good morning from (officially) Friday

Filed under #coffeetime

Got up, had a shower, made coffee, packed a bowl of Backwoods Red tobacco, opened the sliding glass door, and now listening to the birds chirping as I sip and smoke away :)

Always takes a few minutes to jog my brain (with coffee) before I can write anything for the day. It's why old blog posts in the AM were so short, I started #blogging before coffee! Mistake.

The other day I was searching the Web to see what I could find in regards to an old campground me and the family (as in, dad's side of the family, all of them) used to stay at called Pinewoods Campground near Six Flags in Missouri. I knew the place was closed due to getting a bad reputation and loss of money/visitors after a bunch of Deadheads (Grateful Dead fans) destroyed the place in 1995. If I remember correctly, it was when the news of Jerry Garcia died broke that caused the outburst of violence, but I could be mistaken. In my search, I found an old newspaper clipping (digitized, obviously) that talked about how the swimming pool was filled with farm animals, and there were several hundred people underneath and on this giant deck they had overlooking the pool. It was raining and people began to climb into the rafters of the deck, and this resulted in the entire structure collapsing. Two people died and dozens were injured. They had to borrow schoolbuses from a local public school in order to drive all of the injured to the hospital.

I remember going there several months fter the incident – dead fish floating on the surface of the lakes, trash still lining the main street, the pool – empty and covered in some sort of film. Me and my dad sat at a spot underneath the “covered wagon” seating area (which I think had a name for it, it was just a covered wagon with booths inside that you could eat your lunch at/in), and I could see in the ledge of the window full ashtrays, needles, beer bottles, water bottles, etc. and there was no real way for the staff to clear those things out because it was a second floor window ledge, and the windows didn't open.

I felt bad that the place had that happen to them. I ordered a hot dog and one last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle slurpee (still the best beverage I have ever had in my natural life) and looked around the place one last time before we (my dad, Uncle “T”, me, and a friend) head out of there, and it was definitely one of those times I wish photography, or at the very least mobile photography, had been a thing (it wasn't, it was 1995) so I could have snapped some shots of the place before I had to say “goodbye”. I will always have the place in my memory, though. Highlights of my childhood.

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