Crazy about the morris,

Being a personal log of my experiences in English morris dancing,

also including English longsword and rapper sword dancing,


(Swarthmore College)

Morris Men

Bouwerie Boys
Morris Dancers
(New York City)

Travelling Morrice

... and others,

in Penna., D.C., W.Va., N.Y., Mass., Conn., Vt., Calif., and divers places,
from 1997 to 2009,

as recalled by Will Quale

including contemporary accounts from journals as well as reflective reconstruction of events
with no embellishments whatsoever (well, almost none anyway)


I probably first saw folk dancing--of any sort--at the Grandfather Mountain Scottish Highland Games in North Carolina around age six, and for all I know I danced in some beginners or childrens dance at a Games or a Burns Night as a lad. But my family attended because we were Scottish, not out of any connection to or interest in dancing, and any such dancing I might have done as a boy did not lead to any ongoing activity. In my hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia, there was no Scottish folk dance (nor English for that matter), and no family or friends were so inclined or connected with such communities elsewhere. When I was about twelve my family traveled to Scotland where I saw a ceilidh and again may have participated in a group dance of some sort, but again this would have been a one-off experience if at all.

(All my youth and adolescence I was completely unaware of the Albemarle Morris Men, just seventy miles up U.S. highway 29 in Charlottesville, and completely unaware of the existence of English ritual dancing of any sort, for that matter.)

I started attending folk dance class at Swarthmore College in the spring of my freshman year, encouraged by my then-girlfriend Andrea Hall (who next appears in this history in 2009). I quickly took to Scottish and English country dancing, at the time the sole focus on campus, and became quite active in the area Scottish and English dance communities around Philadelphia by my sophomore year. But while there is a tremendous amount that could be written about my experienes with country dancing from 1996 to present, all such history will have to be recorded separately: what follows shall only concern English ritual dancing.

As the morris season corresponds roughly with the academic calendar, starting in September, so shall the years be recorded in this log, each year starting with the first practice of the fall and continuing through the ales, camps, and tours of the summer.

And thus we begin, late in the fall semester of my junior year at Swarthmore College, at a community Scottish dance, where I was introduced to English longsword...


English longsword dancing in the Philadelphia Revels (1st Revels)
Fall 1997
  • Don Potter was recruiting dancers for an English longsword set to perform in the Philadelphia Revels during tea at Scottish country dance party at Inverarity, home of Ed & Kate Neally not far from Swarthmore College. I overheard him talking with Terry Harvey about it and asked what longsword dancing was, and Don replied "point to your right foot"... and when I did so, he said "you're hired!"

  • The set included me, Don, Terry, Tom Peterson, Don Cheetham, and (a sixth, I forget!), with music by (I also forget!). Dan Emery was quite likely either the sixth dancer or the musician.

  • We practiced Kirkby Malzeard weekly, somewhere, separate from the whole cast rehearsals until tech week. Terry gave me rides from Swarthmore.

  • Performances were in the Media Theatre. Two weeks of full rehearsals and performances exactly overlapping final examinations was a very unfortunate experience!

English longsword dancing at Swarthmore Parents Weekend folkdance demo
April 1998
  • I learned, in the course of rehearsing for Revels, that Swarthmore at times in the past had performed longsword and even had a set of longswords. Being enthusiastic, I recruited a set of students and a musician and taught the Kirkby Malzeard longsword dance that spring to be a part of the Parents Weekend folk dance performance.

  • Who were the dancers? Alas, I forget the important details! But I remember Jennifer Tyson fiddled, and Scott Price was to be beheaded. After he was tried and convicted in a brief mummers play before the dance, he was shrouded and stepped off to the side of the stage where he was secretly replaced by Jill Ratzan--fully a foot shorter than Scott--wearing an identical shroud, and underneath wearing an enormous sweater covering her head and holding a basketball above her head. When the prisoner was brought into the center of the ring of dancers and was beheaded, Jill fell to the ground and tossed the basketball wrapped in the shroud away as if it were her head, and as she had no visible head herself because of the giant sweater the audience was quite startled!

  • The performance was in Tarble-in-Clothier because of rain, moved at the last minute.

  • I also danced the Swarthmore Maypole dance at the demo. I think practices for this were taught by Line Farr. More history about this dance appears later, under 1999-2000 Pinewoods English-Scottish Session.

at Pinewoods English-Scottish Session (1st ESS)
July 1998
  • English longsword class was led by Judy Erickson, who taught the dance Jerusalem.

  • Beginner rapper class was led by Margaret "a little faster now" Keller.

  • I think this was the first time I saw Abbots Bromley performed.

  • I must have seen morris dancing here, probably for the first time, but I didn't do any.

  • Though I had originally registered for the week in the spring with my then-girlfriend, she later found she couldn't attend, so I had a cabin to myself in Fieldtown adjacent to Dave Wiesler (Scottish pianist), one of the few familiar faces to me at the start of the week.

  • Either this year or the following, I met Curtis Hoberman.


Started practicing with Kingsessing
Fall 1998
  • As Swarthmore folkdance club historian, I wrote Joe Passante (Kingsessing squire) asking if I could visit a Kingsessing Morris practice to ask them about past interactions of Kingsessing with Swarthmore folkdancers, having learned that since the 1970s morris had been danced on and off at Swarthmore, generally when students had joined Kingsessing and brought it to campus (much as I had just done with longsword dancing).

  • When I showed up at a Kingsessing practice intending to interview the men, there were five dancers plus Rik as musician--these were lean years for Kingsessing. Gary Undercuffler said "hey kid, go over there and be number five. It's just like Scottish--it's got back-to-back and other stuff like that." The dance was Walk of the Two-Penny Postman (Fieldtown). There was no time to discuss Swarthmore history, and I was invited to return next week. For weeks, it was "don't point your feet so much!" and "loosen your knees!", as it took me a while to get used to morris stepping having done Scottish for so long.

  • K-Men regulars in 1998-99 included Gary Undercuffler, Jan Alter, Bill Dooley, Bill Quern, Joe Passante, and me, plus Rik Bourne as musician. Men who showed up less frequently included Mike Gallagher (who may have already moved to New Mexico and only showed up on a trip back to Philadelphia?), Cliff Rainey, Ian Cropton (a visiting Englishman), and Jamie Watson as musician.

at Five Kingsessing practices at Swarthmore
Spring 1999
  • In mid-spring, I convinced the K-Men to hold practices at Swarthmore for five weeks leading up to Parents Weekend, so we could teach a side of Swarthmore students. We had combined K-Men/Swarthmore practices each week, mostly in Tarble-in-Clothier. At one of these practices, Bill Quern took a stick in the forehead during Upton Upon Severn Stick Dance.

  • Our morris side was me, Kyla Tornheim, Hannah Schneider, Lindsey Newbold, Ben Newman, and Arcadia Falcone. I believe we learned exclusively Bledington dances--probably Morning Star, Black Joke, and Young Collins.

  • At one of our practices (moved to Hicks Mural Room, a large classroom), we broke a stick to splinters. We cleaned up as best we could, but it was an imperfect job as some splinters were stuck in the carpet. (Morris on carpet is of course not ideal, but it was a very large, open room, the best available option for that night.) Ben wrote on the chalkboard "On this site, a great battle was fought with sticks. The sticks lost."

SwarthMorris at Swarthmore Parents Weekend folkdance demo
April 1999
  • Among the many ancient treasures in the Swarthmore folkdance lockers were a six metal longswords, eight wooden longswords, fifteen rapper swords, six sets of bellpads made from green shag carpet and ribbons, six excellent morris sticks and about eight lesser morris sticks, six red vests with a unicorn emblem on the back, and leather and bells for half-made nicer bellpads which were never finished. Hannah Schneider, Kyla Tornheim, and I stayed up late one or several nights finishing the bellpads. I don't remember whether the vests needed any tailoring, or if they just happened to fit our side.

  • Because I had to dance as one of exactly six dancers, and we had no musician other than Rik (who had played for all our practices but couldn't come to our performance), I recorded the music for our dances in Lang Concert Hall on my mouth organ. It was a strange experience, playing a harmonica on that vast stage before an empty concert hall!

  • Performance was outside on Sharples Patio this year, with perfect weather.

  • We also danced the Swarthmore Maypole. Music for this (Christchurch Bells twelve times through) had always been played on a decades-old cassette tape, but this year we made a new student recording in Lang Concert Hall by Gustav's Revenge, our then ceilidh band (named after a guinea pig named after Holst), which was me (guitar), Hannah (flute), Katrina Mergen (oboe, and owner of the guinea pig), Alastair Thompson (piano), and probably either Josh Burdick or Jennifer Tyson (fiddle). Willa Bandler led the Maypole practices that year, and the dancing was perfect thanks to her exacting instruction, the best it had been in four years. Anna Hess stood on the base of the pole to steady it through the dance!

Friday 23 April - Sunday 25 April, 1999
  • One week before NEFFA, in the throes of writing my senior linguistics thesis (on English country dancing, natch), I bemoaned my inability to focus while on campus to Kyla, a freshman from Boston who in turn bemoaned her inability to attend NEFFA for the first time in her life. Solving both problems, I said "you drive, I write", and a few days later off we went. Much of my thesis was written on I-95 in Connecticut.

  • NEFFA was the first time I saw morris danced out by sides in kit. I danced in a mass dance at one point.

  • Having played harmonica for a decade including four years for English country dancing, I had fallen in love with the concept of the melodeon as an instrument (and had probably noodled briefly on Rik's at some point). I first encountered the Button Box at NEFFA and met Doug Creighton. On Saturday, he received a used D/G melodeon by Galotta in trade and held it aside for me; I purchased it for $500 and started down a wayward path. Upon returning to Swarthmore, I determined to learn a few morris dance tunes by May Day, only six days away, and spent hours wandering the streets of Swarthmore working them out on my own (combining practicing with thesis procrastination).

