Jem...Chapter 196

Jem...Chapter 196

*Before…

We’re finishing and there’s a few of these older guys that have played before us and the next group to come up as well a country act called Bonny Parker and that’s like the saying Bonny and not the woman’s name.

The MC looks at us and comes over asking. “They want to know if they can hear that again and can play in with you.”

This older man with salt and pepper that sort of reminds me of Sam Elliott drawls a little. “That’s a damn pretty song you wouldn’t mind us playing in maybe add some fiddle.”

The Bonny Parker’s lead singer nods. “We’d love to add some vocal and stuff, that was...that was talkin family girls.”

I look at the girls and they nod and I move and we make room. “We’d be honored to gentlemen.”

I look to the crowd that got a little bigger.

“Looks like we’re going to do this one more time.”

*And Now…

The audience got a little bigger too as we’re setting up together and we play and sing and they’re more experienced so we’re playing and we’re singing and then they just sort of play us by feel and the fiddle slides in first and they we’re playing.

Like two bands and some seasoned other players in with us and we’re...it’s not really a jam but it’s more like a social...we’re playing a social on stage.

And we’re all having fun...smiles in smiles as we sing and harmonize.

This, this is one of the parts of real and professional music that I think about, dream about. Where we can, where Rayne or Brooklyn or Kimmie can legitimately said I played with this person and that person.

Because months or years from now who knows.

Even if we never blast off there’s going to be people who’ll look and say.

They’re solid, they’re good people to work with.

And I’m going to say it again...up here the breeze is cool and the sun’s out and shining with us right now and we can look out over the crowd having a good time and see the rides and past that the lake.

We finish and the fellow with the drawl says. “Harper Point’s own Starlight Butterfly folks, makin us mighty proud thank you ladies.”

We get a good deal of applause as we take our bows and we filter off to a lot of congratulations and thanks from the older performers and folks around here and there was enough of it that we’re mostly blushing from the attention and there’s a few more folks that end up coming to the booth once we’ve packed our stuff up and went back to the booth.

Some buy things and some don’t but they offer handshakes and one older guy about forty or so said.

“That’s the first song I’ve ever heard about us. I’ve heard a lot of fishing songs but that’s the first one I ever heard about us here on the lakes.”

We all shake hands and Brooklyn speaks up. “My family’s fishermen or they’ve worked the plants.”

The guy just kind of gruffy nodded. “Going to want to hear that some more girls. Might want it to play on the boat.”

Molly says. “We’ll have a cleaned up version likely up in a few days on Itunes.”

He does that unsure nod. “I’ll get that downloaded.”

He starts to leave and stops. “Thanks again girls, really it means a lot to finally have someone say something.”

It’s a pretty good afternoon after that really and we’re doing some more videos with the lessons and we’re actually getting more and more traffic the closer we get to suppertime.

We’re squeezing in some practice time when we can too and some rehearsal time for tonight.

While we’re at it and we have a lot of folks in that had come before from out of town to see us are back to see us here again during the fair and it’s really cool since a good number are here for the weekend with some here just until Sunday night and some here until early Monday morning.

It’s cool to see them and talk to them and I feel like I’m winning seriously when I remember people’s names too.

And seriously I got to admit that it’s really cool for folks to come up to our booth already wearing our stuff.

And I shill some for the other booths too.

“There’s a lot of charity stuff going on here and seriously if we just gave the change we’re carrying between purchases with the crowd here that’s like a lot.”

Kimmie nods. “That’s like if just one spot got fifty cents from each person during the whole week then it’s like well for two hundred folks that’s a hundred bucks. That’s a lot of cat food or dog food or people food at the shelter.”

Brooklyn adds in with. “4-H and all the Scouts, Brownies, Guides and stuff are all taking recyclables so it you are going to dump a bottle or a can heck just look for the bins with the logos on them. That’s gear and getting kids off to camping and things.”

We don’t do it all the time but we still do it enough and we add it plugs to Sawyer’s Funrides and the deal we have with them.

