The PV resort was having a pirate themed Halloween bash for all the resident children, so Bill and I, along with the balloon buccaneers went and entertained until two pm.
At two o’clock Bill and I walked out to the car, de geared, and set forth towards Savannah for gig two.
An insurance company was having a regional conference and had hired Mayhem to provide entertainment. He had invited me along with several other pirates from Savannah. How fitting for an insurance conference to have a “pirate” theme. When we arrived downtown Savannah we went to our hotel first. The client had put us up at the Hyatt. Nice hotel….but the conference was at the Weston, across the river…hmmmm.
After checking in and gearing back up, we went down to the river to hop on the river taxi that would take us to the Westin. The Captain of the taxi tug, smiled as we sauntered on board and of course, we posed for pictures. What else do two fine gentlemen of fortune do when presented with cameras.
We wandered into the conference center to find the client and meet the other pirates Mayhem had invited. After meeting the client we walked back to the hotel to meet the other performers.
As we walked into the conference room that had been set up as a green room, I was greeted by a squawking macaw parrot about 2 ft tall, he was gorgeous, (his name I was to later find out was Tinker, or Tink)
His human, that he had adopted and was his vehicle for long journeys was a man by the name of Dawson. A fearsome pirate in his own right, not a man like you or I, but a man with no soul.
Then from the darkest corner of the room I heard an eerie Irish lasses voice, I had heard of this lass, her name being Sasha. Tour guide, rabble rouser and pirate. A shrill, ever piercing voice, tour guide extraordinaire, a staple in Savannah, knowledgeable both in history, piracy and ghostly encounters.
Short in stature, tall in character, a woman not to be trifled with.
Then there was a gaunt figure of a man, with a face like stone. A visage of fear, known only as blackwhip. Historian in Georgia, teller of tales and fancier of women.
The event went well, with us all splitting up, going in our own directions, each bringing our own unique talent to the show.
Magic, Humor, history, slapstick, improve, and straight out shenanigans.
The evening went smoothly and all was well. When we were all done, Sasha had to go and work a tour, so the rest of us went out on the town, River street to be exact.
My first time and what a place. I digress here a little, because Mayhem and I were for one, exhausted, second, we needed a beer.
So off we went for libations. Wandering to and fro, we found that not many places wanted a big bird in their bar, health code thingies I guess. So Tink…went home…. Much to my dismay.
Drinks were plentiful, as all wanted to drink with the pirates. The music was grand and many a sing a longs were done. We even convinced, (read harassed) the band to play some shanties. As the evening wore on, I noticed that the upstairs was still lit up, but no one was going up or down. I asked the bartender and he told me it was closed, but if I wanted to go up I could. They called it the hall of hero's.
Now, we all know pubs that have a room with a few things on the wall, local hero’s etc.
O Malley’s in St Aug. pays homage to the military and first responders as an example.
Nothing could prepare me for what I was about to walk up to…. An entire floor, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, covered in pictures, not just of individuals but of squads etc. As I slowly wandered around, I started to see pictures of places I have been and people I have met, known and have been with.
I purposely did not take pictures of this floor, because something’s need to be seen and experienced.
Now, no one really knows this, but about nine months ago, I started a journey, a journey to rid myself of ghosts, things that kept me from being happy, from succeeding. Memories long suppressed have been allowed to surface, to be dealt with and swept away, finally. Lots of pain, anguish and tears, but that is what it takes to make the nightmares stop, the anger to subside and the memories fade.
This room was not what I had expected, nor what I wanted to see.
As I finished my walk around this room, I came to the end by the door and it was all 9/11, a flag from ground zero, pictures, lots of pictures and then the last piece. A piece of steel from the towers that was cut into a silhouette of the twin towers, set behind glass.
I leaned in, touched it……….. stood…….. and then wept……. tears that were eleven years overdue. That moment was a long time coming, but it brought me peace.
With that, I leave you with this………never believe that you cannot…….because you truly can…..
Thank you for setting me on this path.
To my Pirate family, you have stood with me over the years, good, bad or indifferent…….Thank you.