Monday, August 2, 2010
The First Longbranch Improvement Club Annual Croquet Tournament: Benefitting The Mustard Seed Project
Creativity is in full bloom out here on the Key this Summer...so much so, it's been hard to keep up, and I want to tell you about it all! This particular event was so spectacular it took the help of my distant cousin, infamous gonzo journalist Les Izmore, to cover the three-ring circus that turned an entire community into smiling children. Les of course, was after the dirty underbelly of a story. He quoted an anonymous source who said, "There's not only bribery in the judging, but downright ineptness. While bribery could be accepted, ineptness goes beyond the pale!"
The July 18th. First Annual Longbranch Improvement Club Croquet Tournament was held down at the Longbranch Improvement Club, to benefit "The Mustard Seed Project" headed by Edie Morgan. The MSP is about "Building an Elder-Friendly Key Peninsula," which certainly means a lot to those of us who are aging (as gracefully as we can!) out here and want to remain on this beautiful rural peninsula, in our homes and independent as long as possible. Edie, who was so pleasantly amazed at the turnout and creativity of everyone, said it best when she described the day, "...as if we lived in the television show, Northern Exposure!"
There were over thirty teams who showed up to do their very unlevel best, in as many costumes as could be thought up by such an imaginative community. There were trophies and prizes, worthy of quirky folk doing good deeds. Best Team name went to "Team Kick Arse" and "Most Enthusiastic" went to Claudia Loy. Computer Lady won "Best Footwear" and Norm Brones won "Best Facial Decoration." Judges were, as said, open to bribery (to reflect the times) and all monies managed to make it into our Mustard Seed Project. Les will give me the final tally just as soon as he finds out.
Everywhere you looked was a surreal and beautiful picture, from protons dancing to "Hip Peas for Whirled Peas" wearing flowers in their hats and hair, rainbow socks and shoes. Tweed Meyer set herself up in the shade of a tree and began to document her community, as she has always done. Irene Torres and I wondered how on earth she would manage to put all of this in...and of course she managed! She also has, very kindly, allowed me to share them with you here.
The tournament was graciously sponsored by The Angel Guild, St. Anthony Hospital, Peninsula Light and many local businesses. My local favourite diner, The Homeport, sold box sandwich lunches. Our thanks to the Longbranch Improvement Club, and everyone who put so much time and effort into making this the day that it was. Oh yes, and the winning team of the day was (drumroll please) The Rhythm 'n' Shoes Cloggers...alright! Stories are still being shared in the Ladies Locker Room of the pool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and I'm still laughing.
We are a funky, eclectic group of folk down here...and we allow ourselves and each other to be. We can have differing opinions about many things but stand strongly together for everyone's rights, for respect and kindness between neighbours. Like a certain fictitious Alaska town (that really was in Washington anyway!) we embrace our character and build our collective culture. Back in New York, I dreamed of living in a community like Cicely and now, here we are.