by Kathleen Carney
When a community is so kind as to provide a meal for the crew of the Lois McClure, no one is happier than I, the “Commissary Officer.” The folks in Palmyra invited us to dinner at the Alling Coverlet Museum on the night we arrived in town, and although we left satisfied—no, stuffed—there was so much food left over from the heaping potluck they provided that we were invited back to finish up the leftovers the following night. I could have jumped for joy!
Steve and Bonnie Hays and their compatriots from Historic Palmyra, Irene Unterborn of the Liberty House B&B, and a host of scary-looking, black-shirted buccaneers from the town’s annual Palmyra Pirate Weekend set out a buffet of staggering proportions: baked ham (with Bonnie Hays’ patented raisin sauce); just-off-the-vine-and-stalk tomatoes and corn from Mayor Vicky Daly’s cousin’s farm; a colorful, crunchy, and delicious Italian veggie salad; scalloped potatoes AND homemade potato salad; cinnamon-carrot jello salad—sounds funny, tasted great; and, of course, dessert: chocolate-chocolate cake and Palmyra’s patented Pirate Cupcakes.
There were, of course, speeches after the meal, but I can’t say anything about those because I snuck off to show volunteer Sally Larsen the exhibits in the Alling Museum—really beautiful, even striking, examples of hand-woven wool and cotton coverlets. After dinner, while the rest of the crew went “home” to the schooner, Sally and I went on a three-hour ghost hunt courtesy of Historic Palmyra. We trooped through the dark Phelps Store, spooky enough even in daytime, and sought to make contact with its resident spirits. Did we succeed? I’ll never tell.
When I look back at our stay in Palmyra, I realize that I didn’t have to prepare a single meal! Talk about happy! A wonderful citizen of Palmyra met us on our arrival, and as we were tying up the schooner, she handed two huge trays of baked ziti over the lifelines. On our “public” day, the Muddy Waters café treated the crew to breakfast; Les Thomas of the Candy Corner brought his hot dog-hamburger-root-beer-float wagon down to the dock and provided tasty treats to all who came to visit; and, of course, at the end of the day, we headed back to the Alling Coverlet Museum and heaps of delicious leftovers.
So, thank you Palmyra, on behalf of all the crew, but also from the bottom of MY heart.