One of my favorite Bill Bates cartoons is so representative of this time of year on the Monterey Peninsula that it should be made into a poster and displayed in every commercial and government building. It depicts a motorcycle rider wearing a cowboy hat, and a tee-shirt with a picture of Bach emblazoned on it.
“Varoom, varoom,” the cowboy is yelling. The cartoon was a perfect way to illustrate the three major events that happen here at about the same time – the Carmel Bach Festival, the California Rodeo in Salinas, and the ENI Superbike Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
I got to thinking about what it would be like to go to all three events. Wondering must have set off this terrible nightmare where I was caught up in “Events Purgatory,” as all three of them came together in my sleep. As far as I can remember the nightmare went like this:
I was at the Mission San Carlos for some Spanish Baroque
when suddenly this saddle sore grizzled old cowpoke
came riding up the aisle on an MX2-GP Yamaha
screaming giddy-up little doggies, hi-ho Yoyo Ma.
Then he rode his bike over the pews
stomping and yelling, “howdy Bach-a-roos.
Then an ENI Superbiker yodeled the Jubilate
while revving up his Streetfighter white-saddled Ducati.
A rangy cowboy threw his rawhide lasso
around the middle of a rotund basso.
The basso ran (leaving the quartet short-handed).
The poor fellow thought he was about to be branded.
A patrician woman from Carmel (now really!)
hopped on a Motorbike and did a wheelie.
Line dancing broke out right on the altar
while a helmeted biker read from the Psalter.
Some impeccably dressed doyennes with flawless coiffeurs
put on some chaps and spun the rowels on their spurs.
One saddled the conductor, made a horse-like whinny
singing carry me Bach to old Virginny.
Meanwhile at the raceway I heard someone cough:
Gentlemen start your Rachmaninoff.
The brass section sprang forth with such verve
they almost wiped out on the corkscrew curve.
Another musician, playing a rare violin,
went from presto to lento on the Andretti Hairpin.
At the same time, at the rodeo in Salinas,
a barrel rider and her bronco sang Dido and Aeneas.
I think the choral director really took a flyer.
The horse would have been better singing in the choir.
A Soledad resident, from down in South County,
appeared as a Canadian Cop – a Baroque Bach Mountie?
A soprano was limping, she really came unglued,
when her vocal coach said she had to be re-shoed.
At the OK Chorale, the singing sheriff, wearing a star,
drew down on a Swami playing an Indian sitar.
Two operatic donkeys from Carmen started to bray
Books I and II of the Well-Tempered Clavier.
Their performance created a buzz which led to conjecture
that Dramaturge, David Gordon, would give a lecture
on how Bach had 20 kids, (Wow, I say without malice)
good old J. Sebastian Bach didn’t need Cialis.
As you can see things were really a mess,
With musicians wearing Stetsons; cowboys in formal dress.
Fortunately I awakened before I had a chance
To check out the events at the Concours d’Elegance.
Bill Bates had it right, as you can see,
There’s always plenty to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea.