I’m heading out tomorrow morning for Alpine for the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This is one of my favorite events of the year (it includes a LOT of music but you know how those poets are! 😉 ). I remember a couple of years ago being involved in a conversation with Don Cadden, the head of their ten person committee. He was saying that they had made a conscious decision to not call this a “festival” but rather continue to refer to it with the traditional cowboy name of “gathering.” It is a gathering of musicians and poets, it’s a gathering of friends and that most definitely includes not only the performers but all the volunteers and the fans who attend. Something I’ve encountered on a regular basis at Alpine is that when I walk from one session to the next, I can hardly go ten feet without someone stopping me and thanking me for my music…and they don’t just give you a generic thank you. They thank you for specific songs and tell you what they have meant to them. This sort of thing happens to most of the performers and I can tell you it is one of the most gratifying aspects of being in this business. Of course it’s nice to get paid but this is the icing on the cake! So, I’m off for a weekend of music, poetry and fellowship with some wonderful people. Next time you hear me whining about how hard I’m working, you can remind me of this.