Ahhh, I love the glory that is Provincetown, that endearing terminus of Cape Cod, that swaggering shanty town that turns into an imported carnival every summer… even though every time I have an admittedly sumptuous dinner there, the consistently snooty, obviously transient, overtly gay waiters somehow manage to make me feel like a loser.
Listen, I want to say to them, I’m the native. I grew up here. I was skipping school and driving to P-Town for the day and eating Portuguese sweetbread and George’s pizza for lunch in January when you were still trying on your mother’s clothing in New Jersey. I’ve also worked in restaurants all my life, and would give you a hell of a tip if you were half-human to me. So those waiters who figure I’m some sort of boring straight who doesn’t get it and won’t tip them can bugger off. Grow up, and meet some people.
But I came here to praise Provincetown, not to bury it.
I came here tonight to speak of the people who live here, who help each other through the long, cold winters of unemployment and isolation. The people who have been here every year, every month, every day. And who have such a remarkable sense of community that we make it through each winter without killing each other, and usually by creating something beautiful together, held together with duct tape and chewing gum.
Specifically, I want to pimp the community radio station that has been the voice of the people’s decidedly odd and varied musical taste for the last twenty years, WOMR. It’s not just Provincetown folks who are involved here, there are DJs and board members and volunteers from all over the Cape. Cape Cod is long and narrow, we only live half-way down its length, and it takes us 45 minutes to get there.
It has already been well-established that readers of this site enjoy music of the “good” variety (witness the 4th in the series of music lists that will appear here and elsewhere next week) so I will recommend my family radio station to you with a clear conscience, free of the stain of nepotism.
For example, both my father and husband have a show on this community radio station weekly, and you can listen to them online.
Dad does a blues show every Sunday afternoon at four pm. He also love New Orleans traditional music and obscure rockabilly, so he often veers into those realms in the second hour as well. Check him out. Dad rocks.
Matt’s show (Sunday nights from midnight to 3 am) is also outstanding, in many different and exciting ways. Mostly funk and soul and various whatnot, but full of goodness no matter what.
My favorite thing anyone ever said about Provincetown was when Thoreau visited here in the mid-1800’s, stood on the shore of Race Point, and wrote:
“A man may stand there and put all America behind him.”
It feels like the ocean will reach out and grab you and yank you out to sea. And you almost don’t mind.