Sidebar Header Graphic


Haunted House Art HEDZ Horror Props Costumes

PSJ Title Main

Chapter Selection Menu:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   E       Next>>

Pirate Fest, June 2012 - Put-in-Bay, OH

Introduction Herein lies the journal of the the Mercury surgeon Mission's adventures in the city of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island in Ohio for the 2012 Pirate Fest. Including the incredible account of the crew's nights on the town; Several of the displays the pirates set up to amuse the tourists; What happens when pirates have dinner out; Encounters with roving groups of Three Olive girls, The pirate's successful conquest of various 'costume' contests; A battle a day, which kept the doctor away (because he was busy fighting in the battle); Various animal accounts - a concept that may make more sense when you see it in print - I hope - and other, various sundries for your entertainment.

Mission earns his cape
Photo: Mission's Camera
The Dread Surgeon Mission earns his cape
Chapter 1st: Of the surgeon's delayed arrival; How the advance party crossed the water and took the town by storm so they could have lunch; Setup of the pirate's camp; A sea battle; An Asian girl band and The pirate's revenge gig in the park.

I began my trip to Put-in-Bay a bit late, figuring there would be no problem because I lived so close and I knew the route. Just in case I forgot the route, I even printed out a map. Ha ha. Naturally, your ship's surgeon lost his way even with the map! I have no idea where MapQuest thought we were going, but it took my off the wrong exit. Then I missed a turn I had never had to take before that would have presumably gotten me going the right way - the same way I would have gone had I followed the Mission Dead Reckoning™ system instead of MapQuest.

I eventually realized something was wrong because as I was driving along I started realizing that I didn't recognize anything along the way. Having made this trip in 2010 and 2011, I thought I should at least have remembered a drawbridge! (Below left.) So I tossed the map aside and fell back on the Mission Dead Reckoning™ method which has only failed me frequently. Fortunately, this was not one of those times and I arrived shortly after Michael Bagley, my travelling partner.

Michael arranged our ferry passage and, other than the fact that we missed the next ferry despite being in line well in advance of it leaving, we boarded without incident. Michael had dressed in garb for the trip, so he naturally had to pose for a photo from a young fan of pirates while aboard the ferry. (You will notice Lob also wound up in that photo below center. This is because he kept whining during the ferry ride.)

I had though of a really funny joke name for the ferry which I was going to stick in the Journal here, but I forgot what it was. Oh well. It would have been really great if I remembered it. So long as it wasn't the Estonia, I was happy. (Sorry, that's all I could come up with. The other joke was much funnier. Trust me.) When we pulled off the ferry and into our campsite, we found none other than Matt Vincent aka. Mel Gibson, he of the 2010 P-i-B Surgeon's Journal fame. Matt was now new and improved with added girlfriend Tammi, about whom I have a really amusing story to tell. Except I'm not going to tell it now because Michael and I were really hungry.

The drawbridge
Photo: Mission
Drawbridge? I don't remember a drawbridge!
Michael and kid on ferry
Photo: Mission
Michael, Lob and some kid
Tammi brading Mike's hair
Photo: Mission
Tammi braiding Matt's hair

Those of you who read last year's journal will recall that Michael and I arrived first then and had headed for the Boardwalk because they had all these road signs boasting about their lobster bisque being the best on the island. Michael proposed we do that again, so we did that again - once again ordering the bisque in a bread bowl. Curiously, the lobster bisque had actually improved quite a bit IMO. Either that or we were just really hungry (neither of us had eaten and we had missed that ferry after all. Perhaps the ferry company is in cahoots with the Boardwalk.)

Bryan Brubaker, pirate
Photo: Sos Boss
While there, Michael called Bryan Brubaker so that he could join us for lunch. Now, I should begin by explaining that Bryan was originally supposed to come over to the island with us, which would have meant his passage would have been paid for by the event organizers. He could not wait, however, and paid his own way across to get there early. I don't know what it actually costs to bring a car over, although Michael had told me that event organizer Ty Winchester and the business association on the island give us several hundred dollars in ferry passes just to get the couple of vehicles we need over there, so it can't have been cheap.

