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.


No comments: