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Pirate Fest, June 2012 - Put-in-Bay, OH

Chapter 3rd: Of what happened to the fish mug; A profile of Matt and Tammi; How Saturday morning went in the encampment; Setting up the display camp in the park and an Sos Boss photo odyssey into the park.

Mission with his fish mug on Friday
Photo: Lisa Dousharm
I woke up on Saturday morning with a sense of loss. Mentally reviewing my evening activities upon returning to the Park Hotel, I decided something was missing. I had come back and, after a full day of sweating around the island had decided to shower. The Park Hotel has communal bathrooms, so I gathered an assortment of things to bring with me for the needed ablutions. Teeth-cleaning, towel, soaps...my Fish mug! For some reason I had brought it with me rather than the convenient plastic cups the hotel provided. A thorough search of my room proved it to be missing.

The Sos mug
Photo: Mission
"Irv! Bring around... the loaner!"
Further reviewing my shower, I recalled leaving it and my mouth maintenance items out while I showered. (There's nowhere in the shower to put them.) Some scheming Moriarty had stolen my Fish mug! I recalled only two people coming in the bathroom at the late hour I returned. One of them I could see through the crack in the shower stall - a large, brutish-looking guy in a very tight red shirt. He could have turned me into paste in a second, so it couldn't have been him. No, it clearly the other ne'er-do-well, the creeping baddie I hadn't seen! Ooh, if I got my hands on him... Mug thief
Photo: Pirated
(Some of you at this point are no doubt wondering what it is about me and mugs. I couldn't say. I've been accursed ever since the Stynky/mug episodes of Pirates in Paradise.)

When I got into camp later, I went around begging for a container. The day looked to be as hot as Friday and I would be standing around under my surgeon's fly, extolling the virtues of 18th century surgery in that burning sun, so a tankard was of the essence. Carla of the Sos Boss crew was kind enough to loan me one of their mugs. So while I was furious with the Snidley Whiplash who had absconded with my finny cup, I was happy I had something to hydrate with. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Mike in his period morning robe and hat
Photo: Michael Colosimo
Matt's period morning robe
Feeling glum about my mug, I breakfasted at Ty's restaurant Pasquele's. Actually, this had nothing whatsoever to do with my mug, I just wanted lots of coffee and eggs and Pasquele's serves both in good measure. But I felt a little bad about my mug, too. The fish mug was cool.

After breakfast, I ambled over to the campsite. The first thing I saw was Matt Vincent in his period robe and red cap. I think he said it was a morning robe. He started out telling me that it was for wearing in the morning and then changed to say that it could be worn throughout the day. (Maybe if he were Hugh Hefner it could.) So I guess it was actually a day robe.

Some of you may remember Matt aka 'Mel Gibson' from the 2010 Edition of the Put-in-Bay Surgeon's Journal. (For those of you who don't, you really should go back and follow that link because it's going to be important in a second. Unlike most of these links to other Journals.) Matt wasn't around for 2011, but had returned Trying to ram Grace
Photo: Tammi's Camera
The shot is definitely not on board
this year, improving greatly on his appearance in 2010 by bringing his new (well, new to me) girlfriend, Tammi with him. Tammi brought her dog Grace with her, making Grace a guest of a guest. Which is a pretty tenuous spot for a dog to be in.

Tammi and Matt must have met shortly after your author met him in Put-in-Bay because Tammi said they had been together for about two years. They had met at an reenactment event where Tammi had set up a coffee shop. (I asked her if she knew occasional Surgeon's Journal subject and period coffee maker Chole Black and she said she had heard of her, but never met her.) She noted that the most challenging part of setting up a for profit (as opposed to display-oriented) coffee shop at events was getting access to water. In fact, this is why she doesn't do it very often because it is not usually very profitable once you pay usurious water rates.

Mike and Tammi
Photo: Mission
Tammi was originally from Tennessee, although she noted that she "had lived in many place." I have no idea what to make of that, but it sounds vaguely suspicious. In fact, I am not telling you her last name here in case there are any outstanding arrest warrants. It is for good reason that I am guarded about what info I put in here because you never know how that will impact people's lives.

For example, when Tammi first met Matt, she decided to do some web research on him and she found my Surgeon's Journal commentary on him (I told you to read it). (What amazes me is that the only way I found it quickly was by Googling 'Mike Mel Gibson Pirate.' I called him Mike, see... She has outstanding warrants, I'm telling ya'...) She said she kidded him about that entry. Matt, on the other hand, says he was grilled mercilessly. OK, maybe not mercilessly, but he definitely had a stronger view of the questioning than she did. See, you just never know what impact you're having when you post stuff on the internet! (You still don't know exactly what I'm referring to here, do you? You really should go back and follow that link...)

Photo: Tammi's Camera
Tammi the pirate
Grace the long-haired chihuahua
Photo: Mission
Grace - "Ears up!"
Tammi and Mike
Photo: Lisa Dousharm
Tammi and Matt

Lisa adjusting Mission's pants
Photo: Mission
Elsewhere in camp, people were slowly getting ready to head over to the park and... build another camp! A display camp! (One that looked a whole lot nicer than the real camp. We don't want to scare the tourists too much.) One of the first things I wanted to do was get my breeches adjusted. Period breeches have a tie in the back. I've noticed that after wearing them for a few hours, they tend to get baggier and not stay up quite as nicely as when you first put them on. (I was told that this was because linen expands as it gets wet (with sweat in this case). What wonderful material. It wasn't bad enough for them to all wear short pants, they had to wear short pants that wouldn't stay up in the heat.)

