Sidebar Header Graphic
Main Page ButtonTools & Procedures ButtonEvent Journals ButtonPirate Miscallanea ButtonAbout the Author Button

PSJ Title Main

Chapter Selection Menu:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   E       Next>>

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

Chapter 9th: Of Sunday afternoon, including: The battle; The looting that followed the battle; The Mucho Rapido Put-in-Bay Car Parade;The real story of the Pirate Fest; Tearing down the display camp; Riding the roads in the Green Black Sheep; Waiting for the ferry and the ferry ride back to reality.

Pirate Michael Bagley getting ready
Photo: Sos Boss
Sunday's battle plan was pretty much a rehash of what we did on Saturday, which was nice for me because I didn't have to pay any attention during the battle planning meeting. Basically all the pirates were going to scurry around the gazebo in the middle of the cordoned off area and fire at the defenders. The defenders were going to fire back, using cannons from time-to-time and then finish the whole thing off with a huge double or triple cannon charge, killing all the pirates.

A lot of times events come up with these exotic story lines to go with the battle thinking it will tie things together and make it all more interesting for the people watching. Truth be told, most of the people watching have no clue what's going on, other than the pirates are shooting at the British - provided there's someone in vaguely British-looking uniforms, of course. Interestingly, the British don't have to be in red coats or anything. In fact, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find people assuming that an opposing force in matching yellow-coated and green trousered band uniforms firing at grubby guys in tricorns were some sort of British soldiers. Story? Pah, they never get that involved. The people there on Sunday aren't even the same ones that were there on Saturday.

I did want to highlight something I mentioned during the Saturday Battle. You may recall that I told you the ,defenders are typically well-organized and fought in pretty straight rows, staying behind the cannon line. The pirates, on the other hand, are often a motley band of disorganized fighters, engaging in a sort of guerrilla warfare. I thought I'd highlight this fact with pictures from Sunday. First we have several shots of the defenders with their orderly fighting style.

The organized defenders
Photo: Sos Boss
The defenders in nice, neat lines
Defenders firing behind the cannons
Photo: Mission
Defenders hanging out behind the cannon
Defenders seen from the pirate side Photo: Mission
The defenders facing the pirates

Contrast that with the pirate's style of attack. Messy, disorderly, hiding behind random trees and without any semblance of a straight line. Part of this may be for effect and to observe proper safety rules, but I suspect part of it is also just from inhabiting the roles people are playing. You became what you're playing. I remember reading something interesting about what happened when they filmed the first Planet of the Apes movie (the good one with Charleton Heston, not that thing Tim Burton produced.) The chimpanzees ate lunch together in one section, while the gorillas stayed away from them and ate in another section. Kind of like our pirates. Not that I'm saying the pirates are like gorillas. (I suspect gorillas have better hygiene.) The point is that in some small way, we become what we think of our characters, even in battle styles. Or maybe I'm full of nonsense.

Pirates preparing to fire
Photo: Mission
Pirates prepare to fire
Pirates firing
Photo: Mission
Pirates firing
Pirates firingPhoto: Sos Boss
More pirates firing at the defenders
Pirates fire, Michael dramaticallyPhoto: Mission
Michael firing dramatically

Since all I had was my clyster syringe, I ran around pretending to fix people. The trouble was that this battle plan called for everyone to be dead by the end, so when the pirates fell, they decided to be dead. (Then they could just lay there.) Nevertheless, your intrepid surgeon toddled around trying to find someone to fix. Fortunately, Michael revived just long enough to point out where his boo-boo was. Then he played dead again.

Mission attends to Michael
Photo: Sos Boss
Mission attending to the dead wounded
Michael showing where it hurts
Photo: Sos Boss
Michael points out where the cannon shot wound hurts

Eventually they fired the super cannon charge and we all fell down. Then the looters came over, just like we did on Saturday. We did manage to fall in a way that made for more impressive photos this time, however. So enjoy those.

Shannon looking at Ed
Photo: Mission
"I think I'll just put Ed out of my misery..."
Dead pirate carnage
Photo: Mission's Camera
"Oh, the carnage... the breakage!"
Richard loots Michael
Photo: Sos Boss
"He won't need this..."

Dan looking at a dead pirate
Photo: Sos Boss
"I wonder if I got that one?"
The looters spent quite a while going through the dead pirates, stealing their stuff. (I guess it's only fair.) When someone got to me, I asked them to get my camera from my waistcoat pocket and take some photos of what was going on. (I'd have done it myself, but I was supposed to be dead, see? You have to give the public a good show for their money, after all.) So they took my camera and shot several photos of the looters and the dead. They also got a couple of me lying there as you see below.

