Sunday, July 6, 2014
Young and Old at Birthday Bash V
If you have been paying attention here, you know that the annual Birthday Bash (for Wally Byam, founder of Airstream) is a consistently great time. Lots of shiny trailers, smiling faces young and old, great food and a serene setting near Coopers Lake. So my pictures of these delights look a lot like previous versions: just look here for a sense of all the fun. LINK
Our genial hosts, Frank and Ace, Lisa and Beth did their usual excellent job setting it up. Lots of volunteers kept us fed and the children of all ages entertained. It was grand!
This year, after years of earnest invitations, our own precious Fourteen year old Cassie “Crashed the Bash”. So this post is mostly about what was new for us at Bash V.
When a young lady is fourteen nearing fifteen, the world is divided neatly into two parts. There is your PEER GROUP which extends down to kids in diapers (Yuck!) and upwards to girls with steady boyfriends and cars. The rest of the world is made up entirely of OLD PEOPLE. Sorry gentle readers, that’s just the way it is.
We had no fear that Cassie would find some fun with her peers, but we warned that the Bash Airstream Rally was mostly about sitting around in camp chairs between meals. Sure, we SAY we are going bike riding and adventuring, but let’s be honest here.
Fresh from several days with her seven year old cousin, Cassie was in tune with huggin and non stop movement. At the “totally unofficial and marginally boisterous” Pre Bash at Penn Wood Airstream Park, we introduced her to the Old People she had heard tales about, but when activity retired to the camp chairs she found little Sarah and Nicholas and the exploring began.
(The nicest feature of the Bash and the Pre Bash is that they are sited in places where kids can explore safely and adventurously but never far from eighty “old people” who instinctively watch over them and smile.)
On the Bash grounds at Cooper’s Lake, a posse of bike riding, creek wading, fish and frog chasing boys and girls formed and they were seen flashing by on their way somewhere, but reliably always appeared at meal time. Parents and grandparents and other old people dispensed snacks as required.
In the mean-times, new friendships of an entirely unexpected sort started forming. Northern grandparents were enchanted by a child that ended every exchange with “sir” or “mam”. Natural curiosity led Cassie into new areas as arcane as “sewer stuff” , and, of course, critters of any kind were magnets.
Now I’m not saying that basic skill sets like checking messages and talking trash about boys were ignored…
…just that lingering around camp chair circles led to some revelations and surprising friendships.
…and any number of occasions when the lines between young and oldsters was blurred…
This was summarized in typical Cassie fashion as she made the round of goodbyes before leaving for the plane home. “ Who knew I would get so attached to Old People?”