Paul Blackburn turned the gavel over to Mayor Pro Tem Kate McBride at the Aug. 26 meeting, and also gave her his copy of Roberts Rules of Order, codifying a new mayoral tradition.

His predecessor, Arthur Babitz, mayor from 2009-14, gave him the book with the inscription, “Rule No. 1: Don’t break Hood River.”

Blackburn gave the book to McBride with Rule No. 2: “You can always call a recess.”

Blackburn heads this month to Washington, D.C., where his wife, Dr. Kristen Dillon, has a health fellowship in the capital. Blackburn said he does not have clear plans, except for those involving music.

“I am eager to know what I’m going to be doing,” he said. “It’s a very exciting opportunity, an A-plus cool opportunity for my wife. But I do have about 10 music gigs set up.”

Blackburn sent what he called “a very low tech” audition tape of himself playing banjo on his porch to the farmers’ market organization; he was accepted and  now has 10 market jobs set up. “For a musician, a gig is a big deal,” said Blackburn, who hosted house concerts for 17 years in his own home as a way of supporting local and visiting musicians.

He’s also been invited to join the D.C. Unitarian bluegrass band, and that may lead to larger missions.

“I met with the social justice minister there, as they are quite involved in housing access issues. I’m eager to see if there’s a spot on the rope for me to fill. I don’t know what I’m going to do but I’m about to find out,” he said.

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