Past Campgrounds/Blue Collar Memories
At the far end of our beginning travels, we left family and friends wondering how long we would be gone; not only they… but we too keep wondering how long we’ll still be away.
These ventures have introduced us to friends (strangers are a misnomer if you’re traveling with us), that upon first nod or handshake has brought forth conversation that creates a common bond not found with people in apartments, a residential next-door-neighbor or with most business associates.
It is just not common-place in camp grounds to find people being ignored; and consequently conversations extend beyond the smoldering embers that had been part of roaring campfire many hours before.
KOA, Fredericksburg (Massapponax), VA
“I’m a computer nerd, worked seven years at Apple and now just floating around. If you have accessed the Kodak web site you may have see some of my work”… Sean was sitting at a picnic table that was now acting as his design studio.
I had noticed, from our campsite, that he seemed to be performing some ritual with white cloth material. His hands were protected with latex gloves as he twisted and formed the white cloth and held his twists and turns from unfolding with rubber bands.
His campsite contained a two person tent and a Jeep Cherokee with Colorado license plates.
Sean was creating colorful Tie-Dye tee-shirts. The campground picnic table was covered with a plastic tarp to protect it from the restaurant type squeeze bottles for ketchup & mustard that now contained bright colorful dyes.
The rubber bands protected and prevented each section from blending together; the gloves prevented his hand from contaminating the shirts with body oils.
He wanted the result to be separate concentric circles he had created for the different colors that he was now applying.
Upon viewing the next morning … before a cup of coffee … the results of his efforts in such a primitive setting were beautifully startling … the “Tie-Dye” art tee-shirts are not for sale, they are just for his own pleasure.
He was in the area, awaiting a call on his cellular phone from a software company in Washington DC that wanted his talents in the computer field.
Wells State Park, Sturbridge MA
“Yes, I’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail two complete times and a third one partially. From Georgia to Maine. I first hiked it when I turned 70. I’m now 82 and this will probably be my last walk over a beautiful trail.”
Al Kinney would have completed three treks but a prostrate problem interrupted such an attempt last year.
“My two hiking buddies, Pirate (retired Navy) and Jar-head (retired Marine) are waiting to get this show of durability on the road. I’m retired from the Army but my trail name is Paw-Paw.”
Al was once known for his boxing ability, circa 1941 on the island of Hawaii.
On the day of his feather-weight championship fight, Army Vs Navy, he decided to tune up for the fight, later that night, by an early morning jog over the golf course on the base.
While jogging he heard an explosion, stopped, but could see nothing that would concern him so he continued on.
Within seconds he heard another explosion but still could not see anything that would warrant his stopping.
As he continued up a steep incline he heard the roar of engines and was alleged to have said “HOLY SHIT” as a squadron of Japanese Fighter/Bomber planes came within “50 feet” of the hill top.
“Nope, didn’t get to fight in the ring that December night, just everyday after, against the enemy.”
There is much more to the encounter of these two, great stories about their lives past adventures and hopes for the future.
So get off your duffs and meet others just like them.