Friday, May 16, 2008


The official start of Public Consumption Season, Memorial Day, is just a week away, so I got a few lengths' head start by visiting some of the practice sessions scheduled for the usual suspects: ANNUAL MEETINGS and FUNDRAISERS!

  • The first was a freebie: Barney Frank came down to visit his moon-faced and starry-eyed partisan supporters who gathered about the bar three deep at the New Bedford Country Club to see and be seen as true "My Party Right or Wrong" guys. I've never seen so many lime-green-shirt/kelly-green-tie/grey wool blazer combos in one place. (But, I've never been to one of those Saint Paddy's Evacuation Day Brunches.) I did notice a definite increase in the magenta-shirt/scarlet-tie combo among the khaki suit crowd. A sure sign that the market is not what it used to be.
  • Barney delivered the obligatory address, praising the New Bedford groundfishery to the mostly Fall River crowd. Our boy on the Financial Services Committee seemed tired and a little disoriented. The crowd: A lot of nervous laughter and mouth-breathing. I spent most of my time at the sushi table. (Open bar. The nigiri-zushi, however, was worth the $250.)
  • The Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts is a meticulously-managed organization that takes your SouthCoast foundation's money and makes damn sure it gets invested, managed, and spent. On decent organizations like AHA! and S.E.E.A.L. and the Women's Fund. (What good is philanthropy if it just stays in the metal biscuit tin under the cast iron laundry sink at the Summer place? I knew you'd see it my way.)
  • For the "Dartmouth Pride" in me, I got to hear The Tallest Man in Non-Profits, John Beauregard, talk about the Dartmouth Education Fund at the Community Foundation meeting. Sure, it might seem odd to people (those who aren't surrounded by knuckle-dragging rubbish-yarded yokels) that "a permanent endowment for public education" would even be necessary, since a community is generally expected to adequately fund public education. Generally. They're having a Walk-a-Thon June 14 to raise money. (n.b.: Scallops wrapped in bacon, free wine, beer, soda. Cash for mixed drinks. NOT at the Walk-a-Thon, although I would take part in more of those events if they figured.)
  • I missed the W.H.A.L.E. Annual Meeting because of the above. But I hear it was a yawner because "Mr. W.H.A.L.E." Tony Souza (without whom New Bedford would just be a bunch of Dunkin' Donuts and off-price retail food outlets) was the main attraction at last night's Night at the WarmSupper Club to benefit the Dartmouth Heritage Preservation Trust. Florida looks great on The Souzas, Tony heading up the local Habitat for Humanity, and Elsie working to get a certain Boston rounders team to set up their Spring training in Sarasota.
  • Although it is possible that with 481 "directors," D.H.P.T. might have a challenge with some of what "heritage preservation" entails. I suggest a "White Trash Heritage" provision to their mission statement.
  • Our manse neighbors one such Hayseed Pride site which resembles Fred Sanford's place and has been "pointed out" to me by several townsfolk, who think I have some say in these neighborhood matters. I'm sure that the bathtub in the weeds will one day house a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi to keep watch over whatever vermin infest the rest of the junk historically-significant artifacts as they appear.
  • Take that, Sarasota!
  • Thursday night was sponsored in part by our neighbors at Cape Yachts, so that brings us right back to where we started:It may not be attached to the rudder, but what brightwork!
The Endless Summer of The Touring Tall Ship!
Your hostess Captain Rita has set a course for:
The Charleston SC Harbor Fest -- Corwith Cramer, Amistad, Schooner Virginia, and Spirit of South Carolina, and, of course, pirates. This weekend!

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