The numbers are out of this world. Early in the morning; late at night; every step along the way; the numbers are astronomical.
What numbers am I talking about you ask? I am talking about guests to the Light, the beach, and the jetties. In a period when stores, movie theaters, concerts, and ball games are off limits, the Lighthouse is the destination of choice. It has gotten so popular that each night I pray for rain to slow things down a little.
I have heard people at 4:45am. I have gone out at 2:30am when I was awakened by two guys and a girl playing music in front of the Tower. I told them to go wake up the rich people in Minot. I had a whole family having breakfast at 5:30 one morning. The teenagers had no idea I could hear everything they said from my bed. Three women who were older than I am inadvertently shared their latest news from the gynecologist. I didn\’t know how to get away from it fast enough. You can hear everything anyone says on the rocks while inside the house.
The town attempted to cut down on the numbers by taking a lane of parking out of service with some Jersey barriers. No luck there. The remaining spots are full up all day and all night.
Roughly 50% percent are masked. I went out twice in the last week to run people off and found groups masked and photographing the planets and the sky in long exposures. Two young women were actually reading the plaques by cell phone light. Another group was singing until I asked them how long they planned to sing so that I would know how long I had to stay up. All are apologetic. I tell them they have nothing to be sorry for and that sorry doesn\’t help me anyway. I don\’t need sorry, I need a night\’s sleep.
One couple a little younger than I am was sitting just in front of the Light with a camera set up to catch the comet of a few weeks back. I explained that I could hear them and saw his eyes wonder what he had said that I had heard. They were very quiet after that.
We get big crowds when there is a big moon. Julie caught it just right the other night. We will have another big mob on Friday for the annual Luminaria. I am getting the milk jugs out of the basement when this is posted.
After a certain time of day, 9am there are very few people here from town. You can hear their questions and their answers and it is pretty easy to figure out they have never been here before. They read the Downton stone, the Army of Two plaque, the banners and the Etrusco signs and hopefully pick up a little to share. Many photograph the banners so that they can get the blog address for the web cams. If you are one of the guests, welcome, and I hope you take a tour through the blog archive for more photographs and musings. Just go home by 10:00 please. After that I can get a bit testy.