Come to the Waterside Community "Gam" on July 29, 2006

~ An opportunity for conversation at sea or ashore ~  

mouse aboard
The Ship to see whose
Spirit takes "the helm in love"
The Ship ~ Navigating the Narrative

For those who have come upon this virtual situation at the domain quite by chance ~ it may be best to first forward you to a foreword ~ a preamble of sorts which will provide some context (and an array of links within and without

For those adventurers who seek to know more about the plans for the Waterside community "gam" (an opportunity for social exchange afloat or ashore) ~ after review of the link within about gams and gamming in general ~ this detailed "Ship's log" ~ [last updated May 27, 2006 under the New Moon, with the next updates to this and the Web site posted in phases with the Full Rose (or Strawberry) Moon on June 11 and the New Buck (or Thunder) Moon on June 25] ~ offers the compass, timetable and plot for the next gam, to be ventured on Saturday, July 29, 2006.

Organized in a Motion of Comity with Yankee Homecoming's Festival for the Senses ~ an early entry briefly describes the gam at the festival's official website at the Opening Day calendar of events webpage as such:

Saturday, July 29, 2006 ~ 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Lord Timothy Dexter at the Community Gam

After Yankee Homecoming's opening ceremonies (July 29th from Noon - 12:30PM) and Lord Timothy Dexter's arrival home again --- the spirits of all generations of the Waterside people will be buoyed by a truly special social gathering on Market Landing Park (once the Middle Shipyard). Plans are underway to hold a community "gam" (a nautical term for enlightening and entertaining social exchange, ashore or afloat) at Market Landing Park ~ once the Middle Shipyard, where the community could build a ship for three pence per ton. Just what is a gam? On the pages opening Chapter 53 of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Ishmael asked and answered the same good question. On the stage of Market Landing and its surrounds, we promise a whale of a good time!

The gam begins with the first bell of the Afternoon Watch (12:30PM) when Moments in Time brings momentum to this interactive "show and tell" geared to all generations ~ and moreover, bring meaning to the merriment on the Merrimack with a medley of music and musings. At three bells (1:30PM) Demijon Music Clan takes a turn with traditional Celtic and maritime music ~ then Moments in Time synchronize their "time pieces" for a passage through history. At six bells (3PM) ~ we recap where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. The next wave of entertainment arrives at high tide (3:18PM) with the revival of the renowned Watts rock opera performed by Bill Plante & Friends. Then yet more friends join in for the new wave ~ into a new generation! Alongside will be cairn-building (to mark that we have come this far) and crafting of a flagship for the Waterside people's float (in anticipation of its entry in the Yankee Homecoming parade). Come to know more about the community gam and gamming itself at the Web page.

And plotting along ~ plans for this next community gam are well underway. Those who want to be "in the know" should check this link for frequent updates. Those who want to join hands in the planning ~ please make a Comity connection.

What is the current status and strategy for this venture? Well, so far ~ so, so good ... How so?
In the modus operandi of the Knowing Ones ~ let us ask some good questions and question the answer ~ and as all good reporters should ~ "re:port" by asking and answering those six important, pointed questions:

Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?


First, know your audience. The community gam will be geared toward a broad multi-generational audience ~ Newburyporters, homecomers and visitors to port who want to come to know more about the Waterside's storied past, present and future and simply and ~ spouting off ~ have a whale of a good time in the process. Interactive audience participation will key note throughout the day ~ and since the some of the local politicos will be attending the opening ceremonies ~ hopes are to conscript those officials in the improvisational script, as well. Therefore, it will be the participants who will make this a successful venture.

A trio with brio really in the know about engaging all ages in this genre of amusement is Moments in Time Entertainment ~ with Dan Cleary serving as interlocutor, helping to tie the elements together and adding tempo and momentum ~ Together with Chuck Wright & Al Maguire, offering a dynamic medley of musings and musical melody throughout the afternoon gam.

Paul "Jance" Jancewicz ~ providing the form "boddey & sole" for Lord Timothy Dexter coming home again during Yankee Homecoming's "Festival for the Senses" ~ arriving at the Waterside with great fanfare ~ joining in the gamming ~ emphasizing "fun" in proffering his renowned "profundity" as the "gratest felosofer in the Western World." As ever, Lord Tim brings his ever growing (and glowing) entourage of the Knowing Ones, who will ask good questions and question the answer. "Lite comes from the East!"

John Brennan ~ providing once more the vessel & voice as Lord Tim's Poet Laureate Jonathan Plummer ~ No more the vassal in his Lordship's shadow ~ but whimsically (ap)plying the words of the Masters with his own wit and wisdom (as one of the Knowing Ones) ~ to wit, the wisdom that "Lite comes from the East."

