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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Dan and I occasionally watch AMERICA’S GOT TALENT. And then we have to ask ourselves WHAT WERE THESE PEOPLE THINKING???

You had to have seen some of the “acts” if you watch the show at all…you know the ones. The person comes out, thinks they are the greatest thing since William Shakespeare then proceeds to read filthy poetry. Or the magician who, when interviewed, says that “People remember my tricks for years!” And after you see his act, you know WHY they remember his tricks; it is because they are so bad and the guy doesn’t even realize it!

Or the person who comes out and believes she is Ginger Rodgers and can’t dance a lick. Or the person who thinks they can croon a toon…and their singing sounds like nails on a blackboard. Don’t you wonder why their friends and family don’t tell them ‘DON’T GO OUT THERE!!’ ???? Do the “friends and family” think they are doing the person a big favor by NOT being honest with them? Or maybe the friends and family have all placed secret bets on how many milliseconds will pass before that singer or dancer gets the first X.

Dan and I could EASILY be on that show and do better than some of the people who were on it this week! Heck, we’ve had practice!! I’ve got the video to prove it! No way to load it to You Tube though because it IS an old VHS tape. AND we hadn’t even been drinking when we filmed this tape. I wish you could see it…

You may have picked up on the fact that I had a burning desire to learn to play the banjo. Dan always liked an old fiddle. He likes to fiddle around…ha, ha. We were tent camping at Big South Fork early one spring and had the whole south end of the campground to ourselves. I had one of our instrumental blue grass tapes going. Being in Kentucky, we felt anyone within an audible range would be delighted with our choice of music.

Dan started gathering some sticks and twigs. He took some clothesline and created a fiddle out of his collection. Then he proceeded to make me a 2 string banjo out of more sticks, twigs and clothesline. I couldn’t play a 5 or a 6 string, so better to only give me a 2 string. He found another appropriate size stick to make a bow for his fiddle and we were in business.
Then we set up the camcorder (told you this was years ago), turned up the bluegrass jams and proceeded to “string sync” (can’t call it lip sync) to the music. He’d yell out a “PLAY, MA!” when there was a banjo solo and I’d reciprocate with a “GIVE ‘ER HELL, PA!” when there was a fiddle solo. There was a lot of foot stomping going on keeping time to the music.

This particular blue grass tune must’ve been about 6 minutes long because both of us had achy arms and flat feet by the time it was over! Our instruments, crude as they were, must’ve weighed about 15 pounds each and Dan WAS trying to hold HIS under his chin!

To finish off the event, and to make sure no one else wanted to camp next to us, we then put on a Native American Pow Wow cassette tape….and proceeded to dance around the campfire. At this point, my Samoyed, She-ba decided to join us. She was barking and following us around the fire.

We don’t think anyone saw us because we figure if they did, they would have called to have us taken away.

That is why I think Dan and I could go on AMERICA’S GOT TALENT. OUR act is much better than some we’ve seen so far!


  1. Gary Hookway / Battle Creek3:53 PM

    Sounds like a real "hoot"enany, would like to see it. Was up at Lake Fanny Hooe at Fort Wilkins S.P. a few years back and someone started playing bagpipes (Amazing Grace of course) first thing in the morning as the mist/fog was lifting while I was fishing.....totally AWESOME, my own private concert !

  2. Gary, I LOVE bagpipes! We both do! When we went to Nova Scotia, at the Welcome Center was a piper; I started to cry as soon as I heard and of course, HE was playing Amazing Grace.

  3. Anonymous4:23 PM

    You guys sure have a varied taste in music! Bnajos' get-fiddles, babpipes!!

  4. Anonymous, maybe I should do a story about our music tastes! It IS rather "out there"!

  5. You can have that VHS tape converted and then maybe load it up to You Tube! I love that you and your hubby play music and dance together! My hubby taught me how to salsa dance and occassionally we'll give it a whirl in a our living room.

  6. Shellmo, I really should get all of our VHS tapes converted before they become so brittle that I can't. I LOVE salsa, and jive, and rhumba...and then there is the jerk, the skate, disco, am I telling my age???

  7. What a HOOT!
    Wish I could see THAT!
    You guys will make years and years of happy marriage with that humor and fun in you!

  8. Retired One...as long as we can keep our foot stomping love of music going!!

  9. Did you say you have a video to prove it???? I'd love to see that :-)

  10. Joanna, that could easily be arranged! All you need to do is make a trip to our neck of da woods!!


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