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Commodore's Corner - April 2009

Have lots coming up as the weather warms and the wind blows due to an awesome Wind Ceremony. Lessons will be starting up on May 23rd, but, of course, you already know that because you were at the last meeting. Oh, you couldn’t make it? Well WHY THE heck NOT!!!! Anyway, can’t have everyone there or else we wouldn’t have any one to talk about or assign to committees.

Another TOTALLY AWESOME Wind Ceremony has come and gone. The weather was beautiful and, due to the cosmic threads weaving together, the wind started picking up during the second set. A BIG thanks to Donna, the lady who puts the Vice in Commodore, and to her hubbie, Chris, who were busily registering everyone and ended up with only 1 (ONE for the numerically impaired) shirt left. My guess is she had it sold before the end of the night. Thanks to all those who helped with setting up the food and who brought food. I don’t know who you all were, but everything went smooth because of you. Also, thanks to Wright for setting up the lighting around the band area and all those who assisted him. Events like this which are not rigidly structured are what make this club great. Everyone is willing to help and things come together because of it.

Swami led the adoring masses in a Conga line during jump, the longest Conga line I have ever seen. The dang thing wrapped around the dance floor four times. All through the night Swami was blessing wind sticks. The wind sticks were wood paint stirrers that made writing your message on them mighty easy. Great idea.

Last, but definitely not least, is the food. OMG!!!! (For those messaging impaired, OMG means Holy Mackerel!) There was great and plentiful barbecue of all kinds with lots and lots and lots of side dishes and deserts. One cake was decorated the same as the Wind Ceremony shirts. This is the reason I’m in the band. I get to go to the front of the line!!! However, many folks did wait patiently in line for their food. I suppose an advantage to being last in line is you can load up; knowing someone else won’t get shorted. Great food.

If you weren’t there, it was definitely your loss. The crowd was huge, the fire burned very well, and everyone had a great time. Thank you to those who came out and to all who make this a truly fun time for everyone.

Commodore Bobby G

More from Fiesta Key

Chris and I were packing the last of the camping gear in the truck on Thursday morning when it was 18 degrees! I was never so glad to get in the truck and head south! We made a detour from our usual route down the turnpike and headed East on I-10 to Sandy Point to pick up a Kona One board that I rented for the week. If you haven’t been to Steve & Marty’s shop, it is well worth a trip. But be warned – if you need or want it they probably have it – would be real easy to leave a big hole in your wallet with all the windsurfing goodies you could purchase. After strapping the Kona on the windsurfing trailer we were on our way further south. We stayed with our niece (thanks Christine & Brian) Thursday night in Palm Bay then woke early and headed out. We pulled in to Fiesta Key around 10:00 a.m. or so Friday and got busy with campsite preparations. Oh, Don & Sharman we kept your spot warm for ya so it’s ready for you next year!

The winds from Friday through Wednesday were anywhere from 10 – 20+ knots – Awesome! The end of the week brought less wind but the longboarders had a great time of it, at least as long as our bodies would let us. The hot tubs came in very handy for soaking those aching muscles. Yes, hot tubs – they have 2 of them and a pool. Which, by the way Lizzie, was COLD that night. There was a sign posted on the fence surrounding the hot tubs that said maximum occupancy 5 per tub. Well, I think that the tub passed the SPSC test, we had 14 in one tub. The water level went down about a foot when we switched to the other tub – hope they have an auto fill mechanism.

Yes, the sailing was awesome as were the martini sunsets every evening, thanks to our “Master Mixologist” and all who contributed a 1.75!! Shopping excursions were plentiful with so many shops to choose from, where to go, where to go - North to Islamorada or South to Marathon, why not both, and we did.

Monday, February 9, was an eventful day & evening HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU HUZZIES! Thanks to the other Huzzies for making it a wonderful day. The balloons were just lovely - in the tent, in the bed, under the covers, everywhere – we thought we got them all that evening but more “popped” out the next morning!

Speaking of Huzzies . . . there was a Huzzie tent visitation late one evening. I think there were 3 or 4 of ‘em - they would just unzip and walk on in. I had just fallen off to sleep and was awakened by the unzipping of our tent flap followed by a Huzzie with a flashlight rummaging around saying something like, “Well what’s this?” and “ohhh, look at this”. I think I chased them out bellowing GET OUT, OUT, OUT OUT! I know they were just behaving as we Huzzies have been known to do. They were quietly moving about the tent city and welcoming us all to the wonderful Fiesta Key campground. Can you believe that we were told we would not be receiving a “Seal of Approval”? I guess there’s always next year.

Movie Night, yes there was a movie night. The “Taj” was packed with standing room only so it must have been good!! We even had a couple more participants than we did last year!

Key West on Thursday was a blast. This was my first time in Key West but it will not be my last. Louie’s, The Bull & Whistle, The Green Parrot, & Mallory Square. Louie’s was great, they call it “Dog Beach” because folks take their dogs down to the water and let them have a swim. They have awesome Pina Coladas too.

