As I draft this post, I feel far away from civilization. I have limited internet access and very limited cell phone service. I am with a group of guys, friends, that have met at this location for about 31 years for a “guys’ weekend”. I am a newcomer to this particular event and have only been coming for eight or nine years. When I was first invited, I was under the impression that it was a deer-hunting weekend and since I don’t hunt, I didn’t see any reason to attend. It is actually much more than a deer-hunting weekend; although the option to hunt is available to anyone wishing to do so, it has become more of an opportunity to visit, tell old stories, laugh, cook and eat (often some very different food). Over time, the original group started having children and they started bringing their sons with them; now the sons of the sons are coming. We have also had sons-in-law attend and one of my daughters even attended once although she didn’t sleep in the shop where all of the guys sleep. She slept at the home of the host and came back to the shop for breakfast the next morning.
The group started when one of the originators wanted to roast a pig in the ground and our host had the perfect place to gather and do that. It quickly became an annual event and is now known the Natchez Ground Roast Society. If you check an Alabama map Natchez will not likely show up; in fact, I’ve never seen a place called Natchez in the years I’ve been coming here. But I’m told that’s where we are. We arrived yesterday afternoon and evening and there are 14 or 15 here this time. We will pack up and head home Sunday morning and another meeting of the Ground Roast Society will conclude.
As I write, the entire group is out riding four-wheelers and touring the 400+ acres belonging to the host family. So here at the shop it is very very quiet. I’ve walked outside many times here to look at the stars. There are no cities nearby to interfere with star-gazing and it can be a spectacular show on a clear night. I’m very happy the guys invited me to come and it is an annual event that I’m excited to attend every year.
From Natchez, Al. to you, I hope your day is a great one! I can almost guarantee mine will be!