  • I also bought the album Morris On from Doug, which was my first introduction to the English folk revival music scene, John Kirkpatrick et alia. Listening to this album was a life-changing experience.

May Day 1999 with SwarthMorris
Saturday 1 May, 1999
  • SwarthMorris danced out for May Day, doing a campus tour starting at the President's House, then on McGill Walk in front of Parrish Hall, and concluding in Mary Lyon Breakfast Room. I brought my melodeon along and played as we processed on tour, but for dancing we had to use a boom-box with the mouth organ tape as we still numbered exactly six.

  • President Al Bloom and his wife Peggy enjoyed our dancing, the first time morris had been performed for them in at least five years. It took a lot of convincing to get everyone to dance at 7:00 AM, and I was extraordinarily glad we managed it as I had to miss what would have been my first May Day with Kingsessing in order to do this. I knew I would have many years with Kingsessing, but only one shot at a SwarthMorris May Day, it being my senior year.

  • Of the five other dancers on that incarnation of SwarthMorris, after graduation Hannah danced with Ring O'Bells for several years, then Ha'Penny, and now dances with On The Border Morris in Vermont; and Kyla dances with Charles River Rapper.

at Bryn Mawr May Day 1999 with Kingsessing (1st BMC May Day)
Sunday 2 May, 1999
  • This was my first time in kit performing with Kingsessing. As always with this gig, we met for a full breakfast including strawberries and cream, and then performed near Pembroke Arch for the assembled students (in white dresses) and faculty as part of their day-long May festival.

  • Having Bryn Mawr student friends, I remained there the entire day (while Kingsessing may have gone to dance elsewhere, I don't remember). I may have danced in the Scottish country dance demo later that morning; I know I spent the day with Scottish dancers including Bethany Ziss, Beth Lindsey, Megan Powell, and Tom Person.

Kingsessing Spring Tour
Saturday 8 May, 1999
  • My second time in kit with Kingsessing was a tour in Philadelphia. I had an important meeting at Swarthmore that morning from which I rushed to join the tour (I believe already in progress) on South Street. I danced at stands on South Street, in Rittenhouse Square, and at the Art Museum.

  • Our visiting team was the Albemarle Morris Men, and this was the first time I met Jim Morrison, with whom I had some conversations about Swarthmore dancers he remembered.

  • This is also when I met Jim Moskin, who came down to join Kingsessing for the day.

  • We repaired to a private room at a restauant (where???) afterwards for a slideshow of Kingsessing history.

at Pinewoods English-Scottish Session (2nd ESS)
July 1999
  • Cotswold morris class was led by Margaret Keller, who taught some BaltiMorris Oddington.

  • Rapper class was also taught by Margaret Keller. In addition to the basic rapper class, four experienced rapper dancers recruited me into an advanced "guerilla rapper" class, led by Margaret with music by Earl Gaddis (?). They pulled me through at a whipsnap pace. The side was Margaret, Jeremy Morrison, Andrew Marcus, Peter Kruskel, and me, and the dance featured lots of flips. At one practice Margaret was kicked in the eye (not by me!) and for the rest of the week had quite a shiner but kept on dancing.

  • I remember a conversation with George Fogg where I told him I had just started dancing with Kingsessing and that we danced Fieldtown and Bledington. He helped make my galleys and hook legs crisper and more distinctive from each other.

  • Either this or the next year, my cabin-mate was Josh Burdick.

at Buffalo Gap CDSS English/English Musicians Week
July 1999
  • I was in Laurie Andres's English Musicians workshop, so I didn't have time for the Cotswold morris class led by Dave Maceman, who also taught BaltiMorris Oddington!

  • This was the first time I danced the Abbots Bromley.

  • I played a lot of tunes on melodeon with Allen Dodson.


My second year with Kingsessing
  • K-Men regulars in 1999-2000 included Jan Alter, Bill Quern, Joe Passante, and me, plus Rik Bourne as musician. (Lean year!) Less regulars included Ian Cropton and Cliff Rainey; and Gary Undercuffler, Jamie Watson, and Bill Dooley showed up for events. Maybe there were more men, but those are the only ones recorded in my notes and I don't have photographs from this year.

A few SwarthMorris practices in the fall
  • The only dancers were Hannah Schneider (a senior) and Andrew Stout (freshman); the others were too busy or uninterested. Andrew was from the Midwest and had done morris at Berea. He was enthusiastic, but more enthusiastic about soccer. With only two dancers, I taught the Nutting Girl (Fieldtown) jig, and played box, but after a few practices this fizzled (it was hard being both foreman and musician! but I couldn't find another musician who could play correctly for morris), and thus ended the brief 1998-2000 incarnation SwarthMorris (1997-2000 if you count the longsword precursor). There was no morris performance that academic year.

Abbots Bromley with the Philadelphia Revels (2nd Revels)
December 1999
  • This was also taught by Don Potter and included most or all of the same dancers as the Revels longsword set two years before. As I had graduated (and so had no exams to coincide with performances), the scheduling was much better.

at Philadelphia Mummers Day Parade 2000 (1st Mummers)
Saturday 1 January, 2000
  • Kingsessing danced a three-man version of our Nutting Girl (Fieldtown), with Gary, Jan, and Bill Quern dancing and me as musician. We wore full rag suits, and in the sub-freezing temperatures that was quite necessary! We called our act "Morris Polar Lander" after the recently-failed Mars Polar Lander that had been in the news weeks earlier. We took seventh prize in our division. It was the first time Kingsessing had participated in the Mummers Day Parade since about 1997.

  • I wrote an article about the event which was published by Simon Pipe in Shave the Donkey, his online morris newsletter. I forget whether I found the newsletter first and asked him if he would like me to write an article for it, or whether I wrote the article for my website first and he found it online and asked if he could publish it. Anyway, that's when I first met Simon Pipe (virtually).

  • Full text of the article: A few months ago, Bill Quern asked at practice if the side wanted to be in the Mummers' Parade this year. I was definitely interested, and several others were possibly interested, but Rik, our musician, was going to be out of state visiting family for New Year's. On the way to our cars, Bill asked me if I could play "Nutting Girl". I said sure, I could learn it, and so, with the two of us definitely interested, he registered us for the parade as the "Morris Polar Lander".

    Lots of illness and my being in the Philadelphia Revels disrupted practice in early December, so just after the Revels was over, Bill came by Swarthmore for a practice of the "Nutting Girl" jig, and to give me my costume. He brought me a spare rag suit, and one for himself, and we donned them and practiced for a while. Between then and the parade, Gary Undercuffler and Jan Alter decided to join us, making three dancers and a musician.

    On New Year's Eve, I went to the RSCDS Delaware Valley Branch Hogmanay, and danced Scottish country dances from 9 pm until 3:30 am. I came home, and stayed up the next four hours chatting with friends who came to town for the ball and were staying with me, and then, at 7:30, I tried to drive into Philadelphia.

    The fog was so thick I could not see twenty feet in front of my car. I couldn't even see traffic lights until I was upon them! And I definitely couldn't see any of the highway and exit signs from the Interstate. Eventually I found a parking garage near the parade route, and it wasn't too hard to find three guys in rag suits.

    The Philadelphia Mummers' Parade is a rare holdover from a gone-by era. These days, one expects a big city parade to be like the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, or the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York -- lavish corporate-sponsored floats, brass bands, very professional. The Mummers' Parade is a bunch of folks from the city showing off their dancing, strutting, costuming, musicianship, or comic talents, for their friends and neighbors; a day-long festival in the streets; a pageant of, for, and by the people.

    I never realized the city could be such a friendly place, but every time we danced for a clump of watchers, we'd then go over to the sidewalk and shake hands with everyone, and they'd wish us happy new year, and ask all sorts of questions about our dancing, and we'd chat briefly, and then walk on another block or half block and perform again. We were near the beginning of the parade, which was quite disorganized -- the next group behind us was over a block away, and the next group in front of us was nearly as far -- so we had plenty of time for this. Some folks even remembered us from having seen us before around the city on our Spring Tours, which impressed me to no end -- I'd always envisioned cities, Philadelphia included, as containing faceless crowds, not individual people who remembered you like that.

    We made our way up the ten blocks to City Hall, performing maybe ten or twelve times along the way, and then as we moved around City Hall, we came to the section that the television cameras were recording, a block before the judging stands. We gave it our all, and midway through the second of the two verses in our jig, the loudspeaker annoucer said "That's Kingsessing Morris; all right, that's enough, move along." We were quite happy that they knew our name, and didn't mind being troublemakers, as we finished the jig before advancing onwards. Besides, there was no one behind us for ten minutes.

    Everything went smoothly when we danced for the judges, and then we were technically done, by about ten o'clock in the morning. Finding lunch took us nearly two hours, as the few pubs in the area were closed, and while the doorman at the Sheraton Hotel let us in, the hotel security attempted to kick us out! We made our way back to the food court at the Galleria, had a good lunch, and Jan had to leave.

    Bill, Gary, and I decided to take advantage of the nice day, the waiting crowds, and the huge gaps in the parade, so we found a big gap, joined in, and walked the length of the parade again, performing along the way maybe another ten times. We got all the way up to City Hall, and then that was it, and we said our goodbyes, and headed for our cars. I had to walk back down the parade route, having parked at the other end, and I played my box as I walked, still in my rag suit, which almost made me blend in to the public carnival more than it made me stand out. The entire way, people came up to me and said nice playing, parents brought their children up to see the accordion man, and everyone said "great costume". (Those compliments should go to Bill Quern, who made it.)

