Recently my wife, the inappropriately lovely and heart-stoppingly appealing Mrs. K, hatched the scheme of renting a Bobcat -which is one of those horrible little mini-tractor/bulldozer things -and having me push a bunch of dirt around in the corral to make it “nicer” for the horsies.
Well, one thing we found out right away was that the horses didn’t think this was a good idea at all. Early on, all three of them, and the donkey (and don’t forget, we’re talking about big, fatso, elderly horses here, plus one long emaciated donkey) pretty much made a break for it the minute I turned the key. Mrs. K had her frontier shoes on, though, so she was pretty sure we’d get the livestock back eventually, and wasn’t hardly even ruffled at this point.
Once she sensed my deft touch with unfamiliar machinery, though, she blanched a bit and, as seconds turned into minutes, shortly succumbed to all-out panic at the sight of me at the helm, spinning about, rearing up, breaking fenceposts, smoking, and dumping dirt on myself. In little more than an hour, a substantial crowd of neighbors and well-wishers had gathered, many incredulous to the point of laughter over my interesting new-fangled farming techniques. It was a good day -I’ll bet I won’t have to do any work in the yard for another month or so, easy.
Also wanted to mention that there’s a band at the Wellfleet Beachcomber this Saturday called Hybrasil that are very much, like, not Brazilian. In fact, their lead singer is Irish, and the band they sound the most like is probably U2, so those out looking for sambas, bossa novas, and a bit of tropicalismo would be advised to try a different source for that carnival vibe.
I’m sorry to end this week with some bad news: sometime cape resident and noted folksinger Barbara Carns died last week; she was 76. She’ll be remembered locally as a champion of progressive causes and traditional music, and the mother of a little flock of musicians, including Tommy Carns, whose debut album was one of my favorites of last year. Music clearly played a vital role in the Carns family, and again in a touching memorial service last week near Brattleboro, Vermont, where Ms. Carns also spent many years.
Unfortunately, I never got to hear Barbara, who was, by all accounts, a warm and mesmerizing performer. She recorded several albums in the sixties and seventies, and was a pivotal player in the early days of Eastham’s First Encounter Coffeehouse, whose director, Karie Miller, commented that “she was a very loving and understanding part of our community who played many times for little or no money back when the coffeehouse was just starting out.” She’ll be recalled fondly and missed by many hereabouts.