A Virginia Tradition

The following small story is a teenager’s confession of guilt. It comes forty-years right after the infractions had been committed and safely right after any statutes of limitations or the possibility of getting grounded at property for a month.

If you had the intense pleasure of increasing into adulthood when living in the rural regions of Virginia, the odds are extremely excellent that you are familiar with the term ‘field party’. Some a lot more familiar than other people. For any un-knowledgeable urbanites, here’s the definition of field celebration according to the on-line Urban Dictionary.

“A celebration held in the middle of a field or farm crop so to keep away from parents and police. Generally held by beneath age partiers and accompanied by a keg bought by an older sibling.”

In Shenandoah County in the course of the 1970’s, the total population of the whole county wavered about 25,000 folks. That is around 48 folks per square mile, a excellent chunk of whom lived-in or close to the half-dozen tiny towns dotting the middle of the valley. Some of these tiny communities had a nighttime police force of one particular or none. The legal drinking age was eighteen-years-old, so a higher college senior could obtain their personal keg of beer. There had been miles and miles of open fields and rolling farmlands.

The situations had been excellent for a field celebration.

The field celebration checklist:

A field, preferably owned by a person you know. A supply of electrical energy for music. (Auto battery, gas generator, extension cords,and so forth.) Bonfire, bigger the much better. Beer Bathrooms out there naturally close to the fence line. No rinse cycle. Drip dry only. We had been invited to a massive field celebration by somebody that had heard about it from a person who knew the directions to somebody’s farm exactly where the massive celebration was held every single year. My girlfriend and a handful of other pals of ours had been heading up to the celebration just before me I’d catch up right after I got off operate at 9PM.

There was no Interstate highway in these days, so the fifteen mile drive to a field celebration seemed a bit intense, but apparently properly worth the drive from what we had been told. There was no also GPS at the time, but the directions that I was offered seemed effortless adequate for a nation boy to comply with.

“Go south on Rt. 11 for about 10 or 12 miles. Prior to you get to Mt. Jackson, suitable previous Hawkinstown, take a suitable on Hawkins Road. Drive for a small bit, you will go more than the railroad tracks, then you will pass the radio station. Preserve going. You need to see the bonfire from the road. There’ll be a handful of cows facing West on one particular side of the road. The dirt road on the other side will take you suitable up the hill to the celebration. Just listen for the band. You will locate it no challenge.”

I had completed the 1st four/5ths of the directions when I 1st saw the glow of the bonfire at the crest of the hilly field. As I got closer, the silhouettes of dozens of celebration-goers could be observed against the towering flames. It looked like the film trailer for “Quest for Fire”, but with my girlfriend as Rae Dawn Chong and Led Zeppelin giving the soundtrack. As the reins had been pulled on my slowing Ford Pinto, my eyes frantic glances alternated in between the road and its ditch-line, browsing for that elusive dirt road, or at least the landmark of cows.

Then abruptly the road veered sharply and the Pinto went straight down a muddied ditch. The car or truck wasn’t traveling rapid and hit nothing at all strong, but right after it came to a cease, I looked like Neil Armstrong strapped into a capsule simulator, facing downwards right after a G-Force coaching session.

The wheels only spun in the wet mud, the car or truck was going nowhere. So, I did the only affordable teenaged issue and began walking up the hill to join the celebration. The car or truck wasn’t going anyplace.

Close friends gave me a ride back down the hill right after the celebration. As we neared My Ditch, yet another car or truck could be observed along the road, various young males inspecting the resting Pinto. We pulled up alongside.

“Hey, what is taking place fellas?”

“Somebody ran their car or truck down this ditch!”

“Yea, I know. It really is mine. Guess I will have to have a tow-truck”

“Nah, hell no. We can push you out! Get in and commence her up!”

Soon after Neil Armstrong managed his way back into his Apollo rocket ship, the Superior Samaritans pushed the car or truck back onto the dirt road. Along with my heartfelt thank-yous, I handed the guys the luke-warm six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer from the back seat of the car or truck (of which them seemed oddly extremely appreciative) then followed my pals back into town for a late-evening feast of 7-11 chili dogs.

Pity these who have not enjoyed the rural life. Fantastic occasions with fantastic pals spent fireside on a chilly evening. In the middle of a massive open field.