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Saturday, June 25, 2005

A Letter From Camp

Dear Mom (and all others reading this),
My 2 weeks stay at this year's summer camp has been going good thus far. The tent we stay in is far bigger than any other tent that I've had the privilege of staying in. Instead of bonfires at night, at this camp we do not dare light a single match for we are surrounded by about 750 lbs of gunpowder and surely, mother, Nathan and I wouldn't come home in one piece if we suddenly decided on a smore-cooking, Kumbayah-singing bonfire. I must admit, I can get pretty home-sick every now and then. It's not that I miss home all that much, sorry to disappoint. It's just sometimes I miss the excitement of being able to leave the tent and do something without worrying about the merchandise being stolen by vandals. Our schedule is this: We get up, not too early, and for our morning camp activity, we roll up the sides of the tent, to let the people on the highway know that we're open for business. Then we sit, and we sit, and we furthermore sit, sometimes helping a customer if need be, but for the most part we just sit. This 2nd camp activity is in fact, as I have found out, the main theme for this particular encampment. We will spend so many hours sitting, and I guess we don't have to necessarily sit, but could maybe also stand, although our legs may get a little tired. Regradless of whether we sit or stand we take part in this activity for nearly the whole day and it is a much more strenous labor than you can possibly imagine. I really need to talk to the director of this camp to see if I could give him new ideas for more eventful activities. At times, we have the brief interlude of a customer coming to look at some fireworks. At which Nathan and I jump up from our diligent sitting to do whatever we can to make that person believe that he or she cannot go this 4th of July without our fireworks.
Now, for a word about fireworks. In the days of my ignorance, I knew nothing about these ostentatious displays of playful explosives. I knew about bottle rockets. I knew about roman candles. I might have been slightly educated on those little tanks that spit out sparks. -But let me tell you, I've think I've discovered a new passion in life. The night of our orientation for this new job, we were able to witness the radiant effect of each firework. From the simplest firecracker to the loftiest 119 multitube, my eyes were dazzled by this bright panaroma of colors, sparks, smoke, and sublimated fire. We hold in 0ur possession colorful fountains, like the Butterfly Parade or Rythym and Blues, that gushes out, on and on, endless streams spouts of multicolored streams of fire. There are rockets that zip off into the night air and with their pop and bang form into a smiley face or an X. Then, there are the bad boys like, "One Bad Mother," "Loyal To None", and "Not In My Yard", that make one feel as though they're in a wonderland of lit-up skies with its own bolt-wielding Zeus giving us mortal spectators a show.
So probably the hardest thing about this camp, is being so surrounded by such toys and not being able to light the tiniest fuse.
In the evenings, whenever we feel like retiring into sleep, we pull down the sides of the tent, and enclose ourselves with this plastic chickenwire, and then make our beds on a cot and a hammock. Then we lay there being lulled to sleep by the sound of the highway which lays within yards of our tent. If sleep doesn't immediately seize us, then we lay there ready at the slightest stir to jump up from our beds and defend our fireworks tent. Whereas at most camps, one must sleep with one eye open to guard against the possibility of waking up duct taped to the bed and wearing a nice layer of shaving cream, at this camp, we have to be wary of the ever present thieves who would love to get their grimy hands on some fireworks or our money. Because of this, I never let my trusty baseball bat lay out of reach, and Nathan keeps his machete near his hammock. We also have a sleeping decoy set up in a cot, at the front of the tent, so that any intruders attempt to slip in at the front they will see a sort of slothful scarecrow in bed right where they may want to creep in. We call this slumbering dummy, Jehosophat. Then Nathan and I both individually retire to opposite sides of the tent, so that at least one of us is more likely to hear and be awoken by potential thieves from any side of the tent.
I must say one of the best decisions I made in this whole endeavor was asking Nathan Martin to be a partner, for I find he is very knowledgeable and talented at everything I'm not. Which is to say almost everything involved in maintaing a business. He's a real jackof all trades. He had a truck and a trailor which was most advantageous at transporting our large supply of fireworks. He is well versed in the laws of carpentry and electricity which was needed for setting up everything. And then he knows all about business fundamentals with its finiancial aspects. I have found out, for the life of me, that I cannot work even the simplest of calculators. Yes, mother, your accounting genes skipped right over me. I have really no brain when it comes to counting money. No, I believe that if I have any forte that can at all contribute to this business, it is in sales. By the time a customer arrives, I am so bored, that I cannot wait to talk to them.
Then there are our neighbors. We've had the utmost fortune to be situated on the property of some really fine people. Whereas before, Nathan and I believed that we would go for the long duration in the chance of not taking a shower. -But our lucked-out circumstances allow us a shower and many other camping luxuries. Mr. Jim Jones and his wife, Mrs. Nora Jones, (no, not the singer) allow us to take showers in the office of their Dozer Repair Shop. She will also do our laundry for us, bring us supper, keep us company while we sit, and let us check our email at her office computer (from which I am now typing this). In short, I think that they have adopted two sons. They have gone above and beyond the call of hospitality, and it is people like them, that let's you know you can go anywhere in the world and still find some nice good people.
p.s. Oh, Shelbyville, TN is the walking horse capital of the world, but I haven't seen a single horse yet.
p.p.s.Maybe, only the locals are familiar as to their whereabouts and they hide them from outsiders.


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