Working Waterfront Festival
That's almost a haiku.
This is the 9th year of New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival. I don't remember if we went to the first one, but we've certainly made a habit of attending over those years. This year's seemed a little smaller to me than some of the previous ones, but the festival organizers say the attendance was about the same -- excellent despite the gray weather.
|Actually, I think you can travel globally without leaving New Bedford at this festival.|
The rain held off on Saturday but the skies were quite gray and it was definitely cold. Fortunately we had our sweatshirts from previous years' festivals. We timed our arrival for the Something Fishy fisherpoetry session featuring Bob Quinn, Dawn Clifton-Tripp, Charlotte Enoksen, Dave Densmore, Jon Campbell, Mary Garvey, and Moe Bowstern on the Steamship Stage at noon. On the shuttle from the garage to the pier, we met a couple from Newport whose daughter does some of the graphic design for Moe Bowstern's zine. They'd never been to the festival before. They came specifically to hear Moe. We told them we're huge fans of Moe's work.
|Bob Quinn reading Fog|
Novelist Dawn Clifton-Tripp was new to us. Don't know how we've missed her. The passages she read from her novels were so vivid and evocative of southeastern Massachusetts that I could picture her characters in the coastal landscape.
Jon Campbell, who led the Something Fishy session, was up next with a set of his songs. I had promised myself I wouldn't ask for the Ballad of the Beth Noel if he took requests, but I did, and he gamely tried it but forgot a lot of the words -- it does have a lot of words. It's not something he performs often.
|Sharks Come Cruisin'|
Two more poetry/narrative/story panel sessions followed:
- Regulate My Life Away with Moe Bowstern, Jon Campbell, Dave Densmore, and Dave Dutra, which dealt with the impact of regulation on the lives of the fishermen
- Storms and Close Calls with Abigail Calkin, Dave Densmore, Cindy Follet-Gildemond and I forget who else, which was riveting with stories of near fatal injuries, collisions at sea, and a riveting survival story about a captain who gets caught in the lines when he tries to rescue a trapped deckhand.
We saw the mini tugs and decided that Sunday's agenda had to include finding out what they're all about.
|Mini Tugs Atlantic Hunter and Toot Toot|