I was all agog to hear what Bryan had done with his extra time on the island. Can you guess what it was? Anyone? Bueller? He went to the camp, found no one he knew there, wandered across the street, got a water and a local paper and then... took a nap. Uh huh. Brian's Big Adventure, folks! (It's a good thing he left early.)

Bryan also told us a story he had read in the local paper which was all about some Canadians who had been arrested for illegally fishing in the area. Canadian Geese at Put-in-Bay
Photo: Mission
Canadians illegally fishing
He thought this would be of interest to Michael (who is, in fact, Canadian). Michael pointed out a couple of Canadians in the harbor across from the Boardwalk that were probably illegally fishing, so I took a photo. I include that photo here not because this story is particularly funny (it's not), but because I took the photo and it's going to be in here, dammit! (Just humor me.)

While we were eating, an elderly couple asked Michael and me to pose for a photo with some pirate beads they had purchased for their 3 year old grandson who loved pirates. (I am sort of surprised that a 3 year old could understand the concept of pirates, but then I am surprised when I meet a 21 year old girl who looks like she's 15, so what do I know?) Those of you who follow the Mercury Michael & Mission with beads
Photo: Mission
Mission and Michael with the grandson's beads
surgeon's adventures will instantly recognize that this meant that a reciprocal photo was in the offing. (Get used to this - there were a lot of them this weekend. I finally got tired of taking them there were so many.)

Keeper of the Trays
Photo: Mission
The Keeper of the Trays
Having finished that as well as our soup, we prepared to leave. We wanted to bus our table, but saw no place to stack the trays. Fortunately Michael spotted a girl sitting at a table with a stack of them in front of her, so she became the Keeper of the Trays (at right.) Those of you with anthropological training will quickly discern that she is clearly the one in the relationship that cleans the bathroom and picks up the dirty clothes from the floor. This is why she is a good Keeper of the Trays.

The neon monkey
Photo: Mary Diamond
The neon monkey
Upon our leaving, I asked Michael to take me to the store where you buy rope sandals. I don't know that rope sandals are actually period correct for golden age pirates, but they look like they are and I knew this is where both Michael and Mark Gist got theirs.

Mission's Rope Sandals
Photo: Mission
Mission's shiny new rope sandals

Now I naturally assumed that we would be going to some sort of swank, yet touristy foot ware store in Put-in-Bay, a place with premium footware that carried such hip products as natural hemp sandals. However, the seller of rope sandals turned out to be a rather junky little shoppe (they no doubt had an extra 'pe' in their name) which was nestled inside the Beer Barrel Saloon! (Readers of previous P-i-B journals will remember this as the bar with the neon monkey on one of the neon palm trees in front of it. Alas, the neon monkey was nowhere to be seen this year.)

They also had cloth Jack Sparrow hats and boot covers that go over your shoes to make you like you have period inaccurate bucket boots on. Klassy. However, I was asked at least five different times about the sandals, so at $25 it was a steal.

Talking with Mike and Tammi
Photo: Mission
Bryan, Matt, Tammi & Michael
Strolling through the town in my swank new sandals, who should we spot but event organizer Ty Winchester and Put-in-Bay local Richard! Michael had much to discuss with them. As I approached, I reminded him to ask about the golf cart so we could gets some water for the site.

Since this happened to happen right in front of my hotel, I decided to go check in, if only so I could use the rest room. When I came back out, Ty was gone, having been pulled in a new direction (he gets pulled in so many during this event) and replaced by Matt Michael shows Bryan how to set up his tent
Photo: Mission
The first wave setting up
and Tammi, now dressed as pirates. They soon left and we went back to the camp site to set-up.

Bryan had just gotten a new tent and Michael decided to show him how to set it up one-man style. (Bryan being one man.) While that was going on, I unloaded Michael's van and did less strenuous things like set up tables and chairs. (You will notice what takes center focus in the photo at right.) The two-man one-man tent tutorial didn't really require a third man, so I announced that I was going to wheel Phydeux, my rolly-luggage bag, into town and deposit him in my room. I also promised to get in touch with Ty about the golf cart which Michael had forgotten to ask him about, but I never saw Ty during that trip.

When I returned, the second wave of pirates had arrived and all hell had broken loose as far as set-up went. Everyone was busily unpacking Mark Gist's boat, the Firefly, and setting up their sites. Organized chaos reigned.

