Letting Out Scribbling Skeletons: Island Fringe Festival Opener

What was supposed to be a 2-hour evening stretched out to nearly 3 full hours as an appreciative audience applauded one reader after another at the opening show for the 2014 Island Fringe Festival. Marc’s Lounge on Sydney St. was filled to bursting by the time the show began. True to its advertising, Scribbler Skeletons brought forth some well-preserved diaries, scribblers, and school papers that selected Islanders and Island Fringers had unearthed from the closets where they kept their skeletons. The audience was regaled with a couple of ‘Dear Diary’ running stories of unrequited love, several sophomoric poems, amusing journal entries, and quite a few school writing assignments.

If I enjoyed the evening and found so much of it entertaining and priceless, I can only imagine how much more hysterically funny it was to those who grew up with the readers, knew them personally, or  had seen them growing up. As a teacher, I wonder how many of my students have kept all their journals, how many kept diaries, and how many more dabbled in out-of-class writing that they have preserved.

I must congratulate the Island Fringe Team, of whom three-fourths (unless I didn’t quite hear the fourth one, in which case I owe apologies to her) also shared some sophomoric writing that was very well-received: Festival Director Sarah Segal-Lazar, Festival Coordinator Megan Stewart, Volunteer Coordinator Andy Reddin, and Assistant Volunteer Coordinator Emma Russell Louder.  I’m looking forward to attending another one (or two, or more!) by the time this weekend is over.

I know that, at quite a few points in my life, I was so sure I did not want any of my earlier scribblings ever to surface later in life because they already embarrassed me then–what more when I was grown up and quite possibly famous (which has always been a dream and still is)? That brought about a moment when (horror of horrors!) I burnt two full notebooks (not just your 30-leaf scribblers, mind you, but those thick 100-leaf red-and-blue lined notebooks) of poetry I had written until I was 10 years old. I had locked myself in the bathroom with a box of matches to complete the dastardly deed. Another time saw me methodically and meticulously shredding to bits (by hand, mind you) my grade school diaries–or at least those pages that had entries in them. I thought that they could still be put to good use because the entries were so sporadic and some quite far between. I might have completely obliterated a few other incriminating pieces of evidence that would, I’m sure, bring about a lot of cringing and embarrassing laughter–mostly from myself–if any of it got out. I’m certain there are some things I can still dredge up somewhere–I’ve kept most of my poetry since 7th grade–that will be amusingly entertaining if not worthy of a few laughs at next year’s Island Fringe Festival!


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