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.