About this time of the year, everyone around these parts is looking to plan their hasty get-away.

Although we Michiganians are a hardy bunch, when the calendar pokes past the holidays, we urn for the tropic beaches and ocean-side destinations that fuel our restless dreams.

All of that certainly holds true for those of us who have grown up in the midwest.  We can take it, this cold, bitter weather, we simply long to be somewhere warm and slightly less frigid.

I think all of that goes double if you are a boater.  I’m not, remember, but Carl and I sure have been around our share of them over the last three summers.

Boaters love it hot and warm.

And so, when Bumper’s Landing, Macomb Counties’ new summer hot-spot was nearly filled on this icy Saturday night, it warmed more than our hearts.

Saturday was a realization that nothing, not even this harsh winter weather could keep real boaters down.

They, like no others, know how to party.  Even with the wind chill way below zero, they were out in mass, showing no signs of hibernation.

We got there earlier than usual, so that we could set up sooner and not get people chilled as we brought in our band equipment from the van.  The set-up went pretty well, as everyone inside seemed fairly oblivious to our entrance.

All that I remember from our first set was how much fun it was.  The entire staff from the busboys, right up to the owner himself, were taking great care in attending to each and every patron who arrived for the football, but stayed for the food, the drinks and the fellowship.

Everyone was smiling and laughing and reestablishing the powerful connection that runs so deep for these boating besties!

By set number two, it was a mass sing-a-long.  Dancing, singing and reveling was the order or the night.  It is so much fun to play in a venue that appreciated everything we do.

So gratifying when everyone takes part in the entertaining.  We try and set things in motion here at Bumper’s and then stand back and let everyone enjoy themselves.

The night was rushing past, as song after song added to the overall feeling of euphoria at making it through the holidays.

Like a gathering of groundhogs, all the boaters that hadn’t seen each other since the tarps covered their treasured crafts, smiled ear-to-ear as the door opened and another arrived.

it didn’t really matter what we played on this night, each and every song was met with the same level of enjoyment and empathy.

Before we even knew it, our last song had been played, and it was time to pack it all up and plunge ourselves back out into the cold of the winter’s night.

Even the cold itself was no match for the warm feeling of the brotherhood of boaters that we were lucky enough to be part of.

We will return to Bumper’s on January 2oth.  It is scheduled to be a “Pajama Party”.  That promises to be interesting, to say the very least.


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