THINGFEST, FORT WORDEN (A TINY PHOTO ESSAY)
Recently, Motosquirrel (Yours Truly) had the opportunity to travel, relax (Nope) and generally step away from the new Mega-opolis which is Seattle. Our travel to Port Townsend took approximately two and a half hours when you include waiting for the Bainbridge destined Ferry by which we loaded ourselves and embarked via downtown Seattle.
If you are new to the area (Good Luck retaining the timely memories with which you will attach yourselves!), then Motosquirrel would absolutely suggest taking a few rides on any of these local masterpieces of vessel engineering. You will marvel at how many cars can be stuffed into the Ferry, it’s stability (In most weather), the fantastic views of the Puget sound and surrounding areas as well as all of the wonderful and not-so wonderful behaviors of your co-passengers! No Food? No Drink? Need a place to bathroom? No need to fish off the side of the boat! No need to drink the water (Don’t)! And, most importantly there isn’t a need to relieve yourself off the OTHER side of the boat! Washington State Ferries have got you covered with all the on-board comforts and amenities you could wish for!
Enough about the stupid Ferry (We mean beautiful Ferry which costs billions in tax revenues). This isn’t a travel log supporting Washington State excursions etc.
Let’s just note this post as reflections on a weekend past.
Being related to someone who is involved in the Entertainment Industry as well as being a volunteer (Under the producers of the Festival (As Moto was for almost twenty years), we were instantly privy and had access to the pre-show load-in(s) and construction of a large music festival taking place at Fort Worden State Park. There truly isn’t anything that Motosquirrel can add here or in following about this subject without sounding completely jaded. It is just what it is. We are jaded, BUT the show/fest is jaded as well.
It is a show that the local townspeople DID NOT ask for, but will soon be conditioned to love (Through their children), because of the money, socializing, property value and eventually gaining access to more robust cell and other utility services. It is the money with which they hadn’t had for a while, will taste for a short period and eventually move away from due to the higher cost of living. The joke will be on them. It makes me sink inside to know how many millions will be made for another fake ‘Non-Profit’ Theater company. It makes me sink further to think about how so many towns likes these across the U.S. no longer consider the need for actual economic incomes based in industry, not entertainment. But I digress. Jaded, but I have my reasons.
Had to take this shot quickly outside while driving…..!
When we arrive in the evening it is still an amber-like light catching the Fort from the west and there are wild and not-so-wild deer eating everything they can. Already, there were tents being unpacked, orange cones delineating walkways, trucks pulling in and the windows of the Old Fort Barracks seemed to open drowsily, eyes dismissing cold misty morning revelries.
After some impromptu meetings, Motosquirrel’s motosquirrelfriend indicates that it is time to find our very private place to stay in the form of a tastefully constructed shed that thinks of itself as a cabin. The cabin is situated on private property some five miles or so due Southwest of Fort Worden. It is joined on site by a few other rentals owned and operated by a semi-retired (Never retire- Cuz you can’t!) older couple who have found some very inventive ways of creating rental spaces out of things like older non-sea worthy sailboats and our very own unique stay.
There ARE NO coincidences!!- The key fob for our rental! And it lit and Quacked!
It is windy that first night and my Motofriend reminds me of an existing Artillery Museum which is technically a part of Fort Worden State Park. Since we arrived on Thursday evening and set-up of the music Festival will last through Friday into the very final minutes of Saturday morning, we sketch a plan of dropping the extra Squirrel off at the designated employee Barracks (Soldier Housing) building and the Motosquirrel will visit the Artillery Museum in the afternoon. Hell, it was going to be four bucks! I can think of many things that I wasted four green-backs on!
That very next Friday morning was cloudy and eventually rainy. It was evident that the weather had the possibility of changing on that cornered peninsula at a moments notice- and it did.
Entering the Museum as the day began to clear again, I laid down my wad of cash and fully expected to be through with the deceptively small location within what I thought would last a half- an-hour max. I was there almost three hours!
Let me explain.
After entering the museum and making some funny remarks (I’d like to think) to the counter/cashier lady: something like “What the hell happened to this place!- This is supposed to be a Fort? A barracks? I was born and raised on a military barracks…….WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!?” – She laughed! (Thankfully). So did an older Veteran by the name of Ron Ragle who took a liking to me and offered to spend the afternoon telling me everything that he could. He said, “____________(My real name) I am making you my special project this afternoon- Are you up for it?” and I answered “Hell Yes!”