So I recruited Lisa aka Bess to tighten mine and create a loop in the tie that I could thread my belt through. (I know, I know, it's not period.) We both made silly faces as you can see at left.

Other people were packing everything needed for the display camp up. George was serving as chauffeur, driving the golf cart. I don't know what it is about golf carts, but George always seems to be the one who gets hold of the keys and then insists on driving them on the island. I don't think he's allowed to drive enough at home or something.

Billie in his hammock
Photo: Jim Shipley
Billie not getting up
Billie and MD put away the hammock
Photo: Mission
Billie and M.A. d'Dogge stow the hammock
George driving the golf cartPhoto: Mission
"I'm George. I will be your driver today."

Preparing to unload the Black Sheep
Photo: Jim Shipley
Preparing to unload the Green Black Sheep. Surgeon - useless.
One of the first fun things that had to be done to set up was unload the Green Black Sheep and put it in the middle of our camp. Why? It's tradition! The question of what reason a group of pirates would have for bringing a heavy boat a quarter mile inland and just leave it sitting there is not to be asked.

Fortunately there was a large crew of guys available to do this and your surgeon was yet again able to dodge the boat unloading bullet. (That is also tradition and not to be questioned.) I believe the Green Black Sheep is made of Iron Wood that has been fortified by the addition of actual iron. Unloading it is not a small undertaking, which is why I am glad to say I had to be somewhere else once I realized what was about to take place. Once it was off-loaded, everyone just kind of stood around in a daze, further proving the wisdom of not getting involved.

The crew unloads the Black Sheep
Photo: Mission
The crew unloads the Green Black Sheep from its' trailer
Resting after unloading the Black SheepPhoto: Mission
The crew stand like stunned bunnies after unloading that monster.

Hauling the surgeon's chest
Photo: Mission
Carrying the ever-heavier surgeon's chest
I didn't completely dodge the heavy lifting bullet, though. One of the things I love to do is acquire new surgical instruments, which makes for a fuller display while, at the same time, making the chest that contains all that stuff heavier and heavier and... I think it's at about 75 pounds now. Fortunately George was willing to stop his golf cart driving for a bit and pitch in to help haul that monster over to the the surgeon's fly's future location.

The was the next order of business was finding said fly and getting it set up. I recruited Thomas Alleman and Jim Shipley to "help get things set up in camp." (By 'things' I meant my fly, of course.) We borrowed a tent from M.A. d'Dogge and turned it into a fly. Actually, Thomas figured out how to turn it into a fly.

This was a bit of a logistical challenge because the way M.A. d'Dogge stows his stuff appears to be to throw several items that look useful into a trailer and bring them. We found the approximate assortment of poles and stakes needed and proceeded to set the fly up. Untangling the ropes once we had figured it all out was another matter entirely. Fortunately your ship's surgeon owns a bead curtain which is splendid training for dealing with Gordian knots like the one you see in the photograph below right. (I have had hours and hours and hours of training.)

Setting up the Surgeon's Tent
Photo: Jim Shipley
Thomas, Bess & Jim setting up the surgeon fly
MD's Idea of an Eyelet
Photo: Mission
M.A. d'Dogge's idea of an eyelet
Untangling the ropesPhoto: Mission
What a tangled web we weave

Setting up camp
Photo: Jim Shipley
People scurry about, setting up the display camp
Outside of the rarified air of the surgeon's fly assembly (written about here mostly because I had a whole bunch of photos of this fascinatingly dull process), the camp assembly was proceeding apace.

One of the more intricate bits of setup involved the ever-popular gibbet that M.A. d'Dogge had brought. For all my kidding of his seemingly random way of stowing materials, he always seems to be able to put this rather complex assembly together without too much trouble. Ed Rembert volunteered to help out with this. (I assume he volunteered, although he may also have been strong-armed into it.) M.A. d'Dogge and Billie supervised as you can see from the photos below. As a gift for all Ed's hard work in making sure the thing went together properly (and his being willing to be supervised by M.A. d'Dogge and Billie), they made him the first lucky victim.

Assembling the gibbet parts
Photo: Mission
M.A. d'Dogge & Ed Rembert assembling
Attaching the gibbet
Photo: Mission
Ed ties the gibbet on. MD & Billie supervise
Testing the gibbet on Ed Photo: Mission
For his work, Ed gets to go first

Carla poses with a cannon
Photo: Jim Shipley
Carla as a dashing cannoneer
Bryan and the event sign
Photo: Sos Boss
Bryan and the Event Sign
Some time after the camp was set up, the Sos Boss crew went around the park and took a bunch of photos with Bryan Brubaker. (I think they are absorbing Bryan into the Sos Boss collective. Soon he will have to abandon his Facebook page and become one with the Sos Boss Facebook page.)

Some of the photos were of Bryan in various places around the park, but most of the photos seemed to center around the large cannons that have been set into concrete in various places around the park. They were nice, lush photos, so I thought I'd share them with you all as a way to end this chapter.

Becci and the cannon
Photo: Sos Boss
Becci as a half-hearted cannoneer
Bryan and Dave wth the cannon
Photo: Sos Boss
Bryan directs Dave, the would be cannoneer
Grace as cannon fodderPhoto: Tammi
Grace as Cannon Fodder

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