Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"Cover me......"

Yeah so it's been like five or six days since I wrote anything at all. Been kind of busy. Like I was sayin' on Friday, we had off for Thanksgiving, had to work on Friday. We had a three day weekend, Monday off for opening day. Here in Pennsylvania opening day is Opening Day. It's like a holiday, schools closed and everything. Opening Day, rifle season, buck season, deer season is here. Bow season starts in October, rifle season is the big one. Everyone goes to camp.

I am not a hunter. I am not opposed to hunting, it's just not something that I grew up doing. Hunting is an unfortunate but necessary variable in the equation that is wildlife management. Last year I was invited "out to camp". I felt good about that. This guy I work with, his family owns over six-hundred acres of Western Pennsylvania woods. It's pretty remote. It's pretty high up in the hills too. It's wild and quiet. A few other camps surround the place, when you add it all up it totals almost one-thousand acres hunted by less than twenty guys. So last year I went, got my permit, borrowed a Remington .270 and bought an orange vest. It was nice, being out in the woods like that alone. The air was crisp, you only heard the wind. I knew I would never shoot a deer, kept that to myself. I have the skills, actually I'm a pretty good shot. I won some competitions back in the day. I was a certified Police Academy Firearms Instructor in my native New Jersey. My military training and experience was rather extensive. I first learned how to shoot when I was nine years old, in Canada, at the home of relatives. The guy who showed me, he said I was a natural. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying that if wanted to shoot a deer I could, as long I saw one that is. I find myself rooting for the deer.

So this year I went to camp, I didn't hunt. The guys were all cool with that, most of them don't care about shooting deer as much as they enjoy the time away with friends. So it was a lot warmer this year, we sat around the fire drinking beer, eating deep fried turkey and baked ham. Two of the brothers who own this place, brothers of the guy I work with, they both play guitar. We are all about the same age, we all came of age in the seventies. We all have similar taste in music. They were all glad I showed up again this year. I have become known amongst the group as the guy who remembers most of the lyrics. These two guys who play guitar, they both play really well. They both played in bar bands way back when. They know a lot of songs.

So maybe there was twelve guys sitting around the fire. Most of us between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five. A couple of young guys, late teens early twenties, next generation. There were two guys in their seventies, they knew all the words to that Marty Robbins song "Old El Paso". We did lots of Floyd. This one guy, he's a cop in Pittsburgh, he saw Floyd at Three River Stadium in 1975. We did lots of Johnny Cash, surprising how the young guys all knew the words. Of course us being us, we did lots of Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker and the Rolling Stones. Dylan popped up a few times too. Neil Young, we did more Neil Young than anything else. One of the young guys, he's getting ready to leave for Basic Training and A.I.T., he got real quiet when we did "Powder Finger". The guys on guitar, both this kid's uncles, they noticed it too. It was kind of sad in a way, he's the next generation. His father is the guy I work with.

Oh yeah, can't forget The Allman Brothers. Yeah, they were there with us around the fire under all those stars. Yeah, it was cool. All singing out of tune. Sometimes it almost sounded like harmony, by accident. Yeah, looking forward to next year already. This one young guy, he's the brother of the guy who's leaving for Basic Training soon. He said the best part about it all is that it's only once a year. I feel really honored to be included in on this tradition. I didn't say that but I did say thanks to the brothers for inviting me. They knew what I meant.

"....with the thought that pulled the trigger"

Tommy............... Yeah I knew you were there...........It is pretty out there.


Blogger Coffee Messiah said...

Nice story.....sounds like "a place to go" to be sure!

I went hunting once, Duck, with a camera.....never again.
A couple didn't quite go when shot, so my friend strangled their
neck or whatever.........ugh ; (

I'm just too sensitive for hunting, etc.....Take Care!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I love shooting stars. Especially in wide open spaces.

9:32 PM  
Blogger MMM said...

"Hey-Hey, My-My, Glad that Bambi didn't die." ;-) Great story!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Squarehead said...

Hey Coffee, I can relate. Like I said in the post, I find myself rooting for the deer. High velocity rifles with scopes, just don't seem fair to me. Besides, evolution being evolution, what if the deer one day figure out how to shoot back? I ain't takin' no chances.

Alexys. Yes, shooting stars are the best.

Triple-M. Gottta hand it to you, wish I thought of that one.

1:36 PM  

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