Ain’t That America!

“Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses, for you and me, oh baby for you and me”

John Melloncamp

That’s about the best way that I can describe our trip to Howell last Saturday.

Everything about it was as American as you can get.  The setting, the weather, the people the entire experience.

Camping, swimming, playing and partying.  We saw it all at the Taylor’s Beach Campground, in rustic Howell Michigan.  Even a little bit of music.

First of all, let me explain why we weren’t at Bumper’s Landing as usual on this particular Saturday.

Last summer, we were approached about playing in Howell at a camp when our schedule allowed.  Seems they heard us at Bumper’s and wanted Carl and I to come up and play for a tropical themed day.  However, at the time, we had no openings, as we were booked all summer.  So, early on this year, we provided a date, and worked it out so that we could entertain for them on Saturday, and play Bumper’s on Friday.  That would keep everybody happy.  Especially, us.

So after an interesting Friday night by the water, we began the two hour trek to Howell, to play by the water, once more.

Soon, we arrived.  Meeting with Alan Taylor, the family patriarch is a real experience.  He is as American as anyone can be.  Self reliant, warm, strong and amiable.  Knowing that he wanted us to play was the driving force behind why we eventually made it happen.

As soon as we arrived at the campsite, he made us feel right at home.  Showing us around, getting us room to park and set up, and letting us know that we were to begin entertaining  . . . in one half hour!

The campground was big, yet, cosy at the same time.  it seemed to all revolve around the cute little lake, which was teeming with campers and sportsmen from one end to the other.

Getting set up quickly was an understatement, as we needed to outrace both the clock and the rain.  Four O’clock was time to begin our first set, as well as watch the casino night set up in the same pavilion we were occupying.  It was going too be a very interesting day, and or night.

The plan was to have a tropical themed party, and we did everything we could to make that happen.  We played song after song of island music, with some oldies and country dance music selections as well.

We played from four until about six, and then took a break to let the gamblers concentrate, and for us to meet some people.

Apparently there was to be a costume contest later, and one family of girls was going all-in to win.  Grandma, girls in grass skirts, and even the family dog doing her part to capture the top prize.

There were people everywhere doing everything camps-woodsy.  People were out and about and in and out of the animated lake.  Playing games, sitting by their campsites and whizzing around in all types of golf carts.  It was almost as if Dr. Seuss owned an RV!

After a short break, we got right back to playing again.  More tropical flavored songs to continue the vacation mood.  You could just tell that campers were loving it.

By now, the gambling was really taking hold of people, as the tables began to get crowded and quite loud.  Everyone was having fun.

Lots of the people even took time to welcome us to their little slice of heaven, and find out where wee were from.

Soon, it was time to wrap up the gambling and award some prizes.  Carl and I took a break and had some dinner.

Ribs were on the menu tonight and we wear ready to sample them.  The sun was about to set and nighttime fell on our little campsite pavilion.

Time to crank up the tunes to eleven!

Starting at nine thirty, we played all the summertime, tropical dance tunes that this group could handle.  We even threw in some country and rock numbers to round out the set.  The lights were low and the fog machine and disco lights filled the dance floor.

It was great fun as we played until ten thirty.  Then eleven.  Then eleven thirty, by request.

The crowd was going wild as we agreed to do one more.  And then, and encore.  We finished the night with a little John Denver traveling down his Country Roads.

You really can’t get more American that that.  It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.  Our hosts paid us, thanked us and invited us back again as soon as we could return.

They showed us out, got us some swag and sent us back home with big smiles and full bellies.

It was a very good trip.

Carl and I really didn’t know what to expect when we agreed to this event, but were pleasantly surprised.

Ain’t that America?

It sure is.

Rb


Little Pink Houses
John Mellencamp

There’s a black man with a black cat
Living in a black neighborhood
He’s got an interstate running’ through his front yard
You know, he thinks, he’s got it so good
And there’s a woman in the kitchen cleaning’ up evening slop
And he looks at her and says:
“Hey darling, I can remember when you could stop a clock”

Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me, oh for you and me

Well there’s a young man in a T-shirt
Listenin’ to a rock ‘n’ roll station
He’s got a greasy hair, greasy smile
He says: “Lord, this must be my destination”
‘Cause they told me, when I was younger
Sayin’ “Boy, you’re gonna be president”
But just…

Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses, for you and me, oh baby for you and me

Well there’s people and more people
What do they know, know, know
Go to work in some high rise
And vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico
Ooo yeah

And there’s winners, and there’s losers
But they ain’t no big deal
‘Cause the simple man baby pays the thrills,
The bills and the pills that kill

Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me, ooo, ooo yeah

Ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, hey we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, oh the home of the free,
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Little pink houses babe for you and me, ooo yeah ooo yeah

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