Second wave loads the Firefly
Photo: Michael Colosimo
The second wave of pirate arrivals haphazardly load the Firefly
Second wave setting up
Photo: Mission
The second wave setting up

We were scheduled to be in a battle during the afternoon, and that meant putting the Green Black Sheep and Firefly into the water. Cannon-maker Bob Gillmor had his cannon barge with him again this year and we were going to skirmish with it. (Bob had 6 cannons on his barge this year. We were clearly going to lose.) So Michael grabbed a few people from the group who were setting up, loaded them into the Green Black Sheep and drove down to the loading ramp. There, Michael received conflicting driving instructions from 300 people on how to put the boat trailer into the water. I believe some folks coming in on the Jet Express Ferry, whose gate was right next to the boat ramp, actually stopped to shout directions to Michael as he tried to navigate the boat ramp. We finally got the boat into the water, loaded her up and got away from the ramp so the Firefly could load.

Loading the Sheep 1
Photo: Mission
Getting ready to load the Sheep
loading the sheep 2
Photo: Mission
That's Michael directing in back & Dan in front
Jim and Michael holding the Sheep
Photo: Mission
Michael & Jim walk their pet

Cannon Barge firing from a distance
Photo: Mission
The Cannon Barge firing upon us from far away
We we watched from the little bay as they put the Firefly in the water loaded with pirates. Mark Gist was driving and he did it in what I have since decided was the smart way - he didn't ask anyone to direct him. He made them stay in the boat. About this time, we started hearing cannon fire from the other side of Put-in-Bay. Clearly the 6 gun Cannon Barge had started firing!

The Firefly was still over near the dock. I remember commenting on how low she seemed to be and the consensus was that she just naturally rode lower than the Green Black Sheep. Soon she crept over to one of the docks, where we could see some sort of activity going on. Clearly she had taken a hit from the Cannon Barge! Some helpful folks in the boats over at the dock lent the Firefly crew a pump, but it was no good. You just can't bail out a boat that has a cannon-ball hole in her! So we were going to have to fight the 6 cannoned barge ourselves.

Loading the Firefly while loaded
Photo: Mission
Loading a loaded Firefly!
Shannon considers Firefly seaworthiness
Photo: Jim Shipley
Shannon examines seaworthiness
Firefly being bailed
Photo: Mission
Firefly sinking and being bailed

The dock people watch
Photo: Mission
Our audience: The dock people
We got underway and headed out to the open bay where we could actually see our targets instead of just hearing them. Our audience was lining the docks that extended out into the bay. As we scudded past them, quick-thinking captain Michael Bagley yelled out to them. "Could someone go back to the sinking pirate ship and get tell the pirates that we have room for them in our boat!" He wanted to load the Green Black Sheep to capacity so we would have lots of guns when we went after the Cannon Barge.

Nothing seemed to be happening, so, for the nonce, we kept on going out into the water where we spied our targets. Everyone else! Michael gave the signal to fire, so I fired. The deck gun gave a loud report. With that signal, the powered boats headed over to see what was going on and the fight was joined! The Cannon Barge may have six cannons, but we had several would-be sharpshooters with muskets and rifles. Dan Curtis, who is forever spouting facts, explained what kinds of muskets everyone had. That information would probably be interesting for me to cite here, but I have no head for such things. I can't remember what my gun in the ship is called half the time; I actually have to go to previous Surgeon's Journals to look it up. Suffice it to say, they were the kinds of guns sharpshooters would have had during the 18th century.

Black Sheep at sea
Photo: Marci Kroska
The Green Black Sheep at sea
Aiming the Deck Gun at Pirate Boats
Photo: Mission
Aiming the deck gun at the Mosquito
Aiming deck gun at Cannon Barge
Photo: Mission
Aiming at the Cannon Barge

A full boat
Photo: Mission
A completely filled boat
The call for extra pirates either got through to the crew of the Firefly or they just got tired of having wet feet and bailing out the boat and showed up at the end of the dock. This was a good thing since we were badly outgunned. Plus it was sort of slow when Mark Gist, Ed Rembert and Shannon Gallatin arrived because the Cannon Barge had gone into one of the little inland bays where they could make more noise with their cannons. We picked up the pirates on the dock which made the crowd happy because they felt they were sort of involved in helping the pirates aboard.

