Camp From The Port: Episode 004: Latchkey Stories [Part 1]

It’s cool to talk with other people who were the “only child”. A lot of 80’s babies grew up Latchkey and although our stories are similar, none are truly the same.

Every time I talk to Marcus, whether social media or in person, I love the memories, stories and ideology that he brings up in my mind. He was a “media guy” like I was, but through time and experience things changed. We talk about how basketball was he vehicle to get into ESPN and other media jobs, what made him step away from God and media and we talk our lives as latchkey children on part 1 of this Camp From The Port.

Happy 815 Day #815Day

It’s #815Day! I’m from the Freeport, Illinois part of the #815.

One of my favorite things when I was growing up was Tutty Baker Days.

Even walking around our small downtown area was cool. Catching up with friends. Seeing all the girls I was crushing on hard and just walking around taking in the sights and sounds of the town. Believe it or not, events like that would give you a city vibe. You’d see people you don’t know, try food you couldn’t get everyday. The streets would be filled and the crowd wouldn’t die down before 9pm. I don’t know why it ended but it would definitely be cool to bring it back.

What’s your favorite 815 moment?

Can’t Forget Curt…EVER

Disbelief is the feeling. One of my closest cousins and favorite people left this world and it truly hurts. My cousin Curtis was a very special dude. Next level brilliant if you really sat and talked with him. He had awesome ideas and always knew and believe he could make something great happen.

When I come back to The Port, he’d be one of the first people I’d see and hang with. Sometimes the only person I’d hear from. We motivated each other. Motivated in the most positive way we could. I’d encourage him to keep striving in spite of any circumstance that’s in his way. He’d let me know that he see what I’m doing and was happy to see it and couldn’t wait for our chance to link up and work together on anything.

What really hurts me is that Curt and I are the same age. Our birthdays are 9 days apart and since 15, he was just a cousin I connected with effortlessly. We had the relationship you can’t build. You just have it. Thinking back we were more alike than even I realized. It’s crazy how you don’t notice those things in real time.

I’m in shock. Sporadically crying and it took a little while to write this. I can’t do anything but accept this, but it’s hard. Many people feel your late 30’s are the end of the road. Curt and I knew we were just getting started. We were in that budding “Young OG” phase. We were now they cousins that were pulling fam to the side to explain things and connecting with the young people that approach us to give game. A whole new chapter of life was starting and now he won’t be here to see how it plays out.

I’m happy to say I can only remember great times. Whether it was rocking out to Special Ed at the Family Reunion in STL or getting it in to Project Pat in The Port before we head anywhere. Then it was those nights we’d be rolling out to Nora with Shanna and kicking freestyles or verses we were working on. Our new thing was becoming posting up at Applebee’s just to talk about our plans and catching up. I even find joy in those calls and text messages acknowledging each other but “having to get up next time”.

Man cuz, I want you to still be here. We didn’t take a lot of pictures, but this one really does symbolize a lot.

LOVE CURT! Rest Easy. Live Forever.

Motivational Tools…

I can’t go back to The Port again
Nah, that’s just where the story began
Although I pit stopped
Lost a lot
Had to think and regroup
Get focused for more
Reconnect and then understand my roots
I can’t return…

That was just a breeding ground
The cool story to promote
When they see where I am now
It’s not a destiny
Only a destination
A place to give back
And put on the map to our nation

I can’t sleep in grandma’s car again
I can’t not eat but once and win
I can’t see 3 digits in my account with a decimal
Can’t just survive like and animal
Because I want to live

I don’t want to choose bills or lunch
Cause the partial payment still ain’t enough
Don’t want to feel weak
I don’t want to feel full from crumbs
Live check to check like its really fun
Stuck in the house for weeks

I miss work cause I can’t afford to go
Not sure if I’m losing weight
Cause exercise or I’m broke
Planned a family outing, 80 dollars to my name
Grabbed change out the jar
For 8 dollars in the tank
But it was worth it for a hug
And a smile on her face
Too harden to cry
So it’s pain in my face
I cherish every moment
Hate for anything to waste
Try to remain in high faith
Till God’s light hits my place

Nah, I won’t get repoed
I won’t see another delinquent note
They’ll be no more past due
I’ve sacrificed and did what’s asked to do
Now it’s my world, time and rules…

These are my tools…

What Up, Big Camp!?

What Up, Big Camp!? A phrase and question that is synonymous with my presence when I touch down in my hometown, Freeport, Illinois. I got the name from a man I used to call my favorite uncle. I was told from the day I was born he gave me the nickname “Big Camp” and the family just rocked with it. “Let’s call him Big Camp!” was what he told my mom as I was fresh out the womb. Before I left the hospital I was branded with a nickname that is used to this day. How he came up with it I really don’t know, but it does combine my name first and last name in some way.

My whole McGee family knows me as Camp. Mom, Grandma, Aunties, cousins, everybody calls me “Camp”. It’s just the way it is. In Freeport, you either call me “Camp” or “Cameron”. None of my stage names in music or media have ever stuck back home, lol! I laugh cause I literally have had the hardest time branding myself under one name to be recognized by. I’m called “Killa Cam” more than I’ve been called CamQuotes, Shoohstopugh, The Captain or even Cam at home. It’s hilarious because apparently the branding I always needed, I was born with and just never used it outside of my hometown. I answer to the name “Camp”, so it’s not that I don’t like it. I just never went out of my way to use it or introduce myself as “Camp” to anyone. I remember coming home from College and my mom and I had a conversation on what I go by as far as name is concerned.

She said, “Well you’re a grown man now. I guess it’s no more “Camp”
I said, “I never really thought about it. My friends at school call me Cam”
She said, “So we dropping the P and it’s just Cam now?”
I said, “Whatever works. It doesn’t really matter to me.”

I’ve been thinking all day about going as “Big Camp” as I return to the wild world of radio. I think it’s only right I do. It’s my piece of Freeport that will always be with me. It’s a family name. It’s part of the story of growing up as me. Big Camp is uncommon, standing out and something anyone can say and sound cool. I’m also on a short list of people who would have “Big” in their name and actually be what many consider “Big”, ha! I’m sure I’ll figure it out by the time I get back on Social media. Let’s officially get back into Media first.