According to the Wikipedia Columbia, Md. is “a planned community that consists of ten self-contained villages.” “Opened in 1967, Columbia was designed to not only eliminate the inconveniences of then-current subdivision design……” According to the Google listing, “The Mall in Columbia Offers Columbia's Top Shopping Experience.” This is where “we” decided to make our public debut.
Now, if I had seen what those lubbers in that parking lot saw as we began our trek, I would have immediately wanted to know what they were doing and….. can I do it too? Nope. It amazes me still how the vast majority in this town would rather take their chances in traffic in order to get across the street (or the other side of the bay) before they got too close. If they did have to cross our path, there was no eye contact, at all. They wouldn't have a chance of tripping over their own feet cause their eyes and half their body would be bent down looking at them rather than having to look at us. It still happens today, even though our dress is a bit more convincing. We now carry pouches, haversacks, cutlasses, black powder and the firearms it goes in, knives and daggers, belaying pins and treasure chests. (Note: black powder weapons are not illegal to own or carry as long as they are not loaded).
We did have an agenda. My son worked at a mobile phone kiosk which was located about 40 feet from the entrance. He was on the phone for a customer who was standing there waiting as she spotted us first. Then…he saw us. There was no controlling the reaction even though he was on the phone as I sauntered up to him in my best drunk pirate swagger, ,cocked my head to one side and said the only piratical thing I could conjure up, “you look somewhat familiar, have I threatened you before?” As he put the phone call on hold and his customer hysterically doubled over in absolute glee, mall security was approaching to escort us out on the grounds that we were “disturbing” patrons. Mmmm, things haven't changed much.
During all this time I of course I insisted on “practices”. This would simply mean that we would dress in our “garb” and do “piratical” things while grilling outside of our apartment that we lived in at the time. “Piratical” things included drinking rum and playing with civil war period pistols and swords purchased in none other than Gettysburg of course!
Since we're on that we're on that subject, I must say that I did find evidence that pirates did invade the town of Gettysburg a place where of course the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was fought. In a letter written by Samuel L. Holt to Governor Z.B. Vance of North Carolina, he charged that “this country has sent many & true men to this piratical war.” I thought it was an appropriate place for us. So donned in my short leather boots and our costume store wigs, we pervaded the territory again.
Ooops, you'll have to wait now for Episode 3!