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It is Sunday afternoon, Ricky Skaggs is laying down some nice licks on A Prairie Home Companion, and I have finally decided to do it. After 10-plus years of my saying, “What a great article,” or “Nicely written,” today, you and the whole world get to hear it.

The article on Buzz Busby (“End Note,” 12/8/00) was wonderful. Your consistent coverage of local and traditional music is a reflection of the incredible music scene that we have (had) here in D.C. Yet I have never once taken it for granted. I am grateful to the individual writers who churn out these great pieces. As I reflect on such things and people relevant to Washington, musically—the Cellar Door, Danny Gatton, the Birchmere, Twist and Shout, Tornado Alley, the Johnson Mountain Boys, the Seldom Scene, Bill Kirchen, WHFS (102.3 Bethesda), Shirley Horn, Damin Einstein, Billy Hancock, WDCU, the Bayou, Mary Cliff, Buck Hill, Rusty Hassan, the ‘Bama, Dick Spottswood, John Jackson, and a million other people and places—I also think of the Washington City Paper.

Your articles on such things as diverse as the Twenty-Four Hours of Canaan mountain-bike race (“Over the Top,” 6/14/96), tow trucks on the Beltway (“Tow Jam,” 7/14/00), Diane Rehm (“Too Much of the Goodness Thing” 8/2/96), and an obscure, local music legend (Buzz Busby) have taken me for wonderful little mental rides.

Thank you for failing to be blinded by the popular-culture crap that is now overtaking every little nook and cranny of the media, and not forgetting your roots. Washington has some of the deepest musical roots in the country. Here’s to the living and have-left Washington-area musicians who have enriched so many people’s lives. And most important, thank you Jerry.

Southwest