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Bluegrass and dad

Small groups of people from all walks of life huddled together to play banjos, fiddles and acoustic guitars from the shelter of a tent city mushrooming up from the forest floor at the county fairgrounds.

Fathers from across the west were there, too, many with their children to attend the 33rd Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival.

This was the 16th year amateur banjo player Robert Cornelius and his family from the Santa Cruz mountains have made a special trip to Grass Valley to attend the music festival.



“This is a great time to spend with children. We’re away from the television and we just come out, play music and enjoy each other’s company,” Cornelius said, who has five children.

This was the first year his grown daughter, 24, came to the festival with her new husband.




Another father, Morgan Cowin of San Rafael, was found playing the saw with a group of musicians in a sunny tent, with no offspring in sight. This is his sixth year visiting the bluegrass festival in Nevada County.

“I am doing something for myself. This is one of my favorite therapies,” Cowin said.

Ron Sager and his wife, Stacy, and three children Soloman, Emmalia and Gabe traveled from the town of Buckeye, Arizona, to sit on the grass and hear the band Blue Highway perform.

Sager reflected on parenthood as his blond moppy haired two-year-old boy squirmed in his lap. What has it taught him?

“How to deal with poopy diapers while the dog is barfing and another kid is writing with a sharpie on the floor,” he mused.

Sager plans to spend Father’s Day with breakfast in the camper they rented for the blues fest.

The festival continues through Sunday afternoon. Admission is $40 on Saturday and $30 on Sunday. For more information, visit online at http://www.fathersdayfestival.com or call (916) 989- 0993.

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail lbrown@theunion.com or call 477-4231.

Inside

Remembering a father’s matter-of-fact kindness and easy generosity. A5


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