Perfect casting for the role of a lifetime ~
bringing Lord Timothy Dexter to life ...
Throughout generations, Lord Timothy Dexter
remains the epitome
(or as Lord Tim would spell it out, "A pitty me")
Newburyport's enduring entrepreneurial spirit. And for the past two
years ~ Newburyport native, Amesbury High School history teacher
and local history enthusiast Paul "Jance" Jancewicz has
been the embodiment of Dexter ~ providing the form for one who is certainly
"one of a kind."
(c) 2004 Bright iDear
This image captures the form earlier in the spring of 2004, during Jance's first outing in Lord Tim attire ~ getting into the spirit of the role. The Knowing Ones took him to commune at the Dexter's graveside~ to Awaken the Spirit ...
During that Yankee Homecoming festival, Jance cum Lord Tim was to partake in a parody of the very "fake funeral" the Kelley School children mention in their "big book" ~ in a (very) loosely translated spoof on the mock funerals which Dexter himself had held during his lifetime (and mentioned in his "little book") ...Portraying Jonathan Plummer, John Brennan1 recited an Elegiac Ode to the nearly departed ~ and all toasted to his Lordship's memory, in a Motion of Comity. One of the Knowing Ones quoted the essence of Dexter with his expression: "The 'sole' is the thinking part" ...
Then, when asked to speak their piece ~ some of the children ~ who had been giving out token rings to participants and spectators of the mock "mock funeral" ~ poignantly interpreted the symbolism to signify: "There is no end to Lord Timothy Dexter." How profound.2
Seeking solace and solitude after the event, a small gathering mounted the knap of Old Hill Burying Ground where Dexter rests and joined in a conversation which centered around beginnings and endings ~ the Circle of Life ... and coming full circle.
At the time, actor and historical interpreter John Brennan
of Newport, Rhode Island brilliantly portrayed Lord Timothy Dexter's poet
laureate Jonathan Plummer.
Rejoining his onetime friend and patron for a time before Yankee Homecoming
2004 (Come Wot May!) ~ the itinerant
preacher, solicitous poet laureate and erstwhile fishmonger could be seen
out and about the Waterside ~ on some occasions in the company of his
Lordship ~ other times on his own ~ proffering his broadsides to passersby
~ engaging in an extemporaneous, extraordinary oratory or fabulous confabulation.
John's soul mate Michelle fulfilled the part of "Mrs. Dexter" in the aforementioned mock "mock funeral"~ and three generations of the Brennan family ~ including a son (then a "tween" now teen) and a younger daughter and paternal grandparents ~ sojourned to Newburyport to enjoy Yankee Homecoming ~ helping to remark a new generation during by building a cairn during a Once in a Blue Moon opportunity. And while "Jonathan" was gamming with a group of local teens, Madam Hooper overheard the group ask his young daughter if he was her father ~ and when she nodded, they all proclaimed, "Your dad is so cool!" Naturally, the little one was beaming with pride. Cool teens calling her dad cool. Phat, that.
A post script in a communication added that the Brennans have started a new tradition based upon the old German custom of hanging a glass pickle ornament on the Christmas Tree:
Do sense that somewhere Lord Timothy Dexter is smiling ~ for (along with an increase in "entourism") ~ this is exactly what Lord Tim and (an earlier generation of) the Knowing Ones had hoped to engender with the ever-changing montage of monuments comprising his "mouseum" of historical "wodden figgers" ~ an exploit which Dexter expressly expressed in the opening passage of "Pickle" itself. And something we hope to continue with a new generation ~ adopting and adapting old to new. Coming full circle. In a Motion of Comity.
Perhaps the children were correct in their interpretation of the mourning ring's representation of the Circle of Life: That there is no end to Lord Timothy Dexter ~ or any one or any thing we try to keep alive in its best light and afterlight ...
One had the occasion to be very much a part of this event ~ hoping against
hope to introduce an "old friend" to the wider audience. Many
had forewarned that setting one's cap to recap (and rehab) Lord Timothy
Dexter during a madcap Yankee Homecoming event was foolish.
speaking with the reporter about this, as well as an incorrect factoid
concerning Dexter, one was told the newspaper could correct the record
to indicate that Dexter was a tanner and not a tailor --- and would
state that one was not the individual who made the remark (suggesting
we all go have an ale) --- however, the paper could not quote what one
did say ~ nor (more importantly) could the paper state the children's
comments. [Incidentally, one was informed that the attribition had been
made (capriciously) in order to mention one's name in the article ~
(with no consideration of the accuracy.)]