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Friday, March 31, 2017

We share it universally, but deal with it individually. -- April 1 edition 2017

No "April Fools" this time.

We were talking about something we share universally, but deal with individually. And it's all too personal. For each of us. No matter how many times we must face it. How do any of us deal with it?

With death? Obviously, we all do. Humans being mortal, we have no choice.

But the fundamental nature of things seems to be that the universe saves things up and dumps multiples of them all at once.

Last weekend, we lost our music pal CARL GAGE. Many readers knew him as a longtime board member of the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival, an event that will hold its 57th annual run in May. We stared into the cosmos, took deep breaths, and got started compiling an obituary for Carl from several sources. But we didn't get a chance to finish it.

On Wednesday, our close friend and fine musician DUANE THORIN died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage.

This Saturday, the musical memorial / Celebration of Life for the late JULES DERVAES is happening. Jules was the patriarch of the Urban Homestead, a happy place for music, great food, and the warmth of camaraderie. Duane was scheduled to be the principal performer in the memorial's fine lineup. Moreover, each piece of music is one that was special to Jules, and special to, and identifiable with, the artist performing it. Duane's name is still all over the program.

While writing the new edition of the Guide -- specifically, we were looking through misty eyes at the in-work draft of an obituary to share wonderful things about Duane -- the phone rang.

This grim reaper stuff has gotta take a hiatus. The call brought word of another death. This isn't one to share with our music community. It's a personal loss, a family member who was far too young to die of the sudden heart attack that ended his life.

As I stare into the computer? Many music news stories are nearly ready to be published, to share with you, dear reader. Some of what we have is exclusive stuff. Lots of "oh, wow's" in many bits of information and feature stories and inside-track stuff about things you'll want to do. And our giant annual special on all the music festivals from spring thru fall of 2017 needs just a few more hours to complete.

But this brief message is the best we can do for now.

We'll be back with plenty of happier news. We need a few days.

But we can't close without saying this...

Take good care of yourself. Take care of each other. Before you exchange any unkind words, imagine those words might be the last thing you ever say to that person. And please, do the sane and thoughtful stuff you can do so very easily. As in, "lotsa things" that can be thoughtful choices, by default, if we decide to live consciously. Including, don't let anybody who is being stupid on the road get you involved. Your existence is a bigger deal than their pathetic ego needs.

Which brings to mind our story of a cop who pulled us over and made a big impression by letting us off with a warning. It was a far bigger impression than any cop has ever made by writing a ticket. He said, "Slow down. I don't want to work your accident."

He didn't need to say that he'd seen too many.

We don't want to write any more obituaries for our friends. Unless someone was 110 and fell asleep after sharing one last song on the ol' guitar and a great story we'd never heard before.


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