As promised, here is the story of our final night of Bama Jam. I previously told you that all four of us were volunteering the third night from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. or whenever they told us they didn’t need us, anymore. We had on our cool Bama Jam 2012 staff t-shirts, comfortable shoes and, except for my daughter, our hats. I wore my straw cowboy hat; my son and Southern Man wore their Alabama Crimson Tide baseball hats.
After standing around with about a dozen other people, waiting for the “bosses” to figure out who was going where, they finally got to us. First, they asked my Southern Man and I if we’d like to work the saloon. I could see my daughter’s fleeting panic-stricken look on her face out of the corner of my eye. There is a particular quote from our favorite movie that she always likes to imitate and I figured it was probably playing in her head:
Anyways, we politely declined, saying we’d like to keep the our kids with us and, if possible, all four of us work in the same area. So, we were assigned to work one of the entrance gates. This particular gate was where tractors pulled trailer-loads of people from the camping and RV areas and dropped them off. We were told that we had to yell “men to the left, women to the right, take your chairs out of the bags” over and over and over and over again as each new load of people were dropped off. We were also informed that we would have to repeat ourselves so many times, that we would probably be saying it in our sleep that night. Three of us had to stand outside the gate and make the announcement to people, so that when they went through security it would speed the process up. Theoretically. My son and daughter stood on one side of the gate, I stood on the other, which is where everyone was finishing off their beverages and tossing the (usually) empty container in the trash.
Doesn’t this sound exciting? Oh, but it was so much more than you may think. Imagine ALL these people camping across the street or right next to the Bama Jam fields. ALL weekend. Many of whom were probably drinking all weekend and weren’t sure which direction was right or left. Makes for some interesting people watching and entertainment. Especially when you occasionally get confused and yell out to some already confused, inebriated people, “Women to the left, men to the right, bags out of the chairs!” (No, I wasn’t drinking. Perhaps, it was the alcoholic fumes rising from the trash containers?) That only happened 3 or 4 times all night, which I thought was pretty good considering how many times we had to tell people. My son and daughter, however, would give me exasperated, mocking, “Really, Mom?” looks–that is until my daughter did it once or twice, herself. “HAH!” I said, “SEE? It’s easy to switch ’em, isn’t it!” (My daughter just informed me, while I was writing this, that her brother, on one of his first announcements, yelled out, “Take your bags out of your chairs!” Hehehe. I remember that now. He smiled quite sheepishly, if I recall.)
So, that is basically how our evening went. Meanwhile, my Southern Man was under the tent, handing out program booklets to the Bama Jammers that had already made it through the security checkpoint. When my son and I took our break a few hours later, those same booklets were strewn all over the field between the entrance gate and the main entertainment area. We couldn’t help but laugh at the hundreds of booklets. (You know, people, there is no obligation to take the booklets if you don’t want them. Next year, just say no–politely of course.)
Most of the people coming through the gate were nice. There were a few who were sick of the checkpoints, but when you have tens of thousands of people attending an event in this day and age, you have to screen them. Alcohol was not allowed into the event, although there was plenty to be had once inside. That meant that those that were drinking outside the gate, had to guzzle, share or toss it in the trash (which occasionally splashed me–yuck). We saw all three instances time and time again. We were happy that the vast majority of people that had been drinking were happy drunks–especially the men. Which brings me to a somewhat humorous story: I got hit on by a 23 year-old
boy man guy. He was obviously wearing his beer goggles. Remember Neil McCoy’s song?
Or, if you don’t like country here is a hit from Smash Mouth that I never heard before tonight:
I say he was wearing his beer goggles not because I have a low opinion of myself, but because he thought I was in my late-twenties (HAHA!!), wouldn’t believe how old I said I actually was (mid-forties) or that I could possibly be old enough to be his mother. Meanwhile, my son was intently watching the situation and standing “at the ready”, especially when the young man started talking about kissing me. After I nicely informed him that I was married and my Southern Man was “right over there”, he slowly moved on, telling the security people that he couldn’t believe I was actually thirty-one years-old!! (Beer goggles affect memory, too!)
We got a break for supper at 9 o’clock and at 10 o’clock, were told we could go! While working, we’d been able to sort of hear some of the performers, including Jamey Johnson, Uncle Kracker, and Sheryl Crow. By the time we got dismissed, retrieved our chairs from the SUV and found a place to sit, Kid Rock came on. I’d heard he was an awesome performer and he truly is! The only songs, however, with which my Southern Man and I are familiar are the few country hits he’s had. So, we were unaware that there are a lot of curse words in his lyrics. Not exactly our cup of sweet tea. So, my daughter and I left to peruse the vendor booths, while my Southern Man and son stayed and watched the performance to see if it would clean up a bit.
Well, nothing against Kid Rock, but our daughter, my Southern Man and I ended up joining the mass exodus of families with younger children and headed home a bit early. As we were leaving, we heard him singing a duet with Sheryl Crow, who had just performed prior to him. They sounded great, but we were already off and running. Our son stayed a little longer, since he’d driven himself, and hung out with his buddies while listening to the show.
Here are some photos of a few of the performers we sort of heard, taken by Moseley Studios in Elba, AL. (I decided to leave my camera at home on this night.)
Being prepared to stay up until two or three in the morning, i.e., wired, we got home and…watched television. The movie “Fireproof” was on. We caught the majority of it. Pretty good movie! I’ve posted it below.
All-in-all, we had a real fun family adventure. We are hoping we can do it again, next year. The traffic and crowds were not that big a deal for us and it was such an amazing production with something for just about everyone. Until next year’s Bama Jam, there will be many other things going on at Bama Jam Farms. If you’re in the area, keep tabs on their website and drop in on some of the events that will be held throughout the year. There’s always something going on at: