Round the blazing…

20 Feb 2009 by Jim Gibbons, No Comments »

Welcome to Nothing More American!

It’s always a bit hard to decide where to start on these first posts, but by their very nature I guess they do demand that one begin at the beginning, so that’s where we’ll commence.

The short version goes thusly: I’m Jim Gibbons and summer camp was a big part of my life. It was such a big part that I felt I had enough memories, stories and idle thoughts on it to fill a Web site for months upon months and years upon years.

Now, to expound upon that further (this being “the long version”), I’ve always wanted to find a way to capture the stories and spirit behind my camp experiences and put them out there for people, and Nothing More American is how I decided I’ll be doing that. As a storyteller, writer, journalist and a comic book fan, I’ve decided to take a multi-venued approach to chronicling my camp days. Between written memoirs, web comics, pictures and interviews with past camp friends and camp-related people I hope to not only create a view into what camp meant to me, but also a place where people can share in that experience and rekindle their own camp memories.

For the next few months, the site is going to be a bit of a work-in-progress. The look of this puppy isn’t set in stone, nor is it exactly how I’d like it, so at some point most of what you see now will change. As far as the writing goes, my mind is currently just a mess of camp memories, so early posts may be a bit rambling. Bear with me on that front and—given time—a style, voice and feel will find it’s way out of the swamp of my recollections, shake off the muck and truly emerge.

The web comic will also be going through a similar metamorphosis, and much more so than the writing, as I’d currently describe myself as a fledgling doodler and not an artist. Still, I’ve always wanted to delve into web comics and my own cartooning, so the overabundance of mental space taken up by summer camp seemed as good a topic as any to start with. It won’t be pretty right away, but I’ll get there. Fret not!

At some point, I do hope to start interviewing many—if not all—of my old camp friends and acquaintances for the site. I’ve always found that many more of my goofiest camp yarns emerge when I’m reminiscing with my brother as opposed to sitting at home and trying to recount them, so fostering that format seems like a pretty logical idea. As many former-campers will likely attest, your camp experience ends up being about the family you create at camp much more than the place itself, so neglecting to bring that to this site would be a shortcoming I don’t plan on allowing.

Lastly, I hope this site can become a place for anyone and everyone from any corner of the globe (Not much may be more American than summer camp, but no, camp isn’t just for Americans.) to come and soak up the camp goodness with a walk down memory lane, and hopefully some discussion. You’ll notice that right below this post is a place you can write comments. If you have them, please do! It’d be great if they were related to the post, but in the end, I just want to get the conversation going—so talk! Even if you’ve never commented on a blog or in a message board, give it a shot now. You’ll be surprised how much fun just posting a few of your memories can be and how many more it can stir up when you see other people’s comments on them. All I ask is that you keep it friendly and have some fun.

That about does it for this first shot into the dark. I’ll start getting some more posts up as soon as I’m able. Again, thanks for stopping in and checking out Nothing More American. Though you may only be able to huddle up to your glowing computer monitor, I hope this can become a place where all folks who love camp can gather “’round the blazing council fire’s light,” so to speak.

Till next time!


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