The Ides Of March

 

Last Light Seaside Oregon
Last Light
Seaside Oregon

It is March 2nd already, almost a month since my last blog. The pinnacle of my winter is past now, I’ve just returned from my annual pilgrimage to the Fisher Poet’s Gathering in Astoria Oregon. As usual the event was wonderful, reading and listening to the work of over ninety of us, an affirmation of our blue collar love of the sea, the environmental and political issues and the simple raw passion of being on and near the water. The drive down this year seemed long and tedious, with several detours on the roads and an expired passport, but it is all over now with more fond memories filed away.

The most westerly bicycle rack in the USA
The most westerly bicycle rack in the USA
The disciples Longbeach Washington
The disciples
Longbeach Washington
The Baptist
The Baptist

I’ve managed to bring home some insidious virus and I’m not feeling particularly energetic. I’m sitting here in my bunny slippers with a schnozzy nose and bleary eyes so this blog will not hold any creative considerations or polemic perspectives.

In my last blog, ‘The Cowboy Jihad’ was written only with available information, which I confessed at the time. There has since been a lot more digging on the subject among myself and my peers. While in Astoria I managed to share brunch with a lady who has an intimate knowledge of the Burns and Malheur Lake areas in Oregon. There is a very different slant to the story when taken from a local perspective. It seems that the radical ranchers who came from various other states to establish the standoff with the feds were not much welcomed by local folks. The community was/is harshly divided, schools were closed as the event heated up, the National Guard was on standby. Apparently the general local consensus was that folks just wanted these outsiders to go back to their home ranches, pay up their overdue taxes and range lease fees (The arrears total many millions) and let the residents of the epicentre get on with their disrupted lives. Many of the facts we received through the media are grossly slanted or blatant lies.

Old Blue Lips Some Astoria flavour
Old Blue Lips
Some Astoria flavour

I am a Canadian and a US insurrection is none of my business so long as I can cross through my neighbouring country without being shot or imprisoned without just cause. There are plenty of issues here at home to poke my beak into. My resolve is to maintain and inspire the value of a questioning mind and to

Downtown Train Avery old wooden railway caboose on mains street in Astoria
Downtown Train
A very old wooden railway caboose on mains street in Astoria
A restored tram car in Astoria
A restored tram car in Astoria
Astoria Dawn A view from my motel room
Astoria Dawn Rainstorm
A view from my motel room

be aware. For example, two days ago when boarding the ferry M.V. Coho for the crossing to Victoria, I reviewed the Canada Customs form I was handed. I noted that items like switchblade knives and bear spray are “prohibited.” Hand guns are “restricted.” What the hell?

All I want to do is go sailing. The muddy waters of our own greed, apathy and resulting misgovernment are leading us into our own figurative Ides. For me, it’s all reason enough to move along and just be, instead trying to make sense of things. If I can’t be part of the solution then I am part of the problem.

Ready to go Prawn traps in a back alley of Astoria
Ready to go
Prawn traps in a back alley of Astoria
The Liberty Theatre a lovingly restored relic of the 20s and 30s It is gorgeous inside
The Liberty Theatre
a lovingly restored relic of the 20s and 30s It is gorgeous inside
Rooked An amazing chess set in an art gallery window. The board is about five feet square
Rooked
An amazing chess set in an art gallery window. The board is about five feet square.
Another art gallery window. This metal sculpture is about four feet long. The tail, the jaws, the fins and the eyes move. They're cleverly recycled motorcycle lights
Another art gallery window. This metal sculpture is about four feet long. The tail, the jaws, the fins and the eyes move. They’re cleverly recycled motorcycle lights.
Yes Really! A car lot in Port Townsend The cars are all 60s vintage Morris Minors
Yes Really!
A car lot in Port Townsend. The cars are all 60s vintage Morris Minors
Look ma! No airbags, no seatbelts, no radial tires, Wot? No GPS!
Look ma!
No airbags, no seatbelts, no radial tires, Wot? No
GPS!
Real wood! A little English Oak
Real wood! A little English Oak.
An Oscar Meyer Weiner, the dirty old weiner flasher. Even I find this slightly vulgar. "Mommy, what's he squirting on his head?
An Oscar Meyer Weiner, the old flasher. Even I find this image slightly vulgar. “Mommy, what’s he squirting on his head? For some reason he lurks on the edge of the Morris Minor car lot.

 

Well it's not exactly the cover of the Rolling Stone but that's me, the Fisher Poet's poster boy. Reproduced with permission of the "Coast Weekend'
Well it’s not exactly the cover of the Rolling Stone but that’s me, the Fisher Poet’s poster boy.
Reproduced with permission of the “Coast Weekend’

 

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Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

George Orwell

Author: Fred Bailey

Fred is a slightly-past middle age sailor /, writer / photographer with plenty of eclectic hands-on skills and experiences. Some would describe him as the old hippy who doesn't know the war is over. He is certainly reluctant to grow up and readily admits to being the eternal dreamer. He has written several books including two novels, 'The Keeper' and 'Storm Ecstasy,' as well as 'The Water Rushing By', 'Sins Of The Fathers', 'The Magic Stick', as well as an extensive inventory of poetry, essays, short stories, anecdotes and photographs. His first passion is the ocean, sailboats, voyaging and all those people who are similarly drawn to the sea. He lived aboard and extensively cruised the BC Coast on 'Seafire' the boat he refitted to go voyaging, to explore new horizons both inner and outer. This blog was about that journey and the preparations for it. Circumstances prevailed which forced the sale of his beloved vessel. Now on a different tack, the voyage continues. If you follow this blog your interest may provide some of the energy that helps fuel the journey. Namaste Contact me at svpaxboat@gmail.com

8 thoughts on “The Ides Of March”

  1. Congratulations on your newfound fame! The smile on your face says it all – looks like the trip was well worth it. Sorry about the resulting virus, hope it goes away soon.

    I LOVE that bicycle on the beach photo, it’s gorgeous and very effective.

  2. Laurie:

    Thank you. The virus is insidious and won’t go away but I’ll survive.
    Hopefully I’ll be up and bounding about soon. For the moment I’m too weak to leave the house. Snot funny!

    Fred

    1. Justine:

      Well hello velo! So nice to meet you. Interestingly, in my blog I failed to mentioned the fat-tired bike I noticed in a shop in Astoria… perfectly suited to the design flaws of this Rubenesque old sea dog. The stunning thing was the price of $5500. US which translates to over $7500. CDN. Now that’s a lot of spokes to wobble off up the beach in quest of a beer! (Or is that a can of gluten?)
      I like your blog and will put up a link from mine.
      Happy pedalings

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