Defenders looting pirates
Photo: Sos Boss
Richard & Kate stealing stuff.
I'm not quite sure why the victors decided to put people's hats over their faces - perhaps it was an effort to keep the sun off of us? Or maybe it was so we didn't have to keep the same expression on our faces like I mentioned before. Or maybe it was just because they were tired of looking at us. Whatever the reason, after my camera was taken, they threw my Patrick Hand Original™ Planter's hat over my face. I could then open my eyes and stare into the hot, dark brown confines of my hat. You know what the best thing about being told it was over and we could get up again? Being able to remove the Patrick Hand Original™ Planter's hat from my face. (I had no idea my head sweated that much.)

Putting Mission's hat over his face
Photo: Mission's camera
Dead Mission
Photo: Mission's camera

Arriving back in camp after the battle, I was just in time to catch the Put-in-Bay Car Parade. And I mean 'catch.'

Roscoe in his police car
Photo: Mission
Roscoe in his classic police car
The panel truck
Photo: Mission
I believe this is Richard's panel van
Not a classic
Photo: Mission
The Cash for Clunkers entry

VW Microbus
Photo: Mission
A VW Hippie Microbus
Like last year, the Put-in-Bay Pirate Fest Car Parade motored along at a good clip - say 20 mph or so. Also like last year, there was no evidence whatsoever that this parade had anything to do with the Pirate Fest that I really noticed.

On the ferry ride home, I met a couple who told me that they make regular pilgrimages to Put-in-Bay. (Don't worry about who they were, you'll meet then in a little bit. Just keep reading.) One of the reasons they told me that they liked to come to the island was because of the classic cars. Outside of this parade, I didn't notice a lot of 'classic' cars aroudn the island. (Even in the parade there were several that sorely stretched the definition of 'classic' in my mind.)

A car boat
Photo: Mission
I wonder if this actually floats? It could be in next year's battle!
So my theory, unsupported by any evidence outside of these Pirate Fest trips, is that any time there is any kind of celebratory weekend event (which is probably almost every weekend during the summer months), there is a car parade. I'm guessing that someone on the city council owns one. They probably go as fast as they do so they can get it over with. Otherwise the street would be blocked off and the tourists couldn't get across the street into the bars. And nobody wants that.

Whatever the logic behind it, there was a parade and it contained many of the same cars as the parade last year, so I'm thinking it's a reason for the locals to get their old cars out and run them down the main street.

A bright convertible
Photo: Mission
What a happy-looking car.
El Camino containing folks in swim suits
Photo: Mission
I suspect they think this is more appealing than it is.
The candy truck
Photo: Mission
The Candy Truck - kids rejoice!

Michael cleaning out his gun
Photo: Marci Kroska
Michael cleans his gun
Following the excitement of the car parade, I went back to my post and proceeded to explain surgical procedures.

Around three o'clock, people with long drives home started leaving. By four it was clearly time to start packing things away. I got all my surgical gear stowed and looked to see what I could do to help with the packing. Michael was cleaning out his rifles, which is yucky, so I avoided that. Most of the rest of the crew was working on tearing down tents, so I helped. When they were down, it was time to get the Green Black Sheep onto its trailer. That meant it was time for me to become scarce. (Hey, I've avoided doing it for this long, it's a tradition! Besides there are so many guys who seem inclined to help already. And I have to protect my surgeon's hands. Yeah, that's it.)

Michael brought the trailer over, but couldn't get it positioned quite right in the tight quarters of the park, so there was a warm-up lifting exercise as the crew moved the boat trailer. Then they went about moving of the Sheep. I took photos. It's made of iron wood, you know.

Moving the Trailer
Photo: Mission
Moving the boat trailer
Moving the Black Sheep 1
Photo: Mission
Haul away, haul away Joes!
Pulling the Black Sheep onto the Trailer
Photo: Mission
Pulling her into position

People continued cleaning up, but I lost interest and decided to go wander around. I had heard a story and I wanted to track down the details for the sake of posterity. So my wandering carried me over to the Pirate Fest booth, where I was able to chat with Ty and his mom and get the skinny on how the festival had come to be.

Ty had originally come up with the idea to have a pirate festival in Put-in-Bay while he was staying at his mom's Florida digs during the winter. (His mom has Florida digs, you see.) He had seen the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa and thought that the same sort of thing could be done in Put-in-Bay. So when the island re-opened the next spring, he mentioned the idea to some of the locals. Maggie Beckford, who I believe is the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, seized upon it. She kept telling Ty that he had to run it. Ty kept nodding and smiling and not running it.

