Sunday, April 15, 2007

Olympia

Olympia is a great town. I live on the edge of things, pretty much in the country. It reminds me of home, at least the area I lived in growing up: lots of trees, peace and quiet, and drug dealers. How our memories come back to us. I grew up in a place in Michigan at the edge of the Detroit area in some proximity to "The camp", which was a campground run by my grandparents. The name of it I'm not going to release to Google to enable people who were associated with it to find this site, but it no longer exists. The camp, as we referred to it and as I'll call it, wasn't a KOA or anything like that but a place in the woods where people could basically come up and party on weekends, do drugs, and no one would care. A place where people on the run from the law frequently hid out with friends who basically lived there. Yes, indeed. The person who was my father at the time worked for my grandparents at the camp, who of course lived there, and so we were doubly connected to it. Had for friends bikers who helped out in various capacities around the camp and other sort of unsavory folk. Big connection to the little world of the seamy side of the little town we lived by. The camp was always unpopular and the police were always wanting it to get shut down. I wrote in a biographical essay for a class a long time ago that it was a place where the seventies continued on to the eighties without that much of a change. It even featured for a time a fundamentalist religious cult of sorts where the members lived at the camp in lieu of a commune.

People grew marijuana there occasionally....at the end of its run the camp had also become a favorite place for gang-bangers from the rougher parts of the Detroit area to come and party on the weekends. People came through on some sort of circuit, connected to shady things going on in other parts of the country, and it became a sort of place for the criminally inclined to meet, greet, trade stories, and network.

Yes, Olympia, not quite the same as the camp but on the edges recognizable enough to bring back nostalgia for me.

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