all the jacks are in their boxes

Sunday, April 26, 2009 - Posted by Amanda Bast
The weather reports for this weekend were absolutely fabulous - sunny and hot. Perfect weather for the first cottage weekend of the season. Of course, the weather forecasters couldn't have been wronger (hah, see what I just did there?) and it was cold and rainy.

We had planned to take a trip to Tobermory on Saturday, but the weather kind of blew that plan, so we went down to Ferndale to Long Haired Jerry's Amazing Fair Trade Coffee Shop and Cafe (totally not the real name, but that one's boring anyway). The shop was PACKED full of old men with huge beards and tribal tattoos and old ladies with strange baggy clothes. When hippies retire, they move to Bruce County and hang out at this place. They were having an open stage afternoon and when we arrived, there was a screech owl singing. Okay, so it was an old lady with rhinestones on her jeans (yes, hippies enjoy a bit of glam too), but I wouldn't have noticed a difference if I closed my eyes.

Once Screech Owl finished, things started to get interesting. The old guys and their guitars and harmonicas were legitimately good. Granted, I don't normally get excited about East coast folk music sung with a twang, but they were still good. This lady beside Mom tried to sing harmonies, but was terrible. No one seemed to care, as long as she was having a good time. Long Haired Jerry came over to talk to us (he knows his regulars) and he was long haired no more. He was diagnosed with cancer in January, sold his coffee shop and cut off his hair to donate to make wigs. He had a huge grin on his face and said that he still hangs out here, does these open stage things, except now he doesn't have to work. The man was beaming.

This was one of those moments that I felt honoured to be a part of. Here are a group of people getting together to do what they love to do, and to just be together, despite their circumstances. Despite crappy weather, overcrowded coffee shops, cancer, future plans going awry, they were there, screechy owls and all, having a blast.