June 03, 2006
The quickest way to win the hearts of the crowd at the campfire is to bring a guitar. Honestly, you don’t even have to play very well. Somehow music sounds better outside in the cool night air when you’ve got a whole crowd of people talking and laughing around the fire. Anyone who can strum a few chords of a popular song will be welcomed and encouraged to play.
When I was a kid and we would camp up in the mountains at a state park, my father and his friend TrumpetPlayer would sometimes start a jam session right on the camp site. No one around us ever seemed to mind: no one ever complained. In fact strangers we met in the bathrooms the next day would tell us how much they enjoyed it. When I took my students on a weekend retreat one year, one student brought the bagpipes. He stood near the campfire and played, while students got up and danced wildly around the fire, these dark figures silhouetted against the flames.
For many years, it was a tradition for my brother to walk to the end of the dock with his trumpet at sunset and play taps. Nowadays, my father, brother, and son are the threesome who play together most often at camp. In this photo, Boy in Black is practicing guitar and harmonica over near the firepit.
Posted by jo(e)