Monday, May 11, 2009


Before I continue our "serial vacation blog", I need to report on the past two weekends. Papa and I had attended two parties at both ends of the spectrum and I found it very amusing.

The weekend before last, we were invited to New Melle for the 50th birthday party of one of Papa's good friends from the past, wife. (That is sure ugly sentence structure, but I'm sure you get what I'm saying.)

We drove over around dusk. They live in a very rural area on top of a mountain (and I am not exaggerating when I say mountain). We made it as far as we could, about 2/3's of the way up the mountain before we had to abandon our car and start walking. This was where "side of the road" parking ended or started, however, you look at it. We knew there would be no better parking farther up the mountain. So we walked on to the top and the house and the party which was inside (upstairs and down), outside around a huge bonfire, and all around the porch which was all around the house, and more people were found by the garage, a little farther up the road. ALOT OF PEOPLE and a party remnant of Papa's wilder days evidenced by the crowd of people and the size of the crowd--Denise is a much-loved woman.

Since I knew very few people there, I engaged in people watching which was quite interesting; visualizing what these people looked like in their younger days. Now it was alot of gray hair and balding heads and there were quite a few kids (and grandkids) in tow. But these party-goers were trying their best to recapture party days of their youth---liquid (and other) libations flowed freely and there was quite a bit of Skynard mixed in with the country music now playing on the stereo blasting out over the top of the mountain. A good time was being had by all.

It was touching a few days later to receive a thank you card from the birthday woman just saying thanks for coming to her party--WOW, wonder if every one got one of these? What a lady!

Then this past Saturday night we ventured out to Jonesburg for a daytime BBQ at another of Papa's friends. Actually, this person was a childhood friend of Papa's brother but grew, over the years, to be friends with Papa as well. He is a retired St. Louis City police officer who built his dream house in the country a few years ago.

It was a beautiful drive over on a sunny, warm Saturday afternoon. Beautiful country and beautiful house he lives in. This party consisted of several different groups that Bob is involved in. He is in a Car Club (they refurbish old hot rods) and he is also a musician, playing the guitar. The music is what sucked us in this afternoon surprisingly. I figured the car club people would be the main focus of Papa's interest since he just bought his own old hot rod to refurbish.

When we arrived, there were several people sitting around playing music. Just a very long impromtu jam session. There were guitars, mandolins, yukeleles, big bass instruments (that stood up), a fiddler (different than a violinist she told us), a drummer (who looked like he was straight out of the confederacy) and a banjo.

People came and went during the day but it seemed like every new person that walked up the driveway was carrying an instrument case of some sort. What was so amazing to us was that most of these people (the musicians) didn't know each other. It started as a few who knew each other and they brought a friend who told a friend and the people kept coming. Some left to go play at some bluegrass festival close by but there were plenty of folks there to take their place. We heard everything from bluegrass and gospel music to southern rock and current popular songs.

So talented of musicians these people were. They would play a song and in between introduce themselves to the others in the group and talk about this song or that and then one would start playing and the rest would join in and no one was shy about singing. Sometimes that left alot to be desired but I envied them just bursting out in song and music.

They would play and play and then in between songs, someone would get up to go visit or get some food and another person would walk up to the group and pick up an instrument and immediately be joining in.

It was just an unbelieveable afternoon and evening and Papa and I enjoyed ourselves spending the day this way.

Those were the fun parties......I'll have to write later about our neighborhood parties......that have been going on for TEN WEEKS......but maybe I'll wait until I have a conclusion as Grammy and Papa are about to introduce our 15 year old neighbor and his mother (the MILF or so it says on her car windows in blue puffy paint) to the Franklin County Sheriff in the very near future.

Signing off after an amazing round of social activity.....Grammy

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