Millbillies and the Mainstream

 I keep putting off this post but every week that goes by I want to write something for Siobhan. I have never watched American Idol except in occasional blips when my daughter’s had it on telly.
When I have caught it, I find it to be a rather cruel show like many of these competition shows seem to be.

That being said, last week was glorious and sunny, and I decided to finally get out and take photos of all the banners around town supporting Siobhan. At the vet a few weeks ago, my son, John and Susan (our vet and his wife) were reminiscing about the high school days when Anthony would be jamming in the basement with Colin, Rory and Mike, while Siobhan ran around upstairs chasing Colin’s younger brother Miles. Molly came home from school one day in high school and said to me, “remember Anthony’s friend, Rory? you should hear his sister sing — she should be on American Idol.” And so here she is today, a big girl on American Idol. Marching to the beat of her own drum. Which is very hard to do in our culture with more “I don’t get you Simons” out there than “this is who I am Siobhans.”

Perhaps Simon would “get her” if he knew the context of this place called Cape Cod, where Siobhan is from. I left for almost twenty years, and when I came back I felt like Rip Van Winkle. Many of the players were older but they were the same players running the show. And when they weren’t the same, it didn’t matter — it was still the same act, just a different face and name. Sometimes, I feel like an outsider here among the SUV and hydrangea painting fans. But there is an underground offbeat culture that permeates the backside of this peninsula and that is where I feel most at home. I’ve found it through music, dance, nature, offbeat cafes and other venues of creativity. I seek the subculture out as best I can.

There’s a dusky mauve Cape in Marstons Mills with a big banner for Siobhan in the yard — possibly her house, as it looks like a house that has lots of kids and energy (she has about 5 siblings). It’s a burst of magic in the midst of the mediocre. Many years ago, when I first saw her dad at one of the boys’ concerts on the town green, I was thrilled to see a long-haired, tattooed sleeves guy (also a musician). The whole family is a quirky, talented and creative blend of renegade Cape Cod natives, something I’ve sorely missed. It’s good to still find it here.

** You  might have to click on the collage to see the whole thing…

Favorite quotes

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
~ Brian Littrell

** photo is a couple of local kitchen stars — Mama Louise and her youngest son, Michael of Il Maestro ~


Last night I decided to head over to the get together at Yummy Goods in West Barnstable to check out what was going on for Melissa’s Handmade for the Holidays event. I needed to get out and am glad I did. I totally enjoyed it…my sister was there and a friend I hadn’t seen in a while showed up. There were lots of knitted donations, lots of knitting going on, plenty of yarn and spare needles, card making supplies and so on so everyone could participate. Checked out all the goodies in Melissa’s shop in between chatting and cider, tea and cookies. She even had door prizes (Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing was one), and goodie bags for everyone. The next one is Friday November 21 and I already have it marked on my calendar. It can get pretty dreary and isolating here on the cape during the winter and Melissa’s been wanting to start a regular crafting group. She’s off to a good start. Thank you, Betsy (‘lil ‘sis) for letting me know about it, and thank you Melissa and Beth for hosting this!

Saturday Night

Went to see Christine Rathbun’s play tonight — it was last night. I knew that, just had forgotten it. Oh well. Was disappointed but checked out this steampunk music/video/alt art sort of show that wasn’t really happening either. Is anyone inspired around here? Drawn towards light and positivity? Excited about what they’re creating? They had the right idea with this — it — just — was — not — happening.

People, few that there were, orbiting each other, no mingling. I think BC had the right idea tonight, going in the right direction, and who knows maybe by 9:30 they’ll be someplace. I know I shouldn’t knock local efforts, I must give people credit for trying. Isn’t that all any of us can really do? Try? And it’s better to try and fail than fail to try. I think I was just disappointed at having missed Christine because I do love steampunk.

All I Got Today

I’m still absorbing the impact of Teddy’s life and death on our neighborhood, our community, our state, our country, our world. Like Tip said “all politics is local.” Ted never forgot that as many seem to.

His nephew was saying that towards the end of his life, Teddy couldn’t always find the words he wanted. One day out sailing, Teddy started yodelling, something he’s learned in his younger days. Later that day on land, he touched Bobby’s arm, smiled and said, “I’m sorry but that’s all I got left.”

So, taking a cue from the Lion of the Senate, the following from an Alabama Chanin blog post is all I got today.

While looking out over the water from the balcony of a mansion on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut tells his friend, Joseph Heller, that their host makes more money in a single day than Heller will ever earn from his novel Catch-22.

Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have.”

Vonnegut questions, “What’s that?”


This entry was posted on August 31, 2009, in local.

One True Voice

First of all a disclaimer: I’m not sure I have only one true voice or even one life to live, but here goes.

What is your one true voice? And “what do you intend to do with your one wild, precious life?” I’m determined to scoot down to Provincetown one day this summer for the sole purpose of meeting Mary Oliver, the writer of that quote. Imagining tea and chat and hoping to get a polaroid or two. That and scattering Evelyn’s ashes. And popping in to say hello to Aimee. Just those crazy, random ways of meeting people to say hello (and goodbye).

But I understand from my favorite bookshop that Mary Oliver is very private, having turned down the New York Times for an interview. I will at least hopefully get to meet her in October when she celebrates Titcomb’s 40th anniversary with a talk. She’s on my Mondo Beyondo list though, as is a survival guide I’m starting to finally write.

** Photo From Beacon Broadside (the mention of St. Vincent Millay got me going on another post)

This entry was posted on July 27, 2009, in local, voice.

And to think I knew her when…

I first heard her singing Paper Wings and Halo on a wintry drive back from Vermont after a Burlington First Night celebration maybe 10 years ago. It was a snowy drive and my Molly was sleeping while I listened in the twilight to Lori on WUMB. It was magical. I was hooked. Her music was a comfort to me back in those days when I was still reeling from my move from Vermont back to the Cape. She helped me feel at home in a place I struggle to feel at home in still.

I then started following her on UMB, listening to any interviews with her, when gigs were, etc. and was delighted to discover she lived in a town not so very far away from me. I went to see her at First Encounter Coffeehouse in Eastham a couple of times (once when she was very pregnant with her fourth or fifth), the old Sippican Hardware Coffeehouse (long gone now), and finally in Easton at the Blackthorne Tavern for a Sunday morning in May. She was the reason I went to brunch. So I could listen to her.

That was when I got a chance to chit chat with her and it was when she only had the three kids and was only doing local and regional gigs. I ran into her in a McDonald’s in the Mansfield area when we were both on our way with our kids to a pre-teenybopper Nickelodeon music Stars sort of show at the Tweeter Center. Every once in a while I look her up – on the net of course – with 5 kids, a husband and a music career, the woman is busy! – and was delighted to discover almost two years ago that she had been “discovered” beyond our borders. I am looking forward to catching up with her again sometime.


I’m looking forward to going to an art show reception tonight featuring this Brooklyn artist’s work tonight — I’ve been following her blog lately and love her embroidery. I was thinking how I’d love to check out her show in New York tonight and then whoa! saw that she’s got a couple of pieces in tonight’s show practically up the street from me…

Thanks for the notes about where I can get help with my blog banner, etc — gotta eat supper now or I’ll never make it to the show…have a glorious weekend. And if you’re in snowy parts, stay warm, eat chocolate and drink lots of tea. Some snuggling with a honey’s always good too!