That may sound like hyperbole, but what else can you call it? Starting with the release of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (which is still pillaging theater box offices all over the country,) the CBS show "Pirate Master," and the opening of at least four pirate-themed museum exhibits around the country, you'd have to say that's what this is – The Summer of the Pirate!.
Here are the four exhibits we know about. If we haven't mentioned yours its because we don't know. Tell us. If you've already told us, tell us again. It was probably the rum made us forget!
– National Geographic's traveling exhibit – Real Pirates – At the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. It focuses on life aboard Black Sam Bellamy's ship, the Wydah, and features more than 150 artifacts from that ship, along with actual pirate treasure, weaponry and a recreation of the doomed vessel. This exhibit will move on to Philadelphia, Chicago and other ports in the next couple of years.
– Pirates were active not just in the Caribbean, but in New England as well. A new exhibit called, “A Short Life and Merry: Pirates of New England,” is on display at the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich on Massachusetts's Cap Cod.
– The Door County Maritime Museum, in Sturgeon Bay, WI, has an exhibit on pirates to appeal to the fascination shared by adults and children alike. The exhibit features original artwork by our old friend Don Maitz, and includes history on the likes of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Anne Bonney and Mary Read, and interactive stations to experience the challenge of a pirate’s life.
– Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is presenting the exhibit "Pirates - Predators of the Sea." It's an interactive, educational voyage into the underworld of sea predators
And don't forget the Pirate Soul Museum in Key West, where it's always The Summer of the Pirate. There may be other such exhibits around the country that just haven't been brought to our attention. If you know of one, write to me and I'll pass the word along!
Two titles for the wee ones
"Pirates Don't Change Diapers" –
The new book is wonderful, in some ways, even better than the original. "How I Became a Pirate" showed a kid in a pirate's world. In "Pirates Don't Change Diapers," the new book, the pirates come into his world and are comically confounded by all sorts of things, especially .... the boy's baby sister.
The story is fun, but like I said, the illustrations are fabulous.
My son and I especially got a kick out of the drawing of the pirates trying to figure out the disposable diaper, with one getting the thing caught on his hook and another wearing one over his head like a very different eye patch.
"Pirates Don't Change Diapers" is a terrific book for the little pirate in your life. You'll have as much fun reading it to the nipper as he or she will while you read it aloud. It's another instant classic.
And David Shannon is a genius.
"Pirate Mom" by Deborah Underwood.
And there's many, many more book reviews to come. I'm way behind on my reading, and my apologies to all the authors and publishers who've sent books (or in one case hand-delivered it.) I'll get them all done soon. In the coming weeks reviews will include:
• "The Pirate Primer," by George Choundas
Short review – all are worth a read for very different reasons. For the full reviews, watch upcoming issues of The Poopdeck!
And, of course, let me remind you that our own book, "Pirattitude!" is available at a bookstore near you (if it's not, move near a bookstore where it is, because it sure as hell should be!) and it makes a great gift.
I know, it's been two months since PyrateCon in New Orleans. Let me just say for the record, we – Cap'n Slappy, Mad Sally and meself – had a great time and can't wait to go back! Being part of a parade of more than 750 pirates invading the French Quarter – that hasn't happened since War of 1812! – was one of the coolest things we've ever done. The audiences for our appearances were large and enthusiastic, and it was great to meet many of the people we've met only online for many years and also make many new friends. Plus, Cap'n Slappy might have gotten married! We think he did, but it's hard to say. There was a fair amount of drinking going on.
PyrateCon was a grand time. It was also a privilege to spend some time in New Orleans, where the citizens never stopped asking, "Are you enjoying our city?" "Are you having a good time?" and the like. Boy, the people of New Orleans want you to know they're open for business and would love to have you come for a visit. You should, too, it's a great town for pirates!
To get a look at some of the fun we had and some of the friends we met, go to our home page – http://talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html – scroll down and clock the Flickr link on the left. That'll take you to our photo page. Then just open the PyrateCon 2007 set and you're in business. Although I have to admit not only the pictures are as sharp or well framed as they should be – it got a little drunk out. Which might explain the photos of "Cap'n Slappy's Wedding to Scarlett the Harlot."
Those who got to know the Chumbucket Clan by watching last September's "Wife Swap" episode missed a few important things about the family. One was that me wife, Mad Sally, doesn't sit around in the hot tub all day (much as she'd like to, and who wouldn't?) She was, in fact, a full-time college student, something ABC didn't see fit to mention.
The reason I mention it now is that last month, Mad Sally gradumacated! Not only did she get her degree in English Literature from Oregon State University, she graduated magna cum laude – with high honors! All of us here at Team Pirate and especially me are as proud as hell of her accomplishment and want you to know about it.
Until next time (and it'll be soon, I promise) I remain,
Your humble editor,
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