Jul 20, 2017

An American Tale

Published Jul 16, 2003

What do you get when you mix $2000 in illegal fireworks, 50 redneck road builders and their families with beer and dutch oven cookin (Yes cookin!) and throw in a little karaoke? You get one heck of an American 4th of July picnic.

Last night was a hoot. A paving company hired us on very short notice for their annual 4th of July picnic and you could not get anymore American than these people.

When we first arrived, we noticed that half of the employees were living in trailers and campers right on the property next to the shop where we were to set up. These are the people that you would call trailer trash, some were even missing a few teeth! Paige and I were thinking what did we get ourselves into.

Yeah Barry the guy that normally does this is drunk within a half hour for the music starting and is passed out by now! You guys were great.

After setting up in the shop entrance, I overheard one of the guys in the group that was shucking corn tell a story about a car that was stolen recently. Being the forward person I am, I boldly approached them and told a story about a friend having his wheels and tires stolen and his car left on blocks and the car next to it being stolen but the wheels and tires left behind. It really was not that funny of a story, but they rolled on the floor laughing and then seem to warm up to us.

We were hired to do background music during dinner. Which by the way, was some very good home style dutch over cookin. They had 16 kettles of great food, including peach and cherry cobbler. After dinner, the fireworks were set off. Not just ordinary fireworks. It was a show like you would see in a small town. Matter of fact, I have seen small towns have less of a show that this one. It is surprising what fireworks $2000 can buy in Wyoming, one state over.

As 11:00 approached (quitting time) we had the owners daughter come up and ask if we would be so kind as to stay an extra hour for $100 since no one had sang yet. We agreed and slowly as people got tired of the fireworks, the papers for the karaoke came rolling in. From 10:30 to midnight it was non-stop karaoke and drunk people dancing under the stars.

They insisted on ending the night with God Bless America. After we tore down, the owners wife came up with a plate. On this plate was not food, but money. It was our tip. I told her she did not have to. She insisted and told us the people there would be offended if we did not take it because we did a fine job. A guy that was passing said, " Yeah, Barry the guy that normally does this is drunk within a half hour of the music starting and is passed out by now! You guys were great." I took the money reluctantly because they had already paid us good money to be there. It was $100 in change and bills. Before we hopped into the van, they told us to put them down for next year on the 3rd of July.

It was interesting how what could be considered by some to be the lowest of American sub-cultures, trailer park trash... can be just down home hard working people that enjoy their way of life, their social connections that are more like family than friends.

In this day and age, too much emphasis is on what a person owns or wears. It is money this, have to charge that, if you ain't making this, If you don't own that. We spend too much time judging people by what they charge, look like, where they live or what they drive without really seeing the person them self. The old adage you cannot judge a book by it's cover plays so true in real life. Keep this in mind when you go to your next DJ convention or get approached by someone you feel are "below" the clientele you normally get to entertain. They might just surprise you.

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