I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby tffy » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:15 am

to take my father to this.

Pros:
I have a ticket for him. I have an (working soon) tricycle for him.
He wants to come along - simply having heard my excited rants/seen the pictures.
We'll have a camp - somewhat ghetto of one (2 of us have been one year, 3 of us are virgins - we'll be next door to long-time burners) but a functional one nonetheless.

Cons:
He's a 75-year-old sometimes grumpy ex-engineer Russian... who doesn't see very well. Or participate in alternative chemical activities.
I'd feel bad about "letting him go wild" in the playa... I mean, just letting him march off into the distance...fearing he'd get lost/confused/hurt.
Which entails me "babysitting" him - at least for some of the days.

I'm in SLO, he's in the bay area, sorta on the way, so the plan was for us to pick him up. Guhhhhh. I guess this really is a question that's hard to answer without KNOWING the people involved... but I guess I'm just looking for random pearls of wisdom - because the event is getting close, and as it's getting down to the wire, and the basics are having to be worked out, I'm seeing/fearing that this burn is becoming way more pain than it will be worth...he does keep saying "if me coming along will hurt your situation, I don't have to."

Guuuuuhhhhhhhhh.

-Gene
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Packoderm » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:28 am

I'd bring my own father if he gave a hint that he wanted to go. I'll have many more burns in my future - he might not (He's the same age). Even if I had to babysit him the whole time, it would be worth it. He had to do a bit of that with me years ago. I wouldn't even be resentful if I had to drive him home early. Anyway, you might be surprised how tough those older men can be. I better bring my son next year so that he'll bring me when I'm an old geezer.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Elderberry » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:08 am

Just get him dog tags that say "if found, please return to [your camp address here]" and send him on his way.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby BBadger » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:19 am

Worried about your father wandering off wild? I'd be more worried about having to be the "tour guide" for some duration of the trip. If your father wants to wander, let him wander. Just make sure he has his water, is well lit, and knows his way back. It's not that hard. Hell, we ran into some old, confused man while roaming around, and his only problem was that he nearly got run over because he wasn't well lit. We gave him some of our lights and made a new friend. It was awesome!

I'd only worry that he'd feel alone and isolated without his son to bring him along to places. However, if he's a cool old Russian dude who is sociable, you have nothing to worry about.

I hope when I'm old I'm still going to BM. I can't think of a better place to die of natural causes than at BM, aside from everyone else having to clean up my body-MOOP I can't possibly carry home, and the shrunken, half-mummified husk of my decomposed and dried body returning home in costume (actually that might be a benefit).
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby thirt33n » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:37 am

long as he
knows
the survival guide....
long as he, at 75, can get around on his own without any need of constant medical attention.(lucky!)

i would bet that he'd rock the playa all day and keep a passive "watch" over things at night....
blow.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Packoderm » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:45 am

BBadger wrote:I hope when I'm old I'm still going to BM. I can't think of a better place to die of natural causes than at BM, aside from everyone else having to clean up my body-MOOP I can't possibly carry home, and the shrunken, half-mummified husk of my decomposed and dried body returning home in costume (actually that might be a benefit).


Or just throw my husk of a body on the fire platform.



I'd buy him a 10x14 Kodiak, a shade structure to go over it, and bring a real bed for him. Rent a truck if you need to.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Savannah » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:03 am

Gene, I hope you bring him (I love it that you have a trike lined up for him) but I realize that's a personal decision.

If you're already placed as part of a theme camp, I like Kisha's idea of having dog tags made with the camp name and address. Make sure he has a canteen, backpack, lights, snacks, sunscreen and turn him loose. :) My father would've been fine out there at 75. I'm quite serious. He doesn't need to do substances to have a good time out there. If he has a terrible time, use official in-&-out privileges*, take him to Reno and let him gamble for a few days. :)

Packoderm, I love your take on the matter. How many chances does a 75 year old have to Burn? That's not even a grisly comment on mortality--because hopefully we all make it to 90 or 100 if we want to. But most of us won't be Burning right up until the end.

