No fear or loathing

Get dirty with the guttermouth at
I’m back from the East Coast, and no, I didn’t rubberneck at “ground zero.” I figured that I best leave that for the professionals. I noticed a new respect seems to have emerged in NYC in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack. It has caused the locals to slow down a bit, pay more attention to the other denizens and, in the case of my family, start an exodus to the suburbs of N.J. As if there weren’t enough McMansions that have been built on the farms that once dominated the Garden State.

Traveling was a wake-up call that things have changed. Boarding passengers sized each other up and down, looking for telltale terrorist signs. National Guard riflemen carrying M-16s oversaw the decimation of every backpack or carry-on valise. A gentleman in front of me had to walk through the metal detector several times, first removing his coat, then his shirt and finally his shoes. On the return trip, an elderly lady stopped breathing. Stewards gathered, the infamous “Is there a doctor on board” came through the airplane PA. As she was laid on the floor of the aisle separating the seats in first class, the woman next to me leaned over and whispered, “I know it’s terrible to say, but I’m glad it isn’t me.” I guess the camaraderie I witnessed in the Big Apple hasn’t made it too far west.

Locally, the Jolly Trolley is running through the holiday season picking up shoppers to and from their cars. Anything that gets people out of the malls and downtown I wholly endorse. The trolley is also a great opportunity for bands to get on board and play (acoustic, of course) to captive audiences. Speaking of music, you’ve got to check out the Moriss Taylor radio show Sunday nights on KHSL. The 76-year-old cowboy plays a steady stream of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton. Sure, the jokes are corny, but it’s counterbalanced by the music, which speaks only of love, heartbreak, drinking and “burying the bone.” Speaking of KHSL, local newswoman Debbie Cobb had a bouncing baby on Thanksgiving. Congratulations!

It’s been a great year for shows in Chico. The Reverend Horton Heat at the Brick, Gasoline at the Blue Room, Pedro the Lion at Moxie’s, Galactic at the A.S., David Gans at Stormy’s, Ratt at LaSalles, Hank the Third at Crazy Horse, The Roofies at Duffy’s, Molehill Orchestra in the park, Om Trio at the Senator and so many more it makes the mind stagger. So keep getting out there, break away from the pack and remember that the only judge of what sounds good is you!!