Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving in Paradise

Damn. I really should have brought a camera with me today to the Thanksgiving dinner event. Gary didn’t go because he’s not big on crowds, or social gatherings, and frankly, he would have hated it. As it was, I just stuck around long enough to get a couple of plates of food, and headed back to the motorhome. But the 45 minutes (or more) that I was in line for food? Wow. I can safely say that I’ve never seen more handle-bar mustachioed, tattooed guys in Harley t-shirts, and equally tattooed women in Harley t-shirts with glitter nail polish in my life.

And I’m really not passing any judgment. I’m just observing. The restaurant/bar around which the rv park sprung up (I think that was the chain of events; I don’t think the rv park came first) is apparently known as a ‘biker bar’. Neither Gary nor I have actually been in the bar/restaurant before (I didn’t even know where to drop off my pies…), but given the number of Harleys that are parked in the parking lot, combined with the number of Harleys parked in the RV park, I don’t doubt the ‘biker bar’ part. And apparently (if today’s dinner was any indication), the bikers range from the 60-something retirees with long white (or grey) beards, riding the full-dress touring bikes, to the more blue collar, grease-under-their-fingernails guys. (There was an extended family group behind me, and the women were comparing nail polishes, while the guys were talking about how they had ‘Valvoline’ on….)

Interestingly, this was generally a family-oriented group. Lots of people drinking beer, and whatever else, lots of tattoos, and lots big family groups. You’ve got all these biker people who have been coming to this Event (an apparently Thanksgiving dinner at Fox’s is An Event; you bring a side dish to feed your party and 6 other people, and you are welcome) for years, and bring their kids, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc. along, and then you got the park residents, who range from an older couple (apparently with health issues, so says the helpful Canuk block organizer, but who are able to move their 38 foot class A motorhome twice a year, and who, I might add, didn’t seem fazed by the tattoo crowd), to the retired Navy, Marines and UEW (electrical workers, for those of us who had to get close to the emblem to puzzle it out…), most of whom seem to have Harleys, to the younger bikers (and family) who come from Havasu City, and then, well, us.

Again, not scary people, just, well, lots of tattoos. And handlebar moustaches.

I REALLY wish I had brought the camera. Because there was this HUGE line for dinner (again, Gary stayed in the motorhome watching football) I got into conversation with the people around me, including one woman who was talking to a friend of hers about ‘someone they rode with’ who (and I quote, because this is too good for words) “if you’re drunk, and it’s dark, and you squint, he looks like Willie Nelson”. Willie Nelson? C’mon. If you are going to be drunk, and look at someone in the dark, and be squinting, why shouldn’t he look like a 40 year old Sean Connery? Willie Nelson? Eesh. But, I guess.... Naw... I just can't see it. Under any circumstances, and no matter how cheap the tequila was. Willie Nelson? I guess this is why the band director at North Forsyth High School called me an elitist snob. Gotta go with your strengths, I guess!

I’m telling ya’, I should have brought the camera. HOWEVER, all is not completely lost on Saturday night (I think, I have to check the bulletin board) there is a ‘parade of carts’; most people in the park have golf carts to get around (even though the park isn’t that big… it’s a status thing, I think). And most of then have been ‘suped up’ one way or another. One guy has (and I’m not kidding…. Again, I’d get pictures, but I think he’d be offended… at least until the parade) spinny things on his hubcaps (so when the wheels stop moving the hubcaps spin). Really. Others have different motors, special paint jobs (the guy next to us has flames on his golf cart/dune buggy – which seems to be a popular contraption), and/or lights.

While I doubt that Gary will join me for the parade of carts (apparently they go through several of the local RV parks before ending up here), I think I’ll be down at the dock to snap some pictures. This is truly a culture like I’ve never seen.

Anyway, after spending 45+ minutes in line for dinner (and talking with some really INTERESTING people…. Including a wife who was completely with me on the idea of using all of our assets upon our death to create the Dranow Home for Wayward Poodles (in our estate, actually), while the husband was mystified as to why you WOULDN’T have kids to have someone to pass it all along to…. Arguing that the poodles were our kids seemed out of line with someone who had the likeness of his youngest daughter at age 4 tattooed on his forearm. (Again, no, really.)

I wouldn’t want to meet 99% of these people in a dark alley, but under the auspices of Thanksgiving, it was fascinating (and probably would be fine in a dark alley, as long as you just said, “Dude, cool tattoo of your daughter there!”).

Anyway, the phone signal has been non-existent, so I didn’t get a chance to call anyone, but Happy Thanksgiving to all, and I promise you pictures from the rest of the weekend. This could really be quite entertaining!

And all that said, I really enjoyed myself; dinner was great, the people watching was out of this world, and I now have two doggies schnoozling in the living room, while Ben and the cat and in the bedroom with Gary watching football.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

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