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Papa Joe  ~  Travel Notes

PJ's Travel Notes

From: Papa Joe

To: Storytell

Subject: Tour Notes #18

Date: Monday, August 18, 1997 9:17 AM

August 11th - 13th Mount Desert Island, Maine

I've said it before, this is one of the most magical places in the whole world. After the show in Northeast Harbor, Josh, Tasha, and I walked along the shore of Seawall. Seabirds and seals play in the ocean. Crabs and sea urchins bob in the shallows, trying to avoid being eaten by the gulls. The Northern end of Seawall is full of people. As one walks South, there are less and less until we are all alone with the sun, wind, sea, and stones. You can find a polished stone of any color here. I've added a new purple stone to my collection in the Vardo.

The rose hips are almost ripe. Most of the flavor has gathered, but the sweetness is lacking still. Josh never knew they were edible. There are so many things I've yet to teach him and so little time left to do it. He's fifteen and learning on his own. Maybe next year, I can hire him as my co-driver for some of the tours. There are so many more moments for learning out here on the road. Jackson arranged for us to go to the repertory theater this evening for a murder mystery. Another first for Josh.

Tuesday, we climb Beech Mountain. We can see most of the island from up here. And all of the little islands off the South coast. It's a nice climb and a great place for a picnic lunch, under the fire tower. A group of children gather round to pet Tasha. She's quiet after the climb and lets me tell the children a short tale. Later, we swim at Echo Lake. One of the Park Rangers asks for a story. There is no getting away from being a teller. :)

Wednesday morning, I work on the NY/NJ tour in September. Jackson let me set up my office in his studio. In return, Josh and I worked the door and refreshment tables for his show in Bar Harbor. I couldn't help warming up his audience as they waited in the hall for the doors to open. He had a full house and we all enjoyed the show.

On Thursday morning, we headed for Milbridge, ME. As we drove over the bridge, Josh said he could still feel the Island. I smiled. Like father, like son. Jackson had called ahead to the director of the Migrant Worker's Children's Activities. I didn't know there was an organization for those kids. They were bused in from the blueberry field camps to see the show in town. I was so glad to have them in the audience. Poor kids, moving from place to place, living in cabins and campers. Never knowing where they will be going to school next month or who they will have for friends. I tried to give the staff some Clap Books, but they insisted on paying for them. Nice folks. lol!

Friday was a day of no shows. So we set up camp at my favorite library in Maine: Hampden Public. After spending the morning doing calls, catching up on reading Storytell, and enjoying a long hot shower (yes, they have a shower at the library), I read another of Howard Pyle's story books, "Salt and Pepper" ("The Wonder Clock" was the one I got to start reading at Mount Clement, MI and finished at Northeast Harbor, ME). It's so rare to find one of Pyle's collections. Seems he is mostly known for his Robin Hood and King Arthur. I hope Dover Books will do a reprint one of these days. It would be a shame to lose that literature. I learned he did many of his own illustrations. I have to say the line art in "The Wonder Clock" is excellent. It's well worth the search just to see those.


After Note:  Seems Dover did a reprint of "The Wonder Clock". Guess I'll have to get it now.



Some days it seems as if we can't leave the site after a show. Josh and I spent two hours discussing education and developmental theory with our host (she's has invited me close their Summer Reading program three years running now. So I was also trying to get her to try out some of the other tellers.) and her daughter who is a special ed teacher. We need more tellers in this area. Jackson and I can not handle it alone. There were a couple of other tellers, but they seem to move off South and West. If any of you want to try Northern Maine, I'll be happy to get you some good contacts. Just ask.

When we finally got away, we headed South to Old Orchard Beach. This is the real reason I come to Maine every August. Maine Special Olympics holds a fund raiser each year on the beach. It is a wild and crazy crowd. They come to enjoy the sun, we entertain them and get them to part with a little of their money for a good cause. The special Olympians make a great contribution to the audience. My show is on Sunday.


The last day of the Summer Tour. I'm not glad it's over. I have to wait five weeks for the NY/NJ tour to start. It's not that I don't like my home, but I do love touring. That is as long as I remember not to over do the scheduling. lol!

I'm writing from my desk in Oak-n-Ivy Cottage. It was a hot day at the beach. I could feel the sun sucking up the energies of the audience. Next year, we'll be tenting them as well as the stage. I don't use the stage anyway. Hot is a good thing for a Beach Fund Raiser. There were great crowds who gave lots of money to the cause. Looked like we got over $10,000 for Maine's Special Olympians. I wonder how many of the State Committees are using storytelling in their fund raisers? You don't get any money for these shows, but the cause is good and so is the experience.

Well, folks. Thanks for sharing the tour with me. It felt like you were all there with me this year. Oh ya! Some of you were. lol Well wishes to you all and I'll be seeing you all on Storytell. :)

Pax & Amicitia,

Papa Joe

Oak-n-Ivy Cottage Again, Turtle Island

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