November 21st, 2006



Friday night on the way to my aunt's home in Davis from the first day of the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento, the fog was so thick, I must have been doing only 35 mph on the Interstate. But then my eyes starting watering, and burning, to the point where I couldn't keep them open. I had to pull over and wipe my eyes before I could continue.

On the way home Sunday, the same thing happened. The fog wasn't so bad, but just as I got to the northern part of San Jose, my left eye suddenly began burning and watering, followed quickly by the right. I pulled over and wiped my eyes, but couldn't continue, and had to pull over again immediately, stopping on an onramp. Moved a bit more to the end of the onramp but had to stop again. Managed to cross the street and stop at a gas station where I could take my helmet off, blow my nose, wipe my eyes dry and wait for half an hour before continuing. Not sure whether it's the fog (never had a problem with fog before), the combination of my new glasses and the fog, or I'm just not able to go with so little sleep anymore, or what).

Anyway, the festival was fantastic -- 20th year of the festival, so the guest list was practically a who's-who of ragtime, with people like Terry Waldo, Glenn Jenks, Butch Thompson, Morten Gunnar Larsen, David Thomas Roberts ... why, even "Perfessor Bill" showed up unannounced.

Five copies of my music folio were sold. That's not bad considering that I'm not a performer so most people wouldn't recognize my name. Frederick Hodges said something odd on Saturday. He joked, "A lot of people are playing your music this weekend; it's practically a Ron O'Dell festival!" I only knew that introspection63 was playing a couple of my tunes. Tom Brier often will play one or two, though if he did it must have been at a set I missed. If anyone else played one, I'd be interested to know who, 'cause those are the only two guys I've ever heard play my tunes. One of Frederick's piano students plays my popular Mad Scientist Rag though I've never been able to convince her to play it for me.

Anyway, I'll be putting together some clips videos from the festival. In the mean time, here is introspection63 playing my Bird-Bath Rag :

Apparently he plays it also on his soon-to-be-released debut album. Thanks, Andrew!