Sunday, July 11, 2010

Felony Banjo, II


First off, WHO STOLE JUNE! I've never missed a whole month of blogging since I've been at this. No excuses are being offered. It just happened.

Now, if you remember from last July 4, our family camps out with extended family and friends on July 4 (and other holidays) at Clinton Lake in northeast Kansas. Part of that tradition is evening picking and singing at least one night, around the campfire. Ed on guitar, me on banjo. Last year, for the first time, we got shut down by authorities because it was Quiet Hours. A first.

So I wrote a protest song of sorts to memorialize the event, and was looking forward to singing it this year in its debut. Daily storms got in the way. Ed's son drove his family in from Tennessee (with huge 5th wheel trailer and truck) and really wanted to hear his Dad sing, so on the last night we huddled up under Ed's awning, in light rain. Started at 9:30 p.m., when the rain started to let up.

Things went well until 10:15 (Quiet Hours start at 10). Nobody camping close to us and people with any sense are all inside their campers to stay dry, so I thought we were safe. Nope. The deputy walked in, suggested we make this our last song and walks off. Well, we think another couple songs won't hurt. Wrong. He keeps driving by and stopping to watch us. Tension builds. I'm ready to quit but the group wants to push the envelope. I sing my "Shut'em Down" protest song and everyone loved it. Just one more song. But as we're playing we see a second patrol car pull up to the deputy. We sing more. A third patrol car pulls up. Then a fourth. Then a fifth. I don't feel so good. I think five night sticks and five 9mm semi-auto pistols trumps a banjo and guitar. We call it quits, quickly, and disperse as the five cars eerily drive in close formation into the camp to shut down some illegal fireworks (very few this year) and US. Once again, my banjo is my weapon in the commission of a crime.

We all make it to our campers without incident. A couple guys in our group stay up and the deputies clamp down on them for laughing too loud. We can't win.

So, another year, another violation of federal regulations. This just isn't working.

11 comments:

Scrappy Cat said...

I remember you got in trouble last year too. Unbelievable that they wouldn't let you sing if there hadn't been any complaints and the campground was nearly empty!

Lynn Logan Roselli said...

LOL! I didn't know singing could stir up such a national incident. No wonder artist used it in the 60's. Hope you have another song in the works for next year. Your friends online stand behind you..and if you need bail money we'll spring ya'! By the way.. a nice sketch to compliment the story.

Cathy Holtom said...

I don't think your singing could have been that bad!?
I like your journal pages and style.

raena said...

Five cars?? It's a little overkill, don't you think, for a group singing too loud, too late? Well, you'll have a good laugh over it anyway!

Barbara said...

Welcome back, I've been missing you! Hmmm, somehow I never figured you for one of those noisy camper types.......

purplepaint said...

Hey John! Thanks for the blogversary wishes. Hey at least you were only gone for 1 month! I love all your recent work and congrats on your daughter getting married! Love your journaling about it! They really do grow up so fast!!! Marva

Sandra said...

What a touchy camp ground. Must have been a lot of seniors who were probably in bed by 8:30.
Well, enjoyed the story.

Suzanne said...

I kept hoping that all the patrol cars were all coming to hear how good you all sounded. I'm always hoping for a happy ending I guess. Some people just don't know how to have fun anymore. Bummer.

Dan Kent said...

I remember your last post on this. Man - I love the banjo. (I play too though honestly it's been in the closet for a long time). What is it with these folks!?

donna said...

It does seem excessive. Glad to see you back. I am looking forward to next year ;-)

Robin said...

Seems like it's time to find a new campground!