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  Papa Joe   ~   Travel Notes

From: "Papa Joe"

To: "Storytell"

Sent: Friday, January 02,9982:34 PM

Subject: Re: First Night


<snip> Did anyone do First Night and if so, what kind of experience did you have?  <snap>

So soon afterwards, the feelings are frozen and exhausted.  Yesterday was a recovery day.  Slept and drank teas.  Ate lightly (spinach pie and veggie sweet breads) and did a little reading.

FIRST NIGHT Portsmouth, NH 2/31/97

I arrived at sundown (about:30 pm or:30  EST), found a spot to park the Vardo and checked in at headquarters.

The weather reports predicted to negative0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 to -30 centigrade for the rest of the world).  My job was to entertain in the streets from:50 (16:50) to:30 (22:30).  The reports were correct; temperature dropped below -15 F (-26 C), with gusts of wind adding a wind chill of who knows what to the equation.

I was dressed for the cold, but by the end of the night, it didn't seem to matter.  I was constantly removing icicles from my beard.  Must have looked great during "Jack Frost".

I kept all of the stories short (ten minutes being the longest).  The listeners were willing to stay and freeze, but I couldn't bear to let them. I promised them more tales between the inside shows and sent them off to warm up.

It was very quiet compared previous years, but I had wonderful times with those who came out.  The crowds were mostly over years of age.

Here are some of the memories that managed to stay with me.

Large groups of0 to00 until pm.  A television crew filming during "Jack Frost".  Most of the time they stayed out of the way, but once a cameraman moved right between me and the crowd and stuck the lens within a foot of my face for at least ten seconds.  Well, that was very awkward.  The police were towing away the cars that hadn't gotten off the streets in time. Once, I needed to move my listeners out of the tow truck's path.  It was the only time I've lost my place in a story in years.  lol

The rest of the night saw groups of three to twenty.  Only once did I manage to pull in a larger group  (about0 for a short version of 'Tayzanne').

Oh!  I remember it was very hard to get any snapping sounds from the audience during "Jack Frost".  lol  Some muffled sounds beneath mittens, but those with gloves were out of luck.

All the stories were much less interactive than I liked.  And the pace of the stories were rather faster than I prefer.  But one must always take the environment into account and this night the word was short and fast.

Pax & Amicitia,

Papa Joe

Oak-n-Ivy Cottage, Turtle Island

(16 Sunny Lane, Fremont, NH, USA)

  Papa Joe   ~   Travel Notes


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