A wise man once said, “All good things come to he who waits.”
A month after the first Camp Jordan Jams was rescheduled because of inclement weather during the Fourth of July weekend, a crowd of almost 1,000 people listened to great music, admired vintage cars, indulged in tasty barbecue and generally had a good time, Saturday at Camp Jordan’s amphitheater.
The Beaters, who are quickly becoming the city’s “house band,” did what they do best … hammered out some classic rock and roll from Skynard to The Stones.
Don Seagle and his neighbor, Gerry Gratigny just went with the flow and were among the first people to get up and dance during The Beaters set.
The band, which played at last year’s Independence Day Celebration played crowd favorites from the 60s, 70s and 80s. It didn’t seem to really matter if you were 16 or 60, people were digging it.
The party started earlier in the day with a car show at Camp Jordan Arena. Parks and Recreation Director Stump Martin said he’d “never seen so many people” at the arena. “They were lined up waiting to get in.”
If cars aren’t your thing, David Gysin sponsored a $1,000 prize for the well-received Karaoke Contest. Gysin said 32 people performed hoping to take home 10 Benjamin Franklins. Young Raleigh Grace, a 12-year-old student at Oakwood Christian Academy belted out a bawdy rendition of Miranda Lambert’s Kerosene to beat out finalists Walter White, who went old-school with Otis Reading’s Try a little Tenderness, and Alex Hayes who performed Cee Lo Green’s Forget You.
Gysin, who MC’d the contest asked young Raleigh what she was going to do with the cash, and she melted everyone’s heart by saying, “I’m going to give some of the money to my friends whose house burned down and they lost everything.”
There’s more than one way to win a contest. Jonathan Moore of Ringgold was one of five contestants to enter the barbecue cook-off. Four didn’t show so the 34-year-old Moore, who smokes his Boston Butts for the pure dining pleasure for himself, friends and neighbors, walked off with a big ol’ honking trophy.
“We don’t have any slaw,” Moore said as he piled about a half-pound of pork on a white-bread bun. His partner, who was handling the cash end of the business said it detracted from the flavor of the smoked pork. He was right; no slaw needed.
A East Ridge Fire Department ladder truck was set up at the west end of the field. Fire Chief Mike Williams made some adjustments to a tent that had a misting element in it to help keep people from getting overheated.
Fire Marshal Kenny Custer may have been the “coolest” guy in the heat of the late afternoon, as people lined up for a shot to dunk him in a barrel of water. Three balls for a dollar. All the money went to the city’s Needy Child Fund.
Fireworks were to have been shot off after sunset. This reporter was back filing a story for the readers of East Ridge News Online.
All things considered, having an Independence Day Celebration in August is not such a bad thing.