* You must have a valid Burning Man ticket stub AND a bus ticket, OR a gate re-entry chit (which you will receive if left by car) to ride the bus back into the city. Conversely, if you return to the city by car, you must have a Burning Man ticket stub AND a bus ticket (you need to show BOTH items to get back into Black Rock City).
-- http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/ ... rvice.html
Last edited by Savannah on Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Drawingablank » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:04 am

If my father was still alive and wanted to go I'd bring him.

If you don't you will probably regret not bringing him once he's gone.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Eric » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:55 pm

My dad turns 81 this year, my mom is 78. If they wanted to go to the Burn I would take them in a hot second.

Would I have to change the way I normally do the event- yep. Quite a bit, probably.

Would it be worth it? Absolutely. Even if they only found it only mildly interesting, introducing them to something I love lets them be fully part of my life.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby flatlander13 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:10 pm

You can take your dad to "Watch Your Father Fuck" Camp......he will have a great time......you....
.not so much
How do I get a hold of you?

You just contact the mayor's office. He has a special signal he shines in the sky; it's in the shape of a giant cock.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby swampdog » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:29 pm

If your dad is healthy and aware enough to take care of himself out there, I say go for it. I would discuss ahead of time what approaches you might take if, for instance, he hates it and wants to leave, or he needs support/company from you, or if you're getting on each others' nerves, or whatever. I would recommend staying away from chemical alteration except by clear agreement - "dad, I'm going to go take drugs now and I'll be back in the morning".

My mom is 76. She couldn't handle it physically. She says "Oh I'd love to have gone 10 years ago" but I think she's wrong, I think she'd hate it. If I thought she were physically able to go I'd take her but my burn would to some extent become subordinate to hers, in reverse of vacations when I was a kid. I'd feel responsible for her.

I know there are folks out there into their 80s.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby snake » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:33 pm

i wouldn't take my dad out there...i know he'd turn into a frat boy.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:56 pm

Depending on his particular take on the Soviet Union, there are at least two camps that satirically salute those days. I don't know about Matrushkas, but in Apokaliptika there are some real slavophiles who would probably be delighted to talk with him. (Probably, I don't want to offer people, I just think they'd enjoy "russianess.") There are probably other places where he could really light people up. Is it possible for you and him to sit down and schedule him into some interesting camps. I know that sound so unburn, but if he's an engineer he might prefer it that way. And maybe you'd be able to schedule some time apart from him without feeling you're leaving him stranded.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Drawingablank » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:13 pm

My dad passed at 52 - younger than I am now - Fuck Cancer!

His time in 'Nam made him a beligerent drunk and very difficult to be around. I actually hated to be around him.

But now that he's gone, I would give my left nut to have him at the burn with me no matter how much effort it took on my part. After a year of treatment he died virtually overnight - make the most of the time you have because you don't know how much time is left. Although I don't let it rule my life, I will carry the regret of time not spent with dad to my grave.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby mdmf007 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:33 pm

Take him, I started my career as an engineer - all my engineering type friends walk around with their mouths open when looking at things there.

Some jaw openers make me think "HOLY SHIT - how has that not killed anyone yet" poor construction, shitty welds using the wrong rod, no penetration , poor design etc.

Others are "HOLY SHIT - that is awesome, who has time to do this"

either way he would love it simply from that aspect. i am sure he is not expecting you to babysit him. Hes 75 I hat to say it, but at some point taking him to BM will not be an option. Lastly, as an engineer and assuming he has all his faculties he would have no problem navigating BM. Its a simple grid that happens to be based on a clock face.

Just my two cents
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby AntiM » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:57 am

We have a camp mate of indeterminate age. 60s? 70s? we don't know for sure. He takes off by himself and has fun. We're there for shade and conversation. His son is a ranger, but they don't camp together. They're a riot to listen to when they do cross paths. Basically, he's family now.

My mom always wanted to go, but her health never would have allowed it. She's gone now, and never had the chance. Better to have one potentially restrained burn than an empty spot in your memories.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby unjonharley » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:43 am

\
Screw you kids, Started burning 2001

I'm 75 and missing this year cuz of a surgery went south (infection).. I walk with two canes and known to fall now and then..

I can still set my own camp, (other burners are willing to help where needed) feed myself and dance after a fashion.

My father in law stopped burning at age 87.. Korean war injury to his legs got to him.. He still go's camping..

