Block party, country style

in #life8 months ago


Until a few months ago, our daughter, CC, would have block parties out at her place near Rock Prairie. Except there was no "block."

She lived way out in the country. It was fifteen minutes from anywhere. For anyone to come to the event was a conscious decision and not done on a whim.

Most people started showing up just after dark, but a few would come a little early to help set up the table and a few chairs or help bring dead limbs and such to the fire pit. The first bonfire of the year was always the biggest because we would have been stacking limbs and dead fall on the pit for a few months.

I don't have any pictures of the bonfires, but you've all seen them - huge roaring fires. A lot of the pictures I've taken over the years have been misplaced due to having been spread over several devices. I think that most of CC's friends wouldn't want to be outed publicly anyway.

The event was always held in a field a couple hundred yards from the house. It was a fallow field covered with white clover and plantain. It was fairly level and was a great place for kids and dogs to romp and play. The horses and goats were right close so there was that odor to contend with. Nobody seemed to mind.

After inhaling large amounts of vegetarian chili or turkey gumbo, everybody started pulling out their instruments. There were the ubiquitous guitars, a mandolin, a banjo and an occasional fiddle. A few of the people that came out were quite talented. The mandolin player has since joined a small band and was playing every Wednesday night until the CV came along.

The music was incredibly varied from bluegrass and old country to Dylan and some newer stuff. Most people didn't play. They would sit around talking or sing along to the music. I would pick up my flat top and strum the few chords I know. Gammy was always talking to somebody or entertaining the girls.

This party usually started breaking up about 11. Sometimes it would go longer. Occasionally there would be one still there come day break. They were either sleeping in their car, had set up a tent or put a hammock under the trimmed cedar trees.

After the first party, I realized there was no bathroom readily available. Guys could use the tree line, but the women folk tended not to want to do that. The solution was to build an outhouse out of old barn wood, cedar planks and used tin.


We would hang a oil lamp in here so people would be able to find and use it. There were two buckets in there. One was under the bench which people would do their business in. The other was full of sawdust so they could cover up whatever it was that they had done. The evidence was disposed of the next day somewhere in the woods.

There was a lot of work putting these things together especially on the part of CC with the cooking.

I wonder if these days are over for all of us since she and the family have moved so far away.


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