Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Travelers

Tomorrow we complete the last leg of our journey to Ohio.  

Yesterday we had an amusing encounter which started out innocently enough, though somewhat counter to "campground culture."  For the most part, when we pull into a camping spot, we're given a pleasant nod by neighboring campers.  Usually, campers tend to mind their own business; after all, it's a tendency toward independence that attracts a lot of people to camping.  Sure, after a few days in a particular spot, someone might strike up a conversation with you, but when you're a "transient," an "overnighter," you're mostly left alone.

Occasionally, however, you do meet up with someone who, obviously craving company, seems to have been lying in wait, just for your arrival.  Such was the case yesterday.  We were setting up the trailer for an overnight stay, when the overly-friendly neighbor across the way came to offer a bit of advice and kibitz a little.  He started by asking how long we were staying; we stated that we'd be there only the one night since we were musicians on the road.  He didn't address that response; instead he started to offer more free advice, then changed his tack by taking note of our Airstream Trailer.  "Gosh, they don't make those things any more, do they?"  Without interrupting his work, Greg replied that Airstreams continue to be made and that ours was, in fact, only a couple of years old.  

"Yeah," the man said, "there was a bunch of gypsies that used to live not far from here and they all lived in old Airstreams."  I mused, half to myself, "Hmmm ... Travelers."  He brightened with recognition: "Yeah, that's what they were called, all right."  He went on to say, "They were a pretty strange crowd, always kinda kept to themselves, even married within their own group.  They didn't take none too kindly to outsiders."  I nodded to Greg, inadvertently talking over the man's further commentary when I said, "Sounds like he's describing Irish Travelers, doesn't it?"  I hadn't heard exactly what he was saying, but I could tell that his tone had become a little less than complimentary, in discussing those Irish  Airstream gypsies.  Changing his course just one more time, our neighbor then returned to a previous topic to ask, "So what kinda music do you play?"

He blanched, but only briefly, when Greg, not betraying one ounce of emotion, said, "Irish music."

Funny how, after that exchange, we were left alone ...


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