We had a quiet and relaxing start to our fifth day of camp. It’s always a great way to begin with yoga from being stiff when we first get up. Yoga is also a great way to clear our minds of clouded thoughts and getting focused for the day.
After yoga, we had a delicious pancake breakfast (thanks Frances!) to get us fully energized for music. We all did an fantastic job with practicing and remembering music and our lines for the play coming up on Saturday, August 19th. We are so excited about it and hope to see you there! (2pm, Bennett Hall)
Some of us did pottery and two small groups went for boat rides.
Later this evening, we are gearing up for a fun sing-along and a picnic at one of the local churches on beautiful Nantucket. Hopefully the rain will stop. We haven’t had the greatest weather since we’ve arrived, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun! We just love being able to get away and get together with our friends.
The sing-a-long at the Siasconset Union Chapel was a a smashing hit. Some of the songs we sang were: “This Land is Your Land”, “Blow the Man Down”, “Take Me Home” by John Denver, “You Make My Dreams come True” by Hall & Oates. The crowd seemed to enjoy themselves have a good time but they seemed to really get into the Hall and Oates song which is a sneak peek of our play.
Meg loved the song, “My Voice Matters”. She loved the song because it gives a powerful message that every person counts in this world and we all have something great and special to offer that we can all benefit and learn from.
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After the sing-a-long, the Tulgey Wood gang had their picture taken and had a scrumptious dinner at the casino down the street, provided by the incredibly generous church congregation. Thank you so much for having us for dinner and for sharing our meal time/story time tradition! And thank you to Deb and Gary for photographing the event!
After we got back from dinner, we all had a successful night of play practice! Everyone has a lot of rehearsing to do.The play is going to be great!
A few pictures of rehearsal won’t give too much away:
Then off to bed we went, definitely excited knowing we are going to the musical “Mama Mia” tomorrow night!
Wednesday, August 16
We had an energetic morning filled with music and practice for the play and a drumming circle with our friend Gary. From the sound of it, we could have a lot more sessions. The drumming sounded wonderful and nobody missed a beat! Besides yoga, music is also a great way to relax and get focused for the day. It helps us get into a great mood and be in a happy state of mind.
After an early lunch, we did a run through of the play and everyone did a great job! It’s okay if people make mistakes with their lines or singing. What’s most important is to feel good and proud of yourself about being part of a production and having fun!
Then we had a much needed nap after doing such a great job with rehearsal. And I’m excited to report that we have an extended relaxation period with more yoga. Yoga is very relaxing with breathing, stretching and meditation exercises. People should definitely try yoga if they haven’t tried it already.
After yoga we had a early dinner to see the popular musical hit of Mama Mia which we all been very excited to see!
The musical Mama Mia was a smashing hit at Bennett Hall tonight! Katie, Grace and Meg knew all the songs and were singing along and dancing to every song. Candy and Jackie were also dancing along and cheering in the front row. The actress who played the mother played the mother on Broadway. Some of us have seen it already on Broadway, but loved it just as much! Everyone had a great time! Meg loved sitting literally two inches from the stage and seeing the guys up close in their swim suits! The entire play was fun to watch! Bobby and Adama were enthusiastic throughout as well and sang heartily for the final three songs. A big thank you goes out to the folks at Theatre Workshop of Nantucket who donated the tickets for us. We are extremely thankful and lucky to have seen this production.
Rachel asked Rebecca, “How did you like the play?” Rebecca answered, “It’s great! Ours is better!”
Peter told an actress that he loved her performance, and that she was the best in the show. He asked her for a signed photograph of herself. She was pleased and said, “Yes, of course, no one ever asked for one before!”
As we we were waiting to get loaded back into the cars to head back to camp, the cast mentioned to us that they will be coming to our play on Saturday. That would be incredible for them come because we love anybody who wants to support Tulgey Wood!
We printed really cool postcards to help publicize our play. Many people looked at the final version before printing it 250 times. When Steve helped Mike pick them up, he glanced at them and asked, “What’s April 19th?” Yikes! It was supposed to say August, not April! Steve was amazed. “I can’t believe I caught that! I can’t even read!”
Now off to bed getting rested up for the Whaling Museum and another big day of play rehearsal tomorrow!
