I’ve made it to part four of my Gimme Six contributions. I’m enjoying sharing my favorite places with you. I’m about to take you from New England into the southland and into the heart of the blues, the Louisana Gulf coast in Second Life.
- Role Play in Time
- A World of Nature & Beauty
- A New Englander at Heart
- A Bluesy Kinda Luv
- Shopping, Shopping, Shopping!
- Somewhere Beyond the Sea
4) A Bluesy Kinda Luv
Junkyard Blues is instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever visited the Gulf coast of the United States, from the Florida Keys to Galveston and beyond. I say this because I’ve visited many spots along that coastline. I’d like to borrow an idea from Canery Row and twist it into a notion about that Gulf coast, it’s a sweet and sometimes pungent smell of Gulf waters & sea breezes. And in Louisana, it’s about swamps and cranes and crawfish and it’s about many other things. And it’s about rust. The people of this region have an easy way and a love of music that seems to revolve around the blues. There’s much more, but if you are going to begin representing this place in pixels, it’s going to take some thought, and some artistry.
Junkyard Blues began in 2006 and became a long-term project of Kiff Clutterbuck & “Dina” Petty. The club is a labor of love and its history is documented that history on the JY website. There are docks, marshes, board walks, bridges, water towers, lighthouses and everywhere there’s rust. Kiff loves rust. Fortunately, Dina adds a woman’s touch everywhere too, with her motel, shops, furnishings and sense of style. There’s a is a boardwalk with shopping along southern canal, and there’s a large open-air nightclub where blues music is played almost round the clock. The blues in all its forms is at the center of this way of life.
I didn’t know much about the Blues when I came to Second Life, and I’m not the only one; in a chat with Dina she said the same thing. Sure, everyone knows about Ray Charles and Muddy Waters and BB King, but when you follow the branches you begin to see just how far the Blues has extended. When you come to the Junkyard, you hear it all and even music you may not recognize as the blues. There’s a type of music I’d heard and love, but couldn’t identify it by name. At the JY I learned it was Zydeco, a cousin of the goodtimes Cajun music that Louisiana is known for. After five years, I still don’t feel like I know much about the blues, even after five years of coming to the club It seems I learn something new every time I come.
There are thirteen sims that make up Junkyard Blues group. There are ten outer homesteads owned by long-time supporters of this family of friends. The two inner sims include the area of the nightclub but follow any path from the club and you’ll find houseboats, trailers, cottages and even a motel, all rentals and usually all rented. There’s several marina sections, a gas station, a drive-in movie theater and canals you can ride through on free boats. And there’s people. There seem to be people on this sim 24/7 and if you like people, you’ll find this is an exceptionally friendly group. It’s not something that happened accidentally, there’s a sense of community here that make people want to maintain the way of life that’s been created here.
I first visited the Junkyard back in 2007 and I’ve shot many photos of this place (many on Flickr). But the thing that makes this place survive year after year is Blues music. From time to time, the club has live Blues shows but the majority of the music comes from talented and knowledgeable Blues DJs. Kiff and Dina manage a crew of nearly forty DJs, and their hosts, and since this is everyone’s second life, that means there is always work to do. I was a hostess for DJ Miss Luci, every Saturday Nights for over a year. And there are many more DJs I could I could tell you about but if I start then I’ll have to list them all. I’ve chosen DJ Fiery Otaared (below) because the other night she helped me in my quest to define the blues.
In talking about the blues, I’ve been looking for an explanation as to why this particular music reaches out to some many people of such diversity. I’ve been looking for a way to describe it. When I asked Fiery that question, she started by saying, “You feel it before you understand it.” When I heard that, it was one of those things I knew to be true deep inside but she went on, “Find tears before it speaks your pain. Laugh when it reminds you fo joy. It’s an intersection of all human emotion. When you are in a room of blues lovers, there is a recognition of our humanity.”
Before writing this post about this bluesy place I love, I spoke with Kiff & Dina. We were going to do an interview and were set to go, but I felt I should reserver that interview for a standalone article. Kiff & Dina are a unique pair. For one thing, they’ve been partnered by over five years in Second Life. And then there’s the fact that they’ve kept this club popular and growing for over six years. Kiff is a U.S. Marine (there’s no such thing as an former Marine, btw), Dina is a NASCAR fan and their success as a couple gives a lot of us hope. More to come!
Please checkout Junkyard Blues for yourself. Listen to some blues, hang with some of the Junkyard Dawgs. And see what happens, maybe you’ll find that Bluesy kinda luv.
Coming Soon, Part 5 – Shopping, Shopping, Shopping (it’s about shopping)
10 thoughts on “Gimme Six: Yordie’s Second Life – Part 4”
What an amazing post Yordie! You guys have truly elevated Gimme Six so far beyond my puny imagination! haha, I honestly didn’t think about the beauty and depth of what y’all have created when I first posted this “silly little” challenge.
Junkyard Blues sounds amazing, I’m planning to visit in the next 24 hours!
Kiff & Dina sound incredible, I’m so excited that you’re going to interview them!
And really beyond a simple “amazing place you must see” your post is a celebration of culture, spirit, style, creativity, and people coming together in virtual space to create real community.
Wow. Bravo. Thank you. Amazing!
haha, sorry to pimp my own crap, but I did write a post “Building Communities with Strangers”
And I think that’s exactly what Kiff & Dina… and your post… have done! 🙂
Catch one of Fiery’s shows, she’ll delightful. I’ll send you an update on when she performs next. I think she’s performing right now, but maybe she starts early on Sundays. She’ll bring it all home for you.
Dina and I enjoyed your piece about Junkyard Blues so much, Yordie! As bluesman Corey Harris says, “There are happy blues, sad blues, lonesome blues, red-hot blues, mad blues, and loving blues. Blues is a testimony to the fullness of life.” Yes indeed. It brings us together at the Junkyard, and it nourishes us as a community.
Yay Kiff & Dina, thank you for checking in on this article. I remembered a long ago chat I had with you about your love of rust, and had to include that in the post. heh. I love you comment about the Blues and I’ll try to catch you two for the interview as soon as you have some breathing space.
When I spoke with Dina, she was mulling the idea that all music in Second Life has great appeal. We also had to acknowledge that there aren’t that many genres that touching you deep in the soul. I’m glad you liked the article and hope you’ll take a peep in on us from time to time in the future.
Yanno, you really should get that blog of yours going. I love the way you write, especially the history, on http://junkyardblues.com.
Great post Yordie. I’m loving what that Junkyard represents and feel compelled to re-visit after this post. Maybe one of these days, when you go, you could invite me along and introduce me to some of the peeps you feel embody this community? I too love what I know of the blues, but I’d be keen to experience more!
The notion of community in Second Life really interests me as well. I believe that belonging to something greater than ourselves in one of the greatest human needs, so I’m fascinated by people and places who can tap into that.
In fact, I’d like to aspire to that kind of community building in my own way some day. I’ve got a start with the Kama, and truth be told, that is my super-ordinate direction. I know it doesn’t come overnight and most certainly cannot be done alone – look at how long the Junkyard’s been around – 6 years! Good for them for making this happen. I’m sure it’s been loads of fun, but no doubt a huge amount of work along the way.
Hi Becky… we need to head over to the Junkyard some night. Maybe get Vaneeesa too.