    After getting in an afternoon nap, I watched my videotape of the televised live parade coverage, and discovered they had only shown large groups, and thus didn't show us at all! Monday's _Inquirer_ listed the results, and "Morris Polar Lander" finished 7th in Comic Groups (I'm guessing there were perhaps 30 of them, but I don't know).

    Even though we didn't win, we had a blast, got to dance a _lot_, and gave perhaps a thousand people a positive exposure to Morris dancing, and made them happy in the process. It doesn't get much better than that. I just hope we can find an open pub next year!

Half Moon Sword Ale
Saturday 19 February, 2000
  • I forget who told me about this event. Perhaps I was on some email list or read about it on a listserv? I wasn't on a sword team, but I was very intrigued to go as a spectator. The big show performance by all teams was at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Battery Park, and I convinced Andrew Stout he wanted to come (probably hoping I could get him interested in dancing morris again; this failed, but at least we had fun).

  • Remarkably, this was my first trip to New York City, after over four years of living in Philadelphia. I didn't know better, so I drove. What a horrible mistake that was. After hours in either the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel, we somehow drove straight across Manhattan and over a bridge into Brooklyn. We eventually got back to Manhattan and parked somewhere in the Financial District near the World Trade Center and walked quite a ways to the Ferry Terminal. We were still on-time for the performances, though getting there was far too stressful.

  • I also wrote up this event for Shave the Donkey. Sadly, I only wrote the two articles for Simon Pipe, and after this fell out of touch with him.

  • I think I had already met Andrew Marcus at an English-Scottish Session, but this was the first time I had seen him perform with Velocirapper. I think was the first time I met Steve Howe (dancing with Long Tall Sword); I didn't know it at the time, but I would be working for him that summer at Pinewoods.

  • Full text of the article: "They broke a sword this morning, and from the look of the stress marks on the one they replaced it with, it's going to break soon, too," said a friend on Charles River Rapper and Velocirapper. Those were two of the thirteen rapper and longsword teams to attend the 15th Annual Half Moon Sword Ale, hosted by Half Moon Sword in New York City, 19-20 February.

    I drove up with fellow SwarthMorris dancer Andrew Stout from Philadelphia to watch all thirteen teams perform late Saturday afternoon at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal next to Battery Park, Manhatten - partly to see friends I rarely see outside of camp sessions and partly to see some great dancing and get inspirations for Swarthmore College's fledgling morris and longsword (and eventually rapper) team.

    In theory, the drive should have taken two hours, and we would have been able to take in an afternoon stand in Central Park with three of the teams beforehand, but a two-hour traffic jam leading up to the Holland Tunnel ended those hopes. New York City traffic doesn't really let up on a Saturday afternoon, we discovered.

    We still had a much easier time getting there than many of the teams, most of whom came down from Boston. New England had just been snowed, sleeted, and iced the day before, as many folks were trying to drive down. Most of Charles River Rapper made the (normally for them) 4 hour trip in a little over 8 hours on Friday evening, while one of their members didn't make it down until mid-day Saturday! A little clogging helped fill out their early morning time.

    Meanwhile, all of Velocirapper made it down from Boston, and former team member Andrew Marcus came down from Cornell University (in Ithaca, New York) to join them. The teenaged rapper side discovered their youthful vigor was stronger than their spring steel at their first stand of the morning, when they broke a rapper sword in the middle of a rose-lock! They kept dancing, with a dancer grabbing the new, rougher end of the now-shortened sword, and during the next ring a new sword was substituted in mid-dance.

    "We only came with six swords, and when we broke that one, we borrowed one from another team," said Andrew. "And then ... at the next stand, we broke another one ..." Velocirapper brought swords down from Pinewoods, which were about 40 years old - twice the age of the dancers - so it's not unheard of that they'd break like that, but it certainly is unfortunate for the team that they lost two at one ale. Their performance at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal went without a hitch, though.

    The most unique performance, and one of the most polished, was Orion Longsword's dance to Dave Brubeck's "Take Five", as played on saxaphone, electric guitar, and an upturned pasta pot, while Long Tall Sword took the prizes for most amazing kit and most flexible wrists, wearing rag suits and adapting some rapper figures into their longsword dance.

    There's no better place to see sword dancing, but if you plan to come next year, leave extra time for traffic and weather, and bring a spare sword or two, just in case.

Friday 21 April - Sunday 23 April, 2000
  • I attended NEFFA, and remember absolutely nothing about it that year.

at Bryn Mawr May Day 2000 with Kingsessing (2nd BMC May Day)
Sunday 30 April, 2000
  • My second Bryn Mawr May Day with Kingsessing, and we were joined by Jamie's Lansdowne boys team.

  • Again I stayed at Bryn Mawr with friends after our performance. I think this was the year Moxy Fruvous gave a concert in the afternoon.

May Day 2000 with Kingsessing (1st Belmont May Day)
Monday 1 May, 2000
  • This was my first May Day with Kingsessing, with dawn at the traditional Belmont Plateau location. We may have been alone at Belmont that year.

  • This was followed by a May Day tour, starting with breakfast at Empire Diner in Lansdowne. Then we performed at the Lansdowne Friends School with the Lansdowne boys team led by Jamie Watson and including his son Casey. (I don't think they were also with us at Belmont Plateau.) Was this the year Bill Quern got a traffic ticket on the way there? (The strange little details one remembers, while forgetting what events they go with!) We may have gone on to Jan's school (Lowell?) after Lansdowne.

Eckley Miners' Village Patch Town Days
June 2000
  • We drove an hour or more up the Northeast Extension in Jan Alter's van for a performance at this small festival. I bought some Ukranian pysanky eggs from a vendor there, which is my only strong memory of the event.

Working for CDSS and getting a Pokerwork
June 2000
  • At some point in the late spring Steve Howe advertised to a dance listserv that he was looking for a bookkeeper/registrar to work for CDSS at Pinewoods that summer. I jumped on the opportunity, and as part of the job I had to go to the CDSS office in Haydenville for a brief orientation.

  • A few days after Swarthmore Alumni Weekend I took a train to New York City to stay with Abigail Friedman, and we went to three Red Sox/Yankees games at Yankee Stadium courtesy her season tickets. Then I took the train to Springfield where Steve Howe met me, and I stayed with his family for a few days while going to work with him.

  • While "in the neighborhood" I went to the Button Box store for the first time, and they had a used 1950s Hohner Pokerwork D/G for which I traded in my Galotta D/G. (I also got a newer Pokerwork C/F, which I played for a few years but then started using for spare parts.)

  • I returned by train, by way of a visit to Boston.

at Pinewoods English-Scottish Session (3rd ESS)
July 2000
  • This was my third year at ESS. I was asked to teach the Swarthmore Maypole and led a one-day class.

  • The Swarthmore Maypole dance, I learned in researching club history, is extremely unique among Maypole dances for being a continuous choreographed dance with five different types of ribbon-weaves (the first four are woven and then unwoven, all while dancing, and the fifth woven and left on the pole). And this is only the second half of what was once an even longer dance! As originally written, sixteen dancers are divided into two sets of four couples dancing the English country dance Dargasson--an unusual dance in a single line of eight dancers--with the two sets orthoganal to each other forming an X with the Maypole as the center, dancing carefully to avoid the pole. No ribbons were held for this, but were picked up at the end as the dancers formed a single ring of sixteen to start the "second half" of the dance, the five weaves I knew and taught.

  • I took some classes with Yonina Gordon in morris or sword, but I don't remember in what exactly.

at Pinewoods CDSS Folk Music Week
July or August, 2000
  • While working for CDSS at Pinewoods, two weeks were of particular note for morris and ritual dances, the first being Folk Music Week. I pal'd around with the Dartmoor Pixies of Devon (Mark and Sarah Bazeley, Jason Rice, Rob Murch) who taught me great tunes on the box and also the Dartmoor Step Dance and Broom Dance.

  • There may, among the thousands of beer bottles on the wall in the Pinewoods Camphouse, still be a bottle of "Long Pond Ale", which label I printed in the CDSS Office and affixed to a bottle filled with Long Pond water. While drinking one night, we gave it to Jason Rice who took a sip and exclaimed "this is horrible! It tastes almost like ... pond water!" He had no idea he was right.

  • Jason hadn't brought a board for the step dance on the plane, and was demonstrating it with a chalked X on the floor. Andrew Marcus and I built a proper platform 14-inch square for him in the Pinewoods shop. Rob Murch commented "you must have shares in screws" as we'd used dozens to make sure it held together (I remember the line exactly, as it was such English phrasing). At the end of the week, I asked the four of them to sign the board, and I still have it as a treasured memory.

at Pinewoods CDSS English Week
July or August, 2000
  • Advanced morris was led by John Dexter, who taught Sherbourne Cuckoo's Nest and Lads. It was an intensive course, and unlike most Pinewoods teachers John did not allow anything short of perfection. There were only eight students, including Yonina Gordon and Sally of Ring O'Bells.

  • At the end of the week, John told me I should come dance with the Bouwerie Boys the next Easter.

  • I think it was also English Week (definitely this summer, in any event) that I also first met Rich Morse, who taught me several tunes on the melodeon and also let me borrow his Hayden duet concertina for a few days, long enough to realize I wanted to buy one. He was just starting the R. Morse & Co. line of concertinas, and offered me a job working for them. I didn't take him up on it, not wanting to move away from my friends and dance communities in Philadelphia to a place I saw as quite remote. Not taking him up on this offer is one of my greatest regrets in life.


My third year with Kingsessing
  • Early in the fall, there was a team meeting to discuss a letter received from Ed Stivender asking to return. I had no idea what the politics of this situation were at the time, or who Ed was, but he returned that fall. Dan Drecksage joined the team that fall. I think he brought his son sometimes, but his son didn't stick with it?