After a huge feast for breakfast, we split into three groups of about 12 people each and had a wonderful time at three different churches. This was a new way to approach Sunday morning, and we loved it, despite the logistical challenge of getting around without a big van!
Then it was off to the beach for a surprisingly sunny and blue-skied day of swimming, relaxing and biking with the Wheelers, thanks to Joan, Darcy and their crew! All who wanted to take a ride on the Wheeler did (almost everyone did); all who wanted to swim did (almost everyone did!); all who wanted to soak up sunshine did — does it get any better than that?
To help out with the Wheelers, it was suggested that we bring a couple of bicycles with us so one person could ride in front and stop traffic and one person could ride in the back to make sure there are no stragglers. We called the Nantucket Bike Shop, a bike rental shop, and asked to borrow two bicycles. They were wonderfully accommodating and loaned us the bikes, no paperwork, no deposit. Happily, we used the bikes and returned them with ease, but unhappily, we also returned one of Darcy’s bikes. We have yet to track it down! Big Oops!! Thank you, Darcy, for being so understanding about it!
After dinner, we heard wonderful stories from Scoobs about an elephant who surprised her in the bathroom in the middle of the night; Joan, who told about meeting Jacques; Francis, who told about swimming with sperm whales; the Siasconset Chapel group about how welcoming the service and community was there and Grace and Mike did a beautiful waltz-style dance to “Dancing Queen.”
Since we are creating a play loosely based on “La La Land,” we decided to watch the movie. The computer rebelled when asked to play it, so we entertained ourselves with a Tiny Talent Show. Among many other sharings, Carley made squeaky toy noises every time she squeezed Sarah., Adama sang “Shabooya,” Bobby did an amazing interpretive dance without musical accompaniment, Mike and Andrew sang a song from their band, “Baeja Vu,” Rebecca narrated a fictitious fight scene between Mike L and Gabe, and Carley sang a jazz tune while Andrew played piano. The collective talent in this group is impressive, to say the least.
We paused the movie at the (spoiler alert) first kiss, and happily went to bed.
Monday – August 14
Do you know any sea shanties? After a wonderful music class, most of us now know “Blow ye winds in the morning, blow ye winds hi ho . . . ” and I must say, we sound hearty enough to raise the anchor and set sail on an old time vessel.
Thanks to Chris Shannon of Madaket Marine, two groups have already had a chance to feel the wind in their faces and the slap of the waves against the boat. Kieran, Ellen, Peggy, Meg, Rebecca and Carley took their boating excursion before lunch, and Mike L, Steve, Monik, Grace, Adama and Olivia went after lunch/rest time. Both groups reported having a great time, and enjoying seeing many seabirds, but no seals.
Snapshots from boating this afternoon: Grace graced us with some whale calls, both of grown up and baby whales. Steve drove the boat some of the time, and tried to convince us when he got back that he crashed the boat. That group hoped to see the rest of us at Jetties Beach, so they rode over their and screamed and yelled at the people on the beach, only to finally realize our group was at a different beach!
It was a cooler, cloudier day at the beach. The water was either freezing or refreshing, depending on your point of view. Everyone played or swam in their own way. Jackie floated in the floating wheel chair. Bobby and Ben stuck together. Katie demonstrated her strong butterfly stroke and Billy showed his flutter kick.
Andrew said, “Water is a great equalizer. There are lots of people without disabilities who can’t swim at all, and people with disabilities who can. Water is a buoyant force so people can stand on their own two feet.”
When we returned to camp, one group worked on a scene in the play and Marjorie led a yoga class before dinner. In yoga we worked on our partner poses and resident yogi Billy Collopy gave a standout performance, mastering the Ardha Chandrasana pose. Ellen loved the partner stretches, holding hands with a partner to pull back and forth and she also held her body in a beautiful tree shape. We closed our session with chanting and discussing “Om” and “Shanti” and felt one with our mind, bodies, and spirits before having dinner with some guests of our dear friend Susan Berman.
After our wonderful dinner and yummy desert, Susan led us in a sing-along as the fogs rolled in. She is a wonderful singer and song leader, and we had a great time with her and her family.
We had just enough time to finish watching “La La Land” before bed.
So much happens here all throughout the day. Images abound while falling asleep . . .
