There are many excellent ways to enjoy this luscious time of year: eating wild raspberries, skinny-dipping, going for moonlit walks, motorbiking...the list seems endless. But I felt compelled to share a few of the simple pleasures I've enjoyed over the past few weeks up here in the Kink.
My cousins invited me to attend the Bluewater Playhouse's production of...well, I can't remember the name of it, but it was all about Elvis. I was a bit skeptical; in my experience, small-town theatre is often more painful than amusing. And while I like Elvis as much as the next gal, sitting through two hours of Elvis-related amateur theatre wasn't high on my priority list. So it was a revelation to see a well-crafted, fun, swingin' production that had me laughing out loud all night. The show revolved around 4 Elvis impersonators competing for a shot at performing their schtick in Vegas and featured a female Elvis (she was pretty hot too, esp. in her red leather pants!), a fat, bald Vegas Elvis (complete with sequins and scarves), a sexy young lip-curling Elvis (think Jailhouse Rock) and finally, a sweaty, melodramatic, all-in-black-leather Elvis. The show was so much fun to watch, I was sorry when it ended. Just goes to teach me a lesson about judging small-town theatre.
Swing baby, swing
D and I love to dance. We met at dance lessons, and we try boogie down as much as possible, even if it's just in our kitchen or living room. When I saw an ad for the Stardust Big Band, playing as part of Kink's summer music festival - at the newly renovated 1902 beach Pavilion no less! - I begged him to go. We only know a few pathetic swing moves but we both adore big band and swing music. We took a slightly grumpy C along with us (I do love being seen out with two handsome men at one time) and quickly realized that we were the youngest people in the room. But that didn't matter, because the music was excellent, the pavilion cedar-scented and high-ceilinged, with slippery wood floors just made for dancing. The west-facing full length windows gave us an uninterrupted view of the orange and pale green sunset, which didn't hurt either.
The best part about the night in my opinion (next to cuddling up in D's arms and swaying to Moon River), was watching one particular couple get up and dance to nearly every song. They had to have been in their late 70's or perhaps early 80's. He wore a wine coloured shirt under his suit jacket, and she wore a wine coloured slim leather belt around her blouse. I loved that they matched! They laughed and hugged each other after every dance. They weren't always on the beat, and they didn't always get in step, but you could see that they'd been dancing together like this for years and the pure joy in their eyes was truly something to behold.
It's really hard to describe this one. Picture this: 20,000-30,000 people (the numbers have yet to be determined), of various ages, dressed in their underwear, drinking alcoholic beverages, marching down the main street of a small town while throngs of bystanders gawk and cheer. Yep, that's what happens in the Kink every 10 years for the Reunion. Seems like every small town up here has a reunion - I had just begun dating D when Ripley went through theirs in 2005, so I was kind of prepared for what I'd see. Back then, I was pretty shy and still getting to know everyone, so I wore full length silk pajamas. D, on the other hand, wore a mini skirt, a hot pink negligee, panty hose and construction boots. THIS time I was determined not to be outdone by my husband, so I donned his black boxer briefs, a black bra, a big white men's shirt and D's favourite black tie. Oh, and my black naughty sox (they're from Zeller's but they're still naughty).
My outfit was among the mildest I witnessed that night, my personal favourites being the fellow wearing a tiny tartan thong and the guy wearing homemade tinfoil underwear. Actually, most of outrageous outfits were worn by guys. Which is amusing and impressive until you realize you actually a) know them or b) are related to them or c) both.
Anyways, the parage converges in Connaught Park, where everyone parties with a live band until the wee hours. I left at 1:30AM and things were still going strong. Say what you will about small-town living, they sure know how to have a good time every 10 years! Yes, it's a bit crude. Yes, it's weird. But hell, it's FUN! Check out some videos...if you're brave...http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=qFmWSk_cZEw
This last simple pleasure is going to seem a bit tame after the Shirttail parade, but it truly was a summer evening I'll remember. In Kink, every Saturday night in the summer, the main street is closed off so that the scottish pipe band can do their dignified bagpipe n' drum march. The best part? Everyone is invited to march along behind them. The whole evening wraps up with a pipe band concert in the park, just close enough to the ice cream shop that you can scramble down there for a cone and make it back in time to hear Amazing Grace, the final tune. I hadn't done the pipe band thing since I was a kid - back when we used to beg our mothers to take us EVERY saturday in the summer we were here. And you know what? It's just as much fun as an adult as it was when I was a kid.
So if you haven't been to the Kink, hopefully this little bouquet of experiences will entice you to visit. Soon!