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Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Don't get me wrong, I like pirates as much as the next person. I even did an earlier entry on the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel but what I don't get is how almost every maritime heritage festival out there now has to have a pirate or "swashbuckler" connection.

Take for instance the recent Toshiba Tall Ships Festival in Dana, California. This annual festival commemorates California's rich maritime heritage in the town named after Richard Henry Dana by holding swordfights aboard a replica of the Pilgrim.(I must have missed that part of Two Years Before the Mast) Then too this year's Maritime Festival at Thunder Bay features a "Pirate Play Station." Greenport, Long Island's Maritime Festival offers pirates who "roam the streets in an interactive role-play". There is also the University of Connecticut's upcoming "Festival by the Sound" complete with "roving swashbucklers" and treasure maps!. Just up the coast at the Mystic Seaport Museum you can have your picture taken with a parrot after, of course, you've purchased your pirate hat.

Here at the Library we like to say we don't have much information or documentation from pirates, they didn't leave their logbooks, or treasure maps behind. We do have records from the much more mundane privateers, those covert government operators who stole the property of other countries for their own personal gain as well as the benefit of their own country. Perhaps maritime heritage should celebrate the privateer. With only a little spin they can be a hero and a freedom fighter, and they didn't wear funny hats.

1 comment:

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