The Cannon Barge, Mosquito and other enemy boats reappeared from the small bay and we were there to greet them with a volley of shot. I wasn't ready for the volley, so I just fired later at the police boat that had been trying repeatedly to keep the normal boaters out of our line of fire. (Not to get off topic here, but who intentionally brings their boat in front of people firing guns at each other. Were these people in a hurry to get to shore so they could catch the Clue Bus or what?) We eventually ran out of powder and pulled back for the loading ramp. I had fired 10 shots, a new personal record, I think. Not one misfire amongst 'em

Firing a volley
Photo: Marci Kroska
The crew fire a volley of guns
The police boat
Photo: Mission
Notice the police woman's hands
Rowers rowing
Photo: Michael Colosimo's camera
Ed, Shannon and Michael row your boat

We got back to the dock at the loading ramp and tied up. Then we were all kind of stood around. "I want some ice cream." I told Michael Bagley. There's nothing like a good black powder weapon fight to make you crave something cold and sweet. "That sounds good!" Michael enthused. I suggested we head on over to Dairy Queen conveniently located on the other side of the Jet Express gate. Unfortunately the DQ was closed, so we were stymied.

As we were standing there looking puzzled a stretch golf cart pulled out of DQ lot and stopped with a female squeal. "Stop the cart! Pirates!" A little blonde girl practically leapt out of her seat and begged for a photo. I explained the reciprocal photo rule and gave my camera to a guy wearing shocking blonde hair and bright red shorts.

Nylon Pink
Nylon Pink's Business Card.
It turned out that this girl was a member of an all Asian girl band called Nylon Pink who were leaving the island today. Peering into the golf cart, I saw several other girls. Apparently they were going for their last hurrah in the stretch golf cart. From their FaceBook page, I learned that "Nylon Pink is an edgy pop-rock band formed in Hollywood, CA. Described as 'Hello Kitty on Acid'. Nylon Pink is pushing the boundaries of music, fashion and sexuality. Their EP evokes the sounds and images of Katy Perry crossed with Shiny Toy Guns with a Harajuku edge." Huh. The girl, who I believe is named Kiki Wongo, gave us their business card which contained a picture of all five of them naked. Well, partially naked.

See, this is exactly the sort of thing that happens to you while dressed like a pirate in Put-in-Bay. You're walking along the street, thinking idle thoughts about ice cream and suddenly there are girls flinging themselves at you begging for a photo while handing out naked photos of themselves. I'm not saying this exact thing happens over and over (How many photos of naked girl bands does one need after all? Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question.) It's just the sort of thing that seems to occur here. This is why it is one of my favorite events; with stuff like that happening regularly, the Surgeon's Journal practically writes itself. (OK, that's a lie. Each page still takes hours to write. But you get the gist of my point here.)

Pat and Katelyn's Pirate Scooter at the Ice Cream Shop
Photo: Mission
Patterson and Katelyn's Pirate Scooter at DJs Ice Cream place
Before I leave the topic of Nylon Pink, I would like to explain the last two photos down below. Center right is a shot of our photographer, whom I snapped because he was interesting looking. I assumed he was someone's boyfriend or something. In fact, I might tend to go with 'or something' because while he had my camera, he took several photos and two movies of his crotch.

I must confess, I have not watched the movies to see what they reveal because, quite frankly, I'm afraid to see what they reveal. However, I am posting one of the photos he took for the ladies (or whomever) to enjoy. I'm guessing that's what he was angling for here. (See, this stuff writes itself!) All I can say is that if he was one of the band member's boyfriends, I have no doubt that theirs is a relationship based on mutual trust, true love and undying affection for each other.

With that bit of excitement finished, Michael suggested we go to DJ's ice cream shop. (Remember? We were looking for ice cream, not blonde Asian girl band members or their boyfriends.) I got a peach and pineapple ice cream. It was very good.

