Thoughts from Dale Steenbergen –
I am not sure how many of you are bluegrass fans, or if you know who Bill Monroe is, but the title of this article refers to one of my favorite bluegrass tunes.
The song sung by Rhonda Vincent is a tribute to the great Bill Monroe. Perhaps if you do not know who Bill Monroe is, you might recognize one of his biggest hits, Blue Moon of Kentucky. You thought Elvis owned the song, didn’t you?
If Bill, Rhonda, bluegrass, or Blue Moon of Kentucky do not mean anything to you, it is time to expose you to some “culture.” Listen to Bill, “The Father of Bluegrass” sing Blue Moon of Kentucky and then listen to Rhonda sing, Is the Grass any Bluer?
Bluegrass is the absolute perfect music genre for the difficult times we are experiencing today. Since this genre is deeply rooted in Appalachian culture and was born in the 30’s and 40’s, the music often reflected themes of faith, hope, financial despair and grit. For these reasons, the music inspired the communities from which it grew.
These themes were unleashed on the rest of the world by the mandolin playing fingers of Bill Monroe. Bill would light up Ryman Auditorium (if you are living in Wyoming and don’t know about Ryman Auditorium, you should be ashamed, but just so you can reclaim a little self-pride, I have linked an article below so that you can update your education!)
Factually, if you are anywhere in rural America and hear the words, “God bless the boys that make the noise on 16th Avenue,” and you don’t immediately think about Lacy J. Dalton crooning away, then pop music has obviously crowded out your cowboy sensibilities. I am referring to a classic country song here that everyone should know.
Now that we have the history lesson dispensed, let’s get down to it. Is the grass any bluer on the other side? No, I am not inferring that we are all going to perish and we want a report from the other side of life, but I do wonder what the world will look like on the other side of the COVID-19 outbreak. Wouldn’t it be grand to speak with someone from the future so that we can prepare for whatever the world might become?
Currently, Wyoming’s status is on the careful side of middle of the road for opening back up. While we certainly aren’t in the category of the most aggressive states like Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and South Dakota, we are ahead of others like California, New York and New Jersey.
The question is, do the bets states are placing on their pandemic related concerns pay off? The problem is, these bets are being staked with our money, and if they are wrong, they will have multi-generational consequences financially and socially.
We need our elected officials to pay attention! The actions of elected officials during this crisis will have a direct impact on our futures.
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