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Dickens Christmas Fair 2005  - Thanks and a Poem
(sent December 22nd, 2005)

T'was closing morn of Dickens and all through the bays,
All the creatures were stirring, adjusting their stays.
The deco was hung all over the fair,
Planning the audience soon would be there.

Security and beverage, their radios on,
Had visions of customers egging them on.
The sweeps were a 'sooting and drinking their gin,
As the first of the Bruno's came staggering in.

When up on the roof, there arose such a clatter,
We sprang to the doors to see what was the matter.
The rain, it poured down on the thunderstruck performers,
As lightening hit the Cow Palace transformer.

The darkness was sudden and covered the show,
Giving the lustre of midnight to actors below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But dozens of flashlights pulled from pockets and gear.

With one thought together, the participants know,
We must keep the crowds happy, we must save the show!
More rapid than eagles, the performers they came,
We know who they were and we'll call them by name.

Now Carollers, Other Books, Sweeps, Paddy West,
On Fezziwig's, Siamsa, they're up to the test.
To the front of the line, to the back of the cue,
Entertain! Sing! Ham it up, do!

As actors before the wild hurricane fly,
When meet with an audience, never say die!
So out in the rain the participants flew,
With music and mayhem and Ebeneezer too.

And then on the car radio, I heard it was true,
Thousands of people were without power too.
As I shook my head and was turning around,
There was Berkeley Ed, with a plan quite sound.

We couldn't just wait for PG&E,
Or our happy fair, might not that day be.
A generator could furnish enough power for us,
But where could we get one without too much fuss?

The laptop, it hummed, and the telephone called,
Where could we find it? Could it to us be hauled?
Were there enough kilowatts? Could it hook up top our cables?
Would it light up our London and shine on our tables?

In the meantime St. Cuthbert''s was delivering tea,
To all of the faithful, who by now had to pee.
So they brought them by flashlight, one by one, two by two,
Past a glowing Dickens Parlour and down to the loo.

The Panto was applying their make-up in the dark,
I laughed when I saw them and went off to find Mark.
Any news yet I queried? The lights they had flickered...
Would the power come up? Would the generator be quicker?

He told me the generator was indeed on it's way,
We would open the fair at 1:30 that day.
We'd stay open 'til 8:00, make the schedule jell,
Then on came the lights and everyone yelled!

In the crowds came, it was a great show, no doubt,
With an extra French Postcards and a two-hour Blow-Out!
And I heard them exclaim, as they left our warm light,
Great Show! Happy Christmas! And to all a good night.

Thanks to everyone (including those I couldn't fit into this poem) for a wonderful, glorious, watershed year, and especially for an amazing closing day. We set high goals for ourselves, which were all met, and the bar has been raised for all future years. The Friday experiment worked very well, so I'm told we'll continue it next year, opening on November 24th, 2006 and running four weekends. Workshops are scheduled to begin November 4th. The plan is to run Dickens Fair for five weekends in 2007, as there will be five full weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas eve. (We would close on the 23rd)

Thank you all for all that you do, and have a wonderful, glorious holiday season!


PS Even though PG&E actually brought the power back up, Ed installed the generator just in case. In case of another outage, we would have had power in about five minutes. Bravo!

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