Somewhere in the rolling hills of upstate New York there is an old, orange extension cord. It is a little frayed in some parts, but still appears to be in working order. This isn't just some "run of the mill" extension cord; it is unusually long. In fact, this may be the longest extension cord one will ever see in a lifetime. I stumbled across it, draped across an old log, while walking through the woods. Funny thing is, as I followed one end of the cord to see where it came from, it appeared to have basically sprung out of the ground. I made my way back to the spot in the woods where I first encountered it, and curiosity seemed to have gotten the better of me. I began to follow the other end. After an hour of walking through fields, marshes and woodlands, not once coming across any connection to another extension cord, I heard the faint sound of music. As I pressed on, the sound began to increase in volume and intensity. I soon found myself in a small clearing in the woods. In the center of this clearing was what appeared to be an old woodshed. The mysterious orange cord ran right up to the shed, around some rusted tools lying on the ground along the back wall, and coiled upward into the slight crack of a boarded up window.
I slowly approached the tenement, and peered through the same crack that the orange cord flowed through. Inside were four men bashing away at their instruments amidst a room full of odds and ends that would make any junk dealer ecstatic. Apparently they were alerted to my presence, because they stopped playing as soon as I moved to the boarded window. The bearded fellow with the white cowboy hat, brown tinted aviator glasses, and garish red western shirt motioned me to enter the building. Against my better judgment, I walked around to the opposite side of the building to a small door speckled with faded red paint. I lifted the wooden latch and entered. As I looked around the space, I immediately became disoriented. The inside of this shed appeared to easily be ten times the size of the outside. From the outside, this space didn't look like it could house a record player (let alone an entire band). Once inside, I was better able to see the occupants. There were four men, all wearing what can only be described as extensive collection of eclectic attire. But strangely enough, they looked like they belonged together. Behind the fellow in the red shirt was a tall thin gentleman wearing black boots and a blue plaid shirt. There wasn't a lot of light in this room, just a solitary light bulb hanging precariously from the ceiling, but there was just enough to draw attention to this guy's hands. One couldn't help but to stare at his hands. The bulb illuminated the numerous silver rings that adorned his hands. They created a mesmerizing strobe-light effect, as he picked away at his guitar. Behind the drum kit sat a steely-eyed gentleman wearing a black leather vest. His arms moved with a pendulum-like quality. Although he was not a large man in stature, he was steady and strong. He appeared to be the kind of guy who mainly did his talking through his playing. The fourth member of this backwoods quartet was a round, bearded, jovial fellow, wearing dark blue overalls over an old black t-shirt. He was definitely the bass player. Every once in awhile he would glance at the gentleman wearing the red shirt, and laugh to himself as if amused by some unspoken inside joke.
I proceeded to extend my hand and introduce myself but there was no response. The drummer simply clicked his sticks together four times, and the group launched into another song. I sat for hours soaking in the backwoods fervor that their music seemed to exude. I tried to ask a few questions of my new friends, but there was never a spoken answer, only more music. At times, this private musical spectacle seemed to take on the characteristics of an old time spiritual revival, with the guitars barking pure gospel. At other times, it seemed like a conversation between old friends but there were never any words, only rhythm and melody.
After hours of sitting silently, I offered my thanks and bid them goodnight. Not a word was spoken as I stood and walked to the door, only the sounds of another four-click intro by the drummer. As I turned to close the tiny door, I could see the man with the red shirt and sunglasses stomping his foot wildly...as if he were trying to put out a campfire! I walked away slowly, occasionally looking back at the woodshed. I thought to myself that maybe it was never there to begin with. I could see the music move the trees as they swayed in unison to a careless beat. And finally, the music was gone. A few weeks later, I returned to that same exact spot in the woods, where I had originally found the strange orange cord. I was hoping to try and recapture that magical moment... but it was gone. I was hoping to run into my new friends once more, but they too were gone. I still wander that same piece of woods hoping to pick up it's trail once again, but I never seem to be able to get back to that same spot. My encounter with these woodshed prophets was nothing more than a chance musical encounter.