Thursday, 1 May 2014

Well I never

In the late 1970's when I was the Rector at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Fitchburg, I would often serve as Chaplain for one week each summer at the Bement Camp and Conference Center (owned and operated by the Diocese of Western Massachusetts).
I was usually there for "Music/Work Week"  - a camp for youth in Senior High School.  At Music/Work Week we would work around the Camp site each morning, then in the afternoons and evenings we would work on a musical play to be offered to camper's parents and family members at the end of the week.  The play and music would always be written/composed during the week.
In 1978 or 1979 the musical was "Pilgrims' Progress" conceived and created by a young Anglo/Welshman , one Martin Smith.  Martin was a dedicated left winger and an agnostic/atheist. I could never figure out why and how he had been recruited from the U.K. to spend the summer at the Camp.
His musical was certainly left of centre, and although I recall very little of the plot, I do know that one of the villains of the show was called "Mayor Shabby".
It was all good,  fun with a great cast of singers, actors and instrumentalists.
My good friend Noel Hanger has been cleaning out his late mother's home in in Pittsfield MA (with other family members).  He came upon the photo' below.
I do remember that it was the camp of the "four Marthas". each was a daughter of four different Episcopal Ministers and their wives.
The four Marthas were Martha Fickling and Martha Wissemann (of Pittsfield) together witbh Martha Chamberlain and Martha Sullivan (of the Worcester area).
Noel is on the left, then a slim and trim jmp, with Martha Fickling (also of Pittsfield on the right). I cannot identify the young woman who is seated at the table.

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