Rockport, Unmade Videos, and Gaelic & Western
Okay, I’d just left off talking about Rockport, MA, to which Martha and I were headed after our trip to Amherst. I said that when we lived in Massachussets, the town had been one of favorite haunts.
The reason for that is that starting in the middle of the last century (i.e., the twentieth, yikes) Rockport became a major tourist destination. It has all sorts of shops and restaurants, and nifty places to walk. So, personally, we ended up spending a lot of time (and no little money) there. In fact, we had a tradition of going there for Christmas shopping, usually just after Thanksgiving.
I have a very cool memory of one such visit. We went there with David when he was still quite little...in elementary school...and we took with us two guests, Jenny and Lorraine, who were the daughters of his daycare provider. He had known them since he was a baby and in some ways they were very much like sisters to him.
For once, the pictures actually have something to do with my story. This is a snap of Martha at Rockport during our visit. Specifically, we were on what’s called “The Neck.” I’ll explain that next time.
Anyway, we went there, and I recall the three of them, so serious and intent, shopping for gifts for their parents. I can’t recall what, if anything, they got.
I remember, too, having a fantasy...or, maybe it was more like an aspiration. I’d do a short video about them...the three of them together...there in Rockport, while the sun was bright, the sky was cloudless, and the trees on the way into town were gold and red. It would be a silent film...I mean, they wouldn’t talk...but there would be music. I had recently gotten a CD of the Chieftains doing Christmas music -- I think it was “The Bells of Dublin,” but I’m not 100% sure. Alas, in all the moving about over the last thirty years, the album went missing. (Sigh.)
And, anyway, I had this idea that the video would include traditional holiday music, possibly in the various Celtic languages -- Irish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, Welsh, maybe even Breton (there was a gorgeous Breton Carol on the Chieftains CD, “featuring Nolwen Monjarret.” If you’re interested, you can hear it here: https://youtu.be/hKXHaWVFKc0).
But, sadly, ’twas not to be. This was, remember, many years ago. Today, I might be able to pull it off. You know that I play with short, mostly essay-like or poem-like videos these days. I’ve even gotten some awards for them. (Check out my offerings on my Vimeo page, here: https://vimeo.com/mjt1957.) But, back then, there were no cellphones, and certainly not cellphones with video cameras built into them. And I didn’t have the ability to edit videos even if I’d taken them...iMovie, which is my go-to application for that sort of thing, didn’t exist until 1999. And as for the music ... today you can buy and download all sorts of licensable music. Or, even better, you can use programs like GarageBand to “perform” your own. But, again, that was years in the future.
So, my video didn’t get made. And probably never will -- for one thing, I no longer live anywhere near Rockport, and for another, there is the small issue of the fact that all my stars are now grown up adults. (David, my son, was 38 this year. In a word, whoa. How did that happen?)
Still, I now have grandchildren. And Jenny has children. And there is a Rockport, Texas...albeit one that doesn’t look much like its New England namesake. It’s a bit more tropical, you see, with sandy beaches rather than granite. But, still...the town’s there. And, if things go right, maybe I’ll find some Texas band that does country and western in Gaelic...
Okay, that last might be a) unlikely, and b) kinda awful ...What is “Stand By Your Man” in Gaelic? Something like “Seas le d'fhear?” Eww. Ick...but, still. Hope springs eternal. Common sense is a little rarer, but hope is in plentiful supply.
But, anyway, that’s one of my memories of Christmas shopping in Rockport. However, I realize I’ve drifted away a bit from my story...from, that is, our trip to Rockport this last summer. Basically, though, we were once again returning to a place we remembered with affection--a town we visited often, and where we’d gone for meals and adventures, and where I’d taken my parents (once) in the middle of winter.
I must confess, as we drove into town, and we found a place to park down near the harbor, I worried we would have a re-play of Amherst -- too much heat, too little that was familiar, much that had vanished with Covid and time...
But...I was wrong.
This time...this time!...we would get lucky. Because, you see, of a bear.
And a neck.
More to come.
My second image today is an experiment. I took one of my photos of Rockport and fed it into the Stable Diffusion program. Then, I ran it with the prompt “watercolor painting of New England seaside town. pastel colors. blue sky.” The image is what came out. Not a masterpiece, but I thought it didn’t turn out badly given the limitations of the program.
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I provide these blog postings for free. That’s fine and I’m happy to do so. But, long ago and far away, I was told that if you give away your material, that means you don’t really think it has any value.
So, to get beyond that, I’ve decided to make it possible for you to leave me a “tip” for my posts.
If you like what I write or the videos I produce, and feel you could make a small contribution to support my efforts, please go here:
That will take you to a Gumroad page where you’ll have the option of leaving me a few pence by way of encouragement.
Again, I don’t mind if you don’t. I just want to provide you with the option so that I won’t feel quite so much like I’m just tossing my works into the wind.
Either way, thanks hugely for dropping by the blog :-)
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