Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Help a brother out here. No foolin’, I’m askin’. Is this dead and buried?

By “this,” I’m referring to friends and maybe some newfound friends gathered informally and making a little busker music and singing together. You know: fun. I can assure you that this was a widespread thing, back in the 1970s, at least. Lots of people owned acoustic chord buckets like this fellow is playing, and learned to make chord shapes down low on the neck. People knew the words to popular songs, and would jump at the chance to sing along if someone made the correct noises to back them up. I’ve played tupperware drums to accompany guitar players at a house party, so I know I’m not misremembering some movie I saw and transmogrifying it into a real memory.

If you’ve never had the cops come to your summer rental and tell you to keep it down, because the people in the only year-round house at the end of the street complained again, you haven’t lived. Of course you haven’t really lived until two cops comes to tell you to keep it down, notice all the pretty girls you’ve got arranged around the guitar player, and stay to drink beer and sing Brown Eyed Girl with you. That’s the best. Then whenever anyone comes to the door to tell you to keep it down, you can threaten to arrest them.

I don’t get around much any more. Is it dead, Jim? I don’t have a lot of evidence to go by. But one can’t help notice that the person who made this video on a soft night in Indiana near the fire pit has moved to New York City to make disposable music and YouTube videos for bots to watch. I’ll bet the girl, still clutching her iPhone, dances alone now.

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