symbolizing the independence of bluegrass as a genre and business. Still for an organization with such hopes and so few resources, the boost Owensboro offered proved far too much to spurn: funding, staff resources from the Tourism Commission, and a welcoming home. The largess northwestern Kentucky town served an important purpose for its dreams.
Serving a vast hinterland despite its size, it was easy for Owensboro to overestimate its importance on a larger stage. That local folks referring to US 60, the east-west route through town, as Interstate 60, was telling. They forwarded messages and mail to me in North Carolina.
IBMA would make Owensboro its home, hold its major events there, and work with local interests towards a bluegrass museum.
While the good things far out weighted the bad, the relationship contained an inherent conflict. Despite the mutual benefit, each party was using the partnership to advance their individual, and sometimes conflicting, missions.
The locals had an ambitious vision of Owensboro being a bluegrass branded entertainment and business center mimicking the organic evolution of Nashville. An IBMA office was anticipated to be a lynchpin for the latter. The IBMA leadership wanted to build a community to advance its industry.
As early as , Owensboro pushed the organization it supported to establish programs beneficial to the city including being an active partner in establishing a bluegrass museum there and producing their bluegrass festival. Putting on a festival had not been in our game plan. Osborne, a strong advocate of the partnership, saw the festival would donate all its net revenue to the new IBMA Trust Fund.
So, despite prior assurances that we would not compete with our member festivals, IBMA was in the festival business, with Bluegrass With Class, so called due to the Osborne Brothers performing with the Owensboro Symphony becoming Fan Fest, part of our first activity along the Ohio. Menius-Johnson Chapter two page 24 Meanwhile, as editor and writer I produced the first multi-page, bimonthly issue of International Bluegrass, with Larry Jones handling the layout and printing.
Although a mere four pages, the February issue asserted that IBMA was for real and introduced our logo with the globe as a banjo head. Other than IBMA promotion including membership information and a listing of Founding Members, the issue contained a bit of industry news, one piece being a European report.
I promised a radio guide in March. I had been hired to work from home with less than modest Menius-Johnson Chapter two page 26 compensation as part of the reason why. A byproduct of the quick marriage with Owensboro was an expectation I would move there.
Yet I was neither paid enough to do so nor provided a new contract. Figure 8 My report to the board for April By the summer of my lifestyle had become going to a festival every other weekend to promote IBMA. In I thought it important not to be a suit, an industry guy, but to appear to be an ordinary festival goer. For fans, whether blue collar or executive, festivals were a place to be away from ties, a place to wear shorts and t-shirts. Only musicians while on stage and visiting politicians wore suits.
I wanted to exude being not threatening and transfer that to IBMA. As does any salesperson, I wanted to sell myself in order to sell my product. Promoters would usually give me a spot for a table and an opportunity to speak on stage. I drove most of the time and occasionally hitched a ride with a band on their bus. That was considerably more fun with people with whom to talk, eat, and play cards. And it gave me insight into the life of a musician. Even though a visitor, I got to experience just a bit of spending each weekend on the road in a van or bus.
I climbed into a bunk at 2 AM while the bus rolled on to a distant noon gig. I felt the boredom that comes from traveling for hours or sitting at the merch table when no one was buying.
I also witnessed the soldier-like comradery among musicians who had played together for years. I also enjoyed the fun. People who greet the band with a sumptuous, home cooked meal when they arrive after a long drive north of Albany, New York on a bitter, snowy evening. I got to spend hours talking to musicians about anything but music. With the Lost and Found, our bus pulled up to a McDonalds two minutes before closing.
The employees apparently thought the bus was full of people for they started cutting off lights and locking doors with military efficiency. I made the first of many trips to the Wind Gap festival which Grant presented in northeastern Pennsylvania, while going westward to festivals in Lexington, Kentucky, Dahlonega, Georgia, and Columbus, Ohio.
I hitched a ride with the Del McCoury band twice to Withlachoochee. On one of them, Raymond Fairchild, the brilliant and idiosyncratic half-Cherokee banjo player called me to his table.
I agreed when he said he and the Crowe Brothers who backed him needed to warmup for their evening set. He pointed out to me that warming up meant no one would be available to sit at his record table. I got the implication and volunteered to do so.
Raymond pulled out his well-known pistol and jammed it in my pocket. My concern about the thing accidentally going off exceeded that, however. Speaking from the stage there, Becky saw me for the first time and learned about the organization. She came to the booth to become a Patron. I remember seeing Art again at the Chestnut Lodge in October.
He was silent, tall and silent. After that I made a trip to Owensboro to scout places for me to live. The house hunting did not go well with the realtors acting cold in a way rarely found in that profession.
To further exacerbate my reluctance to move, my very first image of Owensboro was a parking lot overflowing with people awaiting processing after being arrested for drugs left me with a negative image. Beyond being somewhere that arrested too many folks to wait inside the police station for processing, the dealers definitely looked like people with whom I did not want to associate.
This began the slow unraveling of my tenure with IBMA.Discussion for Sometimes a Great Notion 6 39 Dec 08, In many ways, the maturation of the trade association became real during the second year. The final battle Spoiler here: On one of them, Raymond Fairchild, the brilliant and idiosyncratic half-Cherokee banjo player called me to his table. At the same time, the Linear Group wanted me to discuss some ideas with Hartford. Over those two days in March we explored a lot of territory in both conversation and geography.
Sneak off a sack of gumdrops when nobody's looking if you can, but don't accept, never accept Some beautiful sections of writing.