Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tom's Barn Party

This past weekend we drove down to Delaware to attend Tom's Barn Party. Lil' Ann & the Hot Cayennes provided the music. We ate, drank and danced until midnight. It was definitely worth the six hour drive.

The Barn Party was by Tom's personal invitation only. There were about 180 people there, almost all of whom were experienced zydeco dancers, so the level of dancing was pretty good. Folks came from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., and probably from elsewhere too.

I had met Tom at a couple of festivals, although my attending the event came from being with Judy and Cordy. Tom hosts the barn party periodically, the last time being two years ago. When we first got there I thought I saw him twice - directing the parking of cars on the lawn and then standing at the registration table. I did a double-take only to find out he had a double. It was his twin brother helping with the parking.

I recognized many of the dancers from other festivals I've now attended- Buffalo Jam, Ninigret, Moodus, and Strawberry Park. I'm tellin' ya, I'm traveling the circuit.

Like almost all of the dances, there was a pot-luck dinner. The food was excellent. The highlight was the chur-ducken (a duck stuffed inside a chicken stuffed inside a turkey). I also had pesto tortellini, roasted and fresh vegetables, and shrimp. There was more but I didn't want to stuff myself. The dessert table was fantastic. I limited myself to homemade brownies, oatmeal cookies and fresh-baked apple pie.

The barn itself was very cool. It was a big, giant room with a high ceiling and low walls. The floor was wide-planked, polished wood. The walls and the ribbed cathedral dome-like ceiling were wood and was stained what looked like to me a mahogany color. It really reminded me of an inverted wooden ship. It was the classiest barn I've ever seen. Parked outside of the barn, in its driveway, were several beautifully restored cars. I noticed a baby blue 1957 Chevy BelAir, among others. Afterwards I learned that the barn was used as a storage facility for antique cars. I think, were I to see the barn in its normal usage, it would make the beautifully restored cars look even better.

Heather Rabinowitz, photographer extordinaire, had an exhibition of her photographs along the walls. Of course, I had to walk around to see if there were any pictures of me. I did find one and realized I was wearing the same shirt in the picture as I was wearing just then. My festival shirt.
Heather took a picture or two of us; I'll look the same again.

As before, I danced almost every dance for the entire evening. Afterwards, when we got back to the hotel and had showered and bedded down for the night, my feet stiffened up so bad I could hardly walk. Another case of Festival Feet. Fortunately, my body loosened up sufficiently for the long drive home the next morning.

The Barn Party had been described to me as magical. I think, looking back on it, it could be described that way. There was excellent food, friendly conversation, top-notch music and wonderful dancing. The high, domed, cathedral ceiling that arched down to the low walls created a womb-like environment which enveloped us and in which we all felt the camardarie of sharing a special time together. I hope I get the chance to go again. It just might have been the best dance I've ever been to.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No Flies on Frank

It's hard to believe that it's already the middle of October and I haven't posted in two months! Since my last writing I've furthered my festival feet at Ninigret as well as at local dances, have become a first aid/CPR instructor and have also become a certified diversity trainer. One thing's for sure, I haven't been standing still. No moss grows on this guy; no flies on Frank.

Dixie and I moved a month ago this coming weekend. We moved in with my partner/girlfriend/womanfriend/friend/significant other/roommate/paramour/what do you call it? If you say partner, then it implies you're gay. If you say girlfriend, it seems like you're a teenager. If you say womanfriend, it sounds like you're trying to be politically correct, somehow. If you say friend, then it doesn't sound intimate (as in, are you two sharing the same bed?). It goes on. I wouldn't use the word wife because that's too legal sounding. Living in sin is passe. Plus, I'm too old to live in sin and living with someone isn't sinful. I rather like living together. Having a lover, companion and friend all rolled into one is a good thing, I think.

I left Watertown behind pretty much before I ever settled in. Now where we're living is in a semi-rural becoming suburban area about 30 miles northwest of Boston. The area used to be full of summer homes for people looking to get out of the city; now, it's a bedroom community. There's a lake in which you can swim within walking distance; there're woods around. The other morning I was going to take Dixie out and we both pulled up short when we heard the coyotes howl.

Incorporating households has been an interesting endeavor. A lot of my stuff is in the house, some of our stuff is in storage and extra stuff of ours went to friends and relatives. While pieces of my stuff has moved elsewhere, it's comforting to know it's still around. I may never get it back but at least I know where it went. I guess it, like me, has moved on but is still around.

Judy and I are working the relationship. It takes work to make any relationship work. There are differences and there are similiarities; times when it all works and other times when we hit a bump. Working out the bumps provides us both with a means by which to communicate across the various levels of the relationship and serves, I think, to strengthen it.

It's because we want to that we're doing this. There aren't any kids, no one's financially dependent on the other and so the committment is to each other only. Our desires and our expectations are the same. We've both certainly been around the block a couples times each before. We're open and honest and working to make it work.

At the end of this month she and I are headed to the Bahamas for a weeks' vacation. At the end of this week we're headed to a Barn party (more festival feet). At the end of this day we're headed to a dance lesson.

The Bahamas should be a fun time. We may swim with the dolphins, snorkel in the carribbean, walk the beaches, sip - I don't know, what is it that you sip in the Bahamas? Rum & coke? I don't know, I've never been there. Last week I was talking about the upcoming trip with someone and I was saying that in the past my vacations have been mostly camping and roaming around in the woods. I've never been on a cruise, never gone to an island in the Carribbean, never gone first class anywhere, really. I've never swum with dolphins before, either.

Vote for Obama.