  • K-Men regulars in 2000-01 included Jan Alter, Bill Quern, Joe Passante, Ed Stivender, Dan Drecksage, and me, plus Rik Bourne as musician. Gary Undercuffler, Jamie Watson, and Bill Dooley showed up occasionally and to events. This is again from written notes as I have no photographs from this year.

Canonization supper by Ed Stivender
Monday 2 October, 2000 (?)
  • Just after Katherine Drexel was canonized (Sunday 1 October, 2000), Ed brought fried chicken and potatoes to practice for a celebratory dinner. One never knows what wonders Ed might bring on any given week!

Morris workshop at Swarthmore with Jim Moskin for Linguistics 57
Spring 2001
  • I was the lecturer for an undergraduate course at Swarthmore on the connections between dance, language, and mathematics, which looked at a different sort of dance each week. One week Jim Moskin came down to speak about analogies between the evolution of morris traditions and historical linguistics. With Josh Burdick fiddling, we danced Go and Enlist (Sherbourne), which Jim taught me the night before. We doubtless taught some simple hankie dance to the twelve or so students as well.

Easter Tour 2001 with the Bouwerie Boys (1st Easter)
Sunday 15 April, 2001
  • Taking John Dexter up on his invitation, I came to New York for Easter to dance with the Bouwerie Boys for the first time. I must have stayed with Jim Moskin. My notes are minimal, and I haven't found information about my transportation arrangements.

  • How much kit did I have? Did I have my own vest, or borrow a spare from Moskin? Did I wear Kingsessing armbands? Or did I wear Kingsessing kit entirely? I have no photos from this event.

  • Teams attending included Thames Valley International and Ring O'Bells, and probably also Greenwich Morris and Half Moon Sword.

  • After the dancing we adjourned to Dive 75. Moskin and I danced Go and Enlist at the pub, with Jessica playing. I was also in an Upton Stick dance in the pub, which was very cramped!

May Day 2001 with Kingsessing (2nd Belmont May Day)
Tuesday 1 May, 2001
  • No notes, no photographs...

at Bryn Mawr May Day 2001 with Kingsessing (3rd BMC May Day)
Sunday 6 May, 2001
  • No notes, no photographs...


My fourth year with Kingsessing
  • K-Men regulars in 2001-02 included Jan Alter, Bill Quern, Joe Passante, Ed Stivender, Dan Drecksage, and me, plus Rik Bourne as musician. Gary Undercuffler, Jamie Watson, Bill Dooley, Jim Moskin, and Dave Roodman showed up occasionally and to events.

Pal Monday at Ed Stivender's
  • At some point during this year Ed Stivender's building underwent extensive renovations and he was given temporary housing in a vacant penthouse unit. Taking advantage of the enormity, he hosted a lavish party in lieu of practice one night, which he dubbed "Pal Monday" (perhaps it was near Plough Monday?).

Easter Tour 2002 with the Bouwerie Boys (2nd Easter)
Saturday 30 March - Sunday 31 March, 2002
  • Saturday, either before or after the Thames practice, there was a trip to the World Trade Center site which I missed. I arrived in time for dinner at an Italian restaurant "uptown" (according to my journal, so definitely not Forlini's) which was BYOB. Jessica brought many bottles from Steve Adams's private stock which were enjoyed by all.

  • Following dinner I headed down to the East Village to meet Aunt Sue and cousins Pam and Eric. I stayed with Sue and Pam in the Grand Hyatt.

  • From my journal, "Danced Orange and Blue thrice, Jockey Duck, Upton Stick, Bampton Banbury Bill, and How D'you Do." Bampton??? My notes seem quite clear... I don't know that I knew what I was doing, but I apparently danced Bampton. In the below photo, Moskin and I dance Jockey Duck. I'm still wearing Kingsessing armbands with a black vest, with no rose (did it fall off, or was I not allowed to wear one as a non-Bouwerie Boy?).

  • Teams attending included Thames Valley International and Ring O'Bells.

  • After the dancing we adjourned to some pub (Dive 75?) where we didn't stay long, and then moved to a second pub--Malachi's--where there was a lot of singing and a little dancing. My notes say "the money bag caught fire at the pub!" but I don't remember any details about this exciting incident.

  • My journal also notes that I "Lost and found phone", the details of which escape me.

[]/[] Morris Playshop organized by Scott Higgs
Sunday 7 April, 2002
  • From my journal: "Sunday was the morris playshop, and it was grand. About twelve people: Jan, Jan (from Spruce Hill), Scott and Lesley, Doug and Ellie, Dan and Jill Emery, Garrett (from Lansdowne)... plus me (dancing and playing) and Rik, Jamie, and Lynn playing, and Casey not dancing. A good crowd, a good day. Afterwards, the owners of the General Wayne invited us for free beers; Spruce Hill Jan and I accepted and chatted for maybe half an hour before heading home."

  • There wasn't quite enough momentum from this to get a mixed side started. It would be another three or four years (?) before the creation of Renegade Morris.

Cherry Blossom Tour 2002 with Kingsessing (1st Cherry Blossom)
Saturday 20 April, 2002
  • My first Kingsessing tour outside of Philadelphia. We drove down in Jan Alter's van.

  • Foggy Bottom hosted; teams attending included Rock Creek, Albemarle, Kingsessing, and Lansdowne. My parents drove up from Virginia to see me dance for the first time. (One of my favorite morris photographs is of me and my father in a pub on this tour.)

[]/[] Constructed the Morris Lantern
Saturday 6 April - Sunday 21 April, 2002
  • Inspired by the stained glass of the Betley Window, I designed and crafted a wood-and-glass lantern (vaguely in the Arts & Crafts style, all tongue-and-groove, dovetail, and dowel-and-pinion construction). The glass was painted and baked in an oven.

  • The background color was green as that was the color of my graduation year at Bryn Mawr College. I've since brought the lantern to many Bryn Mawr events and several May Days and morris ales.

May Day 2002 with Kingsessing (3rd Belmont May Day)
Wednesday 1 May, 2002
  • I spent the night before with friends at Bryn Mawr who kindly set an alarm at 5:00 AM for me. I danced a quick jig on Merion Green before driving to Belmont Plateau to dance the sun up with Kingsessing.

  • At Belmont Plateau we were joined, for the first time, by the fledgling Germantown Country Dancers longsword team (led by Andrew Snyder, and not yet having a kit).

  • I have notes in my journal that this spring the K-Men practiced Dixon's Delight and "Lads". These have both fallen out of the repertoire of late, and I'm not even sure what "Lads" this was.

  • After Belmont (and possibly after breakfast) we danced at an old folks home, where I recall one old fellow was game to try dancing with us (I don't think he had done morris in his youth, but I don't remember very well).

  • Next was Lansdowne Friends School (perhaps we ate at the Lansdowne Diner just before this?) where we performed with the Lansdowne boys team. Bill Dooley had his bear costume, the only time I've seen it.

  • Finally, Kingsessing alone went to Rittenhouse Square for a stand.

  • In the end we retired to Joe Passante's house for food, drinks, and music.

at Bryn Mawr May Day 2002 with Kingsessing (4th BMC May Day)
Sunday 5 May, 2002
  • This was a Grand May Day.

  • At Bryn Mawr we were joined by the Lansdowne boys team.

  • After the morris, I stayed at Bryn Mawr and performed in the Scottish country dance demo.

at Marlboro Ale with the Bouwerie Boys
Friday 24 May - Monday 27 May, 2002
  • I drove from Swarthmore to Marlboro, probably directly as I recall arriving fairly late in the day. I tented with Moskin.

  • Bouwerie Boys in attendance (from the group photograph) were me, Jessica Murrow, Dave Roodman, Michael Gorin, (man I can't recognize?), Charlie Day, Graham Pierce, Grant Herreid, Jim Moskin, and Gordy Curtis. We toured with Commonwealth Morris Men, Forest City (Canada) women, and Marlboro Morris & Sword (women).

  • It is not overly prideful to say that the Bouwerie Boys were the best dancers at Marlboro. It is simply true, as evidenced here by Dave Roodman and Graham Pierce (in two of the best morris photos I have chanced to take).

  • Marlboro 2002 was when I met and had long conversations with Tony Barrand and Dave Striker (two ends of the spectrum!), and briefly met Carl Fristrom and possibly Mitch Diamond.

  • Jamie Watson and the Lansdowne boys team came to Marlboro that year. There were six current or former K-Men at Marlboro--me, Jim Moskin, Dave Roodman, Jamie Watson, Carl Fristrom, and ???--and I tried but failed to get a side up for Mister Softee at the feast. (I wish I could remember the sixth!)

  • Despite urgings by Moskin and others, I did not attend the SUDS a week or two later. As I had not yet experienced a SUDS, I don't know that this was a dickhead decision, but it might have been. Instead, I drove to Boston and eventually home from there.

Dance-out practice and pub-stop with NewTowne
June 2002
  • When I got to Boston I received an email (from Carl? Mitch?) inviting me to a NewTowne dance-out practice at the Porter Square MBTA station. It was a sort of public practice in kit, and I joined them in my Kingsessing kit. I don't remember what I danced except for an off processional at the end which was photographed by friends Lauren and Chaos who chanced by.

  • Then we adjourned to The Burren (I think?) for burgers and beers. At the pub I got to know Carl and Mitch Diamond, and probably others I remember less distinctly.


My fifth year with Kingsessing
  • New or returning-after-absence K-Men included Al Crawford (returning, and also sometimes brought his son Will), Doug Kurtze (previously with a Midwestern team; his son Ben didn't start coming for a few more years), Simon Healey (previously with Foggy Bottom, by way of Pittsburgh), and Garrett Gowan (?; Bill Quern's sort-of step-son). Jamie Watson didn't come to any Kingsessing events this year, or any following year so far as I know.