Mike will tell some folks interested in that. “You know they’re provincial local and one of the few carnivals still going and it’s one of those family generation deals too. So we’re actually working with them to shoot some videos but we’re going to try and help them out too with a video about them but what the old school stuff like this means and what’s going to happen when it’s gone.”

Which actually got some folks talking right there and them to him about it and on camera. Seriously people feel pretty strongly about stuff like this and especially when it’s older folks who for them this was something special. Fall Fair, or the town Exhibition it was all big deal stuff.

Mike’s actually pretty good at this and not just the audio video stuff that he’s good with but he’s pretty good about getting people talking.

One thing I didn’t know was the locals that go work through them. Help for start up and tear down just under the table labor and stuff but with a few stories it meant school clothes.

We go until six o’clock and then we stop for a break and end up going to the food court here again and meeting with Max and his mom and Janey who squeals when she sees us and literally runs to Kimmie who scoops her up into her arms and carries her. There’s Danny and Kate and Dad with Uncle Mitch and of course Billy and Davey and there’s some others there like Jake who’s here to meet up with Josie and we’re getting waved over to a whole other area between the trucks for the rides and the campers where there’s a staff meal going on with a couple of barbeques and croc pots and a lot more healthy stuff then the fried stuff.

Danny’s introducing us around as is Dad and he’s calling us his girls.

Yeah he gets lots of love for that.

As does Kate for letting us use their fifth-wheel camper trailer and their bathroom and she even lets us get a shower.

It’s all buffet styled food and we’re told to help ourselves.

The food is great with all the BBQ standards I guess and I like that they have some fish grilled and that they have turkey burgers and some veggie options too.

There’s a lettuce wrap with like hummus in it but grilled veggies and fresh herbs all rolled up tight that’s really good and they’re small so I get a few of them, a whole skin and head on grilled fish when Rayne makes for them with a yum look on her face and I get a dish of meatballs in peppers and veggies and sweet and sour sauce over rice.

I mean we could have anything really and it’s here too for us to have but I get why they’re eating like this over the midway food.

I look at Dad. “We haven’t see you all day is everything okay?”

He nods. “I ended up making a deal with Danny yesterday and then that kind of bloomed into something with Lorna McAllister and things.”

“Oh?”

Danny says. “Your uncle’s giving us a really good deal on his services and things from Powerhouse garage. He does heavy equipment repairs and well...money’s been super tight.”

Dad nods. “And you know garage policy so….”

I nod while chewing a dill pickled brussel sprout that Rayne had fed me. “So you worked something out.”

He nods. “And Ms. McAllister heard we were working something out and she chatted me up about working here in the Fair for the town as an extra maintenance hand.”

Billy chuckles. “And D and I are helping too as a sort of plays well with others for the cops to see.”

That got some chuckles all around.

Kate looks at me. “It’s all helping so much really, and we’re really, really busy too. Thanks all of you.”

Kimmie claps getting other too. “Group effort, it’s always cool to work together.”

I see Janey clapping too and Max’s mom is looking at her and i think there’s a bit of approval there.”

Danny asks. “When do you want to set up your video stuff?”

I look at Mike and Molly. “I was kind of hoping tonight for a little before shut-down happens and then maybe one of the mornings during the week when it’s slower.”

He nods. “Not a problem, so you have a new song from this afternoon and another one for tonight?”

I nod. “Biggest night of the Fair for the stage really so we had to have something cool for our fans here and the flow and timing of having a new song came out pretty awesome.”

Dad says. “I heard Fisherboy this afternoon that was nice, it got a lot of love.”

I gesture to Brooklyn. “It’s all her really I just chipped in.”

Brooklyn blushes. “Well you did more than that you should have been on the writing credit too.”

Max’s mom asks. “Writing credit?”

I look over to her. “When you copyright a song you can also register it with things like The Songwriters guild of Canada and it’s on record that that’s something you did in another place. A lot of songwriters never are the performing artists and then there’s singers who write things for others they never sing and all of those things.”

She looks at me. “So it’s portfolio building?”

I nod. “There’s that and there’s all the music guilds and associations and things to be part of professional music.”

She looks at me. “That’s a lot for kids your age.”