Ron showed me everything he could. Answered every question that I had. His illustrated knowledge and thorough understanding of the base, it’s equipment, their relative changes throughout the decades, surrounding areas and even his vast comprehension of the realities of war, it’s meanings along with his candidness was jaw dropping! You want to learn a thing or two? Talk to a veteran. Make that a Korean or Vietnam War Veteran! Thank you Ron! I learned much!
Much like entering Dr. Who’s Tardis (Sorry- overused I am sure), it truly was a small but very jam packed museum. And, like the Tardis, I went in for what felt like ten minutes and came back out- losing three hours! I would do it again in a heart beat! I wish we could guide WHERE our State Parks monies and taxes would go. I would definitely select more monies toward museums like this!
It’s FUZZY! I know it’s FUZZY…..but this IS what I could get- OK!?
After my museum visit I explored downtown (Sort of a Main Street) where there are older buildings and some boat docks etc. There are quaint Ye Olde flavors going on (I love the old buildings) and a decent amount of motorcycles who are making their stops on treks to and from the peninsula or to Port Angeles. I quickly realize that although property values are lower out here than on some of the adjoining Islands, inlets and other peninsular areas, Port Townsend’s tourist area is NOT cheap at many stops!
Does ANYONE know that rainbow symbolizing is Masonic?
I actually encounter many people that I used to see as acquaintances who were from Seattle proper- areas like Ballard, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and on and on. There are bands playing and ……well ……they are the same people who I used to see in the late nineties or early 2000’s. Do they sound better? Yep. In some cases smoother, wiser and better. Some more melodic. But I can’t help but feel that they got “Kicked-Out” or out-priced of their old living digs now that Amazon, Google, Adobe, Microsoft and on and on and on has taken over Seattle and artists/musicians can’t afford to live there. Moto included.
You can’t go back. BUT you can inform the future. Will YOU inform our future?
I decided to avoid the debacle which is Thingfest as much as possible, reducing my connection to dropping and plucking up my Motosquirrel out of the madness at the end and beginnings of each event day.
Deserves to be FUZZY!……really who cares?
On my return to the “FEST” on Sunday evening I park at the employee parking lot and have a look around. I venture over to the “Blimp” stage where there is an act that was old TEN years ago (But they are good friends with the producer). They are doing their hip-hop karaoke that is based on Hall and Oates’s “Can’t Go for That”- of course the sample is reduced down to three beats, a lowered octave and their own rhymes added- so as not to (EVER) having to pay royalties to the creators. To me, it sounds like really bad wedding reception DJ music. But when there is a crowd, alcohol and kids who …”Never saw them before!” it is somehow exciting. The singer, rapper, MC (Whatever) I have seen on many occasions due to the work that I had done for so long. He is old. I am old. He see’s a drunk young blond in the front that he likes. He will meet her after the show. I walk away. Too much rhyme.
Out to Port Angeles……place my house here!
I think back to when I lived in an old converted Japanese Theater turned into an apartment building in the early 2000’s. Several artists, designers, musicians, crafters, writers, intellectuals and even a very well known young filmmaker all resided there.
When coming home one afternoon, I waited for the small elevator to do it’s slow travel from the top sixth floor down to the lobby where I stood. I could clearly hear a gentleman’s voice singing loudly, unabashedly reverberate from the elevator and it’s surrounding elevator shaft. He was singing Hall and Oates’s “Can’t Go for That (No can do)”. And I mean loudly. The Elevator door opened abruptly in front of me (It was erratic and never signaled when you got to the floor you needed). A young African American man with earbuds on was surprised at the door opening and quickly stopped his singing. Startled, he quickly grabbed his music player to make some changes (I assumed) and started rapping loudly, almost meanly. He looked red! I remember thinking that he was a student and that I hadn’t known he had owned such an incredible voice!
But then, later, I considered whether the world would want to hear it.-If everyone hated bands like Hall and Oates, Foreigner or Journey (Add list here) who the hell bought all those millions of albums?
Thingfest- “I Can’t Go for That- No Can Do”……….use my body ….now you want my soul….
Motobike stuff coming soon!