I’m broken-hearted that I missed the send-off parade. While I was toiling away on deadline for this issue, I had to skip something that I know I’ll be kicking myself for missing for years to come.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, in a very Nederland and very Vinnie kind of way, a parade was held with Leftover Salmon and Great American Taxi’s Vince Herman as the Master of Bacon Ceremonies. The occasion was to say goodbye to Herman, who is moving to Oregon to start a new chapter of his life with his new love.
I couldn’t be happier for Herman, but I think we can already feel the loss of his presence.
Herman’s and my paths in life couldn’t be more different, on multiple levels, but there’s also a lot of weird similarities. He grew up in Pittsburg, while I was down the Turnpike in Philadelphia. Before his days in Colorado, Herman worked on fishing boats in the northwest and spent time in Petersburg, Ak., where I was later a reporter. You could say that Herman was at my very first outdoor show in Colorado in 2000 at Mishawaka Amphitheatre since, in fact, that was a Leftover Salmon show. Herman once grabbed guys from Shanti Groove and Yonder Mountain String Band to perform at a benefit show that I put on in Estes Park. He was my first interview and was the first person ever pictured on The Marquee cover, and he has gone on to be on more covers of this magazine than any other artist. And I know exactly where he was five years ago, on October 13, 2007, because he and one of the early incarnations of Taxi were playing my wedding.
Vince’s energy, positivity, and absolutely ravenous lust for life is contagious to pandemic proportions. And that package of smiles and fearlessness converted thousands of people who would have otherwise never listened to bluegrass. Even more special is Herman’s way of giving back to the community, and nurturing other bands and bluegrassers on the rise. He never ceased to lend a hand.
Thank you, Vinnie. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the Front Range community. Best of luck in this new chapter, old friend, and you better not make yourself too scarce around these here parts. You hear?
See you at the shows.