I will start off by prefacing this with “I won’t tell you to stop doing anything you already find entertaining”. My goal with this post is to give you the insight on some popular forms of entertainment that are being engulfed by the rockabilly community. You can give these a try and see if they are for you. Some of these can be done by the single person and all of them can be done with more than one person. If you are new to an area, this might provide some insight on connecting with others in your area.
Don’t be afraid to get out and do whatever it is that you like to do. The stuff listed here is just some culture-specific activities.
Car Shows/Car Clubs
If you have a classic car (a car before 1964) then you might look for a car club to join. If you do not have a classic car, you can always go to car shows. These can be fun places to hang out with car fanatics and other rockabilly folk. You can take pictures of the cars, ask people about the history of their cars, ask car questions, etc. It’s typically bad etiquette to ask for rides.
Maybe you have a skill that could be put to use with some of the old cars. You don’t have to be able to fix an engine to be useful. Perhaps you have: pinstriping skills, upholstery skills, custom mold making skills (for things like shift knobs), or something else that’s applicable to the crowd. Talk to people and make some friends.
If there are evening parking lot car shows (perhaps every Saturday night from 5pm-8pm a car club meets up in a parking lot), you can make the rounds after a date night or an evening trip to the ice cream parlor or something. The same goes with morning parking lot car shows (which happens where I live). It would be easy to grab some coffee and go check out the cars.
You can do this by yourself or with others. You don’t have to be on a league. Grab a lane, get some grub, and bowl two games. If you’re not used to bowling, just have fun with it and try to figure it out. On the plus side, bowling is relatively cheap. If you find yourself going often, you can get your own bag, ball, and shoes.
When I lived in Portland, I often went bowling (always) by myself. I would just crank up my ipod and bowl 2 or 3 games, trying this or that. I figured out what I needed to do and started increasing my score. I totally sucked when I started, but I just started tweaking stuff.
Cocktail parties are a big thing with the rockabilly crowd. You can have a selection of beer and wine available, but always have supplies for some kind of cocktail. You might have a friend who wants to play bartender. Cocktail parties consist of drinking, finger food, sometimes a main meal, and usually a party game or two. One thing I’ve learned is to never underestimate an old classic like charades, the who am I game (as seen played in “Inglorious Bastards”), and games that involve partners. Card games are usually excellent. You can have modern games like clue, cards against humanity, or cranium.
You can also combine a cocktail party with a barbeque or luau or murder mystery or some other theme.
You can’t go dancing if you don’t know how to dance. Look for swing classes. There are several types, but mainly east coast swing and west coast swing. Most dance clubs and dance instructors will have some sort of swing class available. If they don’t, you can usually sign up for private lessons.
After you know what you’re doing, or at least the basics, you can start going out to places to dance. One issue you might run into is location. Not every city has a jazz club or a place to utilize swing dance. This happens to be an issue of mine.
There is a resurgence of getting back to nature. This might be camping, hiking, or fishing. If fishing, make sure you have the proper fishing license from your state. Camping as a group is also a thing. Several couples have tents set up or use cabins in a close proximity of each other. Meal times are usually a group event. While camping, the group might chill at a lake, go fishing, spend some time hiking, etc. It’s a good time to be free from technology and to enjoy the simple things like reading, talking with friends, playing board games, and working on projects.
A garden party is different from a barbeque or a cocktail party. It’s often held in the afternoon and is more akin to afternoon tea. It’s a great way to socialize, show off your garden, and wear fancy summer dresses. Your guests can bring appetizers, but should not bring booze. If you want alcohol, wine is the ideal, but alcohol is definitely optional.
Who doesn’t love a fun time playing games with others? Instead of just playing bridge, you can modernize game night to encompass just about any game you want.
Music is a solid part of the culture. If you’re not making music, go out and listen to live music! Want to find other rockabilly folk? Look for local rockabilly, psychobilly, blues, swing jazz, and cover bands. I’m mentioning cover bands due to Robert Gordon. He made it big by covering rockabilly classics.
A lot of derby dames are rockabilly chicks. This is an exciting sporting event where the players are women only. It’s played on a flat track. It’s probably best to google how the game is played if you’re new to roller derby.
Up Next: Living The Vintage Life: Projects & Hobbies