  • K-Men regulars in 2002-03 included Jan Alter, Bill Quern, Joe Passante, Ed Stivender, Dan Drecksage, Al Crawford, Doug Kurtze, Simon Healey, Garrett Gowan (?), and me, plus Rik Bourne as musician. Gary Undercuffler and Bill Dooley showed up occasionally and to events.

SwarthMorris reunion at SWIL-24
Saturday 9 November - Sunday 10 November, 2002
  • At the 24th Reunion of Swarthmore's science fiction club, we had a mini-reunion for folks who were also past members of various incarnations of SwarthMorris. Stephen Sample, Nao Parkhurst, Barbara Need, Hannah Schneider, and I shared memories and photos on Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday Stephen taught Hannah and me a Bledington jig.

at Mummers Day Parade 2003 (2nd Mummers)
Wednesday 1 January, 2003
  • We performed a border stick dance entered as Morris Mummery. The kit was black coats with rag backs over rag shirts. I made my rag shirt while visiting my parents for Christmas, densely covering an entire old dress shirt even though only the front would show under the coat. The effort has given me an extremely festive fools jacket which I've worn on several morris and non-morris occasions.

  • Dancers were Bill Quern, Jan Alter, Garrett Gowan (?), Simon Healey, Al Crawford, Doug Kurtze, Dan Drecksage, and me, with Rik Bourne, Gary Undercuffler, and Will Crawford (?) as musicians. We placed second in our division.

Easter Tour 2003 with the Bouwerie Boys (3rd Easter)
Friday 18 April - Monday 21 April, 2003
  • The following is from my journal: I arrived on Friday this year and so had a nice leisurely three full days. Saturday morning, Jim Moskin and I attended the Thames Valley practice and learned a few of their dances, though neither of us danced with them on Sunday. Thames Valley International has two practices a year, one in the spring, one in the fall, as their members come from literally all over: California, Boston, Vermont, New York, Toronto, London (Ontario), Cornwall (England). (Though the latter wasn't present this time.) The empirical evidence actually suggests that a team which only practices twice a year dances better for it, because the practice time is better spent and no one has any time to form bad habits: TVI's style is crisp and uniform.

    After their practice we went to a nice pub on the southern tip of Manhattan, in the district that smells like fish; they had a friendly Irish bartender and good food. After that we rode the Staten Island ferry out and back (without getting off) just to get a nice view of the harbor and Liberty Island, and then headed to Jessica Murrow's for order-in Indian food. There was an ... incident ... with an inflatable rhinocerous on the ferry.

    Friday and Saturday nights, I stayed up late and learned to sew from Jim while working on making a full set of four Bouwerie Boys armbands, so Sunday morning I was in full Bouwerie kit for the first time (I'd been wearing Kingsessing armbands in years past).

    We had perfect dancing weather on Sunday: sunny but not to hot, breezy but not to chilly. Jim and I walked from his apartment at 95th and 3rd over to Park and down to the Met, past many church-goers in all their Easter finery. Bouwerie and TVI started at eleven, and there were exactly six Bouwerie Boys present for the entire stand, which meant I danced quite a lot and they were all very glad I was there! I remembered most of [Sherbourne] fairly well and fairly quickly, but also the Boys were quite forgiving as I hadn't danced with them at all since May, and Jessica (the musician) offered several helpful pointers after my first dance, which helped [my dancing] a lot, and she also offered lots of compliments, which helped [my confidence] even more.

    We then moved into Central Park down to the Hans Christian Anderson statue by the model boat pond, which is quite a hike when you're assigned to carry the huge cooler of beer. (It gets much lighter as the day goes, but we don't open it until we're safely into the park.)

    Then it was on to the Bethesda Fountain where we met up with Ring O'Bells, New York's women's morris side, who had started at the Plaza Hotel earlier in the morning. Normally they're accompanied by either New World Sword or the Greenwich side, but both of those are in decline and neither danced this year.

    The three of us danced a long stand at Bethesda; by this point, several other Bouweries had shown up, and I didn't dance again for the day. (I could have, if I'd been pushier; perhaps I will next time, but it felt proper to defer to the regulars.) The crowds were good, but we didn't encounter any bigshots like John Lithgow (last year), Garrison Kiellor, or Ann Richards. There was one pants-splitting incident. [Alex Naar's toursers split mid-caper. Safety pins did not help matters, so he went shopping and returned some while later in new cream-colored trousers, white not being easy to find on Easter.]

    The traditional picnic on the hill followed, with Bouwerie and RoB providing quite a feast. One last dancing stand at the 72nd Street entrance on the west side followed, and then a very short pub stop [at Malachi's] (cut short by a conflict with the ownership). All roughly forty of us then moved on to John Dexter's apartment for four hours where we fit surprisingly well, fed by lots of Chinese, Indian, pizza, and beer deliveries.

    As Jim and I left John's, John told me I was welcome to dance with Bouwerie any time henceforth, and said he'd add me to the team email list. I think that means I officially have two morris teams now! I'll probably dance with Bouwerie again at the Suds Ale in mid-June.

May Day 2003 with Kingsessing (4th Belmont May Day)
Thursday 1 May, 2003
  • Ed Stivender showed up before dawn in a straw man costume with antlers, but I don't know what the story that went with it was.

  • This may have been my first May Day broadcast live on local television news. It may also have been the first time Joe brought his SLR camera (responsible for these photos).

  • The GCD longsword team performed at Belmont Plateau, their second May Day and first in kit. I played concertina for their dances.

  • K-Men in attendance (from the group photo) were Bill Quern, Cliff Rainey, Ed Stivender, Will Crawford (?), Rik Bourne, Dan Drecksage, Doug Kurtze, Jan Alter, me, Al Crawford, Gary Undercuffler, and Joe Passante.

  • After Belmont Plateau (and presumably after breakfast) Kingsessing danced at the Lowell School (where Jan teaches). This may have been where Ed Stivender taught us all, at great length and with gusto, that the reason we use sticks is to wake up the worms.

  • Finally, we headed to Old City to St. Peter's School, where we watched the school's morris and garland teams perform for us.

May Festival at Kimberton Waldorf School
Saturday 3 May, 2003
  • We drove nearly an hour for two performances at a school festival. My memories are of the lack of food and the uneven field we were dancing on.

at Bryn Mawr May Day 2003 with Kingsessing (5th BMC May Day)
Sunday 4 May, 2003
  • We were joined at Bryn Mawr by the Lansdowne boys team, and that was the last time the Lansdowne team danced together so far as I know. It was also the last time I saw Jamie Watson, save for a chance meeting on a train a year or two later.

Great Western Tour
Thursday 29 May, 2003
  • Jamie Blachly called on a Wednesday morning urging me to come to New York for a morris spectacle Thursday afternoon. I had class that evening but blew it off and headed up to New York by train Thursday mid-day. I realized at the Swarthmore station I had forgotten my Bouwerie armbands, so I ran home for them and then drove to Cornwell Heights, NJ, to catch a train to Trenton and change trains to New York, arriving just in time.

  • The following is from my journal: Well, that was a whirlwind of a day. The dancing was super to see, especially with the skyline in the background. Great Western and Glory of the West were both top-notch teams with great numbers of dancers and musicians. The crowds were respectable but not tremendous, but we were really dancing for ourselves as much as the others. From New York, all four teams showed, a far rarer occurence than I had realized: Bouwerie, Ring o'Bells, Half Moon Sword, and the Greenwich men all danced together, and it was nice to see lots of familiar faces again so soon after Easter. I only did one dance with Bouwerie at the main stand [below, me between Graham Pierce and Jim Moskin], and I flubbed it pretty badly, having had no practice beforehand, but I was just as glad to get to watch as to dance. The grand finale was an incredible display! Next year, maybe I'll get up to some Bouwerie practices, now that Kingsessing has more men and might be able to spare me occasionally. Plus, Bouwerie has another new man next year, so they'll be doing more organized and basic practices, just what I need as well.

    Dinner was interesting: we bought an entire Vietnamese restaurant for the evening. Eighty-four people filled the place, paid twenty bucks a head, and had an all-we-could-eat pre-arranged buffet (including drinks, tax, and tip). A fair deal, I suppose, though I didn't find the food to be that great. The teams were from Devon, not far from Dartmoor, and someone at the table knew Jason Rice, though not well enough to relay a note. I'll have to look up their address and write from my new place.

    After we ate, there was dancing on the wide Brooklyn sidewalk on Remsen Street, just outside the restaurant. I danced a few with Bouwerie -- Cuckoo's Nest was the earlier one I'd flubbed, and then here it was Michael's Dance (first time I'd danced it -- lovely!) and some Bampton thing, after much arguing with Jessica over what tune to play. It was about the third time I'd done any Bampton, and I don't think any of us in our set did it the same way, but that was sort of the point, I think. Then there was a mad-cap dance called Forty Seconds that I joined in with Great Western for -- lots of kick-stepping and a frenetic pace, but I didn't get lost, quite. And a giant can-can line.

    Then for the piece de resistance, a marvelous jig contest between Jamie Blachly and a little fellow from Great Western who looked like an elf. They reached ever-increasing heights and did axel and lutz capers, Ukranian step dancing, and all sorts of parodies of each other as the dance progressed. Jamie's left bellpad kept falling off, which added to the amusement, especially when the Great Western fellow rigged his to fall off one round and then it didn't quite come off, so he just stood there shaking his left leg trying to make it fly off correctly for a while. It was one of the most amazing morris dances I've ever seen, so much so that I was spellbound and unable to move for my camera. But the camera wouldn't have captured the action anyhow. Video might have, but it was really a moment thing.

