When I was a kid growing up on the northwest side of Chicago, our neighborhood had some older folks that as a kid I thought were downright crotchety. Mrs. Bites on one side of us thought I shouldn’t play baseball because I was confirmed. Mr. Krawl, on the other side of us, called my sister and I G. D. Hoodlums because we played Canasta in the evening before bed, and laughed a lot. (our bedroom was on the second floor and we had the windows open on hot summer nights… no AC in those days) Numerous neighbors including those two had fits if we even set foot on their precious grass blades. They were definitely crotchety!
It’s been a long time since I’ve spent any extended time camping in a very popular state park, and I have to admit that at times it’s been a challenge for me here at Harris Beach. This place is jam packed every night with barely an empty site anywhere. That’s a lot of folks making noise and enjoying their vacations. I’ve become accustomed to the quiet and peacefulness of our National Wildlife Refuges over the last nine years, and this is a bit of a rude awakening.
Last night was a real corker. Picture this: A large family moves into a site a ways down the road. Out comes a big speaker and microphone, and every person in that group takes their turn belting out tunes that can be heard over the whole campground. I’ll just say they weren’t exactly the Von Trapp Singers, by the way. Ugh! During the several hours that they carried on, I was trying to prepare for my evening program presentation at the amphitheater. It was hard to concentrate.
As that group took a break to eat, the five sites across from me began to warm up for the evening. They’ve been here all week, and every evening is loud. Besides all the adults, there are about 42 kids and 15 yapping dogs, and I’m honestly not sure that’s an exaggeration. First there was the ear splitting belly dancing music, and then the screaming shouting and dancing began. To add to the chaos, the diesel rig directly across from me began blasting its horns along with the music.
As I set up my stuff for the presentation, Ranger Angela went over to speak to the group and ask them to tone it down, and stop blowing the horn. We were concerned that no one could hear the program with all the noise. They did comply.
A family with youngsters arrived a little early, but were happy to wait until one of the members of the noisy group came into the amphitheater to confront Angela and demand that she give him her full name so he could lodge a formal complaint. This man was in such a fury, that the waiting family was scared into leaving. He accused Angela of discriminating against far east music. Angela handled it very well, and got that guy out of the area. Eventually calm returned, more folks arrived and the program was a success.
I find my patience wearing thin very quickly with all the noise and carryings on, and wonder if I’m turning into one of those crotchety old folks I was so frustrated with as a kid. At least I haven’t called anyone a G.D. Hoodlum…yet.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy