Sierra Surf Music Camp 2013 No. 10: Final Thoughts and Goodbye

Two weeks ago, the campers, instructors, and families said their goodbyes for 2013.  They broke camp, packed up, and headed down the dusty road back to the demands of their daily lives.  Those demands will be softened by fond memories of this year’s camp.  The memories will rattle around in our minds for a year and create anticipation for the third iteration of camp.  Defender Jon, who performed duties as the camp photographer, made sure that we will have photos to jog those memories.

Each of us left with new friends, more ideas, and an even greater appreciation for the surf music and its community.  Over the first two years of camp, we communed with the founders and major torchbearers of the music that we love.  We heard the history from the history makers.  We saw the history in Sound of the Surf, which was produced by John Blair -- history maker and historian.

Mixed emotions reigned on Sunday morning.  Saturday’s Steelhead performance was encouraging as it brought the realization that, despite deep talent deficits, I could pull off a new, but familiar, song with less than three hours of practice on bass.  Of course, the Nagging Little Voice quickly suggested that the glass was half empty:  “You know now that an hour and a half is not enough time to learn a new, unknown song on the bass or any instrument.”

Excitement -- and a bit of trepidation -- came from knowing that a one-on-one half hour with Dave Wronski remained on my schedule.  Crossing from the lodge to the store building with a gold top Schecter -- clearly not a surf weapon -- tucked under my arm, I wondered if zealots, true believers, or pilgrims who are granted an audience with the Pope or face time with the President or a meeting with the Godfather experienced the same feelings as I.  Taking a cue from the Mastercard ad, that half hour turned out to be priceless.  In his quiet and thoughtful way, Dave shared how full chords muddy the mix while three-note chords do not and how different variations of the introduction to “Lava Hopping” -- my song in progress -- could be the foundation for three different songs.

Upon finishing the half hour with Dave, the Nagging Little Voice let me know the time had come to leave.  “Say goodbye.  Don’t dawdle.  You need to get to internet connectivity to check on that project at work!”  Not wanting the experience and fun to end, I paid little heed.  That just agitated the Nagging Little Voice.  By the time that I took one last look at Jim Lee’s project and congratulated him on it, the roar of the Nagging Little Voice succeeded in bringing me back to the reality that camp was over and that the demands of my Day Job required being on the Valley floor.

Walking past Paul and Cherie’s Airstream brought the memory of how the night before Dusty tossed a drum stick at Paul, who carefully and quickly put it in the Pyrovan as his souvenir of Sierra Surf Music Camp 2013.

Becky had packed the Prius.  I threw the guitar in the back and shut the hatch.  That marked the official end to our camp.  As we drove out, Becky enthused over the last three days and how she already was looking forward to next year.  She asked, “What did you learn?”

“Ann says my bass was the best color for a guitar last night.  It matches her new kitchen sink.  The color is Palermo Blue.  So we now can refer to it as the ‘Palermo Blue Chinese Cheapie Pup Bass.’”  Becky laughed.

“Thank you, Ann and Dan Beatie, for hosting another wonderful year” was my thought as the Donner Mine Camp disappeared in the dust behind us.

1 comment

  • PaulPyro


    Thanks Bill! Love the Surf Camp blog! Keeps the memories alive!

    Thanks Bill! Love the Surf Camp blog! Keeps the memories alive!

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