Sunday, June 24, 2007

Shake Your Booty!

We Make History sets sail with a crew of pirates, privateers, corsairs, young bucs, old sea dogs and landlubbers as we plunder the ship of monotony and put the jolly in Roger.

From the logs of Captain Bartholomew Burgundy
(as deciphered into his native salty dialect by best mate Christopher Francis)
Photographic Contributions By Jack Tar (among others!)
(Click any picture for a bigger view!)

23 June, The Year Of Our LORD 1707

I step out of th' inn and not two paces in front've me stands a gentleman in wha' they call shock 'n awe.

"Ye all set for the party?" he asks, eyebrows flyin' off his face.

"Aye," I tell 'im.

I think I made quite th' scene, standin' there in me new red coat, red stockings, an' cocked hat with the bow rosette -- the one me mum rolls her eyes at. Still 'aven't found a proper one big enough across the seven seas, carryin' out me privateer duties. As for me crew of the Wayward Star, they aren't savvy on th' Arizona heat, nor wi' me orders not to plunder Jerome while I'm away.

But if mutiny is their aim, I got meself a line on some fine replacements. 'Tis obvious as the guests land anchor, greeting Dread Cap'n Scott and Smuggler Jane and drawing swords in a demonstration a' courage and bravado for th' First Photographic Mate.

I notice how me profession is employin' so many ladies -- 'n pretty ones at that! What am I going to do if one'a these fair ones decides to plunder me ship? On this night, 'tis all about th' ladies. And th' young ones! I see some fine lads 'n ladies for a Junior Officers' Corps. Over there, looks like we picked up a Ronin from the Far East. An' wait -- a woman of Persia? Malaysia? Th' veil is indeed a mystery.

Already, we be gettin' th’ scratchy throat from sayin’ “Arrrr!” in greetin'.

“It works better if you say, 'Yarr!',” someone insists. Clever mate!

We 'ave to be on our guard, ye know. Across from us, on th' other side of th' path, landlubbers gather outside th' inn and cast their gaze over us like the fog of a nasty morning. I hail them from afar, wavin' a signal of friendship which they generously return. We shall 'ave no trouble from 'em. I worry 'bout the lads in the carriages, tho', craning their necks in passing t' get a glimps'a this group.

"Gather round!"

Th' Dred Cap'n sets the ground rules: this be a truce -- no plunderin' among guests, no swordplay, an' Cap'n Hook has t' watch which hand he turns with. Lucky for 'im, a mate has a spare cork t' plug th' hazard. I come in peace, unarmed 'cept for th' sword I borrowed for th' portraits, not wanting to find meself in a situation where me cutless tears through me breeches. Ye wouldn' want that now, would ye? I c'n barely keep 'em from fallin' below me knees. All them sailor knots 'round me calves and still they mutiny. Arrrrrr.

Let us dance, me hearties! A beautiful buccaneeress offers her partnership for th' pirate promenade before I can even set about findin' a dancin' mate. Glad I practiced me bowin', for we honour each other many a time durin' this opening festivity, culminatin' in a circle where our Cap'n of Th' Dance calls some select companions out fer a brief back 'n forth jig in th' center.



"Privateers!" (Miss'd tha' call to step out, me hearin' still a lil' numb from th' broadside upon tha' French vessel th' other day.)


"Maricopa County!"

"Pinal County!"

"Pima County!" (Me adopted home port! Strangely, I seem t' be jiggin' alone. Has Tucson no worthy seafarers?)

Now, many of us bucs ain' used to what they call the set dancin' like the landlubbers do, but I do 'ave some experience. If ye gonna plunder fer King and Country, ye better be prepared t' dance at court! No need to get all overly fancy, though. Our favourite musicians, Bahama Becky 'n The Plankwalkers have a grand idea: let's play "Catch Th' Pirate!" Then, "Chase Th' Pirate!" So we line up 'n sets and take turns chasin' each other about and leadin' each other around. Bet ya' them cultured folk never 'ave this much fun in a dance! Howev'r, we can strip th' willow just like them, if that be ye game.

Bet ye didn't kno' pirates polka'd either! Well, a' least I didn' know, but anyway, 'tis another lively dance. You stan' round in a circle like, an ye' join hands with' ye beautiful' partner, and ye step step one way, stomp stomp stomp, then ye step the other way, stomp stomp stomp. Ye slap ye knees twice, ye clap ye hands twice, then you clap ye partner's hands thrice before ye wave a couple'a playful fingers with an "Arrr!" of satisfaction. Ye swing partners and ye do it all over again.

