Since moving to the Hat, I’ve always wanted to take in some camping at Reesor Lake and that finally happened for me last week. When not cooking burgers over the open fire or being the recipient of the conservation officer’s evil eye, Reesor was the basis for this week’s column in yesterday’s Medicine Hat News.
Ahh, the great outdoors. Those that can’t appreciate being one with nature call it ‘living like a squatter’ unless you’re rocking the 38 foot house on wheels but for the rest of us it’s an opportunity to retreat from the sounds of city streets, a chance to escape the hum of power lines, a window of privilege to get away from the half naked neighbors of the world and to live off the land, or at least the portable generator and shrink wrapped farmer sausage.
I packed up the Road King with a tent and sleeping bag and nothing else except some cheese smokies, and all the wobbly pops my saddlebags could handle. Physically and mentally, I was prepared for a night of stargazing, smores, campfires and yes, campfire music. Ironically, eating hot dogs and baked beans from the can is frowned upon while sitting at your Royal Daulton dinner table while Sublime’s ‘What I Got’ is being blasted from the living room stereo but change the setting to that of lawn chairs and mosquitoes and it’s like living the life of a preferred guest at the Westin, paper towels and manners not required.
Amid the 100 per cent chance of laughter and 80 per cent chance of swearing originating from scattered campfires throughout, you could also hear memories being created through the association of song. Akin to men owning more underwear than the Crayola 64 pack, music has the ability for its’ fans to pick and choose what they prefer to listen to. I was no different and secured a number of Pink Floyd numbers, Patsy Cline, the aforementioned Sublime and brought it all home with some Dylan and Kings of Leon plus some David Wilcox and Dire Straits for good measure. Unfortunately and quite surprising, the VW hippie van parked adjacent to me had also brought what I think might have been music, if you consider Salt’n’Pepa, Snap and Ace of Bass, and even the Swift Current Swingin’ Fiddlers providing some sort of sounds for all to hear.
And after that glowing ball of burning gas had nestled into the western horizon one more time, so did the harem of hoodlums and their iffy musical selection. And then above the crackle of nature’s heat maker and over the quiet whisperings of conversations with no beginning or end, it was the undeniable sound of a guitar and voice that even Ricky from the Trailer Park Boys would have been proud of. I’m talking about the same reason we packed the Esplanade earlier this week, April Wine.
40 years in the biz and April Wine classics are still being listened to by the masses, or at least those who appreciate the great outdoors. If you ever recall standing on the shores of any lake anywhere there’s a positive probability that you heard someone’s conversation from across the open water, 800 yards away and this was very similar. Around the trees and through the crick came the reverberation of ‘Roller’, ‘Rock’n’Roll is a Vicious Game’, ‘Fast Train’, ‘Enough is Enough’ and even ‘Drop Your Guns’. So thanks to the guy in the plaid fleece camping pants and his functioning 8 track tape player for sharing with the rest of us, some old memories and newly created ones.
And if you ever wanna chat about nothing or everything, you can find me hosting me ‘Poncho in the Morning’, on Medicine Hat’s Best Rock, Rock 105.3 every weekday from 5:30 – 11:00 AM.