I shrug. “Sort of it’s the cost really for some of it all it’s pretty expensive to be a professional in good standing. But Google is your friend when you really what to look into stuff and do your homework on it.”

She’s nodding. “Sounds like it might take a big bike out of school though.”

I nod. “Some, Brooklyn and Kimmie are in school the rest of us went other ways and are planning on other things.”

“Like?”

“Well I’m getting my GED in the new year and then going to business college here in town.”

Rayne says. “I’ve got my GED already and I’m working part time At Wal-mart so I’ll be taking up the office slack and Kim and Brooklyn still have a year to finish.”

Carmen says. “I’ll be going back to school but going with Angel but for my cosmetology certs.”

I blink and grin at her. “For reals?”

She nods smiling. “I’m on track to go in for the GED program with you and the community college said with the bnd experience and portfolio that they’ll accept me pretty much when I apply.”

Mike Says. “I’m done this year and just actually picking up my last few credits. I’m actually thinking about going to school for communications with like some audio/video and maybe music mixing and things I’ve already started sending some applications in.”

Uncle Mitch stares at mike and he gets this big smile on his face. “So not law enforcement?”

Mike shakes his head. “Nope, I really like all of this Dad, plus there’s some other stuff that I want to do.”

Uncle Mitch looks happy. “So you’re really thinking about this?”

He nods. “I’m actually doing it now. I want to go and get my degree in it.”

I nod. “And as a legit business Starlight Music and Entertainment can sign off on his hours for practical and Carmen’s too.”

Molly nods. “I’m also keeping track of all the coaching we’ve been doing too if that’ll help with things.”

Max’s mom has been looking back and forth with all of this. “You’re really doing this? And it’s working?”

I nod. “We’re not making huge money by any stretch of things but we’re making an okay living right now. The plan is to keep going and everything but build a foundation under all of us while we’re doing it...and we’ve been lucky and we’ve had help.”

Jake nods. “Well what help you’ve been getting you girls all pay it back. We were planning on being closed for the weekend but we had online asks and phone calls and we opened yesterday and this morning for our Amsterdam bar breakfast and we did good yesterday and we we’re packed today. And we’re going to even be open tomorrow.”

I look at him. “You have good food.”

He says. “We do now, but not even counting the band stuff the help with the online things we’re doing now and the site stuff Molly did with all the history of the place. We’re getting another wind.”

I blush. “Well thank your girlfriend a lot of that still wouldn’t be possible without Josie.”

She laughs as he thanks her and there’s kissing involved and Max’s mom is smiling again and she looks not like she’s completely like suddenly good with us but she looks like she’s relaxing.

She looks at Max. “Maybe you can go back to school too?”

He stopped drinking his drink and he looks at her and he nods. “Yeah, I just need to work out things with rent and the bills and daycare and sitters.”

She looks at him. “You need to go to school. You need to get a trade or a degree or something that gets you out from garbage wages.”

Dad pipes up. “I need a painter. I’m starting a new body shop part and service and there’s lots to do and you could go to classes and come and work for me at night.”

Max is looking at him. “Sir that’s great and all but just because I’m seeing Kim…..ow!”

Kimmie punched him in the shoulder.

She looks at dad. “How many hours Remy?”

“Lots really with the cleaning and rust that I’m dealing with on some of the machines and then the painting...probably five days a week and four or five hours each day.”

“How much an hour?”

Dad thought about it for a bit. “Honestly I can’t go full since he doesn’t have his ticket and that’s be trouble but I could swing sixteen.”

Max looks like he’s thinking.

Dad says. “You could come in after the little one’s asleep, work and be home in time to sleep and you’d still have weekends unless some big job came in.”

Kimmie looks at him. “Say thank you Remy.”

Max turns and looks at her. Then his mom says. “Say thank you Remy.”

He’s looking at both then at Dad and then he’s looking at Janey.

And it kind of makes me happy and a little tearful and proud when I can see him literally look at his daughter and swallow whatever pride was jabbing him.

He stands up and he shakes Dad’s hand and he says. “Thank you sir, I’ll work hard this is a big break.”