Did I say I love the mixer dancin'? I absolutely, unabashedly adore dancin' with as many ladies as possible! Granted, ye do get winded, tho'. Fortunately for us, the ship's galley is open an overflowin' wi' tropical punch, and God is blessin' us wi' a gentle sea breeze to cool th' flaming flesh.

Ye kno' ye can't get a buncha bucs together, fill them' with tropical delights an' not expect th' cry for a raid. So gents, take off one'er ye shoes and back away. Let's let the ladies plunder the lot an' sort out who's th' rightful owner of this booty... and new dancin' partner!

Ah, but gents, ye ain' gonna let them outdo ye? So let's see ye doff a boot! Ready, mateys?


Like a title wave -- no -- a furious hurricane smashing into the coast, they devour it all. For me own safety I have to lag behind a lil'. An' look at what one of me mates is doin'. He bloody well nearly takes out half th' line in th' rush for th' prize! I sense some skullduggery, bu' really now, what do ye expect from a crew'a pirates?

If ye can't beat ye mates to the' booty, ye can always win the prize wi' some headwork -- or footwork. Me name is drawn for some fine shortbread cookies.

I gotta say, I find meself in shock. "Me, me?" I answer as I rise to th' occasion. "I con' believe it!"

Th' terms: either a fact or a jig.

"I hav' a fact," I answer. "In 1645, Cap'n Kidd wos born in Scotland. He wos executed in 1701. Some say 'e was a pirate. The evidence says 'e was a privateer. An' I say, he's me hero!"

"Well played!" the Dred Cap'n praises as I claim me prize. Of course, th' crown gets ten percent under me letter of marque. Not bad tho' when ye figure an' agent would take fifteen.

We be an international gatherin', ye know, but ye don't need a flag t' tell who can dance th' best jigs. I give it me English best, but the Scots and Irish bucs clearly 'ave me beat. An' the French corsairs? Tha' looks lik'a Can-Can!

We 'ave much time for songs as well as dance, singin' the praises of that 'ol sailor Noah inside the hall, an' singin' the shanties outside t’ escape th’ heat as we raise our cups of ale in th' fair wind, th' stars that guide us lookin' down from Heaven as we all be sharin' that camaraderie that 'tis a blessed journey.

An' so in that spirit we prance 'n a circle around a few pirates celebratin' birthdays, singin' as we give 'em honour.

So how do they show appreciation? They huddle 'n fright like a bunch'a scurvy dogs.

"Mutiny!" Dread Cap'n Scott cries. Do we throw 'em over? Nay. A more fittin' penance is a'hand.

"Jig! Jig! Jig!" I an' the others shout.

No planks will be walked this nigh'. But I clearly can see one of they honorees makin' a bolt for it, gettin' outta th' center of attention.

The last set dance left me a bi' winded, so 'tis a touchin' moment when the ol' Pirate Waltz is upon us, an' I find a beautiful lass who seems a wee bit nervous about th' whole waltzin' thing. But I bow t' her, offering me hands, an' I teach 'er a two-step an' then a box step. I ain' ballroom material yet, but we both do jus’ fine. Usually, I seem to be th' one learnin' the dances. 'Tis nice to teach. 'Tis nice to see th' smile and the gleam in th' lady's eye. Ahhh, me heart.

We feast afterwards, takin' over the back room of a nearby establishment, revelin' in tales of our adventures 'n the sea of life... an' plannin' our next adventure in th' park...

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following day, we received this brief sports dispatch from the Associated Pirate Press:

Buc Bowl I: Buccaneers 21, Raiders 21

PRESCOTT (APP) -- The game destined to settle an old score resulted in another score unsettled.

Buccaneer Bowl I ended in a 21-21 tie after two halves of intensely defensive play. Dread Captain Scott’s Bucs rallied from a 14-0 deficit in the first half with help from several standout performances on the offensive line.

The lightning-fast Josh again proved his value to Cap’n Hook’s Raiders, adding to his already stellar yardage. Intense blitzing by the Lacy’s hurried several passes, forcing the Buccaneer line to regroup. In the end, a reliance on simple plays and determination put Scott’s team on the board.

Turnovers piled up in Sunday’s game as both teams held the line, breaking up passes and foiling rushing attempts.

The highly-anticipated match at Granite Creek Park came after April’s scoreless stalemate in the 18th Century Bowl, where both teams shuffled their lineups following a blowout first meeting.

Players expect to bring the contest to a conclusion at August’s Highland Bowl.

Yaarrr! Click ye here fer more pictures from the weekend's festivities!

NEXT: Marching In Time

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Terrific photos, Christopher! Looks like you had a blast of a time! Wish I could have been there also to photograph it all! Tell the photographer, huzzuh, for me! I hope to meet him one day!

Your wanna-be photo-journalist friend, Rosemary