The start of camp is always one of the best days of the whole year, and this was no exception. The hugs, the shouts of greeting and excitement, the feeling of coming home, even if it’s to a home we’ll only share for 11 days, could power a trip to the moon, if it worked that way. Most of the group came by boat from Hyannis, and we thank the Steamship Authority for their generous donation of passenger tickets on the fast ferry. We also thank the friends and families who helped everyone pack and travel. It’s a big undertaking and we are grateful for the effort made by so many.
We were delighted to see old friends Meg, Katie, Peter, Sara, Candy, Rebecca, Steve, Bobby, Grace, Billy, Peggy, Ellen, Cameron and Jack together again, back at Whereowhero Lane, and were especially glad that Bobby could make the trip, as he has recently been ill with pneumonia. We were also delighted that new friends Olivia and Adama have joined us!
After a bit of unpacking and settling in, camp got underway fittingly with a yoga class with Marjorie. We “ohmed” and breathed and worked out kinks while our guest chefs, Kathleen and Blake made a feast for our first night’s dinner.
After a truly delicious dinner, including a many-berried cobbler for Sean’s 21st birthday, we heard stories from all who wanted to share. There were funny stories, such as Sage’s story of falling out of bed, and Kellen’s story of a cabin inspection that didn’t go too well; warm stories, such as Jack’s story of reuniting with Sean and Mike’s dad Brian after 25 years, and gross stories, such as Giulia’s story of vomit on a ride at an amusement park. Our ambassador, Steve, a natural comedian, started his story about meeting Bernie Sanders while dressed up as Bernie by saying, “Most of you don’t know I go to Zeno Mountain Farm,” to which Mike responded, “Actually, most of us do know!”
Some singing in the living room rounded off the evening before it was time for bed, and a wonderful first day of camp came to a close.
Saturday, August 12 – Pops Day
It was not obvious that we would make it to the Pops Concert this year. Several snafus had already made it a “yes” “no” “yes” “no” event on our calendar, but thanks to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital Foundation, we woke up knowing it was a “yes” — only to see that pouring rain was both in the forecast and outside our windows. Maybe it would clear up?
While watching the rain fall and wondering about the evening event, we were very busy all day long.
In music class, we made great progress on “City of Stars” (Are you shining just for me?) and Monik even said we harmonized! Elinor offered a few small pottery classes, Rachel and Harry led some dance classes, and Mike led a photography class. Using some newly acquired vocabulary about framing the shot, we had a photoshoot, and got some pretty good pictures to choose from for promoting our play next Saturday. (Just in case you don’t know, we had better do a little promotion right here! Our play will be our version of “La La Land,” adapted for Nantucket as “Na Na Land.” Come see it on Saturday, August 19 at 2 pm at the Theatre Workshop’s Bennet Hall, next to the Unitarian Church, right in town!)
After lunch and rest, we worked on some scenes from the play. Scene 1 now has lines!
Just in time, the weather cleared up, and the Pops concert was a “yes” again. Dressed for success at the concert scene, we loaded into every vehicle in the driveway.
Sidenote about vehicles: Our Tulgey van may have made its last journey. Erik Evans at Don Allen Ford had been keeping a good eye on the van, and had checked it out and maintained it in the spring, but the Steering Box Gods are a mischievous bunch, and on Wednesday, the truck didn’t pass Erik’s inspection. He is, as I write, working like crazy to find a van we can safely use as soon as possible, so at this moment, we can’t all fit into the vehicles we brought to camp. I have a feeling we’ll be rolling by Monday! Thank you Erik for all you’ve been doing!!
Getting to the concert was a story in itself, but for now, it’s enough to say that Mike performed magic to get us around, under and through road blocks galore, and by the time the notes of “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” blared joyfully from the stage, we were all in comfortable seats with picnic dinners and a perfect view of the goings on both on stage and at the catered tables in the center. We thank the folks of the Hospital Foundation and all the officers who helped navigate us through a sea of 8000 people in one tiny parking lot.
The’ concert was fabulous! After the John Williams pieces, the Beach Boys serenaded the audience with familiar and danceable tunes. We all loved it! Meg danced in her chair, Peter and Candy conducted with their light up sticks, Grace’s glee was contagious, Adama and Grace and Katie and even Bobby, who we thought might have wanted a little rest after a busy day, got up to dance.
Bedtime was late and welcome and thus ended a glorious Day 2 of the Fellowship of the Tulgey Wood.
