Author: Compton, Cliff

Camp chairs

Fixing to write a column that will be posted smack dab in the middle of bluegrassiní in the foothills. A column that will mostly go unread because people got better things to do with their Fridays than to read a column when thereís a hot pickiní festival going on. None the less, for those who are infirm, unable to read a calendar, or who have recently lost their camping tent in a divorce settlement, hereís some important information from one who has a stake in the subject matter at hand.

Camp chairs.

Now those of you who know me may be surprised to hear that Iím a large man, not one of those, oh, Iíve put on ten pounds and need to go on a diet, or start training for a marathon or something. Iím no pretender, not even a contender, no, Iím the real thing, no delicate flower. A genuine rhinoceros of a fellow, an enemy of camp chairs, job security for a cardiologist. A friend of the buffet table. Many people think Iím friendly because I go from campsite to campsite shaking hands and hugging sugarplums but that not all there is to that. Iím scouting camp chairs. If you want to make sure I wonít crash your jam just put out a circle of those little metal framed collapsible chairs. If I sit in one of those youíll discover the real reason they named them collapsible chairs. Theyíll flatten out like a slinky under a steam roller.

So Iím looking for the perfect spot to sit. Of course I could stand and jam with all those 100 mile an hour 35 year old Tony Rice imatators. I could stand allright. For maybe a a verse and a chorus. Then Iíd be looking for a park bench with concrete legs and seats made of four by fours and railroad spikes.

Most of my greatest adventures in life have revolved around music. Many of my greatest misadventures have revolved around camp chairs. I must admit, It ainít always the fault of the chair. I realize those who know me see me as a somber and solemn sort who plays guitar as if I were in a retired symphony orchestra playing a requiem accompanied by a funeral parlor organ, but the truth isÖI sort of bounce. I donít mean to, I just canít seem to help it. This here bluegrass music isÖ sort of infectious. You know what I mean?

Anyway, I could tell you storiesÖ.
Like the time in Jeanie Ramos camp. There was this gopher hole, andÖWell, thatís all Iím gonna say about that. I can still hear them giggling.

So if youíre looking to purchase camp chairs I have a few suggestions:

Stay away from those thin plastic ones. A fat guy might forget how big he is and take a chance and sit on it, and if he does, itís best you play old heart breakiní country music, that donít offer up a reason to bounce.

Those heavy canvas chairs with the thick aluminum railing work pretty good. I carry one around with me much of the time. Chances are good if I bring it to your campsite IĎll probably forget it, and drive back to Sacramento without it. And If weíre really good friends you might end up with quite a collection of canvas camp chairs.

Stay away from them wooden chairs. I have another name for them. I call them kindling.

Metal folding chairs work pretty good. Just donít use them on a hill. That story about Jack and Jill? There is some painful truth to it.

And if all else fails look for a tree stump. Or a ice chest. Make sure itís a strong one. You donít want to end up floating in the ice with the water bottles and the beer. And one last word of cautionÖ.

Donít be sitting on the R.V. steps. People are always opening the door.
Posted:  9/14/2012

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