Monday, August 29, 2011

power


Last night about this time, Mr. Betty & I took a walk. It was dark. Very dark. We'd had no power most of the day but kept thinking it would be restored any minute. Nope. So after grilling anything & everything worth grilling in the fridge before it spoiled (let's hear it for gas!), off we went with quickly-dying flashlight in hand, and no spare batteries the correct size to be found, toward town. The only lights in sight, given there were no lights in windows, were, again, the gas-powered ones, i.e., the streetlights along the cobblestones and down Pelham. I never tire of the factoid that Pelham was the first gas-lit street in America, assuming the sign on One Pelham East is correct. Actually, there were a few more lights-of-sorts there, at "the Pelham", which was open (!), and busy (!). On top of the dim glow of candles in the windows, the red tips of patrons' cigarettes outside on the sidewalk were far more apparent and maybe a little prettier than usual. Then there were the stars, which seemed VERY bright last night as they shone through white clouds racing past on the last of Irene's gusts ...

That was about it.

But that was more than enough after a day or two of wind & waves & water & worries & waiting & wonder at the power (and powerlessness) of it all ...





















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Saturday, August 27, 2011

storm


Wherever I went today — a day that seemed strangely proloooooonged given the amount of notice we've been given for Irene (yet to arrive) — people were responding to the threat: plywood was going up, anchors were going down, surfers were going surfing. Even at Sandy's Liquors, where I stopped post-Farmers' Market for some Newport Storm in the interest of preparedness, folks were making the most of the situation by contributing a few words' worth of requested graffiti. And on Bannister's Wharf, despite stacked & tethered outdoor seating, bars were hopping. It almost felt normal but for the empty-ish docks and exceeding number of lines from bow to bottom. And the plywood. And the stillness. It was so still. It's STILL still. The wait (weight?) continues ...





















Wednesday, August 17, 2011

sailing



As I prepare to set sail for a day or two — having just heard news of a sail gone wrong — I'm thinking about how I'm really OK with the notion of going slowly, through whatever conditions, even rocky/foggy/stormy conditions, just so long as I get there, wherever "there" may be ...






Wednesday, August 3, 2011

music



Mr. Betty and I have enjoyed any number of musical venues (and the music therein) over the past few weeks: from classical at The Breakers, to Bela Fleck at the Yachting Center, to some of Super Son's friends at Billy Goode's, to a bit (just a bit) of the Folk Fest at Fort Adams. Wanda Jackson, the 74-year-old Queen of Rockabilly, just-so-happened to be singing something pretty catchy about "a riot going on" as we scooted past a veritable sea of listeners on our way to Mackerel Cove for a swim.

And in terms of Fleck — though it's a little past tense at this point — we were equally impressed by Flecktone Victor Wooten on bass and his brother, percussionist Future Man (that's what he calls himself), as we were by Fleck. Which is saying something, 'cause Fleck is/was pretty amazing ...

Then, when I thought there couldn't possibly be any more (and Newport Jazz is yet to come!), I ran into some old bells. Seriously, on top of the usual Sunday morning concert emanating at about 9:30 a.m. from Channing steeple, there was a bell concert emanating from a bell-laden trailer of sorts on Sunday afternoon. So, while a capacity crowd were enjoying the whole sold-out scene at Fort Adams, a large-ish crowd of folk were enjoying another whole scene on Pelham Street.

There's another whole scene, of course, a little farther down Pelham, a little later at night. But I won't even attempt to go there ...














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HA! Joke's on me: I thought the bells were old, but then I endeavored to translate their Roman numerals only to realize that Anno MCMXCII = 1992. Not that relative youth makes the bells or their music any less beautiful ...