With our first ten years behind us, we want to thank Nantucket for all you’ve done for us! We couldn’t have done it without the friendship, help, love, loans, donations and gifts of so many people and businesses. We know our list could never be complete for ten years worth of thanks, so we say a loud and general thank you to the many people who have helped us over all the years, and offer some more specific thank yous to at least some of the folks who made Summer 2016 not only possible, but wonderful! (Please accept our apologies if we leave you off the list!)
Giant thanks to the Steamship Authority, who were enormously generous with passenger tickets on the fast ferry to get us all to and from the island at the start and end of camp!
Giant thanks also to the Hyline, who were also quite generous with tickets for those of us who needed to travel between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Giant thanks to our volunteer and always available, helpful and cheerful nurses, Gloria Gasnarez and Jenny Boley!
Giant thanks to Erik Evens and Billy Tornovish at Don Allen Ford for the loan of a truck to help us make it to the beach with all our gear!
Likewise, giant thanks to Amy Manning for the loan of a truck to help us make it to the beach, etc.!
Giant thanks to the Nantucket Whaling Museum, and especially to Susan Berman and Karen MacNab for tours, sing-alongs and storytelling!
Giant thanks to our yoga teachers, Marjory Trott, Sally Charpie and Sheri Perelman, who brought peace and beauty to yoga classes, whether before breakfast or before dinner!
We offer giant thanks to Darcy Creech, who designed and donated 2016 Tulgey Wood t-shirts for all of us and many of our friends!
Giant thanks to the community of the Unitarian Meeting House, and especially to Linda Simmons and Gary Langley for all they did to embrace and help us, including allowing us the use of the main hall for our concert!
Giant thanks to David Crohan (and his dog, Walker) who traveled to Nantucket and played a beautiful benefit concert for us!
Giant thanks to our friend Bob Lehman for singing at the benefit concert, and for hanging and singing with us throughout camp!
Giant thanks to our new friends at the Union Chapel in Siasconset! Elizabeth Queally organized a memorable and lovely cookout and long term support that astounds us!
Giant thanks to Chris Shannon from Madaket Marine, who took us out on wonderful boat outings!
Giant thanks to Maria Costanza at Pi Pizza for two amazing and delicious multi-course meals for all of us!
Giant thanks to the folks at Something Natural, who willingly set aside plenty of yummy bread for us to use for sandwiches!
Giant thanks to Kathleen Sanderson for organizing and cooking a delicious dinner for all of us!
A giant thank you to Linda Williams who organized our tickets to the Boston Pops for the past two years – – already a favorite activity for the group!
Giant thanks to Dan Bartlett of Bartlett Farms for our shopping discount on their farm-grown produce and for giving us space to store our van out of the weather over the winter!
A giant thank you to Ed at Nantucket Emissions, who generously examined our van and helped it make it through one more summer.
Giant thanks to Dave Renner who brings us wood every year for our pit firing of our pottery!
Giant thanks to Susan Grey for supplying enthusiasm, costumes and a beach wheelchair!
Giant thanks to the Highway Department for beach wheelchairs, which make all the difference when it comes to getting some of us over the sand and to the water!
Giant thanks to the Lighthouse School for the loan of all of our chairs and tables this year!
We give giant thanks to Francis Dorris for her recruitment help this year!
We also heartily thank our kitchen cabinet, a group of talented and dedicated folk who help us all year long in creative planning and organizing. The group includes Jack and Mary Beth Weinhold, who also design and photograph for our brochure and publicity, Jacques and Joan Zimicki who are also our landlords and who help us with reduced rent and loads of energy and connections, and Peter Boynton, without whom we certainly wouldn’t have found a way to continue camp for ten years and whose ways of helping have been too numerous to list!
For your entertainment, while you’re waiting for the much-anticipated, soon-to-be-available link to the play from 2016, we offer this link to the filmed version of our play from 2015 – our musical version of Ghostbusters! Enjoy!
I look forward to receiving and adding more photos from Sunday and Monday, but for now, here are a few new additions from earlier days (that just got sent to me now!) and from Saturday afternoon (the play and chat-time with the audience afterwards.)
Eleanor helps peter present Gabe with a gift after the show
Remember the Whaling Museum? Here are some (belated) photos from outside there.
