Ohio Day 2 – A pirate at the gate

Sunday was day two if the Ohio Renaissance faire pirate invasion weekend. Chris and I arrived about 30 minutes before the gates opened and so spent some time out front taking pictures and interacting with some of the cast. Saturday pre-gate interaction seemed almost non existant, there were the Toga guys who seemed to just do a lot of yelling at people or talking about modern things like cars, seatbelts, and YouTube. There was a talented young man who was checking for weapons, who seemed very capable of handling the crowd in a constructive manner. Sunday the rest of the cast seemed to have woken up or something as there was a lot more pre-gate activity. It started with a man who activly engaged the audience in cheering and shouting. I had to laugh as his first attept to have the crowd shout for a young child to make her feel special resulted in a lack luster response from all but three people. Chris, David, and I, all three capable of a decent outside voice, overpowered the entire rest of the audience in our response. It shocked the performer. “you sir”, pointing at me, “Are worth half an audience alone!” I laughed…
I also met with one of their more talented noble women, who was worried for the safety of all of her jewlery what with all the pirates about. She had decided to blend in by dressing the part. Her take on this was to add a skull and crossbones bandanna under her hat. She played it up rather well, certain that pirates everywhere would now pay no attention to her in her “disguise”. I couldn’t resist giving her a mini message in a bottle, explaining she needed to know the proper method of sending forth messages to pirates which would certainly help convincing any pirate she encountered. She seemed genuinly thrilled that a patron was playing along with her bit.
After the gates opened we stepped inside and stopped to listen to the muscians. While there I became aware of a large family standing to one side ignored. I couldn’t resist… I ambled over and greeted them as if I were cast… I noticed the youngest boy was very timid and scared. I motioned for him to come closer and got down on my knees. The father figure in the group eventually was able to bring the boy closer with the help of the boy’s brother and sister. The father explained the boy was scared of pirates, a rather obvious statement. I then set upon working my magic. I started off by reassuring the lad that there was absolutly nothing to fear from any of us. I then asked each child their name starting with the young boy, who had now relaxed a bit. He muttered something unintelligible. The father encouraged him, “Go ahead Malichi”. The boy then repeated his name a bit louder but still unintelligable. Not wanting to embarrass him I used what I overheard from his father and greeted him in person. I then progressed down the line getting each childs name. At that point I rummaged in my treasure chest retrieved 2 bottles and a dragon tear. I presented the boys each with their own bottle, Malachi’s eyes lit up. I then, with a bit of dramatic flourish presented the girl with the dragon tear. She too lit up with delight. I then progressed into the story of how the magical stones work. At the end of the story I added that I suspect that the bottles, being good at holding things, might just bottle up happy memories too. The boys both looked excited. At that we all began to pose for pictures. I leaned over to Malachi and asked if he would like to hold the treasure chest. He nodded vigerously.
After taking a handful of pictures I proceeded over to the woman in the group who was wheelchair bound and who had been quietly observing the intteraction with a smile. “My dear lady I would be horribly remiss if I were to allow you to leave my company without a treasure of your own.” I reached in the chest blindy and let it work it’s magic, my fingers latched onto a brilliant blue stone which I presented to her. I asked if she heard my story earlier to which she replied “oh yes!” she then thanked me greatly. “my lady, would you care for a portrait of your own?” “oh! yes please!”
I then positioned myself behind her chair, extended both oars, placed my head near hers and began to row. The family burst into laughter and got their photo. I then excused myself, said good bye to Malachi and started to leave. The father approached me, thanked me and commented that little Malachi was afraid the pirates would eat him. I stepped back agast and then reassured him he had nothing to fear, as pirates certainly would not eat little boys. At that I left them to rejoin Chris and David who both complimented me.

More later…


3 thoughts on “Ohio Day 2 – A pirate at the gate

  1. What a heart-warming story! John you may talk like a pirate, walk like a pirate, and dress like a pirate, but you most certainly are an ANGEL~!

    I so much enjoy hearing of all your interactions. It’s nice you reassure the youngsters that Pirates don’t necessarily have to be feared, and that some are even kind enough to share their (invisible) boat. 🙂

    While I’m not able to actually watch you play, you write so descriptively that it seems like I’m watching the action right in front of me. (guess it helps that I’m a *visual* person)

    If I were one to put bumper stickers on my car, I’d choose this one:
    I may Grow Old – But I’ll never Grow Up.

    Heres’ my version of that:
    Those who continue to play — will never grow old.

    So raise your mug
    Here’s to Playing
    Here’s to Staying
    Forever YOUNG

  2. OK.. if you insist.

    But – a very *compassionate* & *talented* man still.
    And your stories show that from the smiles & reactions you get, you certainly are appreciated. You my friend, are providing a valuable service.

    Your humility is refreshing, however….. I think you are short changing yourself. There is nothing wrong with having some pride in your abilities. You were given them as a gift, and you are sharing that gift with others. In my mind… that is to be commended, and I applaud you.

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