The cabin stood as a container for our nostalgia, though one building couldn’t have held all of it. So we spilled out into the surrounding campgrounds and we hunkered down and we remembered our past.
This is the JHC. This is the Jim’s House Crew. Coined in the mid 90s with a nod toward Victory-Records-fueled hardcore, the name – that ridiculous name – has followed us, despite the fact that Jim’s House is no longer part of the equation. Despite the fact that few of us even live in the same place anymore.
I mean, it’s not like we’re talking bout some kind of fraternal brotherhood – the freemasons of Minnehaha County – or anything like that. In fact, if you take this entity, this jumble of former twenty-something miscreants, you’ll find an interesting cross section of our generation. And while, in peering examination, we have little in common – varying backgrounds, educations, dreams, aspirations, etc. – each person has an odd connection; an inexplicable bond to one another, a loyalty that, while not always evident, none the less, holds each person together like family.
That is how have always considered my friends. Family. Everyone’s a brother or sister. Someone’s always the drunk uncle. Traditions are rehashed and memories constantly poured over. We have all lived, at one time as, and in, each others shadow.
Like any family, we have shared the same moments – been at each other’s sides for the same tragedies and laughed at the same ridiculous setups. We have all been fans of each other’s projects and held each others hair back at the same parties.
I’ve been on the outside. I’ve been the one who had moved away; who was disconnected from the group. I assumed that, one by one, everyone was quietly forgetting me, sending me to the loons and the snow and leaving me for dead. I always figured that I would come back and sit around, awkwardly trying to catch up with what I missed, stammering as I tried to explain my life – how it had changed and who I had quietly become. I looked forward to the return, but feared the prospect of being uncomfortable among friends.
But, being family, nothing ever changed. It was as if time had stopped. As if we had just talked. It was comfortable and familiar. Families never forget, even if the person is kind of insecure about his place.
So last weekend, we converged. We weren’t all there in person. But we were all there as part of each other. Within the ether of our friendship. We remembered the good times. We remembered some of the bad ones. And, as people came and went – just as they came and went throughout the years creating wave after wave of new siblings – we reconnected with the institution we know and love today.
To those who feel they’ve been forgotten, you’re not. And to those who have made this group what it is: thank you.