Camp Chronicles (19): Camp's Out . . . Guitar Face 101 Next Year?

Well, you probably thought that these posts never would end.  Today, they do.  Thank you for taking the time to read some or all of them.



After Dan’s Fred Zeitler ghost story, we straggled down the “main street” of the Donner Mine Camp.  Campers, instructors, families, and friends headed back to cabins, dorms, campsites, trailers, and (in Don’s case) pickups where they slept during camp.  The excitement of Sunday night’s concert continued to pulse through everybody’s minds and memories.  But they knew that the fun would end sometime after breakfast in the morning.

At breakfast, the unsung pillars of the camp -- Dan and Anne Beatie -- greeted us as they had for every meal.  They were incredibly gracious as hosts.  They also had labored to make the inaugural Sierra Surf Music Camp a success.  With the help of a few of the campers, Dan and Anne prepared, served, and cleaned up after every meal and saw that the fires were stoked.  They kept the camp going.  They attended to the tiniest details to assure everything went smoothly.  And importantly to me, Anne gave me Motrin when like a kid I had exceeded my energy zone.

Even though camp was ending, the experience had the campers smiling and jovial as we said our good-byes.  Folks exchanged cards.  Bruce had a supply of business cards and flyers for the Reef Riders at the ready in his car.



Camp also was an opportunity for continuing to nurture and spread our love of surf music.  I talked to the Sneaky Tikis and their parents about playing with the Lava Pups at the Capitol Bowl in the future.   Later, I remembered that Dusty had announced Sunday night that he had signed them to a management contract.  Did I talk to the wrong folks?  Oh, surely he was joking!?!

The end was near, but the instructors still had pearls of wisdom for us faux musicians.  Bob Bitchin’:  “It’s okay to be apprehensive, but don’t be afraid.”  Ferenc Dobronyi:  “Buying equipment does not make you better.”  In the back of my mind, I wondered if Becky put him up to that.

The inaugural camp introduced the Sneaky Tikis, allowed us hear the history of surf music from the people who lived that history, strengthened the bonds between the “Waves,” showed us that the music is participatory irrespective of talent level, and taught us that strangers can come together as performers with good coaches.  We found out that, despite their immense talents, the superstars of surf music are affable, accessible, accommodating, and eager to share their knowledge and experiences. 

Yes, indeed, for a Memorial Day weekend, the hills had been alive with the sound of reverb!  And that was fun.

As Becky and I headed off to our packed car, a realization struck.  We did not have a class on guitar face.  That means that a second annual Sierra Surf Music Camp is necessary for Guitar Face 101. 

Be there, aloha!

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