Sadness abounds, Pete. My Muse is reminding me, reading this, of the cruise I took sometime in the 90’s on the Princess Marguerite out of Seattle to Victoria, BC. It was to be, they said, the last round-trip cruise before mothballing the ship — a momentous occasion and so many on board had a history with that boat — some had even gotten married on it. It was my first trip on that ship, but still and all, the chills and weepiness came on big-time when we were greeted in Victoria by a fleet of welcoming small boats and the honking and tooting all along the harbor front. An escort to follow us in to the berthing area and a lot of waving. On the way back as the sun was setting over Seattle and we glided into the home waters, the same thing was happening, but even louder. All the boats and ships along Seattle’s waterfront moaned out their salutes and goodbyes to the well-known vessel. But that was not all. A lone bagpipe player came out onto the dock in his full regalia and he played for at least an hour while we all hung along the railing and sang or wept. It was eerie and sad and touching and heartbreaking. Amazing Grace was beyond moving. No one wanted to leave.
It turned out that someone resuscitated that vessel for a few more journeys. Not sure where she is now. But the memories are as strong as yesterday.
Hopefully the good times and cohesiveness of Cowbird will live on, even if the site is gone.
…Please, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly
Play the Death March as you carry me along
Take me to the green valley, there lay the sod o’er me
For I’m a young cowboy and I known I’ve done wrong…
from Marty Robbins Streets of Loredo