Jonathon Woods of the Woody Pines band mingles with the ladies in the crowd after his set. To see more photos, check out this Facebook: Slide Show of the 10th Anniversary ‘Old 280 Boogie’…
by Glynn Wilson
WAVERLY, Ala. — Sitting here under a 250-year-old oak tree catching the last of the morning breeze, the birds seem to still be singing the songs from yesterday at the Old 280 Boogie, the sounds of Spoonful James, The Uncle Roy Show, Peter Spivak, Tim Dwyer and Nancy Scott, Mace Glasscock, Woody Pines, DB Harris and The Men of Action, and The Pine Hill Haints, the popular band that has been coming here since the beginning 10 years ago.
As Pappa D, a.k.a. Dan Neil of the Auburn theater department, said after shucking about half that third box of fresh Gulf oysters grilled Oysters Waverly style, instead of Oysters Rockefeller, while wearing denim overalls, “Yeah, it’s a lot like Woodstock — only a little more country.”
Instead of the rock of Jimmy Hendrix, in other words, you get Junior Brown-style country boogie. And instead of spinach on your oysters, you get collard greens.
For the travel record, the Haints all made it here in a white Sprinter Van, the dream vehicle of the coming era of green energy and outdoor cheap living, since the American economy may never fully recover from the Bush recession.
Only one Alabama State Trooper drove down the car-lined streets to make sure no one in the crowd of more than 500 was getting out of hand with their liquor and guns, or anything, not that they would at a festival billed as a “family affair” and that comes with the official disclaimer: “No Haters!”
This was no Tea Party.
The lone state trooper didn’t even stop, then I never saw another cop. Waverly may be one of the few places left in Christendom where you don’t need one to manage a party crowd.
I imagine there were more than a few down the road in Auburn, where the spring practice game was underway. And I imagine they had more than their fair share in Tuscaloosa for the Tide’s A-Day game, where I hear Alabama won : )
The Boogie went off without a hitch or a fight or even a single soul drinking until they puked, not even one Auburn fraternity brother, at least that I saw.
Although into the evening around midnight, in between the wafts of wood and other smoke, if you know what I mean, there were a few interesting moans coming from a tent or two. People will be people, whether they are 18 or 53, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.
It’s the year 2010, don’t you know, so you can’t get into much trouble at a Woodstock-style music festival anymore even in Alabamaland, especially since the state department of tourism under a Republican administration is highlighting that very thing for the entire next year in the Year of the Arts.
“The Boogie began on April 21st of 2001 to celebrate the re-location of U. S. Highway 280 from Patrick Street (Waverly’s main street) to it’s current location to the south of the historic down town area,” said Scott Peek, event organizer. “The removal of high speed highway traffic was such a relief to the citizens of the town that a spontaneous ’street dance’ was held to commemorate the return of small town Alabama life.”
This year’s event was sponsored by Wickles Pickles, Standard Deluxe Inc., The Auburn Guitar Shoppe, The Strutting Duck, Papa D’s Super Grille, Johnny Bruscos Pizza and by public donations. Some Proceeds from the event will go to The Waverly Auditorium Renovation Fund.
Meanwhile, there’s no volcanic ash to deal with here, just the hot coal ashes left from the bonfires, and a little trash to pick up.
After a week on the road, this spot is so pretty and peaceful right now I feel reluctant to break camp and head back up 280 to The Ham called Birmingham. In a moment like this, with a little Joni Mitchell to keep you company, you just want spring to last forever and ever.
Living on the road is the way to go. If the weather turns foul or the people get too loud and obnoxious, you can always do like Kansas sang, and head on down the road…
Meanwhile, Offbeat Auburn has a Podcast up about the Boogie…
And we’ve got a photo essay of 30 pictures on Facebook at this link:
© 2010 – 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.