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Monday, December 29, 2014

THE END OF A NEVER-ENDING PROJECT


eula rae cook, mary jane ciraco, linda edwards, the golden girls

My blues over the last two months are fading. The sample dvd of the Hillbilly Show, in October, arrived in the mail today. Next step: email approval back to the people making the dvd. Done. Next, wait for the box to arrive with the dvds in it ready to go. When the box arrives, I'll pick one randomly to put in the dvd player to see if it took. Only then will I be satisfied this never-ending project is over. Two months of frustration to the max. I know the ones who put it onto disc are happy to be done with it, probably happier than I am. They were patient with me. My patience broke at a certain point, but it came back. I pitched a fit over something that was my doing. LOL. Not funny then. My gratitude is heightened by their patience with my ignorance. It started with me taking on a project I believed I could handle. Another one of those learnings of our own limitations. They're good to know. They make boundaries. I know not to cross that line again. The other side of the line was where I took the first step, deciding to make video of the Hillbilly Show. I've made video of so many old-time bands, bluegrass bands, rock bands that I felt like I had enough experience making videos of musicians making music. For what I had in mind to approach the project, I needed somebody to operate a second camera, to take turns with video and making still pictures. I hadn't yet talked with Crystal about helping me out--she's a studio photographer--when I was told by another, "You don't need to get somebody. I'll be with you the whole show. I got a new video camera. It'll be fun to use it." Error number one, not asking Crystal for help anyway. I know I can count on Crystal.  

david nichols guitar and joe irwin

At the beginning of the show, promised helper never turned up. I was stuck with self and two cameras, one for video, one for stills. It's not easy doing both at once. It's even beyond difficult. The pictures here were taken the night before at rehearsal. It took some powerful self-control to put my rage aside so it would affect camera wielding the least for the next three hours. Later, when I saw promised helper, I was told, "I hadta...I hadta...had so much stuff to do." I had to shift mind into hyper-drive, a mind that doesn't even have over-drive anymore. The beginning of a two-month long downhill roller coaster run on a ride of emotion. I talked by phone with one of the people who makes the dvd. We had good, clear conversation of understanding both ways. He suggested emailing the video to their computers. I spent a week attempting to email them at 57 hours a try. The upload jumped track after about 38 hours, every time. I could not use the computer during uploading. When the upload gave out, I set it in motion again. For a week. This step contributed to the blues a very great deal. Another talk on the phone. He suggested I break it up into several short sections and email them by some shrink process I had to write down instructions to follow. Couldn't even do that. Took laptop to Crystal. She figured out the process and set up several packages to send. I brought laptop home and sent them off. They went through, but the place didn't receive good enough quality from the transfer to use. Thanksgiving vacation came and went. I waited a couple weeks. Asked what was up. Oh, it fell through the cracks over Thanksgiving. When they returned they'd forgotten about it, which I took for totally understandable. They operate in big volume. This redneck on the phone that don't know nothin about digital anything was taking up an awful lot of attention and time for something they probably will not even make expenses on. Why wouldn't they forget it?

dr jack cahn, mississippi sawyer

Next, they asked me to send the chips from the cameras. Unconsciously, I sent one, not thinking to send the other. They processed it and sent the sample. It was missing everything on the second chip I'd failed to send. Email again. In my mind, I was blaming them. It turned out I was the one messing things up. Sent the second chip a week ago and the sample arrived in today's mail. The sample disc was the only thing in the mailbox. It was almost a joy to see it, but I reminded self, haven't seen it yet. Carried it into the house in a guarded happy condition. Don't be setting off fireworks yet. I slipped it into the dvd player and ran through the whole show to check out sequences on fast-forward. Stopped it a few times to listen to how the sound took. All the way to the end it looked good. I called Agnes and left a message on her phone the sample is good and I've emailed the go-ahead. Not in time for Thanksgiving, not in time for Christmas, not in time for New Year's, maybe in time for Valentine's Day. Gotta be. Like Agnes reminded me a month ago, everything works out for the best. I walked to the mailbox after the mail carrier's car passed, suspecting the sample might be there today, but without hope. Hope died over a month ago that this never-ending project might someday end. These last weeks I've abandoned hope. Even after I emailed the go-ahead, I still don't feel satisfaction it's done. I've lost concern that it may never end, and lost concern that it might come to completion eventually. I did not want to write about it through the course of the process. Now that it's close to over, if the light at the end of the tunnel is not the light of an oncoming train, I can let it all out, only one future unknowable left. It's almost a joy to see this crazy-making time just a few days from finished. The end in sight is not the end.

lynn worth, moon over sparta

At last, I feel free of the burden, a lesser version of how the god Prometheus felt when he was unbound from the rock he was chained to for eternity by order of Zeus, his brother. It's not quite that kind of release. The end of a long frustration is more a release like setting a dog free that's been chained for two months. It's like a cluster of helium-filled balloons of different sizes and colors let go at the same time. Cares and troubles sail away to tiny specks in the sky, then nothing. As of today, only one is still a visible pixel. This part almost over, next part starts now. I've been aiming to write an article for Old-Time Herald magazine on the Hillbilly Show, this year its twentieth annual. I've been so out of heart over the project, I'd put writing about it on the shelf of maybe I will / maybe I won't. My mood was so dark over this project, I could not have written an essay from that mental dungeon the project put me in. I feel now like a submarine surfacing. I can breathe. It's all over now Baby Blue. I feel so good around this dvd and the Hillbilly Show experience, now that it's done, the original intent to write about it came up first thing. I will sit with the dvd and watch it all the way through as a memory aid. The one thing I can say to the good of what I see in the video is emphasis on the people involved, very personal emphasis. Some of the video is bad and some is good. Mostly, it wavers in between. I told Agnes when anybody complains about one thing or another being wrong with it, just say, "TJ done it." All that's bad about it is my doing. The people who put it on disc did a beautiful job. 

bobbie and gary parlier, tennessee waltz


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