A Virginia Tradition - Field Parties

The accompanying little story is a youngster's admission of blame. It comes forty-years after the infractions were conferred and securely after any statutes of impediments or the likelihood of being grounded at home for a month.

On the off chance that you had the extraordinary delight of developing into adulthood while living in the rustic regions of Virginia, the chances are great that you're acquainted with the term 'field party'. Some more natural than others. For any un-learned urbanites, here's the meaning of field party as indicated by the online Urban Dictionary.

"A gathering held amidst a field or ranch trim so to stay away from guardians and police. Normally held by under age partiers and joined by a barrel obtained by a more seasoned kin."

In Shenandoah County amid the 1970's, the aggregate populace of the whole district faltered around 25,000 individuals. That is around 48 individuals for every square mile, a great lump of whom lived-in or close to the about six residential areas specking the center of the valley. Some of those little groups had an evening police power of one or none. The legitimate drinking age was eighteen-years of age, so a secondary school senior could purchase their own barrel of lager. There were miles and miles of open fields and moving farmlands.

The conditions were perfect for a field party.

The field party agenda:

A field, ideally possessed by somebody you know.

A wellspring of power for music. (Auto battery, gas generator, expansion cords,etc.)

Campfire, bigger the better.


Lavatories accessible normally close to the fence line. No wash cycle. Dribble dry as it were.

We were welcome to a major field party by some person that had found out about it from somebody who knew the bearings to someone's ranch where the huge party was held each year. My better half and a couple of different companions of our own were making a beeline for the gathering before me; I'd get up to speed after I got off work at 9PM.

There was no Interstate expressway back then, so the fifteen mile drive to a field party appeared somewhat outrageous, yet obviously definitely justified even despite the drive from what we were told. There was no additionally GPS at the time, yet the bearings that I was given appeared to be sufficiently simple for a nation kid to take after.

"Go south on Rt. 11 for around 10 or 12 miles. Before you get to Mt. Jackson, directly past Hawkinstown, take a privilege on Hawkins Road. Drive for a smidgen, you'll go over the railroad tracks, at that point you'll pass the radio station. Continue onward. You should see the blaze from the street. There'll be a couple of bovines confronting West on one side of the street. The earth street on the opposite side will take you straight up the slope to the gathering. Simply tune in for the band. You'll see it no issue."

I had finished the initial 4/5ths of the headings when I initially observed the gleam of the campfire at the peak of the bumpy field. As I got nearer, the outlines of many gathering goers could be seen against the transcending blazes. It resembled the motion picture trailer for "Journey for Fire", yet with my better half as Rae Dawn Chong and Led Zeppelin giving the soundtrack. As the reins were pulled on my abating Ford Pinto, my eyes berserk looks substituted between the street and its dump line, scanning for that slippery soil street, or possibly the historic point of dairy animals.

At that point all of a sudden the street veered strongly and the Pinto went straight down a muddied dump. The auto wasn't voyaging quick and hit nothing strong, however after it halted, I looked like Neil Armstrong lashed into a container test system, confronting downwards after a G-Force instructional course.

The wheels just spun in the wet mud, the auto was going no place. Thus, I did the main sensible teenaged thing and began strolling up the slope to join the gathering. The auto wasn't going anyplace.

Companions gave me a ride down the slope after the gathering. As we neared My Ditch, another auto could be seen along the street, a few young fellows assessing the resting Pinto. We pulled up close by.

"Hello, what's going on fellas?"

"Some individual ran their auto down this discard!"

"Yea, I know. It's mine. Figure I'll require a tow-truck"

"Nah, hellfire no. We can drive you out! Get in and begin her up!"

After Neil Armstrong dealt with his way once more into his Apollo rocket dispatch, the Good Samaritans pushed the auto back onto the soil street. Alongside my genuine expressions of gratitude, I gave the folks the luke-warm six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon brew from the secondary lounge of the auto (of which them appeared to be strangely extremely thankful) at that point took after my companions once more into town for a late-night devour of 7-11 bean stew canines.