Wednesday, January 26, 2005



They've turned one of my favorite campgrounds into an Indian reservation. I suppose I should be grateful it didn't become a subdivision. Or a casino. It had been a private, own your own lot campground for years, so I hadn't camped there in a long time. But it was on the Dowagiac River, and had a great canoe launch/landing. It was also a place of great memories.

The church we attended many moons ago used to have annual campouts. Our first three were at this particular campground. It had a nice swimming lake, a pond with a water slide, and nicely wooded campsites. There are loads of great stories from there, but my favorite.

My buddy Maurie was a childless bachelor at the time. He was not particularly good with kids, and had rather "proper" attitudes when the subject of child rearing came up. So you can imagine the look on his face when the 3 yr. old daughter of one of the pastors walked up to him and said "I got a bagina!" "Do you got a bagina?"

I have never seen a grown mans face turn that color red and live to hear about it. And hear about it he did. For years.

So, I guess in a couple of weeks, I am gonna go back up to the Dowagiac and visit the Pokagon Band of the Pottowattami Nation's reservation. Perhaps I can make some potential canoeing friends there. At least, maybe revisit some old memories.

I used to camp near the base of a long rapids that ended in a small falls and a deep pool on a lovely trout stream in Ontario. For the longest time, nobody ever went there...I mean for years and years. Then it became a make-out spot for local kids who needed to do some sparkin'. I know this from the condom wrappers littered on the ground. A couple years ago, I was driving home from the U.P. via Sault Ste Marie, and I stopped there to camp, leaving me with only a three hour drive home. It was getting dark when I pulled up to the spot, and there in front of me was a huge freakin monster home with a huge freakin SUV parked beside it. I have never been back to that stream.
One of the worst things about aging is realizing how right Joni Mitchell was when she said we pave paradise and put up a parking lot!
Makes me think of a play I saw a couple of years ago -- "The Bagina Monologues"

But they won't put that show on in West Birginia, or in the Birgin Islands.

It's bery bexing.
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