Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tired Puppy

It could be the time change to Daylight Savings Time over the weekend, the 13 hours spent driving to and from New York City, or the lack of quality sleep due to my stay in a hotel, but regardless, I'm one tired puppy. I really think having spent 10 hours with friends from 30 years ago and having to tap into long-abandoned memory centers in my brain is the real cause for the delirium.

It's been four days since I have returned from our wonderful Treaty Stone Reunion Folk Festival at St. Francis College in beautiful downtown Brooklyn, and my head is still spinning. I have provided pictures, but little commentary, on the TS-SFC blog, but in some ways I don't think words can capture the experience. Clearly the photos have not; you should have been there!

For those who wonder, Treaty Stone was a loosely formed group of "hippie types" who attended SFC from about 1969 - 1977. The group, officially a "club" under the Student Affairs rubric had as its primary purpose the pursuit of happiness, art and camaraderie. I just made all that up, but I would expect that if you could find written documentation of the group's existence in the annals of SFC lore, you would find something pretty close to this description.

Treaty Stone was the brain child of founder and leader Dominick Delsante who was a man wise beyond his years and equally mysterious. A true free spirit, Dominick organized this merry band of "long-haired, hippie freaks" as part of the anti-war movement of the time, but our primary activity was the folk festivals that we held 2-4 times per year.

I joined the group in 1971 and probably played in my first folk fest in early 1972. I had only been playing guitar for a few years at that point and had tried to master a singing and performing style based upon my idol Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fame. But my repertoire of songs were not limited to CSNY and over the years I managed to get a little better with each folk fest. Well, at least I thought so.

The folk fests were always held in the study hall outside of Founders Hall and were low maintenance affairs which included tables with candles, simple junk food and a BYOB policy. We spent more time with making arrangements for sound equipment than anything else and we only charged students a few bucks to get in. The folk fest were always on a Friday night and would run until around midnight. Most of them, for obvious reasons, are a blur. You can see images from the SFC year book on the TS blog.

After Dominick and I graduated around 1975 the remaining members kept the TS tradition alive for a few more years until interests changed, the Vietnam war was over, Nixon was gone and disco had invaded.

We held a couple more folk fests in 1986-7. The one in '86 was successful with a nice turn out, but I recall the attendance was lacking in 1987 and we put the idea back on the back burner.

John Kiely who, like me, was one of the later members has been instrumental in making all of the arrangements for each of the reunion events. This one was a big success with probably close to 200 people in attendance. Bill Boyle and Brian Dennigan should also get lots of credit for making this year's event a success. Bill and his family provided the sound system and served as The Lord of Illumination. In addition to Bill, John K, Brian and myself, other performers included Pistol Pete Mancuso and his son, Emil Baccash and Ellen Tucker.

When my head stops spinning, I'll write more.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

New York, New York

I'm in The Apple today in preparation for our Treaty Stone Alumni Reunion Folk Festival at St. Francis College. The TS Folk Fests were where I first learned to play guitar and perform in front of an audience. I got involved with this group of "hippie types" at the otherwise conservative Catholic college in beautiful downtown Brooklyn while a student there from 1971-1975.

It's always a driving challenge to come to the City. I remind my Maine neighbors that just in my drive through The Bronx I will see more cars and more people than I will see in a year in Maine.

It's a busy place.

The surprise news is that they are building a new stadium for the New York Mets. Located in the parking lot adjacent to Shea Stadium, the new digs, to be called Citi Field, are well on their way to completion for opening day 2008. Check out the webcam for the play by play

George Steinbrenner and those people from The Bronx are not to be left in the lurch. The New Yankee Stadium is being built next to the old.

And there is the news about the NJ Nets moving back to The City and becoming residents of a new stadium being build in beautiful downtown Brooklyn. Of course not without major controversy.

So, I am staying at a motel with a lovely view of Astoria, La Guardia Airport and a corner of Riker's Island.

See you later.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Wa Happened???

I know, I know...the website is gone.

We'll the truth is I damaged it beyond repair when I was updating some files to the DNN application and I could not get it fixed. So, I had to delete the database and now it's toast.

Rather than trying to repair/rebuild using DNN, I am moving the site over to a new host and will be using either Joomla! or Drupal to run the site. I'm fairly convinced that the LAMP environment is better suited for web apps. I've had just too many headaches with the .NET experience.

So, you can take a look over at to the new host. It's all still experimental.