Bill Plante, president of New Media Assoicates and a multi-talented musician/composer and his trio Bill Plante & Friends ~ reviving the acclaimed opus he composed a half-generation ago ~ the "Watts Rock Opera" ~ for the occasion of the 375th anniversary of the dastard trapper-trader Walter Bagnall's downfall and death in 1631 (see link within) --- and the 301st anniversary of when Ferry Wharf Way was procured from Captain John March in 1705 ~ securing the "waye" for public use forever (see link within).

Ray Pike, the Misty Isles' Captain/Owner Ray Pike, also Salisbury's harbormaster, whose small tall ship is the Waterside movement's flagship ~ guiding Lord Tim to his home port. Getting the Misty Isles shipshape for her role during Yankee Homecoming ~ Ray and his aspirations will be come light during the gam's conversation. The plan is to involve Captain Pike and a "youth of all ages" crew (including the Ring's Island Rowing Club, Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Merrimack Valley, along with the younger generation of the Waterside people ~ a more "organic" league) ~ Generations Onward Bourne ~ from beginning to end ~ rowing Lord Tim ashore and crafting the "flagship" for the Waterside people's float (which will be entered for the Yankee Homecoming parade to end the Yankee Homecoming festival) ~ positioning us all for the next leg of the journey.


If the reader has already pored over the referenced webpage on gam and gamming (visit link within), then indeed you have come to know the full answer to the question: What is a gam? If not, a quick skim across that volume (or a skip through the footnotes) may certainly be worth your while. And with that "certain knowledge" in mind ~ let us focus on those little peculiarities concerning the Waterside community gams ~ particularly this next gam on Saturday, July 29th:

Beginning after Yankee Homecoming's noontide opening ceremonies, the (present) plan points to Lord Timothy Dexter's homecoming beforehand. [Check back for updates ("When") about his ETA (estimated time of arrival) ~ so you can meet him as Misty Isles is moored dockside ~ or (more likely the case) watch as Dexter is rowed ashore from Misty Isles' mooring in the Merrimack River.] As impressed in an early press release, it makes perfect sense that Dexter will return for this year's Yankee Homecoming Festival of the Senses. And to get a better sense of this (and that), visit the Website page (link within/without).

In those Moments in Time, after Yankee Homecoming's opening ceremony ~ getting the gam on a roll with "sum gud songs" and "gamming" ~ Lord Tim ~ (who foretold that he "may come back toue see houe you all goue on & wot you are" and insisted he wanted to make "sum noise in the world") ~ will be doing just that ~ by making his profound observations ~ and serving as the "sounding board" for the Waterside people ~ individually and collectively ~ with continuous "amousement" and social interaction of "party See pints" throughout the afternoon, on-stage and off-stage. And Yankee Homecoming's larger than life ambassador-at-large Lord Timothy Dexter deployed as the envoy on this voyage.

And indeed, this will be a whirlwind voyage ~ a journey of time, revealing (and reveling in) the Waterside's people's past, present and future ~ remarking historical and generational milestones along the way. Time will occasionally fold upon itself as the story weaves and unfolds. Dexter is the motif and motivator, oft offering to "take the helm in love" ~ A flagship will be crafted for the Waterside people's float to launch the next leg of the journey ~ Furthermore, the Ship's log/journal of this venture (and more) will be recorded for posterity.


The "moment to moment" timetable and roster for this lively community caucus is fairly fluid. And since this gam ashore stems from the New England maritime tradition ~ let us employ the nautical timekeeping of ship watches and bells.2 (Conveniently, a ship's bell is mounted at the Coast Guard monument aside Market Landing Park ~ and can be heard abroad, loud and clear.)

Thus, while overflowing 'fore and aft' the flood tide (high tide at 3:18PM) ~ the Waterside community gam will mainly take place during the Afternoon Watch and into the First Dog Watch (12:30PM - 5PM)2 as follows:

By 11:30PM or seven bells of the Forenoon Watch2 ~ Estimated time of arrival of Dexter by ship and dory. The Knowing Ones will know to add two extra (faint) bells, because his Lordship purportedly considered nine to be his lucky number to start any venture. And speaking of ventures, the materials for crafting the Waterside people's float at Market Landing Park (once the Middle Shipyard) will be set up beforehand. (Ongoing ~ the crafting of the flagship ~ in anticipation of the Waterside people's float ~ an entry in the Yankee Homecoming parade which concludes the 9-day festival on Sunday, August 6th.)

At eight bells of the Forenoon Watch (exactly Noon)2 ~ Yankee Homecoming's opening ceremony begins ~ ending at about 12:30PM (one bell of the Afternoon Watch) with the raising of the Yankee Homecoming flag on the westerly side of Market Landing Park ~ and the serving of the cheesecake traditionally donated by Alden Merrill. Plans are to weave the two events seamlessly ~ much as one crew takes over a watch aboard ship from another ~ with Dexter and crew crimping some of the available "orfishels" for the official rededication of the historic "waye" on the easterly side of Market Landing Park. After which, with a sign of the times from their bosun whistles ~ all gammers are to come about.