Dad nods. “We all get breaks, people help us and there’s no shame in that Max heck you’ve done really well as is. You’ve earned the chance and you’ll work for everything else.”

“Yes sir, thank you again sir.”

Max’s mom nods and she looks at Kimmie again. “You’re pretty involved with Max’s life.”

Kimmie covers Janey’s ears and she looks at her. “We’re not doing the casual relationship thing Darlene. Things change when you start sleeping together.”

And that was a kinda sort of big bomb she just dropped.

I mean we knew it but Max’s mom...well she’s just staring at her waaaaay more now.

“You two are young, really young Kimberly.”

Kimmie looks at her. “And Max’s learned some pretty hard lessons, and so have I. I really, really care about him and want good things for him. I’m not going to just let them pass him by because they came from my adopted Dad.”

Max looks at both of them. “No fighting...either of you two...I’m going to do this.” he looks at Kimmie. “Thank you for the push, I did need it.” he looks at his mom. “And we’re still taking it slow, we’re still going to take it slow.”

Darlene nods. “I can see that and just so you know I’m still going to chime in when I have something to say.”

Max’s face scrunches up. “Like I could stop you?”

She nods again. “Damned right.” Then she looks at Kimmie. “Let’s go and get some dessert.”

Max says. “Mommmmm….” sort of warningly.

Kimmie gets up. “Definitely maybe we can take Janey on some rides too.”

They get up and they take Janey who went from that kids face of I missed something to. “Yay rides!”

We watch them leave and Max sits down. “I’m so screwed aren’t I?”

Uncle Mitch laughs. “Oh yeah this looks like your life took another hairpin turn into the serious.”

The guys that are there sort of talk with him and commiserate and I go for some dessert with Rayne.

I look at her as we’re getting this homemade ice cream that looks good. “Does Kim know what she’s doing?”

Rayne shrugs. “If not she’s going to. She’s dating a single dad...with a mom that’s pretty protective of both of them and she still has to fight the echoes of the other girl.”

Brooklyn joins us. “It’s going to be rough but Kim’s been through shitty family stuff too, she’s wants better but she’s sort of been in Janey’s boots too. She told me that. She gets that the kid needs her not to be a flake, she knows it’s a big commitment because her folks never made it emotionally.”

I sigh. “So how’s Kim been with relationships though?”

Brooklyn shrugs. “Medium I’d say, like she’s dated before and she’s fooled around some too back when Summer was in the band and there was a guy in Toronto before all of that who was a real game playing shithead and she was in deep and hurt by him….so she’s not really not been in things with guys before.”

She sighs. “Actually with stuff actually looking up with the band and that getting off the ground and serious she’s kind of taking things more serious than she usually does. I think Max is part of that.”

Rayne nods. “Really only time can tell.”

I sigh but take my ice cream and we go back and sit down and join the others and Carmen’s talking about getting some help from Josie in face painting because that’s going to be busy as there were requests for it before the rock bands start to play.

Oh the ice cream is good.

It’s literally just really good vanilla ice cream and they have cubed up apple in it but they’ve all been coated in the shell stuff for candy apples. There’s just this little crunch and pop as I bite into them.

“Wow...this is good.”

Kate beams. “Thank you. It’s one of those things with leftovers and other stuff I’ve been sort of working on.”

Rayne asks. “Do you sell this in the concessions?”

She blinks. “No why?”

I say. “It’s that good. Seriously Kate start selling this.”

She’s looking at her own. “Really?”

“Really….I’m serious, this, this is a win.”

Dad steals a scoop of mine. “Oh...oh...oh wow yeah especially in the summer time shows.”

Uncle Mitch is trying some and he starts to nod. “Yeah this is really good. And listen to Angel she’s sold recipes to the high end Pine Tree Cafe place here in town.”

She’s looking at me. “Just a few good ideas and that’s part of the help we’ve gotten starting up too.”

She’s nodding. “But this’d sell?”

I grin and her. “Oh for sure what else do you have?”

Kate and Rayne and Brooklyn and I end up going into her trailer and she’s made a few ice creams like the caramel apple which I’ve heard of but it’s still good. There’s also pumpkin pie spiced sweet she makes for us and it’s kinda like caramel popcorn but it’s pretty thinly crunchy and there’s very much a light sugar effect on the popcorn like she didn’t brown it to where it’s overpower the pumpkin spice and it’s more than just pumpkin spice.

I eat a handful slowly. “You tossed this in pie filling?”

Kate nods. “Just a little diluted in real butter but not enough to keep the caramel from taking hold.”

Rayne nods. “This is a perfect time for this, fall is like prime pumpkin spice fever and you can sell this pretty easy too.”

We actually talk some about all of that and play with a few idea and things that we’ve seen at some of the places we’ve been at and how much that things trend with people and how folks will go for it.

“This is that thing you were doing with the cookies today and the stuff with the tapas stuff from that Pine Tree place I’ve seen on the SLB page right?”

I nod. “It all is like warp speed word of mouth and more since we can post up pictures.”

She looks at me and the girls. “Can’t hurt to go for it right?”

Brooklyn nods. “Start with the candy apple crunch ice cream, seriously.”

She is smiling. “And here I was just playing around trying to use leftovers and think of ways to maybe make the concessions a bit better.”

I give her a hug. “Seriously, this is what us in business is going to be like. We’ll cheer you on and help you get started in things as much as we can.”

Brooklyn is eating more popcorn. “Plus we’re ready taste testers.”

Kate is smiling like she’s proud of this and that she has ideas and things going on in her head now. She looks at me. “So what do I need to do at least the apple?”

Rayne says. “Time, ice cream makers for one and big containers for it like the ice cream companies sell their scoopable in, Deep freezer.”

Brooklyn nods. “You sell ice cream though at the concessions use those tubs and just drop the flavor into the menu for now, then you’re worries are just down to making enough of it.”

Kate looks at us. “You really think…”

I give her a hug and so does the other girls. “Yeah we do. “ Brooklyn says.

We head out and give Dad and Uncle Mitch hugs and kisses to and head back to our booth to start getting ready and getting folks ready for the rock bands that are going to be starting soon.

Actually I’m helping too because I did do mine before Carmen and Kimmie’s helping to and she seems okay after the talk and we can hear some of the other bands starting to play.

And the crowds seem really into it from the sound and we get lots of “break a legs” from fans as they get done up and they buy things and we close up as fast as we can heading to go and watch from the waiting area for the bands in the staff tent that’s set up.

We’re a few bands in and it’s started at nine and most of the smaller crews are playing shorter sets but it’s still like they’re getting a concert here tonight.

“Montreal Raildogs” are here doing their mix again and there’s “Jill Trim” a girl fronted band that’s named after her and she’s a good singer too with this sort of a high clear sound even though she’s trying for some kind of hard rock sound...she comes across as a bit too breathy and seductive or trying to be in a style that is too fast for that...not bad and her musicians need some work.

Then we get to see “The Sweet Jones’s” which are kind of a hipster folk kind of band and they’re not bad they do a lot really light stuff that’s pretty good. They’d be a really good sort of beach gig kind of band.

“Huron Electric” is on after them and they really rock the place pretty hard with some of their native covers and a little some covers that are just fun. I’m actually bopping and dancing as they’re covering *I hate everything about you* By Ugly Kid Joe.

Then it’s time for Summer and Kisses & Thorns to play and the lights dim low and there’s Hannah in a gothy looking black dress and she has her violin and she starts doing this little sort of soulful and kinda goth feeling bit and she slides from a note in that to this violin start up for the musical part of *Kiss from a Rose* By Seal

Then it’s the boys with those “Da na na, da na na, dun dun da na…”

And then it’s the girls alternating with “La...la, la, la…” in this like a roundelay effect and they do that entire intro acapella and getting their instruments ready and a second spotlight flashes onto Summer who’s in a black leather jacket and a kinda short red spaghetti strap dress and torn fishnets and gothy calf high boots with loads of buckles.

Her hair’s damp and that makes her look pretty hot and she has her tips dyed red too and that’s all a really good look for her and she steps to the mic and cradles it and she belts out the opening all full of clearness and power and just hits it perfect enough to raise the hairs on your arms.



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