And, an oldie but goodie:
Sunday, August 21
Jack Weinhold nicely came down the street first thing this morning to take our group photo. The lawn was too sunny for the light to be right, so we posed on the front porch. We are excited to see what he captured!
We had time to almost complete the Callopy Cup – – Bob played against himself, with great results!
We had a good long beach trip to Jetties Beach, including delicious sandwiches that we brought with us. Meg and AJ went for a beachside luncheon at the restaurant there. It was very relaxing and in many ways, just the right beach for us. It’s definitely the most accessible of the beaches we went to this year.
Carley led an incredible yoga class this afternoon before dinner and then we stuffed ourselves on the best pizzas on Nantucket, generously donated by Pi Pizzeria.
After dinner, we said our good-byes. As is our tradition, each person gets time to come to the front of the dining porch and tell us what they loved about camp.
Peanut said goodbye first. “Okay, class, tonight we’ll go to sleep and tomorrow we’ll go home.” Then she invited some friends to come up to the front with her. She told them she loves them and they had a big group hug. She made several other announcements during the evening to tell us that she loves us and will miss us and looks forward to camp this year.
Aiden said that tomorrow we’d eat breakfast, pack up a big backpack, say goodbye to friends and go home. For his first announcement, he said, “I’ll go back to Boston and never be seen at camp again.” We all cheered when later, he changed that to, “I’ll see you next time!”
Bob Lehman stopped by to say good-bye. He said the concert was great and the play was fabulous and he looks forward to seeing us all next year.
Peter told us that he loved being here this year, that he tried his best, and that he had a great time. He loved being on the beach, loved the two trips to the museum, survived tipping over into the water in his wheelchair, loves us all and wants to come back next year.
Peggy said, “I’m going to miss you all. I hope to see you soon! I’ll keep in touch with emails.”
Steve, our ambassador, thanked Mike for being a good camp director and Peter for being a good roommate. Then he promised to be on time to camp next year.
Will found it tough to arrive at camp just as we leapt into play mode, but was very appreciative of all the people who jumped in to help him out when he was stressed or overwhelmed. He looks forward to bringing all this greatness into the rest of the year and hopes to come on time to camp next year!
Ben said, “This was my first year. Going into it, I didn’t think I could handle it, but I’m glad I got to try. I’m grateful to all of you for making these three weeks so amazing.”
Meg said, “It’s really hard for me because this is the best part of the year for me. I have friends at home, but they don’t feel like true friends. You’re like my family and I thank you!”
Carley said, “I’m so happy I ended up at camp. I never want to leave. I love what I’ve been doing here. I haven’t had an artistic project to work on in years. I love that we’ve been doing yoga and music every day. I feel on fire here, so happy to share all these special passions with everyone here. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Grace said she had fun at camp. She said the best part was the s’mores. She also liked kickball and would like to come back next year.
Katie said she had a great time at camp and she’ll miss all her friends. She will miss Peter’s God Bless America. She liked the concert, the play and the beach, and she appreciated the food here. She also wrote, and asked me to add, “My fav parts of the camp this year was having the cookout yesterday, having rest time, spending time with friends. One memorable thing is the concert and the play.”
AJ said he hoped to be cool and start with a quote from his lines in the play, but really, he just wanted to say that he loved camp, even (especially) the people who teased him. He feels lucky to be able to attend two camps and experience so many different things. He was glad to discover that he could survive without eating (much) meat. He appreciated his solid crew. He said, “Thanks to Will and Mike and Monik. Taking care of me every day is a lot of work. I loved the concert and singing with Bob Lehman. I love all of you guys – camp is special to me.”
Rebecca said, “I am happy. I enjoy camp, and to the pillows, I say ‘bum, bum, bum.'”
Candy said, “I liked the concert, the beach, seeing the fish and I’ll see you next year.”
Monik said, “I want to thank you all for how fun it was to teach music here. I got to know a lot of people this year because I bounced around a lot. I enjoyed doing the play and the concert. I’m so proud of all of us! Thanks!”
Billy started his goodbye by replaying all his lines from the play, which were programmed into the Minspeak. Then he used the Minspeak to tell us that he really loved the Boston Pops and the play!
Gabe thanked Peter and Steve for the time they all spent together. “It’s really tough to go back to reality – we’re all feeling that. I love you and hope to see you next year!”
