Every generation has a name for it’s groups. The Archies (way back in the old comic books) could call themselves ‘gang’ and it didn’t sound like they were about to split some wigs and bus’ some caps. Peeps, Homies, Posse, Guys, Crowd… there are tons of terms, and I’ve only mentioned some of the recent ones. Julius Caesar, as a teen, probably called his bunch of pals something totally different. ’Dudes’, probably. Me and some high school buddies got called ‘the Motley Crew’ by an older person who didn’t know it was, horrifically misspelled, a band name already in use. If we had tried to make ourselves some shirts or hats, we’d have been beaten up by people our own age for not being able to spell “Mötley Crüe” correctly.
The last time I had a tight group of friends that spent all our extra time together, we were the Tribe. The way I remember it, we were all on our first big campout at the Nantahala river and woke up freezing. Before anyone went off to kayak the gorge, we hit the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and bought a hell of a lot of polyester fleece clothing. The comment was made that we looked like the “Turtlefur Tribe”. TurtleFur was a company back then. Might still be. I think we were probably wearing as much Patagonia brand stuff as TurtleFur, but… y’know… alliteration.
So the name ‘Tribe’ stuck to these four couples and a smattering of friends here and there that made up our kayaking/watching Xfiles/playing disc golf/hanging out on the weekends and holidays group. Mike Womack is an amazing graphic designer I’ve mentioned here before, and he made us a little logo.
Through random connections, we had window stickers and screenprinted shirts and stuff made. It was all great fun, and it seemed we’d hang out like that forever. But people and circumstances change, and children get born and folks move, and now we see each other occasionally… and I’ve put us into a Team in Hubris’s OutdoorFest.
I’m not making a big deal out of it… just a tip o’ the hat to the crowd… the group… y’know… my Tribe.
The old window sticker is still on my antique Jeep. The one on my Suburban rotted off. No %$#@.