Friday, June 1, 2007

My Irish Heritage

In honour of the annual McCallum Family Camp-Out that goes down tonight in the wilds of East Oakville, here's a little clip that fairly accurately illustrates the history of my dad's culture.

The McCallum Family Camp-out began as my Grandfather, my dad, and his brothers doing the male bonding routine at Rock Point Provincial Park, where it can be assumed that the last part of this clip generally took place. After a few years, my brother and I were invited along for a one night stand of imbibing and cigar smoking with the boys at Elora Gorge in what remains one of the great nights of my young life. Eventually, the women and younger children joined in the fun, but it's hard to tell whether or not these experiments could be considered a success because the weekend invariably fell on the same night as game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, and we spent much of those evenings either watching the Stars beat the Sabres in overtime on some poor family's TV set up outside their motorhome, or listening to Jason Arnott bury the OT winner in the 2000 finals on my Uncle Kevin's van radio at Long Point... I'm not sure whether or not that was the same year the park was infested with millions of swarming insects that looked like miniature cyclones of larvae that you could hear buzzing at dusk like the oncoming of an Old Testament plague... And as my grandmother has repeatedly insisted, she "loathes" camping. Good times.

So after a two year hiatus, the McCallum Family Camp-Out was reinvented in my Unkle Mike's backyard. They have a killer pool as a substitute for Lake Erie, and some more-than-adequate accomodations for those who don't exactly relish the opportunity of roughing it under the stars. They also have a fire pit and a killer sound system to accompany the unmatched vinyl collection. Throw in the customary beverages and genealogical good-will, and you have a recipe for some serious family fun.

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