The entertainments at The Cabin have always been 'old school.'
In my youth, it was the radio (mostly AM, and limited to old WJR and it's affiliates out of Detroit and the surrounding area...and mostly the voice of Ernie Harwell calling the Tiger games), and board games. If you were truly bored, there were books.
And there were campfires, where the summer community of the River Road would gather, burn wood, and sing and tell stories. The adults imbibed; the children s'mored.
But these are different days from the obviously gilded memories of my youth.
Books are still available, and I've been through a couple that have been sitting on the shelf for a bit: a collection of stories by Stephen King published in 2015; and the latest from Michael Crichton, who continues to write great stories even while being dead since 2008.
But there are also DVDs. My Father caved in the late part of the last decade, and introduced a television to the main room; simple, plain, and with the use of the antenna, he gets a couple of stations and he was fine with that.
I provided a small, no-frills DVD player.
And when I travel to this place, I bring a collection of things that I have purchased sometime in the past, or old favorites that will play into my feelings of nostalgia.
Among some of the choices on this trip.....some episodes of NIGHT GALLERY and FATHER TED, the HORATIO HORNBLOWER miniseries from A&E, Several BBC SHAKESPEARE comedies, and the ENTIRE run of SCTV NETWORK 90.
I'm watching some the last one now.
And mixed in with all the laughs (it holds up pretty well over the decades), and all the memories of sitting in a living room in the early 80's, with a pizza and a couple of friends, laughing our assess off and not missing Saturday Night Live AT ALL....there was a bit of sadness and anger.....
Twenty three years since John Candy's passing.
We have been deprived of that particular joy for over a generation.
Yes, by now, he'd be pushing 70; and who knows what kind of movies he'd have made....hopefully, they would have been better than CANADIAN BACON and WAGON'S EAST.
But I miss the John Candy from that old television program from the CBC and then, from NBC. I miss Johnny LaRue and Dr. Tongue and The Guy With The Snake On His Face. And all those spot-on impressions. The brilliant quality of the scripts, at the time eclipsing that of the SNL.
I may actually miss the watching the program, rather than the program itself. Those halcyon days of college with two guys named Michael and Pete, laughing our asses off over pizza and liquids...late into the night.
I miss those guys.
And I'll miss this place, this old cabin in the woods, when I pack up and leave. But I'll be back; nothing ever keeps me away for very long from the cedars and the river and the silence.
But there are promises to keep.
And miles to go.