    Afterwards, as we shook hands all round I found that the Great Western jigger was Simon Pipe, who used to edit an online morris news website to which I contributed several articles back in 2000 or so. Alas, Shave the Donkey went defunct at some point, but he remembered my articles and said he'd always wondered if he'd get to meet me. And I'd wondered the same. How about that. I'll have to find an address and see what happened to Shave the Donkey to take it off the air. If it was costs or time, perhaps I could help resurrect it with him?...

  • Bouwerie Boys in attendance included (from various photos) Jamie Blachly, Jim Moskin, Jessica Murrow, Alex Naar, Charlie Day, Graham Pierce, Michael Gorin, and me.

  • I stayed the night with Moskin, and took a morning cab to Penn Station and NJT/SEPTA home.

SUDS 2003 (1st SUDS)
Friday 13 June - Sunday 15 June, 2003
  • This was a rare year where SUDS was the weekend after (instead of the same weekend as) Swarthmore's Alumni Weekend. So I got a ride from Swarthmore to Boston with Jeff Hildebrand after Alumni Weekend, and spent several days in Boston with friends before starting an adventurous trip to the SUDS itself.

  • The following is from my journal: Friday just after lunch I headed with all my stuff (backpack full of laptop and books, large pack full of clothes and morris kit, sleeping bag, blankets, lantern) to Harvard by train and thence out to Watertown by the 73 trolley-bus, followed by a six block walk to Carl Fristrom's. I got there around 2:30 for a "3 to 4" window when Edie would come pick us up to head to the SUDS. Carl pulled in around 3:15, and Edie sometime around 3:40, and we were actually off before 4. From here on the serendipity of morris took over the trip in full force.

    Rain had been forecast for all of Friday and Saturday, so I had bought a box of large trash bags and 50 feet of rope at the Porter Star Market Friday morning, to encase my sleeping bag and lantern bag and secure other things as needed for the walk to Carl's, but it turned out I didn't need them at all then, as the rain held off until we were on the Mass Pike. (I felt like a D&D character, hiking through Somerville and Watertown carrying fifty pounds of gear including a bedroll, a lantern, rations, and the ubiquitious 50 feet of rope.) We stopped at a Boston Market for dinner, alleviating the uncertainty I had about Friday dinner at SUDS, which turned out to be hamburgers grilled by Dave and John's special tabouli, for which I arrived in plenty of time anyhow (for second dinner). Neither Carl nor Edie (nor I) had directions, but Carl remembered how to get there, and we didn't make a single wrong turn, getting in several hours before dark.

    Jim met us as we walked up, and as he had arrived on Thursday to help set up, the tent was already up and I didn't have to do a thing except drop my things inside. It wasn't raining at that moment at the SUDS, though it had rained there for seemingly months, given the swampy terrain. My sneakers were the only shoes I had, and while I was careful enough to walk on long grass and not sink in to the point of letting in water, they were rapidly getting soaked. And there was no grass under the main tent; that was just a giant swamp from the get-go. That night I lit my lantern and hung out under the main tent talking to several Pokingbroke and Binghampton men I didn't know for a few hours before retiring around midnight, after watching Dave Striker try to build a fire in the drizzle. I went to sleep in two pairs of pants and three shirts, with my laundry filling a pillowbag for a pillow, which worked well. The men down in the main tent sang songs until I drifted off.

    I was up before seven Saturday morning, and I tied garbage bags around my shoes to act as makeshift Wellies, but after about half an hour of mucking around it was clear they weren't going to work as a long-term solution, especially not that evening (mucking around camp in the dark) or the next morning (working to break camp).

    And then, a morris miracle occurred.

    On a chair under the main tent, there appeared a sign:

         Quality Shoes
           Size 10 W
          (see Frank)

    And under the sign, sitting on the chair, were a pair of brand new L.L. Bean leather boots. I tried them on, and while they were a little large, especially in width, they fit. I tracked down Frank, a Binghampton man who hadn't intended to sell them as mud boots (but rather as good shoes that just didn't quite fit him) but who sold them to me anyhow, and then I had mud boots for the weekend. What a lifesaver! I was able to make my black sneakers presentable for my kit in time for the dancing, and able to walk around camp for the rest of the weekend without having to worry about where I stepped, which was a true morris miracle. That field was bloody awful.

    Breakfast Saturday morning was eggs and beans 'n' onions (spiked heavily by John with Jamerson's Irish whiskey) at camp, and since I was up before seven, I had a leisurely two hours to eat and get kitted up and ready to go for the day. At 9:30 we loaded onto the buses at the base of the driveway and headed out on our tours. Bouwerie was with Binghampton, and NewTowne, Pokingbroke, and Berkshire went on the Southern Tour. We danced at two small rural libraries and then had a lengthy lunch at a brewpub. At the first stand, we had twelve dancing men and did a double set of Cuckoo's Nest, the first time Bouwerie had done a double set in many years. Pretty much everyone except Hank and Gordy were there -- John, Michael, Jim, Charlie, Jamie, Graham, Dave, Terry, Steve, Grant, Mark, Daniel, and me, plus Jessica. Thirteen dancers total, two father-son pairs (Terry and Graham, Dave and Daniel) among them for the Father's Day SUDS!

    Lunch was prepared sandwiches and soup, with cole slaw, chili, and cookies, and it was perfect for a morris tour -- efficient, tasty, several options, nutricious, light. I also had a blonde ale, which wasn't so to my liking, more probably from the type of beer than the brew (but I wanted to try something different and theoretically lighter). After lunch, there was a most peculiar session with Michael and Dave on fiddles, Mark on trombone, and Grant on theorbo! Quite a sight, and quite a sound. Mark is Jim's cousin, new to the Bouweries, and a Flying Brother Karamazov. Grant, the lutenist extraordinaire, left immediately after lunch to prepare to leave for Italy, where he's getting married next week. Before he left, we serenaded him with humourous advice as best befits a morris wedding. On the bus after lunch, we sang "Going to the Chapel", followed by a series of funny songs, mostly led by Binghampton men.

    We danced at a rural post office, and then at two spots at an old folks' home to a very appreciative audience which included Jamie's 94-year-old grandmother. It was touching; I'm sad neither of mine will likely ever see me dance.

    These buses we were riding on, it should perhaps be mentioned, were standard run-of-the-mill yellow school buses, on which we were drinking heavily (beer coolers in the front full of Fuller's ESB, the Bouwerie drink of choice), smoking pipes in a few cases, singing loudly, and generally carousing in all of the ways one isn't generally allowed to carouse on a yellow school bus.

    After the four dance stands, we headed to the Cockerline's for tea, arriving there a little after the Southern Tour bus. Tea was a splendid affair, again just what the moment called for. Grapes, peaches, several cheeses and crackers, and a three-layer cake, plus hot tea and cold lemonade. There were lots of chairs, a hammock, and plenty of shade to sit in, and many neighbors stopped by as well as the morris men and the Cockerlines themselves. The Cockerlines are neighbors to the field we camp in, and they've been hosting this tea for the SUDS at their own expense for about twenty years. They're likely moving (though staying in the same area) within the year, so tea arrangements for future years are somewhat uncertain at the moment, though something will work out, I'm sure.

    We sang a song of thanks at the end of tea and then, after a leisurely hour, we formed a loose parade and processed to Falls Village. The musicians played a series of random tunes as we walked, with squeezeboxes, fiddles, the trombone, the bass drum, and cymbals making the bulk of the sound. As we approached the village a mile or so down the road, we formed up for the Winster Processional and danced the rest of the way into town, ending in front of the town hall where an assembled crowd of hundreds cheered our entrance.

    Each team danced two show dances, with Bouwerie last in the rotation, with My Lord of Sherbourne set jig and Lads, neither of which Mark or I danced, which left me free to take plenty of pictures and chat with him a bit. There was a lot of time for chatting with various Boys, and I feel a lot closer to many of them after this, more like I belong there. It's a good feeling, but one I hope to further cultivate by showing up for a few practices next year if possible. Earlier in the day I danced several times, including Cuckoo's Nest, Jockey Ducklington, Upton Stick, and Orange in Bloom. Maybe just those four, I'm not sure, but that's not bad for me at a Bouwerie event. My Sherbourne needs a lot of work (it's positively dreadful in my opinion), but they appreciate my enthusiasm and ability to fake things (and occasionally to get things right).

    After the show dances we went into the town hall for the Feast ... one of the highlights of a delightful weekend. The food was outstanding -- several courses nicely spaced, well prepared and delicious. It was neither outrageously late nor egregiously inedible, as the town hall was renovated a few years ago and now has a full kitchen on-site where the meal is prepared.

    The speeches and songs throughout the Feast were fabulous, nicely varying from seriously poignant thanksgivings and contemplative musings and anecdotes about the history and spirit of morris dancing to hilarious shaggy dog stories, improvised shenanigans and hooliganry, and embellished tales, along with spontaneous jokes and songs of all manner. [Of particular note, Graham gave a speech which was so overwhelmingly something-or-another that all I could think to write at this point in the journal was "Graham speech."] The beer flowed freely, and afterwards there was excellent port. I drank heavily, about three beers and a tall glass of port, and found I was quite woozy by the time the cigars came around. I didn't partake and did find it got a bit hard to breathe in a roomful of them, but the Feast itself was essentially over at that point, so I headed outside to the fresh air.

    There was only one dance after dinner, another Jockey Duck, which I danced while Jessica's tabor reverberated half a beat late off the side of a Housatonic passenger car and New Haven caboose parked at the end of the street, under the light of the full moon. As my head went one way from the port, my belly went another from the beer, and the street yet a third direction all of its own recognizance, but somehow my feet stayed beneath me and I capered at the right times, in spite of having only one hankie by then (having left the other at the Cockerline's at tea).

