Turn Back The Clock: A Look Back at TR 99 - Ten Years Later
1999 remains perhaps the most infamous of Serb Fests of all
time! With several near-death experiences through-out the weekend,
so much of what we know Turkey Run to be today began this very
weekend. A small group of men, still years away from being able
to legally drink piled into the Zelenkovich Family Van for the
trek down to Marshall, Indiana at a time when the drive was measured
simply by the amount of time it took to watch "Back to the
Future" & "Top Gun" back-to-back.
it may not be the first year that Jovan invited friends to Turkey
Run, it was certainly a weekend that saw a great number of firsts.
There, unknowingly witnessing great history, along side Jovan,
was a young, 19 year old, second-time Serb Fest attendee, Scott
Berger, first time attendee Jeff
"Heitz-Nutz" Heitzman, and the infamous "DFASH"
who made an immediate impact on Serb Fest history with 3 near-death
experiences over the course of the weekend (and arguably, a 4th)!
These incidents have been well documented and was referenced as
Jovan's "most memorable moments" in 2004's "Fire
& Ice Extravaganza" documentary. An exclusive interivew
with DFASH himself was included as a Bonus Feature in 2006's "Special
Edition" re-release. Of course, these incidents are among
the most retold stories at Serb Fest, so if for whatever reason
you are unfamiliar with them, listen closely the next time you're
sitting around the fire. TR 1998 first-time
attendee, OLAF, then known as "Erik"
was unable to attend due to a summer internship he had started
prior to Memorial Day in Los Angeles. At the time, the idea of
flying back to Chicago for a weekend was simply unrealistic. 10
years later, we've had attendees fly in from coast to coast!
arrival Saturday morning, the group took an impromtu photo sporting
their fresh "wife beaters" prior to the annual hike
that would traditionally kick off the weekend. Wife Beaters would
go on to become the unofficial apparel of Serb Fest. More importantly,
it would mark the birth of the annual
pre-hike wife beater group photo.
99 marked the very first time the acronym "TR" was used
in referenced to Turkey Run. It was during the hike that the group
took notice of the overwelming number of "white trash"
locals who seemingly flocked to Turkey Run State Park on Memorial
Day Weekend. Of course, a commonly used acronym for White Trash
is "WT". So, in the same vein, we began referring to
Turkey Run simply as "TR".
it or not, there was a time where alcohol played no role in our
generation's particpation in Serb Fest - except for the frequently
quoted line from "Back to the Future" in which Biff
disgustingly proclaims to George McFly, "What? I have your
car towed all the way to your house to you, and all you have for
me is Lite Beer?!". While today we spend our late nights
(and most of the day for that matter) consuming alcoholic beverages,
in 1999, you'd typically find the group along with the girls piled
onto the beds in one of the cabins for "movie night".
Commonly viewed was "Cool Runnings", "Cocktail"
(during which Nutz affectionaly earned the spin-off nickname -
Cruise-Nutz), and embarrassingly, Disney's "A Goofy Movie"
(For which the explanation of this selection, I have to respectfully
defer to Jovan). Movie Night would be retired a few short years
later, though breifly resurrected in 2003 for the viewing of the
newly released "Fire & Ice" documentary.
another reference to "Back to the Future" became tradition
at TR 99.... TaB. We all hopefully recall a young Marty McFly
at the neighborhood diner when he first arrived in the year 1955
where he attempts to order a "TaB" which was met with
"I can't give you a tab kid, unless you order something!".
In response, Marty orders a "Pepsi Free" (Both "Pepsi
Free" & "TaB" were popular sugar-free colas
in the mid-1980's) which was met with "If I'm gonna give
you a Pepsi, you're gonna pay for it!". Marty finally settles
for a coffee. I digress.... In any event, while en route to Turkey
Run, somewhere in Central Indiana, Mr. Zelenkovich stopped off
at a gas station to fill up the van. Having just finished watching
Back to the Future, we walked into the gas station's mini-mart
to find no less than a mountain of TaB! None of us had seen this
available in over a decade, so we immediately had to buy a case!
Each year following, a case of TaB finds its way to TR, even if
no more than a few are actually consumed.
we felt like men, we were merely children at the time. But we
were eagar to share in the great history of Serb Fest and continue
to uphold its great traditions, while at the same time, creating
a great number of new traditions of our own. It was a weekend
like this that solidified the importance & significance of
the weekend to the original attendees of present-day Serb Fest...
this message would be spread to others and the weekend would continue
to blossom in coming years.
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