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January 1999
I don't know about where you are - maybe the news there is all penny-ante stuff like Clinton's impeachment- but there's big news around here.

It looks like, after a 20-year campaign and over 900 arrests, the fight for Clayoquot Sound is at an end. Multinational logging company MacMillan Bloedel will soon sign a deal with the Clayoquot native bands, with  environmental groups and with the displaced loggers. The agreement will end clearcut logging, leave the watershed's pristine valleys untouched and assure preservation of the Clayoquot forest. At least for the foreseeable future. Let's face it, people have fought over Clayoquot Sound for thousands of years, and undoubtedly will again. But for now, I believe this is one of the world's great environmental victories.

I have been a part the fight for Clayoquot since 1980, one way or another, and have written two songs about it, Fire on the Island and Sulphur Passage (No pasaran). Mine is not one of the larger contributions - although I recently discovered that I have cause to re-think that. Adriane Carr, who is one of the people most responsible for bringing all the fractious interests to consensus, told me that, in her darkest, most frustrated hour, she watched the video of Sulphur Passage with her kids. It brought tears to her eyes and re-insipred her. So my efforts saved Clayoquot after all. As did those of so many others. Many a mickle macks a muckle. For more about Clayoquot and Sulphur Passage, see "How to Save the world with a song."

The other piece of big news around our house is that we are expecting our second child in June. Yes, it's true. As the Yiddish saying goes, "Menschen tracht, Gott lacht"  - men plan, God laughs.

We are happy about it - and a few other feelings too. The baby is due on Mary Jo's 45th birthday; when he (word is, it's a boy) reaches majority, I will be 72. But as Yogi Berra advised, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." We have. 

So I am arranging what shows I can before once again hunkering in for child-rearing duties at home. I plan to head down the US west coast in late February, early March; to hit Ontario in April; central BC and Alberta, in May; southwestern BC, whenever. If you are interested in a house concert, club-date, fund-raiser or other event, or if there is someone in your area you think I should contact, please let me know asap.

For more information on house concerts - a delightfully simple and successful way to set up a performance - see "How to put on the perfect house concert by Martha Stewart and me."

On other fronts:

  •  Energy continues to mount for a CD of the best of Stringband. My friend, Jim Spinelli has a great idea for involving old Stringband fans (all Stringband fans are old Stringband fans), including in the selection of the songs. Let me know if you are interested.

  • Yes, I am slowly moving towards recording Nanaimo and other new songs. I haven't yet figured out how or when.

  • Please get in touch so I can get you on my e-mailing list. More and more, it seems like the most effective way to let people know where I am playing and other news.

No pasaran,
Bob Bossin


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