My son will be 51 next year.. I worry about taking him.. Can he get his head out of his ass enough that I wont have to look after him at BM 13..
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Sic Pup » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:48 am

Thanks for putting it into perspective, Unjon, you rock!
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby swampdog » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:57 am

Unjon, sorry to hear you won't be out there this year. Best to you, get better, hope to see you next time.

To original and other posters - yeah, Unjon's da man if you need to be convinced that old does not equal frail.

There are people who don't stay as strong (my mom as example) but age by itself is not a limiting factor.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:46 am

unjonharley wrote:I'm 75 and missing this year cuz of a surgery went south (infection).. I walk with two canes and known to fall now and then..


You're 75? I thought you were mid-30s or something. Sheeot.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby bluesbob » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:48 am

There's a trash fence...he can't wander too far.

I have no idea why not engaging in chemicals is a problem. Doing so isn't in the BM principles and many, MANY others don't do any as well.

I'd take my dad...maybe then he would stop bitching about me going.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby tffy » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:53 am

Thanks for the perspectives and tidbits of info, guys. I was expecting you to feel in this vein, so, :). Some of the best thoughts are on the subject "well, even if it's not a perfect burn, and even if you don't always cherish spending days and days with yo' dada, it's something you'll not regret doing later." Also, a suggestion of doing a Reno-emergency-drop off never entered my mind - that's a lot faster and easier than going all the way back to the bay.

Heck, basically I guess now I just have to spend all my free time setting up camp for all these other monkeys coming with along with us and also do a double-duty of personal preparation for me and dad. And I've a week and a half. Wheee-eee-eeee. :)

Ideas thus far:
-Taking a pair of CB radios out there - for emergency me-dad contact.
-A "take me home" dogtag for him is a must.
-The Russian/Russian-themed camps that were suggested by theCryptofishist are a great idea - I was hoping that something up that alley would get suggested - if anyone knows of more/has some ideas up that alley, please list them!!!

Thanks again for the thoughts and inspiration, guys!

-Gene
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Savannah » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:55 am

My heart is warmed! :D
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:57 am

I'm glad you liked my suggestion. But if he has a big investment in "white" Russia, maybe the CCCPness would not be good for him. I just want to be clear on that.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:02 pm

I don't have extensive experience with GPS thingies, but my cheap old garmin is simple to use (its designed for hiking - few buttons, no map functions). If you set just one way point at your camp, it would be able to always provide an arrow pointing towards home when it is turned on so that may be a big help. It also has a compass mode.

This is a similar one and pretty cheap http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=hiking+gps&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&oe=utf8&rlz=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=16764280457649951569&sa=X&ei=esxKTqLzMcKDtgfTqq2rCg&ved=0CHQQ8gIwBA#
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby MyDearFriend » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:06 pm

I met some Russian dudes here in DC who are going with a "Russian Tea House" group from NYC; Esplanade, they said, could be bullshit but worth looking for maybe?

Good on you for bringing your Dad, tffy. All too soon it will be too late.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Shoeshine » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:29 pm

Cant remember the exact name of the camp. It was somewhere out by 8:30 & G ish. "Playa elders" "the voice of experience" something like that. There was a nice shade structure a bunch of chairs and a few people (seemed to rotate) sitting out willing to listen and impart sage wisdom to whomever asked. Not a soul under 60 if I had to guess. They rocked in the most chill way. They seemed to be having a great time. Had a couple of really great conversations. As I push 40, It made me feel excited for the future.

Bring your Dad.
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby SecretOperativeBear » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:39 pm

I invited both my parents a few years back. My mother calls me this year and tells me that Burning Man is on her "bucket list".
So this year, I'm taking my dear Mother........ Life is to short to put off for later.

The playa at night is an experience everyone should see.

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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby Eric » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:41 pm

SecretOperativeBear wrote:I invited both my parents a few years back. My mother calls me this year and tells me that Burning Man is on her "bucket list".
So this year, I'm taking my dear Mother........ Life is to short to put off for later.

The playa at night is an experience everyone should see.


YEA! I hope she has a blast!

edit: my spelling sucks
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Re: I can'd decide if it's worth it...

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:18 pm

I would LOVE to hear the follow up, post-burn story about how this turned out. Report back after, please?

Best of luck to you both.. and good choice. :D
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