As pressed as I was this weekend (Had to work on Saturday), I managed to get to some of the activities this weekend that I hold important. The Invitation Night had to be of great success – my conclusions were derived by two non-scientific gauges – but just as valid! I arrived in town and couldn’t find a decent parking place! Even as a local, all my efforts were spent in vain – so I parked in Timbuktu like the rest of the tourists! And second, the occupancy limits for the new John Farley’s was dangerously being exceeded! And to make things worse, I couldn’t even get close to the punch at the Partridge in a Bear Tree!
I realize that I have been guilty of promoting Newburyport but this was too much. Fortunately, there are two more Invitation Nights this month – which means I have two more tries for the punch – I’m ecstatic!
I also noted that the theatrical performance over at the Custom House was ‘punchy’ – that’s my term for really good acting with excellent dialogue. Don’t miss it this coming week.
Well, on Saturday (after work) I knew I had a mission – visit the Lowell Boat Shop and the Cushing House and do it all before 4:00. Well the LBS was crowded but doable – and it was exciting – I was thrilled that the sad days when they were financially in trouble are past – and I was excited to see so many locals participating vigorously. They had art, historic displays, food and wood crafts – and special music. The atmosphere was vibrant.
Then I hustled over to the Cushing House – it was only a tease (a tour of only their first floor) but it was still exciting to see so much authentic Newburyport artifacts all in one place. I was also pleased to see their basement assembly room had been radically improved into a fine venue. I suggested to the docent they aught t0 lease out the room. (It was that nice.)
When Sunday came around, I was wondering as I walked around the amazing indoor Winter Farmers Market at The Tannery, if anyone knew about the Archive Extravangza and if anyone would show up? I thought to myself – does anyone care about history anymore! Or has America followed Henry Ford’s lead in saying, ‘Bunk’ to the past?
I needn’t have worried. The first hour the Program Room was open saw a packed house; and the people kept coming! There were artifacts, books on Newburyport, historical displays, a slide show, a genealogy table and of course, the Preservation Trust. (holding on desperately to what we have left of our heritage tourism!)
As the demo lawyers and the developers and the cruel exploiters try to convince us to make everything ‘new’ in petroleum-fabricated plastic, fooling us that a world made of synthetics will last forever and give us ‘happiness’. It is a joy to see so many, young people, families and citizens who want to preserve our history and our true economic engine – heritage tourism.
We’ll need them for next year as I know what is coming. I can hear already the sixties’ mantra about an approaching threat,
‘DANGER, DANGER – WILL ROBERTSON!’