Kevin Keady’s Cattle Drivers continue their hurricane season tour with a show at Mytoi Garden on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Such a wonderful pairing of two Chappy treasures, plus rock bottom gate fees with kids getting in for free! Bring a blanket and perhaps a beach chair for the old-timers. This music is for all ages.

In my spare time I’ve been thinking up names for Kevin’s future albums. My favorite idle moment creation is entitled Ten Thousand Kilowatts of Keady, in which he reveals his previously hidden prowess with the electric guitar. The album cover will feature a photo of Kevin in a big hay field on a bright sunny day wearing very dark sunglasses, electric guitar slung over his shoulder, his fingers clutching the guitar neck at the highest note. In the background is a huge array of solar panels. The wire from his electric guitar runs directly back through the field to the solar panels and wisps of smoke rise off of it where it touches the hay stubble. That album will usher in the big rock star portion of his musical career. In the meantime, make sure to catch him at Mytoi before he gets too big for our island venues.

The other day Sally and I decided that it was high time that we pay a visit to our California relatives. We took off from the Vineyard in the late afternoon and headed west at a hasty 500 miles per hour. We had a bird’s eye view of the surf from hurricane Cristobal as it assaulted the south-facing shorelines of the Vineyard and Long Island.

Since we were traveling just a tad slower than the earth revolves away from the sun, we were treated to several hours of sunset followed by more hours of twilight. I always relish the opportunity to view the earth from thousands of feet in the air. We gazed down upon the expansive fresh waters of Great Lakes Erie and Michigan, plus their little sister Lake St. Clair. We skirted a towering lightening storm over Iowa. We made assumptions about the activities of the people in the many brightly lit cities below, and marveled at the large dark patches as we crossed the Rocky Mountains. Soon the plane began to descend and the lights of San Francisco stretched across the horizon. A mere six hours after losing sight of the Atlantic Ocean, we were smelling the sea breeze of the Pacific Ocean.

During the next several days we renewed our connections with our extended West Coast family on their own home turf. Having the sun setting into the wide open ocean is disconcerting at first, yet it is such an important element in gaining a fresh perspective. Mendocino County is as different from the Vineyard as any place can be. The ocean water is way too cold for swimming and there is pretty much no level ground. My daughter Nearess has redwood trees on her property over 200 feet tall. Together we swam in the chilly water of the Navarro River, rode on a steam train 20 miles into the deep forest, slept one night to the sound of the surf and bicycled along an old shoreside logging haul road.

We sat where we could view the Fort Bragg Labor Day parade pass by twice. The parade is dedicated to Paul Bunyan. He was there hefting a gigantic double edged axe on his shoulder. The highlights for me were the dancing horses, the Shriners in tiny cars and the California forestry school band; all showing great enthusiasm. They had a dozen fire trucks of all types as well. There is always a wildfire burning somewhere out here during the dry season. There were several huge logging trucks piled high with 50-foot tree trunks. It turns out that redwood is the fastest growing lumber tree. On the way home we stopped to watch ravens with four-foot wingspans soar above the headlands at the Golden Gate Bridge.

As I write this, we are staying in a hotel overlooking Fisherman’s Wharf. Every hour a container ship passes by headed out under the bridge. San Francisco goes to bed very late. Chappy will seem very quiet after this, especially now that Labor Day has passed.

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