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Abdication vs. Retirement
March 18, 2013 |
Will you retire or will you abdicate? I'm just wondering if PHC will fade away or if you are planning to pass the torch like the Queen or Pope. Abdication sounds much more royal or upscale.
"Abdicate" is much too dramatic, Maria, and in my experience we use it -- "He abdicated all responsibility" -- to mean desertion, going AWOL, whereas "retire" is rather graceful. You slip away from a party and put on pajamas and bathrobe and come back downstairs and announce, "I think I shall retire. You all go on having a good time and I'll see you in the morning." That is what I would choose to do with PHC. The show started out with musicians who liked to come to my house and play music because we had a little gazebo in the backyard -- they lived in apartments in a cheap rundown part of town and my wife and I rented my brother's house in St. Anthony Park after he and his family moved to Madison -- and it was pretty simple to shift the party to a stage (though of course we suffered terrible self-consciousness and the host was sort of unbearable for a long while). And that urge to party is stronger than ever. When young musicians like Sara Watkins and the Punch Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show have wound up in my living room after the show, they can stand around and play for hours off the tops of their heads and you hear The Weight followed by Sitting On Top Of The World and Old Joe Clark and The Old Home Place and Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone. So when the time comes, I'll step quietly into the wings and the show will quicken and get bolder and more boisterous. The trick is to do it before too many other people start thinking that you should. You want to appear Inimitable and Tireless and Astonishing right up to the end and then wave goodbye and disappear.