    Then we processed back the mile to camp by the light of the full moon under a now cloudless sky. We had no rain on Saturday, but the field was still a muddy muckfest, and I continued to be glad for the miracle boots, which I changed into as we approached camp. There was a bit of talking with Bob of Pokingbroke that evening under the main tent, but I turned in a little after one, and went to sleep as Michael and Mark played tunes on fiddle and mandolin.

    Sunday morning, breakfast was blueberry pancakes made expertly by Jessica and significantly less expertly (but humorously) by Michael. I was up by 7:30, still grateful for the boots, and glad to have a couple cups of coffee for the first time since I went off caffeine in April. I figured it balanced out the excesses of alcohol the night before, and besides, it tasted good. I wasn't particularly hung over, just groggy. Allen Cockerline came up to camp with a large Mason jar of maple syrup from the trees right at the campsite which went perfectly with the pancakes.

    After breakfast, we broke camp in near record time on account of the mud, as Bouwerie wanted to get as much help as possible before everyone else left. We picked up the main tent -- fifteen men, one on a pole -- and walked it about twenty feet in formation to dry grass before pulling out the poles and folding it, a manuever which worked surprisingly well. Jim and I got his tent packed up, I helped Mark with Jessica's, and we all did various odd helping out with camp in general. Somewhere in there, I had some time to go chat with new friends at the Pokingbroke corner of the campsite. Shortly before we left, we went to sing a song of thanks to the neighboring fellow whose driveway we used to access camp, and he was quite appreciative and jovial.

    Finally, we headed back into Falls Village to clean the town hall, mopping everything, removing all our decorations, and returning the furniture to its pre-Feast state. Once that was done, we were done, and various Boys headed off in their own directions. Charlie, Graham, Dave, Jessica, Jim, and I had lunch at a diner on the Appalachian Trail just out of Falls Village before splitting up. I drove Jim's rental car all the way back, through scenic small towns on 7, 4, 22, and 6 in Connecticut and New York, and the Taconic into New York (after an aborted attempt and U-turn on I-684, which was totally backed up). We took a leisurely drive, stopping in several small town along the way to wander and take a few pictures, and we got to his building around six, unloaded his things. I checked the train schedules from his apartment, and then he drove me to Penn Station where I took the Amtrak [back to Philadelphia]. Whew!

  • Despite having tremendous fun at the SUDS, in subsequent years (through 2009) it has always coincided with Swarthmore's Alumni Weekend. Each of 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 I chose Swarthmore, and I acknowledge in hindsight that I was a dickhead for these decisions. In 2008 I missed the SUDS while I was in Oregon working for the Obama campaign, and I maintain this is a worthy excuse for missing the SUDS that year.


My sixth year with Kingsessing
  • K-Men regulars in 2003-04 included ... (my very nice notes on who tended to show up to practices stopped with 2002-03)

Whitty Pear Tour
Wednesday 29 October, 2003
  • Whitty Pear Women's Morris from Worcestershire, England, visited Philadelphia on their American tour, where Kingsessing danced with them at St. Peter's school, the Liberty Bell, City Hall, and Rittenhouse Square, with stops at Reading Terminal for lunch and a pub near Rittenhouse for an early dinner.

  • K-Men in attendance included me, Garrett Gowan (?), Ed Stivender, Rik Bourne, Joe Passante, Doug Kurtze, Gary Undercuffler, Bill Quern, Dan Drecksage, and Jan Alter.

  • A peculiar follow-up, from my journal: I'd emailed my professor ahead of time that I might be late for class tonight because of a dinner meeting. Dinner started at four, and I figured I'd probably get to class before seven (it starts at six) which ought to be ok. That part of my figuring was accurate.

    I also figured class would just be more lecture as usual, and proceeded to have two beers at dinner. That part of my figuring was inaccurate: I got to class to discover we were all giving presentations on our midterms.

    So there I was, both punch drunk from no sleep and tipsy drunk from, well, the obvious, and suddenly I had to present for about ten minutes. Good thing I was intimately familiar with the material! Too bad I wasn't intimately familiar with the English language or standing up straight.

    It didn't go as badly as it could've: I didn't fall asleep while giving the presentation. What a fascinating experience, never to be repeated.

    But the really odd thing was, mine was the only presentation of the ten or so I saw (I missed the first few) which resulted in unsolicited questions and comments from classmates, both of which were positive and intriguing. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Morris absence... and return
Winter 2003-04
  • "Between my stress fracture, exams, trip to Virginia, post-Mummers time off, practices being cancelled due to other people being sick, and bad weather, I haven't done any morris since October! And as morris has been my only dancing for years, this means I haven't done any dancing of any sort for about three months. Weird. Maybe this Monday?" (Journal, Saturday 31 January, 2004)

  • "Monday, I went to morris for the first time since October, and Ed Stivender came and did his Plough Monday routine, complete with fabulous tailored sack-cloth trousers. (Made from real burlap seed bags! I want a pair!) Ed's plan for Ash Wednesday is to sit through five consecutive showings of Mel Gibson's Passion, doing a mumming routine between the showings. I've missed Ed. And dancing; it felt good." (Journal, Wednesday 25 February, 2004)

Kingsessing practice on St. David's Day
Monday 1 March, 2004
  • The following is from my journal: I stopped by the Acme en route to morris and picked up a bunch of leeks, having also brought my Shakespeare. After waiting outside [the practice hall] for them to finish Dixon's Delight, I strode in, leek in my hat, and read from HenV V.i (leaping from one spot to the other playing both parts in different voices):

    Fluellen   ... God pless you, Aunchient Pistol! you
               scurvy, lousy knave, God pless you!
    Pistol     Ha! art thou bedlam? dost thou thirst, base Trojan,
               To have me fold up Parca's fatal web?
               Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek.
    Fluellen   I peseech you heartily, scurvy, lousy knave, at my
               desires, and my requests, and my petitions, to eat,
               look you, this leek: because, look you, you do not
               love it, nor your affections and your appetites and
               your digestions doo's not agree with it, I would
               desire you to eat it.
    Pistol     Not for Cadwallader and all his goats.
    Fluellen   There is one goat for you.
               [Strikes him -- me swinging at Joe with a leek]
               Will you be so good, scauld knave, as eat it?
    Pistol     Base Trojan, thou shalt die.
    Fluellen   You say very true, scauld knave, when God's will is:
               I will desire you to live in the mean time, and eat
               your victuals: come, there is sauce for it.
               [Strikes him -- me swinging the leek again to great cheers]
               You called me yesterday mountain-squire; but I will
               make you to-day a squire of low degree. I pray you,
               fall to: if you can mock a leek, you can eat a leek.

    It was well received; and it turns out that Ed played Pistol in 1966! Then Simon, our resident Brit, gave us Welsh accent impressions.

    The next dance was Balance the Straw, a stick dance, and I was opposite Ed, so I grabbed a leek for each of us to hold in our free hands. In the last chorus, we toss the sticks to our opposites, and Ed and I tossed leeks ... or rather, that was the plan, but when he was about to toss his stick by mistake he saw my leek flying at him and -- tossing nothing -- cringed from the flying root, which struck him square on the pate, just as Fluellen would do to Pistol. We then practiced the leek toss a couple more times, trying to toss both leeks and sticks simultaneously; the best we got was catching three out of four.

Easter Tour 2004 (4th Easter??? also, 2nd Cherry Blossom??? or neither???)
  • [Moskin called, and] "we talked about Easter (pending my Drexel schedule, I'll be going to New York again, though Bouwerie has a lot of new men this year, so I wouldn't dance much) and the D.C. Cherry Blossom Tour the weekend after, to which Kingsessing has been invited (and to which Jim might come as a K-man). And then we talked about Greek and Sanskrit and Indo-European laryngeals and Old Irish morphology and how Hittites drank beer through straws because they didn't filter their beer, but all the junk floated to the surface." (Sunday 14 March, 2004)

  • ... but I have no record of whether I actually went to Easter or Cherry Blossom. Did I skip these foolishly on account of a new relationship? Or did I go to these but not take any notes or photos?

May Day 2004 with Kingsessing (5th Belmont May Day)
Saturday 1 May, 2004
  • I sent the following invitation to friends: Come to Belmont Plateau at 5:45 AM this Saturday and be treated to a living mythic spectacle, as the Kingsessing Morris Men beckon the sun to rise, wake the ground for the planting season, chase away the evil spirits of winter, and bring luck and fertility to all who watch! This English tradition was old in Shakespeare's day and like all good myth-rituals, its origins are shrouded in the mists of time and a matter of great debate.

    We will be joined at Belmont by the Germantown Longsword Dancers, another ancient English ritual dance closely related to sword dances found throughout Europe (possibly dating back to a common Ur-sworddance?).

    The similarity in appearance of morris dancing to the Kouretes of ancient Greece (written about by the eminent myth-ritualist Jane Harrison in her Themis, 1912, chapter 1) cannot be overlooked. We are definitely "armed and orgiastic dancers", with (as Strabo wrote) "noise and hubbub of timbrels and clashing arms and also ... the sound of the flute and shouting." We dance with mighty sticks, and the sword dancers, of course dance with swords; yet, like the Kouretes our dances are not necessarily warlike. We clash the sticks and beat the ground with them, to ready the soil for the planting season; and the sword dancers, linked by their dulled swords into a ring of dancers, weave intricate patterns before beheading the Turkish Knight or St. George (who is then resurrected, of course). Like the Kouretes, we wear white. And perhaps we are half divine and "have all manner of magical capacities" ... but that shall remain our secret.

    If you can't make the dawn dancing on Saturday, or if it's too far away, worry not! On Sunday you can see us dance at Bryn Mawr. We will be dancing on the main walk that runs from Pem Arch between Taylor and Thomas, starting around 8:30 AM and dancing until 9:30 when the parade comes through. On Sunday, the Kingsessing Morris Men will be joined by women morris dancers from upstate New York, as well as the Germantown Longsword Dancers once again, and possibly also garland dancers and English rapper-sword dancers! (Thursday 29 April, 2004)

at Bryn Mawr May Day 2004 with Kingsessing (6th BMC May Day)
Sunday 2 May, 2004
  • Who were the "women morris dancers from upstate New York" mentioned above? Did they actually come?