Kiki Wongo recip photo
Photo: Mission's Camera
Kiki Wongo in a recip photo
A Nylon Pink Boy Friend
Photo: Mission
Someone's Boyfriend?
A classy shot
Photo: Mission
A classy shot of Someone's Boyfriend?'s Crotch

Michael suddenly realized that while we were enjoying our ice cream, the rest of the crew were standing around at the boat loading ramp waiting for a vehicle to appear with a trailer so they could load the boats. So he went off to do that. Knowing that there were plenty of people there to give him direction and a steady flow of extra folks willing to pitch in with their thoughts on how to load the boats coming off the Jet Express ferry, I told Michael I would go in search of Ty and try once again to get us a golf cart.

Gathering at the Round House
Photo: Mission
Richard, Thomas & Ed waiting
I found Ty and asked about the golf cart. He said he would check on it later, but it was almost time for the opening ceremony. "What opening ceremony?" I asked idly. Ty was flabbergasted that I didn't know about this. "We need the pirates at the opening ceremony! It's in fifteen minutes" Oh, ah. I told him I could walk back to camp and get everyone, but it would be faster with a golf cart. (I am nothing if not dogged when it comes to the matter of obtaining golf carts on Put-in-Bay.) He said there wasn't time for that, but his mother would drive me over there. So she did. She told me several things about Ty that I can't repeat here due to writer/client privilege. Suffice it to say that no one has quite the same view of us as our mothers.

At the site, the boats were back and people were running around setting up the camp again. I explained the need for pirates and recruited Ed Rembert and Thomas Alleman to head back to the opening ceremony. We met up with Richard at the Roundhouse bar and stood around awaiting further instruction.

Eventually Ty showed up across the way from the Roundhouse and took the stage. Realizing that this must be our cue, we ambled across the street.

Ty announcing
Photo: Marci Kroska
Ty announcing the ban on pirate in Put-in-Bay
The general sketch was the Ty was going to announce that the island was closed to all pirates and any pirates found on the island would be arrested and thrown in gaol. ('Gaol' is how they spell 'jail' Captain Charles Johnson's contemporary book on golden age pirates. Fortunately Ty pronounced it as 'jail' and not 'gaol' so people wouldn't get confused, but we pirates knew what he meant.) As he was doing this, he also raised the American flag on the little flag pole located at the corner of the stage.

Those of us in pirate garb then gathered around slowly. After that I didn't really know what we were supposed to do. I had the idea we were supposed to get upset, but if you looked really hard for a group of pirate reenactors that were generally quiet and determined to stay in the background, you couldn't have found a more likely group than Richard, Ed, Thomas and I. What was really needed here was M.A. d'Dogge and Lisa Dousharm.

So the four of us kind of stood there mumbling dissent to Ty's announcement. Fortunately, one of the locals had corralled a group of kids who were full of ginger and were more than happy to rush and take the stage. Why they cared about pirates not being allowed on the island this weekend is a question for the ages. They probably liked the fact that they could run around and force someone in authority to go away, so they did it quite well.

The pirates gather to listen
Photo: Marci Kroska
The pirates gather to listen to the announcement
The proxies rush the stage
Photo: Marci Kroska
Pirate proxies rush the stage
Kids on stage
Photo: Mission
Kids watch as Jim raises the pirate flag

Pirates posing for photo
Photo: Mission
After that, Ty ran away being chased by the pirates... er... being chased by Richard the pirate. The rest of us kind of stood around uselessly, chatting about this and that. (Had this whole skit depended on us, we would all have been in gaol by the end of it.)

Ed Rembert helped to properly fold the US flag that had been taken down when the kids took the stage. It was actually a nice little skit, even if our group wasn't the most animated bunch of scalawags ever to grace Put-in-Bay.

It must have been considered a success by the crowd, because they asked several people to post for victory photos. At left you find one such shot of a crew of them. I don't know everyone in this photo, but from left are Tammi, Richard, two women I don't know, I believe this is singer Richard Brentar whom I met this weekend, don't know and Matt Vincent. A fine, if not a boisterous, crew of pirates indeed!

Ty runs away from pirates
Photo: Michael Colosimo
Ty runs away from the fierce pirate Richard, his only pursuer.
Ed folds the flag
Photo: Mission
Ed helps fold the flag properly.

Chapter Selection Menu:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   E       Next>>