Jamie thanked all the ladies in the suite. She said getting everyone to bed was really difficult, but, “I loved it; I’ll be thinking about camp all year and can’t wait for next year.”
Rachel said, “I love you guys so much and everyone’s worked so hard. It’s a beautiful group, you’ve been so patient and kind and wonderful. Thank you!”
Bob said, “Abuya, acha, abu. Yeah!” Then he brought Will up to the front with him and sang a good-bye blessing.
Talia said, “Thank you for another incredible summer. I had a lot of doubts because of our numbers. I’m just so impressed with everyone. I want to say a huge thank you to Bob and Cameron, and to Peanut – – you’ve had your best summer ever!”
Best John said, “This is my second summer spending a little time here – there is a magic here. It’s a wonderful family. You are so wonderful and gracious and I commend you all.”
Cameron came up with Talia and communicated with a few sounds that Talia said meant he loves us and will miss us. Talia said Cameron had a great year at camp and a great day today – he loved getting kicked out of yoga for making too much noise.
Joan came and ate dinner with us and said, “I am struck by how beautiful all the people are here. I am so lucky to get to be here. It’s the best and most beautiful thing that happens in the course of the year.
Jackie said that he liked seeing Gabe and Emily get married again. He said the more he comes to camp, the more Gabe feels like his brother. He thanked Gillian and reminded her that next year he would like to visit Martha’s Vineyard again.
Gillian said, “This year our numbers were unusual, so things were more like the old times, but people worked together in a wonderful way! I did doubt that the play would work out, but it did – – and one thing’s for sure, I never doubted these guys. They can do anything. They learned the words to “Hair” — as I knew they would!”
Ellen and Mike talked about throwing rocks into the water at the beach and how much she enjoyed the crash and “bonk” noises they made as they entered the water. Ellen said she loved camp and wants to come back next year!
Mike said, “Thank you so much for working so hard – everyone was really amazing! I genuinely love spending time with you; it’s a treat and a blessing. It was a hard year, and to get through it, we all had to be our best. AJ, I had a great time with you! Thanks for showing up, being present and being positive!”
Eleanor said, “Sometimes I think I should retire and just stay home and make pots and read books, but then I think about all the fun times I have here, and all the new things I learn here and I think I might have to come back next year, just to keep having a great time with you!”
On that note, we had a five-song dance party, packed and went to bed.
Monday, August 22
The last day. No one’s favorite. After so many days of blue skies, it poured in the early morning hours, so we sloshed through puddles as we loaded the vans. No one’s ever very hungry for breakfast on the last morning, so there was soggy cereal left in bowls, and many of our faces looked more than a bit soggy, too.
Billy and AJ flew home, Grace, Aiden, Peggy and Ellen got picked up here, and the rest of the gang went back to America via the fast ferry. (Another huge thank you to the Hyline for our fast ferry passenger tickets – – we took about 20 people over and 10 people back at no charge, thanks to their generosity! What a huge difference that makes to us!)
Tulgey Wood 2016 has been a remarkable, memorable and wonderful year! There are so many people to thank for their generosity and open arms! We will accumulate their names and add them to this blog, but for now, we all have a lot to do to take down all the bunk beds, pack up our belongings for storage, and clear out of here within 24 hours. Rather than risk an incomplete list, we’ll just send out a huge cheer and thank you – but more will follow!
P.S. In our last evening meeting, we discussed the fact that we have accomplished a lot in our first ten years, but we greatly need additional help in order to carry on. If you are someone who would like to contribute organizationally (or financially, of course!) please let us know. Big issues such as improving our transportation (we have an ancient van which received a terrible prognosis from our mechanic and we always have to scramble to have enough additional cars and trucks to use), help with organizing activities, help with fundraising, cooking, recruiting more volunteers to join us and to offer support to our friends with disabilities, help setting up and closing down, and here’s a biggie! – help with finding a permanent accessible home are at least some of what we need to be thinking about. We’d love to hear from you, and we invite you to share this blog with others who might want to jump in!
How do you get to Whereowhero Lane? “Practice, Practice, Practice” of course!