  • I remember going, but I don't remember details and I don't seem to have any photos.

Mystery Event, Unidentified Photos???
  • Dan Drecksage, me, Bill Quern, Ed Stivender, Simon Healey, Jan Alter, Gary Undercuffler, Rik Bourne...

  • What was this??? I have five mysterious photos in iPhoto from early May 2004, that might be from somewhere in Fairmount Park (or might be somewhere else)... and I have no idea what this event was.


My seventh year with Kingsessing
  • K-Men regulars in 2004-05 included ...

[]/[] ?????
Sunday 11 October, 2004
  • "Did I mention that I have to get up early tomorrow morning for a morris dancing gig?" (Saturday 10 October, 2004)

    What is this in reference to???

at Mummers Day Parade 2005 (3rd Mummers -- missed 2004 due to stress fracture, right?)
Saturday 1 January, 2005
  • With eight dancers we performed a border stick dance entered as Sticking It To Them. The kit was the same as in 2003. We wear blackface in the parade, perhaps the only time and place one can get away with that in today's Philadelphia. Our traditional kit-up space is a men's room in the bowels of Suburban Station.

    In addition to the dancing and music, our entries always are heralded by a sign created by Rik Bourne which is often attached to Jan Alter's van (ably driven and navigated by his wife and daughters). And Hugo joins us, always dressed in the appropriate kit (though he may not be the original Hugo).

  • Dancers and musicians in that year's parade included me, Garrett Gowan (?), Dan Drecksage, Simon Healey, Bill Quern, Doug Kurtze, Mike Crowley, Joe Passante, Jan Alter, Al Crawford, Will Crawford (?), Gary Undercuffler, and Rik Bourne.

[]/[] New bellpads
Monday 31 January, 2005
  • "Bill gave me a new set of bell-pads, which I finished punching as they weren't quite finished. The timing was perfect, since one of the straps on my first pair came unstitched tonight."

Morris workshop at Swarthmore with Jim Moskin for Linguistics 57
Spring 2005

May Day 2005 with Kingsessing (6th Belmont May Day), including
at Bryn Mawr May Day 2005 with Kingsessing (7th BMC May Day)
Sunday 1 May, 2005
  • May Day 2005 was wet, and we couldn't dance on the usual field at Belmont Plateau. Instead we danced on the parking lot adjacent to Mansion Drive, just up the hill from the usual spot. The dancing was rather shorter than usual, owing to the rain, to there being only two teams (Kingsessing and GCD longsword), and to our having to get to Bryn Mawr by 7:30 AM for breakfast.

  • Bryn Mawr's May Day is always the first Sunday after spring semester classes end, so it occasionally coincides with May Day as it did this year. After breakfast, we performed alone. The rain had stopped!

  • Dancers included Jan Alter, Al Crawford, Doug Kurtze, Garrett Gowan (?), Dan Drecksage, Ed Stivender, Joe Passante, me, Gary Undercuffler, Bill Quern, Simon Healey, Mike Crowley, and an unidentified-by-me dancer in old racing-stripe trousers who joined us at Bryn Mawr (?).


My eighth year with Kingsessing
  • K-Men regulars in 2005-06 included ...

Heritage Folk Festival demo and workshop
Saturday 24 September, 2005
  • "The morris and rapper demo seemed lightly attended, probably due to its not being on the printed schedule, but the morris workshop was a very pleasant surprise, with nine dancers (including Mel, whom we were glad to meet). Three [K-Men] danced with them to form two sides, and Rik and I played box while Doug taught Constant Billy from Adderbury. The dancers were enthusiastic and talented, so we taught and danced the whole thing, all six figures." (Wednesday 28 September, 2005)

[]/[] Less time with Kingsessing...
  • This was an unfortunate result of two factors. First, I was upset over some discussions at team meetings which shook my comfort level in associating with the team for personal and political reasons. And second, I started a new job in late September and took an already-scheduled two-week vacation to the Netherlands in late October, which meant I had seventy hours of flex-time to make up starting in November. I was rarely out of work early enough for dinner before morris on Mondays. By the point I had time to practice again, I had fallen so out of the habit, and still had awkward feelings that hadn't had a chance to be resolved or disspelled, that inertia kept me from practice.

An evening with Arnold Madderom
November 2005

at Bryn Mawr May Day 2006 with Kingsessing (8th BMC May Day... right?)
Sunday 30 April, 2006
  • Grand May Day

  • did I go? how could I miss this? but I have no photos...

May Day 2006 with Kingsessing (7th Belmont May Day)
Monday 1 May, 2006
  • K-Men, GCD longsword, GCD garland, Points of Etiquette, singing, GCD rapper

Tony Barrand at Swarthmore Alumni Weekend
June 2006

Studying melodeon with Frans Tromp
Summer 2006


My ninth year with Kingsessing
  • K-Men regulars in 2006-07 included ...

  • I think I hardly danced with Kingsessing this year.

A brief SwarthMorris revival
Fall 2006
  • "I was asked to teach morris dancing at Swat! There are already three enthusiastic dancers, and I'm hoping to find more of course. But I need to pull together a teaching plan, reserve space, send out emails, and make and post some proppage.... ML Breakfast Room, 5 PM Thursday, be there with bells on!" (Wednesday 13 September, 2006)

  • "YAY! Big success. Next week, same bell-channel, same bell-time." (Saturday, 16 September, 2006)

  • From 2 Nov, "Morris happened and was nice, though wow I can't play on this new tuning, and I'm about to give up and switch the reeds back just so I can play these tunes without practicing. Because I'm too lazy to practice and learn the new tuning? Sigh. // But we had four dancers, at least for the start. I'm following the "teach the steps quickly and get people moving, then come back and deal with form later" school of teaching. I'm not entirely sure how well it's working, especially with inconsistent attendance. But maybe it's doing some good. // It will all be so much better with music...."

  • Dancers included Jeff Kaufman, Finlay Logan, ... and I'm drawing a blank! I only have one photo of any of this, of Jeff Kaufman with sticks in a bag made from old brown corduroy trousers. And I have no notes on whether SwarthMorris ever danced out this year.

  • When Renegade formed (either 2006-07 or 2007-08), Jeff and Finlay both joined. After graduation, Jeff joined NewTowne and Finlay joined Ring O'Bells.

Easter Tour 2007 with the Bouwerie Boys (4th Easter -- pretty sure I missed 2004)
Sunday 8 April, 2007
  • photos lost from hard drive failure

  • It was snowing! I wore my rag shirt. Went with Finlay. Watched and busked, but didn't dance.

May Day 2007 with Kingsessing (8th Belmont May Day, or 7th if I missed this one)
Tuesday 1 May, 2007
  • photos lost from hard drive failure

  • did I dress? did I dance?

at Bryn Mawr May Day 2007 with Kingsessing (9th BMC May Day, or 8th if I missed this, assuming I made 2006...)
Sunday 6 May, 2007
  • photos lost from hard drive failure

  • did I even go?

Wilma Theater performance by Kingsessing
Thursday 31 May, 2007
  • Jim Moskin stopped by my office at Swat around 3:00 PM. We had dinner at 30th St, and then went to the Wilma where I watched the performance.

vaguely remembered things 2003-2007 or so...

when did i buy the concertina? (after)

kit adjustments over time?
hat change, belt change, racing stripe change...

when did mel write kingsessing?
when did renegade start?
when did points of etiquette start?


My tenth year with Kingsessing (but not really)
  • K-Men regulars in 2007-08 included ... but not me.

  • This year really shouldn't count for years on the team. I didn't practice in the fall, and I was working for Obama in the spring. The only thing I did with Kingsessing was attend Joe's birthday party, which reminded me how important morris is.

Joe Passante's 50th birthday
February 2008


My eleventh year with Kingsessing
(started in February)
  • K-Men regulars in 2008-09 included ...

Cherry Blossom Tour 2009 with Kingsessing (2nd Cherry Blossom... unless I went in 2004, in which case 3rd)
Saturday 11 April, 2009

Easter Tour 2009 with the Bouwerie Boys (5th Easter... unless I went in 2004, in which case 6th)
Sunday 12 April, 2009

St. George's Day
Thursday 23 April, 2009

at NEFFA (3rd NEFFA)
Friday 24 April - Sunday 26 April, 2009

May Day 2009 with Kingsessing (9th Belmont May Day, or 8th if I missed 2007)
Friday 1 May, 2009

at Bryn Mawr May Day 2009 with Kingsessing (10th BMC May Day, or 9th if I missed 2007, unless also missed 2006...)
Sunday 3 May, 2009

Glenside Contra Performance
Thursday 7 May, 2009

Mt. Airy Tour with Kingsessing
Saturday 9 May, 2009

Croton Tour with the Bouwerie Boys
Saturday 16 May, 2009

SUDS 2009 (2nd SUDS)
Thursday 4 June - Sunday 7 June, 2009
after five years of being a dickhead
with Exceedingly Good Song Night after

Summer dancing with the Bouwerie Boys and Ring O'Bells
Wednesday 10 June, 2009

Dance with the White Haired Boy
Thursday 30 July, 2009

The 34th American Travelling Morrice
Saturday 15 August - Sunday 23 August, 2009
  • THIS NEEDS A WRITE-UP (to what extent that is possible)


My twelfth year with Kingsessing
  • K-Men regulars in 2008-09 included ...

Bouwerie Boys Morris Dancers 30th Reunion
Friday 2 October - Sunday 4 October, 2009