There were, in fact, people and dances and parties and other non-wildlife sorts of things at Pinewoods. Kendra and I were under the microscope a little, since we'll be running the joint, and we had I-don't-know-how-many chats with people who had insights or suggestions or advice, some of whom had been coming for forty years. It was extremely helpful, while at the same time making me feel the weight of tradition that's been draped around our shoulders.
To puncture some of that tension, for the Session II ceilidh, I sang a song describing some of the changes Kendra and I plan to introduce — a parody of Dylan's A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall called A Raccoon in Every Cabin. It went over like gangbusters...though it's possible I've talked myself into finding 150 raccoons by next year. *sigh*
The evening music was fantastic overall, but we were blown away by Ryan McKasson's arrangement for Ferla Mor. The bass player played his instrument like a cello, taking the melody, while half a dozen fiddles played pizzicato. It was eerie and modern and weird and energizing. We'd never heard anything like it — Dave Arnold and I could barely follow the dance because we were trying to figure out how they were doing it. Which was okay, because the crowd demanded a full encore, twice and to the bottom, which is practically unheard-of. I was floating for a full hour afterwards.
Other things: I carried corks in my pocket all week, torturing kind of a lot of people with the cork puzzle, as well as the cup puzzle. I played invented-word Boggle with Ruth Howe, and got to know her in the course of assorted other hangings-out. I went canoeing with kdsorceress before she left after Session I, and got a surprise snuggly visit from mogwit at the end of Session II. Kendra and I ran the silent auction again, which pulled in an impressive $1200 for Pinewoods, bringing the all-auction total above $10,000. The part of my hair sunburned from snorkeling, so I spent the last half of the week hatted. I finally got to learn all of Dancing on Parnassus — which transforms from a square-set strathspey to a longways reel and back — in Robert McOwen's teacher's choice class. I learned that they make bras with magnetic front clasps (brilliant!). Adorable children, two of them bilingual Québecois, spent all week making marble machines and cell phones and salad out of the bits of wood in front of the dining hall. I was fed very well (not by the children), and skinnydipped, and skinnysnorkeled, and had good conversations, and oh dear God it's all up to us next year isn't it?