The Bull & Whistle - Thanks for the setup Wright!!! The Bull & Whistle is 3 bars in one, The Bull is the 1st level, the Whistle is the 2nd level and the Garden of Eden the 3rd and top level. I didn’t go to the 3rd level, but if you ask one of the guys they could give you a pretty good idea of what that bar was like.

Some friends showed up at The Bull & Whistle! Image that!

We were observed at The Green Parrot by web cam – thanks Jack! Mallory Square was great too. We didn’t get to see the sunset because the cruise ship was blocking it but the street performers were awesome.

If you haven’t made the trip to Fiesta Key, or just didn’t make it this year, plan on joining us next year. You will have a great time! It was great to hang out with our friends for a week on a campground in the Keys. Did I mention that the weather was perfect? The temperatures were around 65 at night – a few nights were cooler – and 77+ during the day. Not bad for February, nope, not bad at all!


Link to Donna/Chris' Photos

The Band - Wind Ceremony

We had our last practice at Don and Sharman’s place the Wednesday before our performance. As usual, the hospitality was wonderful, and the Chili they cooked up delectable. We went through the entire set. The biggest thing I think we got out of it was mastering the feedback we encountered. During the live performance, there was hardly any.

We also got a warm up by playing at the Warehouse!! Yes, the Warehouse on Gaines Street where all bands that are any good play. Yep, we’ve been there. Uh, uh. Thanks, Tigger!

Sadly, we were without a member of the band. Seems Adam managed to have a motor bike misshape and broke his leg the day of the wind ceremony. He shouldn’t have tried to load his amp, bass, trombone, and trumpet on the back of a motorcycle. Perry could have told him that wouldn’t work. Thankfully Adam let us know he was not able to make it early enough so that we could begin to improvise. Keyboards filled in on some bass parts on some songs and we went bass less, yes, bass less I say, on a couple others. We did have to drop one song, “Big Winds Gonna Blow and You Know it”, because Adam is the ONLY one who knows how to sing it and, if you’ve heard the words to REMs “It’s the End of the World”, which our song is based on, you understand

Though we were not perfect on all songs, like we are in practice, we managed to keep it together and get through the songs. However, I know I had a good time and everyone else in the band did as well.

A BIG shout out to SECURITY!!! They attempted to keep the young men off the Festivus pole and, for me personally, prevented my spandex from being pulled down around my ankles in the midst of a song. It might have thrown my keyboard playing off. It’s very unnerving when you hear the huzzies laughing behind you.

Tina and Sandy came out looking radiant in black; Pervy was dressed in his motorcycle leathers with nothing but boxers under the leather chaps. We were all happy Perry isn’t into thongs. I wore spandex britches whereupon someone commented after the ceremony “I hope I never see Spandex again”. I cried. From laughter. And Swami, as always, very majestic in his dress whites. Looking good and sounding good, that’s what Swami and the Festoons are all about.

Thanks to the band which consists of the Swami aka Chuck (vocals and the best cowbell player ever), Sandy (vocals and percussion), Tina (bass), Perry (vocals, keyboard), Richard (drums), Deb (congas), Don and Sharman (Djembe drums), Dave (guitar, vocals), Jack (guitar), Bradley (flute, harmonica, didgeridoo), Andrew (sax), Bob (keyboard, vocals), and Adam (bass, trombone, trumpet, cast).

Trailer Trash Part 2

A gang got together to work on the trailer this past Sunday, March 28th. After admiring the beautiful brown finish on the frame that Lee had done (seriously, it looked really good), we got ready to move the dual axles up. One thing I can say about the men in the SPSC, they have all the tools when this type of work comes around and know how to use them. We’re not talking just little tools; I’m talking big tools that really get the job done. The axle move went fairly well and is all in place, though I believe some welding will be done to further the attachment to the middle of the trailer.

Next came the laying of the wood. I have never seen guys take such care in this. Usually, they just slap the wood down and get done quickly, but not this bunch. The tenderness and caring in ensuring that everything was just right before the wood went down was amazing. And, though it took a while, it all worked out to everyone’s satisfaction. Bolts were put through the beams to attach them to the trailer’s metal frame. The tricky part was screwing the nuts onto these bolts as the area to work in was very tight under the trailer. However, when it came to screwing, once again, the SPSC guys and gals took their time and got it right.

We did not get around to laying the floor on the foundation and will have to schedule another work day for this, though that part should go pretty quick. Once that is complete, the trailer will be moved and the building will go up.

Thanks to Lee for having us all out to his place to get this done. Thanks also to Stan, Mark, Kathy, Wright, Perry, Andy, Ann, Guy, Linda, Rick, and Bob Andrews for spending their Sunday afternoon on this project. Again, everyone there was anxious to work which made getting stuff done that much quicker.

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