Monday, July 23, 2007

Those summer nights are callin ...

Big shout-out to all my homies spending this week out at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion! I miss that fuckin thing, hardcore. I was gonna be there this year, but at 31 weeks pregnant, the idea of slouching around in the blasting, baking heat without the relief of cold cold beer is just untenable.

For you non-WiseCo folk: Reunion, which has been going since the 1860s, would take more words to describe than this blog editor allows, so here it is in a nutshell: The last full week of July, you and your fam move out to this campground in what used to be the ass-end of nowhere, and live in these cabins (assuming you are an Old WiseCo Family, cause these cabins are passed down through generations and almost never sold or built new) with screens for walls, rudimentary plumbing & electricity, and communal bathrooms (no showers anywhere) populated mostly with daddy-longleg spiderlike creatures. It’s hot as fuck (see, Texas? Last full week of July?). There are events in the pavilion (beauty queen contests, gospel singers, squar-dancin, what have you), and there is a janky carnival midway (dusty, creepy, and junebug central, what with all the lights at night). Things get going around dusk, where there are potlucks and whatnot in all the cabins, and then after dinner the kids go to the midway, the older folk gather for 42 and cards, and the teenage-to-mid-30s contingent cruise the midway and the cabins a few times and then eventually drift up to the parking lot to stand around and drink beer and get bit by mosquitoes and fire ants till the dawn. It’s a week of total lawlessness and of seeing every person you or your family has ever known for the last hunnert years — e.g. there you are, an overachieving sixteen-year-old who always makes her 10:30 curfew, allowed for this one week to vanish from parental oversight after dinner and until breakfast, drunk in the parking lot at 4:00 a.m., making out with somebody’s cousin from San Antonio, and then on the way to the edge of the lot with your bro’s ex-girlfriend to pee in the bushes cause it’s a long way back to the toilets proper, you run into your first- and fourth-grade teachers plus your mom’s high school best friend and the formerly superhot cheerleader who used to babysit you, and you wonder if they know you are drunk, but hey, so are THEY, and it’s Reunion so they won’t report you to your parents or the constantly-prowling-but-MOSTLY-looking-the-other-way-for-goddamn-once cops but they’ll talk about it amongst their own little knot of drunks back at the cabins, which is all good. You go home when it gets sort of hot again in the morning, shower, sleep all day, then get ready and do it all again that night.

So — peace out, Reunioneers, and may there be no one about from the TABC to harsh your mellow. I’ll be there next year, with or without Kid Gleemonex and the Mr., depending on how much drunken “remember that time” talk Mr. G. feels like he’s up for at the moment (non-WiseCo folk don’t seem to get teh awesum that is the Reunion … huh, wonder why … ).

And HHL: no fights this year, mkay? Time to pass that cape and scepter to the next generation. ;-) Love ya!

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Blogger Panda!!!! said...

I know you've raved about this event in the past, but reading it in print still doesn't make me want to go.

11:58 AM  
Blogger bethie said...

OH WOW! I'm such a bad Wise Countian! I can't believe that I forgot it was this, I miss the time when it was THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in the world and would NEVER, EVER forget what week it was!

1:40 PM  
Blogger HHL said...

dead-on explication. it couldn't have been done better with 1000s of more words!

i was going to post on my blog, but: (a) i don't think I could describe the thing without writing reams and reams, and (b) my readership does not extend beyond the group of people for whom it needs no explanation.

fwiw, my 25 words or less would probably be something like: an annual, week-long pasture party with permanent cabin structures erected for no other purpose; attendance mandatory regardless of age or social status. this doesn't really capture the flavor, but more just the basic concept of the thing.

anyway, i've been out there several times already. mowing, weedeating, spraying massive amounts of insecticides, cleaning, dusting, raking, hosing, etc. usually the screens are mostly all knocked out, and most of the floor (made of a fine gravel that packs nicely when damp) is washed away, but despite the torrential storms of recent weeks, the screens and floor had minimal damage. of course there were 3 large nests of wasps, and lots of hornet dens, spiders everywhere, and a thick layer of dirt covering everything. but all in all it was pretty much like i left it last july.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Bless your heart for doing all that, HHL -- especially the insect-wrangling. So all that rain didn't warsh the whole structure a few feet over? Good deal ...

Man, I wish I could go this year. :-(

2:30 PM  
Blogger TXsharon said...

I've lived in Wise County 11 years now and I've never been to the reunion but I did drive by once. I think I skip it again this year. Obviously, I'm just a pussy new-comer.

1:01 PM  
Blogger bgirl said...

Every year, come May, I am determined that this will be the year I get back to Ree-union, but it never flipping happens. Next year, I'll see you there - kid-in-tow.


8:24 AM  

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