Maggie finally put the event on the schedule for 2009, putting Ty on the hook. He got in touch with Bob Gillmour of Gillmour Ordnance and arranged to have some cannons - you have to have cannons at a pirate event, right? He told Bob to bring as many cannons as he possibly could. He then invited any and every local reenactor he could find. This resulted in the first event having Indians, pirates, movie-themed folks and everything in between. After receiving a raft of complaints about how confusing the whole thing was with 18th and 19th century reenactors mixed amongst the pirates, he started looking for period-correct pirate reenactors. So that's how it all began.

Ty and his mom
Photo: Mission
Ty & mom at the event booth with an inflatable treasure chest
Ty holding a letter
Photo: Mission
An inflatable chest?!
Ty's friend
Photo: Mission
Maggie Beckford runs the Info booth

Barbies and Billie
Photo: Mission
Billie poses with the Barbies
Barbies and boys
Photo: Marci Kroska
Ed and Thomas seize their chance to pose with them
Back to the campsite, I found the guys drooling over a pair of girls who were hanging out near the Information Booth I had left only a short while ago. (They looked like Barbie dolls to me.) The drooling went on for a bit before Billie decided to amble over and see if they would pose for a photo. They quickly agreed to do this.

Seeing that they didn't bite, several of the boys ran over there to get pictures as well. What a brave bunch of pirates we have!

Once we had everything - and everyone - loaded, we went back over to the other campsite to collect the rest of the encampment stuff and drop people off at their vehicles. As were doing this, a golf cart came racing over with a woman hollering at us. Coming to a lurching halt in front of the Green Black Sheep on the trailer she said that she needed a picture of the pirates. So a bunch of folks stopped packing and climbed into the Sheep for the picture you see below right. I don't know how you could come up with a more illogical photo than a bunch of pirates sitting in a boat loaded with modern camping gear sitting on a trailer. However, she seemed happy when she left. No doubt she framed that photo and put it on her mantle.

Woman who wanted a photo
Photo: Mission
Photo of the pirates in their boat - on land
Photo: Mission's camera

Michael and Mission in the windy Black Sheep
Photo: Mission's Camera
It reads better than it lives. Pirate scarves were not made for riding in the back.
Then it was time to leave. Because the vehicles were so packed with stuff, they didn't have much room in them and several of us wound up riding all the way to the ferry in the back of the Green Black Sheep. (Well, that and it just seemed like a fun thing to do.) At the ferry, the passengers went one way and the vehicles another.

While we were waiting for the ferry to arrive, everyone decided to go down to the rock beach to enjoy the lovely scent of dead fish. M.A. d'Dogge and Billie waded into the water because they just couldn't get enough of the smell of dead fish and wanted to be sure it was deeply embedded in their clothes for the ride home. Soon several people joined them. You surgeon did not join them as he did not relish riding an hour home in his truck with wet breeches. (Or the scent of dead fish.) Yeah, I'm just a spoil sport that way.

Pirates in the water of Lake Erie
Photo: Mission
Wait... why did we do this again?
The last recip photo
Photo: Mission's camera
Just one more one last recip photo for you.

People from Rockwood
Photo: Mission's Camera
The Couple from Rockwood on the Ferry
On the ferry, a couple started chatting with me while I was standing at the rail looking down at the ferry. When you wear pirate garb, you never know what sorts of conversations you'll wind up getting into, especially at Put-in-Bay. They had purchased one of the 1/3 scale cannons from Gillmour Ordnance and were looking forward to shooting it. "We live in the country," he explained. I asked where that was and it turned out that they were from Rockwood, which is about 5 miles from where I work. It was the guy's birthday. She asked him where he wanted to go to celebrate and he replied, 'Put-in-Bay." She said they came down there all the time because it was fun. These were also the folks who told me P-i-B was associated with classic cars.

While I was chatting with them, M.A. d'Dogge called all the pirates to come forward, so I took my leave.

Holding up the Ferry
Photo: Clint Beach
The Beach Boys had been playing around atop their Jeep with a pair of spyglasses up until the call came for the pirates to be on deck. I had the feeling this was sort of an experiment on M.A. d'Dogge's part to see just how much he could get away with. I don't recall all the things he tried, but the last one was a request to get everyone but the pirates to raise their hands above their heads. That one worked pretty well as you see in the photo at right.

It was a fitting end of the Put-in-Bay adventure. Cannons pointing at truck
Photo: Mission's Camera
Counterproductive? Nah...
Beach Brothers spying
Photo: Mission's Camera
MD & Billie spying things

Chapter Selection Menu:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   E       Next>>