Travels with MaryE

Most things I love best are about good light and good timing. That's where the adventures start. Don't be in no hurry here. Here you'll find a little bit about bluegrass music, fox hunting, life on the road, time on the mountain, and a whole lot about other things, too.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival (part 1)

My friends and I had an incomparably wonderful time last week at the 29th Thomas Point Beach (TPB) Bluegrass Festival in Brunswick, Maine. That festival just keeps getting better and better. Don't know what the 30th TPB holds in store, but it'll be a dandy! Okay, if I'm going to talk about a pet peeve it would simply be that it's a darned shame that such a great time has to come to an end! Visit

It was a week of picture-perfect days with very fresh and pleasant daytime temperatures and plenty of sunshine. One day was overcast and a little cooler and we had a teensy bit of rain but no problem. The nights were mostly kind of cool (in the 50s I think) but I only had to wear gloves one night, and that's because I'm a weeny. You can be sure no proper DownEaster donned anything resembling gloves. Matter of fact they were probably down at their beach in bikinis when I was wearing 4 layers of clothing and gloves on Sunday night!

My buddy Darwin Davidson was there and graciously invited my sister and I to accompany him and some friends (among them Myron of Myron's Yakitori - remember him? He's now selling his great sauces in Hannafords and other supermarkets) on a little cruise on the "Beagle" a few miles over to Cundy's Harbor where we partook of an excellent lobster dinner for a mere $13.95....this fresh off the boat! YUMMMMY. The eatery there (I think it's called Moore's) is picturesque and they've taken the time to make it Maine-y while adding lots of pretty flowers...but most of all the lobster!!! I ate there twice, though the first time I "merely" went by car with some pals. The dining area is right up there on a deck overlooking the harbor and you get to see the lobster boats come in; one even had a mascot golden retriever aboard (or did that dog pull the pots for them?) We had a leisurely cruise while passing through the "no wake" zone (I think I live there sometimes) but went directly to warp speed when we were safely out on the more open channel....I think I'm about 2 years younger now. Anyway we passed a very happy 2 or 3 hours motoring to Cundy's Harbor, eating a big fresh lobster then motoring back in time to hear some great bluegrass music.

All my gang from (mostly) New England were there camping out in the center of the grassy area out on the point near the sandy beach, not far from the osprey nest. They always camp there in a series of tents, tarps, pop-ups and so forth. This gang included the Bowdens, the Mavians, the Elegants, the Cartouns, the Hendersons, Casey Henry, Dave Gandin and probably a few others I've forgotten to mention (the Frakers were camped just across an inlet from me). Each night the fire ring was ablaze and kids of all ages were making s'mores with marshmallows alight on the end of sticks and big ole crunchy graham crackers and bits of Hershey bars. Brings back all them Girl Scout memories....These days the gang includes not only us "first generation" folk but kids, grandkids...pretty soon it will be great-grandkids, though Casey and I are hanging tough in that regard . 'Course I'm old enough to be her momma.

Just down the road a few vehicles was the Greenwood compound where Eddie and Jackie, Poppy, June and Buzzy and various other family and friends held court all week long under their 30 year old striped canvas...the picking there was mighty MIGHTY fine, day and night, and the "Hi T" as they call it was held three consecutive afternoons to great amusement....I learned (again) that drinking in the daytime does NOT pay... The first afternoon I learned with a headache that I need to pace myself and I was wanting to go to bed around 6 pm; luckily I got my second wind at midnight and put in a respectably late night after all. Those blender drinks full of fruit and rum were....well, irresistable, and it is flat uplifting to sing the chorus to the Sunny Side of Life every time someone new joins the circle (somehow we managed to sing that song a bunch of times over the 3 days). In the old days of the Hi T bunch the "anthem" was sung every time a blender-ful of adult beverage was whipped to perfection. Now it's a two-blender operation. Judge John from California was solemn but kind and I was only fined twice (you pay a buck every time you curse or say something even vaguely negative about anything). I think a guy named Keith may have been most heavily fined; Carl Pagter might have been just behind him.

At the Greenwood compound on Sunday night, long after the Gibson Brothers had finished their LONG set and charmed each and every person on the grounds with their wonderful music and friendly ways, long after Pati and her staff had said their goodbyes till next year, long after "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" was sung as all the audience joined hands and frolicked around the stage area, hands clasped all in a gigantic circle, long after many of my friends had drifted off to their sleeping quarters, I was headed back to my own tent around 2 am to get some sleep when I heard this great jam going on down guessed it...the Greenwoods. I wandered down there to find a large crowd gathered around Eddie and Jackie Greenwood and Eric and Leigh Gibson and their friends and band members...yikes! What a jam! With a nearly 400 mile drive coming up in just a few short hours I couldn't stay around as long as I would have liked to, but I listened to a few and then went over and laid in my tent listening to the jam for....hours (at least my eyes were resting). I was told they jammed until 4:30 \na.m. That's the kind of folks they are. I just know I floated off to sleep with the most beautiful sounds drifting on the cool night air among the pine trees.....

Pet Peeve #1: The great TPB festival drew to a close on Sunday night and Monday morning everyone was packing up and leaving. Durn. What if we all just decided to stay for another week???

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