After yoga with Sally and a quick breakfast, a small group, including Alan, Mike, Steve, Bob, Harry and Aiden, slipped off for final boat trip while the rest of us practiced our songs for the play. We worked on some scenes and had lunch while Rachel, Candy, Rebecca, Cameron and Talia had their final boat trip of the summer. We are enormously appreciative of Chris Shannon at Madaket Marine for his generosity this summer! Thank you!!!
After lunch, the boaters told us about their outing. They had a wonderful time, and the weather was beautiful: blue waters under sunny and cloudless skies. Alan and Steve spent their whole trip peppering each other with insults (in fun and friendship!) Steve threatened to put Alan in a dog leash, and Alan told him if he did that, he (Alan) would have to bite him. Steve said he was done teasing and was ready to just be nice again. He said he would like to do something to make it up to him. He asked Alan, “What would you like for breakfast? It’s on you!” If Alan is lucky, he might just get coffee and a donut in bed — and not on him. When they joked about jumping off the boat and swimming to shore, Aiden pointed out that there could be sharks and it wouldn’t be safe.
After lunch, we skipped rest time in order to try a run-through with all of us present. It was hard, hot work! Luckily, we did it well enough to earn a trip to the beach. The water was cool and lovely and it was even hot enough for Peter to wear his shorts (yay, Peter!) and get some sun on his legs.
Just before dinner, a small group went to Don Allen Ford (the nice folks who loaned us a truck this summer!) to say hello while they were holding a special picnic. Peter and Steve were both happy to have seen old cars and a firetruck close-up, and Steve loved dancing to the live band playing there. Peggy saw her music teacher there and said she hopes to get together with her when camp is over. Ellen was able to show all her friends her new necklace, made with beads she made in pottery. She was excited to share the fact that the beads got cooked in our fire last night.
After dinner, Will told the story of the sinking of the swan. This beloved swan (an inner-tube we’ve loved for about a week now) set sail for her most ambitious trip to date, with Will as captain and Mike, Gracie and Steve as crew. They paddled and kicked for a few fathoms, and then, just like on the Essex, they realized they needed to jettison someone in order to survive. Mike threw Will off the swan, so Will, acting as captain of a doomed vessel, cursed it. The swan’s air slowly, but ever so surely, began to escape. Steve jumped ship, Mike followed suit, and finally, the only person clinging to the shrinking, thinning, flattening formerly grand swan was Gracie – – who gracefully swam to safety.
Our dress rehearsal went off without too many hitches, so it’s hi-ho and off to bed we go!
Oh – but first, here’s the promised view of the assembled and gorgeous pottery:
Saturday, August 20
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, (or, maybe just a few days ago!) Gabe wrote us a Star Wars musical production and found a way to include songs from “Hair” and “Aladdin” and even to include a brief encounter with Mary Poppins! Thanks to Gabe for clever writing and flexible directing, thanks to Mike who kept everything moving forward, thanks to Monik who did an amazing job with the music, and really, thanks to everyone here!! There had been plenty of room for doubt as to whether we could make it work, but because lots of people worked so hard, we learned lines and songs and had costumes, staging, props and just enough gorgeously painted scenery – – we pulled it together and put on a great play!
After the play, many of our lovely audience, from near and far, stayed to see our rooms and share refreshments with us. Thanks to Sarah, Gloria and Jenny, we had tons of cheese, crackers, veggies, cookies, brownies, and small cakes.
We basked in the happy feeling of accomplishment and completion for the rest of the evening. We had a cookout and re-lived moments from the show. Then, we had a truly special treat! As the twilight turned to night, with Peter officiating, Emily and Gabe got married all over again, right here on the lawn, in their full wedding paraphernalia!
When it was just too dark and chilly to sit outside any longer, we went into the Great Room and watched the show on video. It really did look good! Steve said his favorite part was the standing ovation; Katie liked all of it best, but especially the dancing! We’ll get a link up for you to see it for yourself just as soon as we can!
We started the day bright and early with yoga class with Sally. Quite a few of us have sore muscles, sore backs (not to mention a couple of sore throats – – yoga doesn’t help those!) so we are especially grateful to all of our yoga teachers for coming here to share their practice.
After breakfast, the focus was on the play. There were still a few scenes that no one had read through, and the play is in four days! Yikes! When people weren’t part of a scene or working on their lines, they were happy to join Elinor for some small print-making classes.
