To tell you the truth, I’ve become a bit disillusioned with rallies. I’ve only been hitting a couple a year, and they’re always pretty great, but modern-scooter city rallies just aren’t the same as the drunken rural camping rallies that got me hooked on scootering. I’d been finding excuses to skip Pittsburgh Vintage Scooter Club’s Band Camp rally in eastern Ohio for ten years, but after a great trip to Niagara last month, I finally decided it was time to see what I was missing.
Vina, Milena, and I dropped off Pudge at the grandparents’ and headed east, totally behind schedule and totally underprepared, just like the old days. We didn’t even get there until Saturday afternoon, and damn if it wasn’t more than totally worth several hours’ drive (each way). As fun as Niagara was, PVSC topped it in every way, the perfect campground (a run-down but functional high school marching band camp in the middle of nowhere), the food was great (pierogies) and there was never a dull moment, with games, food, dancing, music, riding, and all the debauchery my life’s been missing all these years.
The best part was, like Niagara, it was mostly familiar faces, a few years older, but still great to see. There were so many old friends I didn’t even catch up with a lot of them, sorry! Even Milena had a great time, it was like being with family. A family that drinks a lot and doesn’t hassle you about politics. Who knew the phrase “Unkie Phil” could be stripped of creepy subtext when uttered unironically by a six year old?
I’ve just got one story (of many) to share, but first, let me shout out to Alex Tasi, who spent the whole weekend cheerfully chauffeuring rallygoers around the field on the downright magical “El Coucho.” Vina and Milena will never forget their ride. At one point Saturday night, the sun came back out for a few seconds, followed by a loud “FOOOOMP.” That was Alex, rather aggressively lighting the bonfire. He spent most of the night in a cold shower, and is still wrapped up like a mummy, but he assures us he’s doing OK.
And the story: Late, late, late Saturday night, Sean Stevens and I were sitting on the tailgate of the POC truck, We’d been catching up for an hour, and the booze was kicking in. “OK, man, I gotta go to bed,” he said, but first, I gotta tell you one more thing, something important.” Expecting a deep thought, or hard-earned wisdom, I solemnly listened. “Dude, you gotta go on YouTube and check out some Mike Vallely videos!” Apropos to nothing, Sean fugued on the 80/90s skateboarding legend for another ten minutes, while I tried not to laugh too hard. I was distracted for a moment, (possibly by boobies), and when I looked back, seconds later, he was gone. I looked around, thinking it was odd he hadn’t said goodnight, but he’d vanished into thin air. I shrugged and went to talk to Phil Waters and the POC gang. A couple minutes later, Sean was discovered under the truck. It didn’t occur to me to look down.
Phil packed Sean away in a nearby tent. I went to bed a few minutes later, but Sean wasn’t done yet. He woke up, realized he wasn’t in his own tent, and headed back into the crowd. While Sean was talking to Chim-Chim from St. Louis, Phil came up and told Chim-Chim that he’d put Sean into a tent. “Oh my God!” Sean thought. “He doesn’t see me! I’m dead! I’m a ghost!”
That’s the magical kind of drunk that you just don’t see at city rallies. Hooray for safely-confined irresponsibility, hooray for PVSC.
The photos below just give you a hint of what went down, I missed photos of the X-Wing, TIE fighter, Care Bears in the 80s scooter parade, the live version of Space Invaders, the Pants-Off-Dance-Off, swimming in the creek, Spliff and I winning the potato game on the strength of Spliff’s homicidal need to possess raw potatoes, and surely much more.