Mudcat Café message #727867 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47499   Message #727867
Posted By: Greg B
11-Jun-02 - 05:28 PM
Thread Name: Mystic Sea Song Fest 2002
Subject: RE: Mystic Sea Song Fest 2002
Okay, I'm awake now. Nothing like getting up at 0600 following the post-Festival bash-and-bellow. Then being back at work at 0500 this morning. Argh!

Abby, you filthy bugger, how could you show up at Mystic and not introduce yourself?!? It's not like I'm 'low profile' or unknown about the place!

And Brian, bloody good to see you again, even if you are the oddest-sounding US Army officer since Washington met Cornwallis.

This year really felt good...truly well-organized. Believe me, it doesn't happen by accident. Thanks, Craig, Rick, David, Geoff, Chris, Meg, Doug... Major thanks are due to the volunteer Chris, who put together a potluck dinner, much of it cooked by herself on Friday afternoon, to sate the volunteers' appetites prior-to. We've needed that for so many years. And that volunteer meeting just looked so well-attended and organized. All the leadership over and within the volunteer ranks sure showed, and paid off.

Of course, it didn't hurt that the catered food in the YTB was much-improved. Dare I say it... it was 'good!'

Even the pub-sing at 'Trader Jack's,' historically a bit of a challenge, was quite pleasant on Thursday night. All could be heard, and no shouting dinner crowd to try and be heard over. I noted the wait-staff there listening with intent interest. Sure was wet outside though!

I passed the time from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon in sea-boots and foulies. My cabin aboard the Whaler was just starting to get that 'special' wet-weather feeling (one set of foulies, 3 wet towels, another set of boots, closed port-holes and a sweaty body in a 6x6x6 space) when the sun broke through and all dried up. If I could just to figure out how not to exhale, such conditions would be much easier.

The 'Friends of the Festival' program is developing nicely, and gave some people to enjoy some extra privileges in lieu of volunteering, if they were in a position to help that way. Contact the Development Office at the Seaport, or any of the resident chantey staff for the details. At least some of us 'Friends' spend a bit of time in trenches none the less. It's hard not to want to keep a hand in. Especially when you know where everything in and see the staff busting a vessel trying to get it all dealt with. A thousand little problems...

I think Marc mentioned that the YTB is for performers and volunteers only: to that I'd add that, at some levels, a 'Friend of the Festival' status admits you to that sacred space as well.

Barry, the time the concertina disappeared it was actually from a museum staff area (I'd as soon not say which), not from the YTB. It belonged to a Mystic chantey staff member, and has not been recovered after some years have passed.

I had a new (to me) Salterelle Nuage melodeon to pollute the air with. Bought from Button Box on the way up Thursday. Naturally, its former owner recognized it. It's a small world, after all (and I know a song that gets on everybody's nerves).

The Captain of the Mystic Whaler and his Lady once again donated their vessel's hospitality for the duration to make a home for performers and others. As ever, their generosity continues to amaze. God bless 'em. Thanks, John and Marelda, for your kindness, love, and patience. The same goes for your delightful crew, most of them having first come aboard this weekend. You sure know how to pick 'em.

Strangest moment was being called up for 'Friends' recognition at the very moment after I found Jill, the long-suffering cabin steward up to her elbows in shite from a balky (okay, full) holding tank. There she was, cleaning up the resulting mess in Carthy's shower. These kids are really something. A real 'Martha and Mary' sort of experience, I'd say.

If you ever want to feel popular, be the guy passing out the 'free beer' tickets to performers and contributers at a Pub Sing :-)

I second and third all the remarks on our new West Indian friends. And to our own Mr. Noble, that is one heck of a song you have there, and a mighty nice banjo on which to play it.

It's been ten years since our dear Stan Hugill passed. It doesn't seem like that long, but we remembered him on Lighthouse Point.

Mary Kay and her team of squaddies once again doubled and trebled any expectation of normal human effort in setting and striking seemingly every sail in the Seaport. Repeatedly, so the lubbers could have a go at it themselves. In between they row and sail whale-boats AND display extraordinary scholarship and historical integrity.

Carl Thorton once again drafted me to lead the children's parades from the barn to the point, at melodeon-point. This in spite of suggestions from some that we deftly step aside at the last moment and let the little critters plunge, lemming-like, into the Mystic River. We try to remember that when we're old and grey, like Stan, these are the ones who will be wheeling us about.

I have found the right way to depart the site. Captain John graciously accepted my offer to row the Mystic Whaler's tender away from the Seaport and to the Whaler's down-river dock after the final concert once the Whaler departed. Leave-taking never felt quite so fitting before.

The blow was softened by an evening of singing with Baggywrinkle.

On Monday, before he and I went off to the airport, Mr. Carthy received his introduction to 'hands on' chantey-work. Don Sineti graciously yielded the falls of the Charles W. Morgan's main tops'l to yours truly for a bit of 'Reuben Ranzo,' and Martin got to be number 3 seaman behind squad's Carl Thornton. Martin rather quickly found out how LITTLE the conscripted tourists behind him actually contributed to the actual pulling on a line.

It is always fun to watch our first-time visitor performers get overwhelmed at the scale and quality of our dear Mystic Seaport. Those of us who see it frequently sometimes forget how we felt the first time that it smacked us square between the eyes...on a Sea Music Festival weekend at that!

Greg