I think it would go something like this…
The Green Hills of Green Bay
By: Nick Barnett
Green Bay can influence ones verve like no other place on earth. The morning of July 1st, 2009 was hardly an exception. The sunrise had just begun to reach the top of the kopjes (rocky outcrops like islands strewn across the Fox River) casting morning shadow over their tiny little wildlife hamlets, each sunbeam claiming a separate bedfellow as if a thousand suns had spawned from one. A more virginal breath of air cannot be taken until one has filled their nostrils on the Wisconsin northland. It is purity in its rawest form, and takes me back to my childhood where we would get up early on Sunday morning, running outside to bang hip-hop on the streets of Fontana.
In retrospect, I can hardly figure my initial reluctance to a member of our neighborhood tribe as he asked me to move my trailer off of the street. One would expect that I would have been eager to oblige his request, but bringing me a copy of the village ordinances was hardly the way to go about it. I vowed to hold off moving the eyesore from the pathway for a couple of days, more so out of spite than genuine anger. However, I felt my disinclination justified at the time and had remained skeptical and equally diffident right up until that next morning.
The next day I thought back to my arrival in Green Bay, and recalled that July was the season of the family cookout in Wisconsin, and I begrudgingly decided to move the trailer from the main road onto a smaller dirt pathway. Although the rains had not been overly heavy, the road was littered with potholes, and we only made it a short way before we ran into nuisance. My truck “Big Red” was overweight, and as the road became steeper, the mud left us slipping as we climbed. I had to get out and cut brush to lie under the wheels while the others were made to push. With no possibility of going backward, we continued to go through the motions until we reached the top of the hill, leaving me covered in mud and soaked through before my adventure had even begun.
Without warning, the hitch, too loose at the vehicle, gave way suddenly, right in the middle of the village at the time of heaviest wear. It was at this moment I knew I should have left the task, as it was well into the evening before I reached my destination, and I could do little more than collapse for a few hours of much needed rest.
After a sound nights respite, I set out to collect a quantity of fireworks. As I approached the Runway Fireworks village, one mile west of the Oneida nation tribe, I was introduced to Dean, their leader. Dean was an accomplished and well known guide for fireworks in these parts, spending countless hours perfecting his craft in the backroom of his outpost. Although I did not have much to add to our conversations, I found it captivating to hear him tell stories of the holidays past, recounting the beauty of each and every boom stick he showed me. I could picture the splendor of my gathering already, as the children would run screaming into the tall grass, hiding, only to peek their heads out minutes later and return for more.
After finishing my barter with chief Dean, I was feeling the airy swell of happiness. I proceeded into the village and gathered a small bag, some items necessary for cooking, and all the other miscellaneous supplies we would need for our celebration. Big Red was packed tightly, and I was ecstatic as we finally reached our home destination. I had been eager most of the day to continue my charity work on Twitter, but my real target, was the former attire of renowned musical artist Michael Jackson.
My employer, a professional sporting team in the United States, afforded me a large collective of well wishers at my disposal. Desiring the red and silver jacket by morning, I feverously wrote a note to aid in the acquisition that would so complement my Oxford baggies. I offered the highest reward, but was unable to find any travelers outside the Orient that could fulfill my desire.
My disappointment aside, at the far end of the village, I was going to try and meet up with the final member of my meager charity party. A teammate of mine, Ryan Grant, a sporting mogul born in New York City was the first to arrive. I had been pressuring Mr. Grant to join our cause for quite some time. A handsome man in his own right, Mr. Grant agreed to help our ground-breaking charity effort, and early that next morning we reached our goal, and basked in the happiness of our achievements.
Long before I had entertained any notions of sunshine, I took a quick moment to promote a musical event I would be hosting in the village. I was looking for a few laborers to join me on the slog, and I proceeded to exchange pleasantries for a moment. Yet, my mind was racing with thoughts about sunrise and I had only hours remaining to prepare for the glorious day.
As morning greeted me, the anticipation of the day’s events ran rabid in the crisp morning air. I noticed right away that my Afro was looking quite nice, and although I stilled longed for the Michael Jackson accessory, I was eager for the night’s festivities. I descended to the back yard and watched the river evaporate into a sea of ducks. Every species imaginable swam in the river. There were geese and numerous fine-looking egrets. In the middle of the tarn were multitudes of herons – as I watched they took flight from the pool until the heavens light was blocked with this blissful grey eclipse.
We spent the night exchanging pleasantries and I took a moment to sip a rare treat of whiskey on ice. I could have sipped whiskey for hours, but we only a few moments until my fire show was to light up the Green Bay sky. Now up to this point, everything had been going according to my scantily prepared plans. But, the Bay is known for its mercurial twists of temper, and the motherland not wanting to disappoint, swiftly fashioned a situation so portentously large and heated that an irrecoverable state of devastation and destruction was ineluctable.
I was right in the middle of the festivities, when a small flame from my fire show fell gently on to our remaining supplies. Now if my account gets kind of blurry at this point, remember that sheer terror will do that to a man. The sound was deafening, as a thousand pounds of thundering fire hit the sky. Never before had I seen such a tremendous display. I couldn’t look. I couldn’t move. As I then submitted to certain death, the flames extinguished and fell to the ground. I picked myself up from that same plot of land and checked on the others safety without delay.
After I came to there was some discrepancy as to the exact details of that evening. Particulars aside, we would all agree that a big name from above must have been watching out for us. We spent a moment at the site of the mayhem, reveling in its power. It had to have been a one in a million blast.
It was a fitting ending to our evening and I felt cocksure that everyone had experienced the best that Green Bay had to offer. We were lucky enough to run across an old fire for the evening, and though plenty of firewood lay ready at the camp, I found no fuel to assist us and set out to collect a quantity of motor oil in a tin bucket called a debe usually used by the natives for hauling petroleum or paraffin. Our fire proceeded to rage the rest of the evening, as we reminisced about our adventures in Wisconsin.
We drank much whiskey that night, dined on the wild game, and continued to re-live the afternoon’s events with one another ad nauseam. My spirit would continue to be high throughout the remainder of the weekend, even though I was forced from my bed the following morning by the local authorities, who had found our boats floating into another village after we had failed to secure them properly. Regardless, we had an journey filled with beauty, laughter, and most of all the unexpected. I was grateful to simply be breathing.
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