Today’s lunch makers Rachel and Anjay were well helped by Audrey, who added all the cheese to the pizza bagels. After lunch, Harry did a fashion show of unclaimed laundry — and now it’s mostly claimed! Before we went to nap time, we were sad to say goodbye to Audrey and Alycia. We hope they’ll stay longer next year!
We had hoped to try a new beach today, but Mike checked it out and it was not the right beach for us today, so we went back to Brant Point. We had an amazing day at the beach, and Alan took equally amazing photos, which are posted below!
Before dinner tonight, Grace gave the “evening reading” – she strummed a guitar and she and Jamie sang “Hair” all the way through.
Our good Whaling Museum friend Susan came to dinner tonight and gave us the full story of the “Essex.” She’s an awesome, incredible story teller, and we were completely captivated. It’s hard and upsetting to believe that it was real, but we know it was. Thank you, Susan!! (Carley said, If I get rich, I’m not going to get a television, I’m just going to invite story tellers!” Monik said, I felt like I was five years old again, sitting there with my mouth hanging open.”)
Afterwards, we used Studio Night to run through most of the parts of the play that we have practiced so far. It was quite a rough run-through, with lots of hilarity, lots of ad-libbing, especially when Aiden repeatedly zoomed around the group on stage during a scene that he wasn’t expected in. Sarah wowed us with her “boop boop boops” as R2D2; Grace, as Princess Leia had plenty of fight in her; Bob had his Chewbacca lines down pat; Katie led the dance chorus of “Dance Dance Dance” with energy; and Meg, Mike, Ben, Peter and Billy knew all their lines quite impressively.
Jamie, Rebecca, Rachel, Grace, Peanut, Mike, Steve and Monik serenaded us with a Rebecca Original song, created today while they were floating in the pretzel. “I’m stuck in a tube, oh my lord, I don’t want to drown, blub, blub, blub . . .”
Thursday, August 18
Everyone was very busy (as always!) all morning. We learned some new songs for the play and then had play practice until lunch. After lunch and rest, most of us had a rollicking good game of kickball. There was a very complicated system of scorekeeping, which no one used, and there are no teams, so it’s a whole different [kick]ball game! Lots of people kicked the ball and made it to home base! Katie ran very quickly to the bases and Gabe caught the ball with one hand (which was good, because his other hand was supporting Billy!) AJ pitched for part of the game, but said he doesn’t really understand the game. He just has fun! Mike said, “One thing that makes it fun is that we’re not that great at kicking, so there’s lots of chances to run from base to base. Occasionally, one of us blocks the person guarding the base to make sure a runner can be declared safe there.”
At the same time, a small group went on a special outing to see Ellen’s house. Gillian, Ellen, Jackie, harry, Jackie, Rebecca, Candy and Rachel all enjoyed seeing Ellen’s bedroom and the whole house, as well as the snack they shared there. Jackie said it was a very good group home. He especially liked the water with lemon slices in it. Candy said it was a big house. Rebecca reported on the snack. They also noticed pictures on Ellen’s walls of people they recognized: the Tulgey Wood group photo from 2015, Peggy, and Emily were all part of her decor.
More play practice followed. When some of us were off-stage, we got to watch Elinor firing the pots in the barbecue pit outside the house. It was amazing how quickly many of the pots were done. The temperature of the fire raised to 1100 degrees F within forty five minutes, and by applying some different metals and materials such as lemon skin and mango peels, different colors and textures were brought out in the pots. They’re spectacular — I think there will be some pictures of pots in the next blog.
Yoga with Marjory (Thank you, Marjory!) preceded dinner, and then we roasted marshmallows for s’mores on top of the pots that were being fired for longer. Aiden told us a new long story about the adventures of a hat. He is a master storyteller, employing different voices and gestures to illustrate as he talks. Peter said, “He’s a really good storyteller!”
We ran through the whole play before bedtime. We had a good time – – and, we have a lot to pull together in the next couple of days. Going to bed, Sarah asked if she could go up on Mike’s back, just like Candy goes up on Rachel’s back. Mike suggested they just hold hands, but the next thing I saw was Mike sitting down on the bottom step while Sarah climbed happily onto his back. On the way upstairs, Peggy noticed a cricket on the steps. Aiden took it outside safe and sound. Some people went straight to bed and some others took some time to write a note to send in Aurora’s suitcase – – she’s leaving for her big trip tomorrow!