I went to Easton, Maryland the other day for the Waterfowl Festival that is held every year. My son was competing in the World Junior Duck calling championships, which he was fortunate enough to win. It's a great festival, with booths featuring hunting clothing, duck and goose calls, guns and ammo. They have a dog diving contest, and they have beer to drink and fresh seafood to eat.
What’s great about it is how everyone is so friendly and genuinely nice. It reminds me of when I was a kid in the 70’s.
I was waiting in line with a bunch of people to buy a pair of boots. It was in a tent, and the boots and the cases of ammo were sitting there. Everyone got what they wanted to buy and then they waited in line to pay. I noticed that there was zero security there, and anyone who wanted to could have grabbed a pair of boots or a case of ammo and walked right out. But nobody did. Everyone waited their turn in the long line. I mentioned the fact to a girl in line with me and she said, "I know, it's crazy." She was from right outside of DC and she was amazed how honest everyone was at the Festival. Also, there was a ticket booth there to pay for entry, but you could have walked right in if you were dishonest . There were no barriers stopping anyone from doing that, from walking right in. But I didn't see anyone doing that, either.
It was funny when I was hanging out at the duck call booth where my son was working, and you could tell who was a hunter and who wasn't. I am stereotyping here, but the people who weren't hunters stood out like a sore thumb. I can just picture the married yuppie couple living in Chevy Chase Maryland that morning, sitting there, drinking their morning coffee complaining about guns and conservatives as they read the Washington Post, that rag. They are dressed in their matching white robes, legs crossed, pinkies extended. The women says, “Oh look, Honey, they are having a Waterfowl Festival on the Eastern Shore.” “Oh really? I don't know, the Eastern Shore is a bunch of rednecks!” “Yes, dear, but they have those dogs diving as far as they can and they have music and stuff.” "Okay, Honey, I am all for adventure, and for doing whatever you say, so let's go!”
And then they get there, and they see all the American flags and big 4x4 trucks and then they get into the festival and most folks are wearing camo and baseball caps, and people are walking around with beers and they are dipping and stuff. The man gets very nervous, because he has never been around folks like that, even the women are wearing camo and then there are guns for sale and ammunition and the woman starts to get nervous. But then everyone greets them and looks them in the eye and everyone is friendly, from the guy cleaning up to the people watching the duck calling contest to the lady at the ticket booth. They couldn’t believe it, because the yuppies had heard that people such as THESE PEOPLE are domestic terrorists, but even though the yuppies are dressed differently than everyone, nobody cared. And there were black people and hispanic people and white people there in camo also, and that blew their mind. The whole way home, they talked about how surprised they were about the people at the Festival. How maybe everything they had heard on the news is wrong, and they start to wonder, maybe the news is fake and wrong. And the husband feels in his pocket for the duck call that he bought from a booth. He also bought a DVD that teaches him how to blow it. He feels something stir inside of him, yes, his testicles reappear, they had been buried way down inside since he was in high school, and he starts thinking about getting outside more and maybe, (God forbid), trying this hunting stuff that everyone was talking about at the festival. In fact, he had a great conversation with a man who used to be a lobbyist on capitol hill, who hunts ducks on the weekend. He offered to take the yuppies hunting, and he didn't even know them, had just met them. People are really like that? He felt like a whole new world was opening up for him.
At one point , after eating a few Chesapeake oysters bathed in Old Bay Hot Sauce, I grabbed a locally brewed beer and stood out in the middle of the festival, and I watched what was going on, and I began laughing. It's about an hour from Easton to Washington DC, but I was thinking that it might as well be on the other side of the world. I started to think that maybe if all of the wackos who hate this country would come to a festival like this with an open mind and then get out there and go hunting or shooting, that the world would be a whole lot better. I felt recharged when I left there. I hope the yuppies did, too.