The March Of Civilization, Writ Small

Say what you will about the Occupy Wall Street group — it’s helping to provide people with an education about how civilization works.

It’s one thing to spend one night in a park, enraptured by your freedom and the spirit of the protest, listening to the tom toms and the snares of the “drum circle.”  But what to do when you’ve been there for a week?  Hey, how long can that damn drum circle play?  How are we going to divide the tips that those drummers get, anyway?  Are we going to let just anyone in?  Who’s going to make sure that my stuff doesn’t get taken?  This particular patch of the park is my patch, and I’m not going to move for the johnny-come-latelys who probably are here just to look for a good time.  Who is going to make sure that things are cleaned up?  Where’s my food?

New York magazine has a classic article on the growing pains of the OWS group, as “facilitators” and drummers clash, the old guard and the newbies bump heads, the “General Assembly” gets denounced as “unwieldy” and “cumbersome,” those who want to sleep and those who want to just let the music flow jostle for power, and property rights get asserted and exercised. It’s a living sociology class, confined to a smelly park in Manhattan.

A Visit To The NACC Fire Pit

The New Albany Country Club fire pit

New Albany Country Club has it all.  27-hold golf course?  Check.  Fine dining and party room facilities?  Check.  Countless tennis courts?  Absolutely.  Workout facility, family pool, and adult pool?  Of course!  Its own beer and pale ale?  Sure, why not?  Fire pit?  Yes, indeed.

Wait a second — fire pit?


The lanterns light the way

It’s the newest addition to the country club offering of recreational activities, and Penny and I decided to make a visit on our walk today.

The fire pit is in the middle of a copse of trees between the ninth hole on the north course and the main clubhouse grounds.  You follow a winding path covered with wood chips to the center of the stand of trees.  The path is strung with electric lanterns.  At the end of the path is the fire pit, which is ringed with stones and then with picnic tables, benches and two very rustic (and frankly, uncomfortable looking) seats beveled out of tree trunks.  The area features a grill, an iron spit where you could roast a wild boar carcass or some other animal caught by a guy exploring his savage side, and some strategically placed fire extinguishers.


One of the all-natural seats at the fire pit

I don’t know whether the fire pit has been heavily used so far.  It’s probably not a top choice for a wedding reception or book club get-together, but it would be perfect for a Boy Scout troop meeting, a drum circle, a Lord of the Flies meeting, or one of those “get in touch with your inner alpha male” retreats.  Toss a few logs in the pit, slowly roast a haunch of beef, knock back a New Albany Pale Ale or two, and then walk a few hundred feet back to the New Albany Country Club grounds, where your wife is waiting to pick you up in the Cadillac Escalade.