i went to port townsend for a New Old Time Chautaqua benefit show (which was held at the Legion Hall, on the corner of Monroe and Water) yesterday. because of the fact that i have spent a relatively huge amount of time in port townsend over the years (and it’s a beautiful place to spend time), i went early and poked around at fort worden, which is where i spent a majority of the huge amount of time that i spent there.
there have been A LOT of changes since i first came there, and a majority of them have occurred within the past few years, when i was not paying attention. they had the coastal defence command station on battery hill open for the first time since i have been comming there, and i actually got a chance to walk around inside a part of the fort that has been blocked off, sealed up and posted with big signs warning of nasty things that happen to people who ignore them, since i first started coming there. they have also done a lot of “re-landscaping” which includes cutting down a lot of the undergrowth and trees in the main part of the batteries, which were practically invisible previously. under normal circumstances, i would have a problem with state park people just randomly cutting down trees, but it was really interesting to see a lot more of the fort as the people who inhabited the place 100 years ago saw it.
of course, i went to the entrance of the cistern, where Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel was recorded. the first time i went there, it was totally covered by trees and undergrowth, and there was a brick “chimney” that came up out of the ground, with a manhole cover on top of it, and it was really easy to “break in”. a number of people already had, and the cistern was full of “satanic” grafitti and garbage, but the accoustics were AWESOME, and i resolved to get back in. several years later (mid-1980s) i took The Stairway Jam to fort worden, but by that time they had covered the entrance with the two huge, rusty metal tanks, and we weren’t able to get in. the tanks are now placed to either side of the chimney, which has a concrete lid, a steel door and a lock on it: considerably more difficult to get in, apparently the tanks were not enough of an impedence for people to get in and trash the place. fortunately, there are other places at fort worden that also have incredible accoustics.
for the record, i have played my trombone, my orchestral flute and my didjeriflute in various underground rooms at fort worden, and i know of no other place in the world with accoustics like that. it’s incredible. 😎
then i went into port townsend proper, to the legion hall at the corner of Monroe and Water, and found The Bald Man… if i didn’t know where the bald man was coming from, i might be a bit confused, dismayed, or even paranoid, but because of the fact that i know that the bald man is a direct offshoot of stuff that i did, personally, i find it rather amusing… and i know that my son will probably keep doing this for as long as he lives, as well, which gives me a small amount of immortality. 😉
i know i have mentioned it before, but i’m really amazed that i am actually a part of the New Old Time Chautaqua. these people truly ARE my “karass”, and it is just driven home to me even more forcefully every time i play with them.