From two bells of the Afternoon Watch (1:00PM) to six bells (3:00PM)2 ~ A pastime of enlightening and entertaining "gamming" ~ with Moments in Time (in accord with Demijon Music Clan) engaging participants of all ages in this (mirthfully meddling) medley of nautical music. Always obsessed with time, Lord Timothy Dexter will most likely offer to serve as the official timekeeper ~ using several means, but first and foremost tolling the bell (that another interesting knit with his Lordship as well).

At 1:30PM (three bells) Demijon Music Clan come about with a delightful turn of traditioal Celtic and maritime tunes

At 1:50PM ~ Moments in Time synchronize their musical "time pieces" to a harmonious passage through history until six bells of the Afternoon Watch (3PM) ~ when the gamming will "recap" ~ summing up (with a Dexterian ciphering and deciphering) the afternoon's tidings ~ and cairn building to mark that we have come this far. Then coming full circle, yet another rock of ages (and aegis) will cap off the afternoon gam. For after a bit of gamming with its composer about his inspiration ~ the next wave of entertainment arrives ...

At 3:18PM (high tide) ~ is the arrival of the Watts Rock Opera3 revival composed by Bill Plante a half-generation ago and performed Bill Plante & Friends and accompanying artists ~ a tuneful tutorial and lyrical lesson about Walter Bagnall ~ the dreaded scalaway who once traded the Waterside and left behind the dregs of his cellar in legends and ledgers and deeds. Indeed!

At 3:50PM (heading into the First Dog Watch at 4PM) ~ Bill Plante and Friends (with a wave of yet more friends) keep things on a roll into a new generation.

At 4:45PM ~ Moments In Time bring the show to a close with a moving homage and patriotic songs until two bells of the First Dog Watch (by 5PM)2 ~ when the stage must be readied for the evening concert ~ with the guest narrator of Lincoln's Portrait (Guess who?) coming onto the scene to practice his oratorical skills. Thereafter, the social gamming continues at Market Landing Park ~ alongside with the crafting of the flagship for the Waterside people's float.


The Waterside community gam will be held at Market Landing Park, once the Middle Shipyard (see link within for map). For those coming "from away" ~ this park is located right on the Merrimack River, behind the Firehouse Center for the Arts in downtown Newburyport, opposite Market Square. Take I-95 to Exit 57 (Newburyport). Then take Route 113 East to Green Street. Turn left and take Green Street to the end, where you will find parking (limited time and space) available to your right and long-term paid parking straight ahead, across Merrimac Street. Taking a right onto Merrimac Street, the Firehouse will be on your left. NOTE: If parking is unavailable at the other two lots, pass the Firehouse, and head straight toward Water Street, through the blinking yellow lights. Immediately to your left you will see the entrance to the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority's east lost, with long-term paid parking available.

In a Motion of Comity ~ the Firehouse Interim Program Director Donna Wilson has taken the first steps to arrange for use of the Firehouse Center, including its stage, as a potential rain venue for the community gam. However, in that Pirates of Penzance will be performed that evening, with curtain time at 7:30PM, will need to confirm any staging requirements with the director. In any event, let us all pray for good weather, for the waterfront (or its surrounds) would be truly the only venue to do this.


"For good cause and just because!" ~ This will be a party in which all are interactive participants. Which might best be spelled out using Lord Tim's unique orthography ~ "party See pints" ~ connoting the invitation to come to the party, be party to this and see (and hear and say) the multifarious "pints" (as Dexter was wont to spell "points") to be made ~ in a uncommonly enlightening and entertaining way.

Regenerating of the Spirit of Community ~ bringing momentum to the Waterside Plan in Motion during this, The Year of Common Ground (March 25, 2006 - March 24, 2007) ~ a year during which the Waterside community marks several milestones in history and history in the making ~ Offering visibility and viability for those measures of change on the horizon ~ reveling in and focusing upon a revealing (re)view of where we have been and a glimpse of the short- and long-term vision of where we are going ~ And in remarking the many historical and generational milestones ~ as a community and region ~ (and constituents' personal and institutional/organizational milestones, as well) ~ come to understand the continuity with the Waterside's organic movement, in a Motion of Comity ~ past, present and future.

By developing a keen Sense of Place and Sense of Purpose with this exercise of the Waterside's (multi-generational) body politic ~ acquiring a taste (and building the appetite) for sharing good food for thought ~ helping to make sense of it all by asking good (common sense) questions and questioning the answer ~ and by acknowledging that compromise offers the best promise for resolution: Becoming the Knowing Ones, one by one and all together.

