there is a special something

i just wanted to have one of those funny slow dances with her, among the pleasant older folks who just were happy to be among themselves for an evening. that's all i wanted.

i didn't at all know what i was getting myself into. the last time i had seriously taken part of a trout lake social gathering was rather unsettling.

tonight at the trout lake country inn & tavern, an establishment native to the town since 1904, there was a community party on behalf of, among others, fred paxson and the TL-EMT folks. as spencer and i packed the van for whistler and drank tallboys of oly i considered tagging along up to the Inn. i have never been fully settled around most of the people here in trout lake, especially the youth. most of the adults have, with very special exceptions, humored me as most adults humor younger generations.

i love small town festivities sometimes. the country inn is an old wood tavern, classic rural barn stylings and a large dance hall with small stage in the back. spencer and i walked in and, being the youngest people there, made our way to the bar for some drinks - there really is nothing quite like a rainier longneck while a local garage-cover band plays classic rock. i'm revelling in this past that i never had a chance to enjoy, the past that my father and mother most likely indulged in. it's wonderful. i have never seen, at any college party, people just dancing to dance and having no idea what they're doing and have so much damned fun the whole time. it's the old crew, too, men and women i had met when i was five or younger while my father worked at the gifford pinchot national forest service bureau here in trout lake. ross bluestone, jim & kathy white, hope clinton, karen fee, fred & diane paxson, judy & walt skelton, cliff & linda, jerry & kathy etc etc etc etc etc. the list goes on. the old crew. the original crew. when rainier and oly was all there was to drink - none of this microbrew bullshit.

it's charming, in a special way. mr. bluestone and i had a short talk about when he and my father were my age here in trout lake, a now-docile-former-dairy-goliath community. there would be 300, maybe 400 people here on weekends. from hood river, portland, seattle...damn. all over, i swear. i asked what happened, where it all went. where it all went wrong. nothing went wrong, it just...a distant looks approaches...it just went away, like most things.

there is a special something in spending an evening with another generation. in dancing with your best friend's mother to a rolling stones cover. in drinking cheap beer with the old guys of the valley, old guys that worked with your father in the woods, marking boundary lines and cutting the forest into sections to be preserved. in sitting in a 100+ year old dance hall that has seen countless bands, acts and events. in finally being shrouded in the heart of a town and being comfortable.


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