Monday, December 25, 2006

Free James Brown, UUUUUUUUUUUhh!

Back about a million years and a couple of careers ago, I was working between college semesters as a summer camp counselor. The camps I generally worked at served kids and teens who had physical or developmental disabilities or serious medical issues. One particular summer came flooding into back into my memory when I read that The Godfather of Soul died early this morning.

In the summer of 1989 I was working at a camp for kids who were served by the Muscular Dystrophy Association of North Texas. Lots of teenagers on staff (including a young chick I would eventually marry...) and lots of kids hanging out for a week of fun in the sun. Good times all around.

For some reason me and a couple of the other guys thought the fact that James Brown was in prison was incredibly funny. I don't remember why it was so funny, but at the time we thought it was one of the funniest things in the world.

It was made even funnier by the fact that we started yelling in our best James Brown voices, "Free James Brown, Uhhhh!" across the camp at any possible time. Any question that needed a response got a loud "Free James Brown, Uhhhh!" Any decision that we had to make was solved with a "Free James Brown, Uhhhh!" And then there were the times that we just yelled it out for no reason. "Free James Brown, Uhhhh!"

After a day of this, the kids in our cabin started doing it. So we had an army of 10 year old boys following us around giving out "Free James Brown, Uhhhh!" all day and night. The louder the better.

Another day of that and our insanity spread through the whole camp.

"What's for lunch?
Free James Brown, Uhhhh!
Hey, when do we go swimming?
Free James Brown, Uhhhh!
Free James Brown?
Free James Brown, Uhhhh!"

The highlight of the summer came for us when one of my campers said nothing but "Free James Brown, Uhhhh!" for more than two days!

For that fun in the summer sun, I say thanks, James Brown. And also you are welcome. After all, our civil disobedience must have worked. You did get paroled 4 years early.

"Free James Brown, Uhhhh!"


Long Island Dad said...

"Free James Brown...AMEN!"

Rick said...

And don't forget James Brown Celebrity Hot Tub. Uhhhhg! Its Hhhot! In da hot tub.