Of course, as with any cause, there is the risk that the messenger will overwhelm the message. That exists (in any tense) with respect to Dexter, in that the audience may consider the exponent/proponent a key component ~ the warp and woof ~ instead of the framework and that unseen thread in the array of threads that weave the fabric of the vision ~ that will knit the unfolding fabric of community in the work. (Traipse back to the concept/context footnoted at this link within.) But of course, that exists with any "party" ~ The Establishment or The Movement. (Duly noting that Emerson identified these as essentially the only two parties in existence throughout history.) But let us not get too serious ~ "just because" the event is to be a party to buoy the spirits. And will only be as spirited as its participants ...

And thereafter, for those seeking the ever-sustaining Spirit of Community ~ Lord Timothy Dexter remains e-ternally available at ~ serving as the e-xponent and e-vangelist for the Waterside movement at his virtual seat and when he drops by the virtual Wolfe Tavern. For just as Dexter once became the figurehead for NAID's development of Newburyport's industrial property more than a generation ago --- his Lordship motivates today's generations to develop (or rather, envelop) the Waterside community's intellectual, institutional and inspirational property --- and to make good use of the instruments ~ "the systom of knollege & Lite" ~ that will enable us as a community to keep the Plan in Motion with Absolute Balance.

In the end ~ with the symbolism of the Waterside, land and water, the crafting and launch of the Ship is an apt metaphor. As far as the building of the cairn to indicate that we have come this far ~ that may be more subtle. But do hope to collect some "living stones" in the process, to compile that repository of "certain knowledge." For not only will a collaborative journal capture this touchstone event ~ but the "gam" will hopefully be a "lodestone" to attract all generations of the Waterside people as volunteers ~ in a Motion of Comity ~ seeking to find ways of better communicating (and communing) as a community.


Organized in a Motion of Comity with Yankee Homecoming's Festival for the Senses ~ this event ~ along with the Waterside people's float ~ will serve as "bookends" (or better put perhaps, bookmarks) for the 49th Chapter in Yankee Homecoming's in history (link without).

The ideal is to accomplish this venture as a community in the work ~ with the underwriting of the Waterside "gam" having the little particularity of being less pecuniary in the scale of things. With kindly donations of precious time and (tremendous) talent by the "minstrels" and musicians ~ this all begins on an upbeat note.

Howbeit, it is hoped the Waterside people will tender a share in this venture to help cover the incidental costs associated with staging and sound system ~ and the material costs needed to fabricate the flagship to be crafted during the gam itself ~ on what was once the Middle Shipyard, the community shipyard where earlier generations of the Waterside people could build a vessel for threepence per ton.

On that note, let us do a bit of ciphering, using the Economic History Resources website (link without) for insight ~ comparing the relative worth of threepence at three key historical and generational milestones to today's money:
- threepence (.03) in 1766 - 1769 would be valued at .75 today
- threepence (.03) in 1806 would be valued at .50 today
- threepence (.03) in 1826 would be valued at .60 today

With the Waterside gam offering tons upon tons of fun ~ how much would today's generations of the Waterside people care to proffer ~ to become adventurers on this voyage ~ and Generations Onward Bourne?
1 As previously mentioned (see link within) ~ in so many ways, Lord Timothy Dexter and this setting are the perfect motif and milieu for this leg of the journey (see link within). And Wonder of Wonders! ~ The wonder of it all is how serendipitous this has become ~ between the players and play ~ with the stage part and parcel to this production.

Referencing the website ~ a link without offering a cache of maritime information for seafarers and landlubbers of all ages ~ Bells are to be struck for every half-hour of each 4-hour watch ~ with the exception of the First Dog Watch (4PM - 6PM) and Second Dog Watch (6PM - 8PM)* which were staggered to allow for shipmates to have their "square meal." Thus, for each "watch" one would hear the the following:
00:30 1 bell
01:00 2 bells
01:30 2 bells, pause, 1 bell
02:00 2 bells, pause, 2 bells
02:30 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 1 bell
03:00 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells
03:30 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 1 bell
04:00 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells
* At the end of the First Dog Watch, only four bells were struck. Then, the Second Dog Watch bells were struck like this: 6:30PM, one bell; 7PM two bells; 7:30PM, three bells; and at 8PM, eight bells.

3 This year not only marks the 200th anniversary of Lord Timothy Dexter's passing, it also marks the 375th anniversary of the (less peaceful) passing of another player who once walked this stage: the mysterious Walter (or Walt or Watt) Bagnall ~ for whom the Waterside locus "Watts Cellar" is named. For more insight, skip to the second footnote at "The Waterside" (link within).
Site Design by Bright iDear   Copyright © 2002-2014 All Rights Reserved
Website:  Email: