Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Brilliant Days of Color

Thirty years ago today I had a heck of a good 4th of July in Jackson Hole. Read about it here and here.

Today won’t be quite so exciting. I moved to a new condo over the weekend and my life is strewn about in boxes and cartons. All the lugging and toting made me feel my age.

The 4th of July holiday was the heart of the summer season and the town was packed with families on vacation, bikers, hippies, and cowboys all crammed together. Much has changed since then: There were far fewer motor homes on the road. The bikers were gritty rebels on greasy hogs, not aging yuppies sporting new tattoos. The cowboys were genuine, and they were easily distinguished from the wannabes and wankers.

Where can a young man go today to find such brilliant days of color and people with such keen edges? For that matter, where can an old man go? I have gone back to what drew me to Jackson Hole in the dazzling summer of 1976: The music.

A bluegrass band has asked me to record and produce their demo album, and I am avid to do it. The joy of collaborating with others and creating meaningful music is the same now as it was in 1976. It brings focus and happiness. Like the spice melange, it expands consciousness and extends life.

Happy 230th Birthday to the United States of America. And happy 30th anniversary to all the bandmates and cast members who made that summer so memorable for me.