Chronographia (chro-no-graph’-i-a): Vivid representation of a certain historical or recurring time (such as a season) to create an illusion of reality. A kind of enargia: [the] generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description.

It was the biggest time and the baddest time. My dad was taking me to a biker rally held every year in Woodstock, New York. My dad was Sergeant at Arms and Spokesperson for the “Despicable Ghouls”, a splinter group of the “Holy Jesus Christ Our King Evangelical Church and Motorcycle Club” originally founded by Jimmy Swaggart, a real bad ass, in the early 70s. For example, he invented the “donut,” a motorcycle move where you turn the motorcycle’s handlebars all the way right or left and wail on the gas, spinning around in circles, hence “the donut.”

As Martha and the Vandellas taught us back in the day, “Summer’s here and the time it right for dancing in the street.” The weather was warm and cloudless. At night, the mosquitoes were on high alert, so we stayed in our tent and listened to them whine. There was heat lightning flashing in the sky, and I could hear far-away thunder. I loved watching the fireflies though the tent’s mosquito netting. Sometimes I would blink my flashlight at them, and I swear, a couple of times they blinked back. It was moonless, so they really glowed. And the summer sky was filled with stars. Luckily, I could see the Big Dipper through our tent’s folded back flaps.

But then, there were the crazy “Ghouls.” They lit a bonfire, drank beer, and sang and danced the night away. You could tell who they were the next morning: bleary-eyed, covered with mosquito bites, and coated with cortisone cream to kill the itching.

While my dad met with his colleagues, I wandered the fields. I thought about the music festival that was held there before I was born. The field was filled with blooming milkweed, smelling sweet in early summer. There were daisies, wild roses, goldenrod, and wild pink geraniums. I saw a Monarch butterfly and a yellow Swallowtail. And the birds! Red-Breasted Grosbeak, lots of brown Field Sparrows, noisy Crows, a couple of Bluebirds, Red-Wing Blackbirds, and even a few Chickadees. And the bird-o-rama was crowned by a Red-Tailed Hawk hovering above me.

What a day! Perfect weather—80 degrees and plenty of sun. We ate dinner in our tent—vegetarian kabobs with brown rice, peppers, onions, cheese, and Kombucha. Everything was going great until the “Holy Jesus Christ Our King Evangelical Church and Motorcycle Club” showed up. My dad grabbed his Bible, folded his arms and stood resolutely in our tent’s doorway. He was ready to argue, once again, with Rev. Crypsis, who claimed he was divinely inspired and could inerrantly interpret Scripture. I crawled under my cot and waited.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.

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