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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Friday, November 11, 2011

Death of A Clock

It was the heartbeat of the house.
Situated at the opposite end from the master bedroom,
Atop the mantel over the living room fireplace,
Its loud clang could be heard in the wee hours.

Sometime in the late sixties,
The clock was purchased
From an antique store in Scarscale
As a Christmas present for the lady of the house.

The model is an Ansonia Parisian
From the late nineteenth century
With an etched glass front and
Carved wood head and lyres.

After extensive revision, cleaning,
And the purchase of a matching finial,
The clock took its place as a fixture
Of the decorating scheme of the establishment.

It never did keep exact time, even though
The counterweight could be adjusted
By screwing a nut up and down
To change the speed of the pendulum.

The clock survived the move to Cape Cod
But required periodic visits to the Clock Shop.
Scheduled windings of the gears
Took place on Saturday mornings.

Changes in the local times
And power outages were troublesome
As the hands had to move manually
To synchronize the time and chimes.

Alas, the clock's noises are no longer welcome
And it had to be retired from active duty.
Now it sits in a corner on a lady's desk
As a simple feature of the antique decor.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cape Cod Culture

Summer visitors often ask:
"What do you do here in the winter?
It must be cold and deserted
With nothing to do.

Nothing could be further from reality.
After the tourists go home,
Cape Cod becomes alive with
Activities and cultural events.

This past weekend saw an
Explosion of performances
That rivaled our wild weekends
At various venues in Manhattan.

On Saturday, the Metropolitan Opera
Broadcast "Siegfried" in HD transmission
To our local art movie houses.
That was six plus hours in the seats.

Now admittedly that's not quite the same
As being in the opera house,
But the shots of the Met always show
Where we have sat in recent visits.

Watching the HD telecasts are
A whole different experience.
The closeups bring out the splendid
Acting by contemporary opera stars.

Siegfried featured the last minute
Substitution of the lead by a bit player
Who was called into action with
Only a week of rehearsal.

Thus Jay Hunter Morris, a genial
Blond Texas hunk became an instant hit
As one of the handful in the world who
Can sing Siegfried at all.

Our cultural marathon was followed
On Saturday evening with the Cape Rep's
Staging of "Avenue Q", the puppet musical,
To a full house of enthusiastic baby boomers.

On Sunday, our Episcopal Church service
Featured ten sung hymns and anthems.
The rector likes music, it seems,
So we stand and sing most of the liturgy.

Finally, the cultural explosion concluded
With the Cape Symphony's Mozart concert
Featuring a noted clarinetist performing
Mozart's exquisite concerto for the instrument.

This is not an unusual weekend on Cape Cod.
There are six theater groups in full season,
Four chorales, three chamber orchestras,
And numerous performing artists on stage.

Not to mention all the pubs and clubs
Who have night life of all persuasions.
Jazz, Irish, Country, and Rock are available
From P'town to Woods Hole, all along the Cape.