In 2004, when I was sailing up in Rockland, ME, I crewed on the schooner Elida for a trip. We were anchored in Stonington Harbor, where another schooner, the Stephen Taber, was also anchored. The Taber is known for the musical talents of her crew, and there was a little impromptu concert happening on board that night. We decided, like good sailors, to board her.
After making the most of what theatrics we could pull together, climbing in the dark over the bullwarks, we joined the party. That night I met a woman that I will forever remember. Evelyn was her name. With long, white hair, she must have already been in her late 70′s at least, but spry as you could imagine. She played tunes on the fiddle, and later I learned that she kept a junk-shop in Stonington where she sold knick-knacks and hand-painted book-marks.
I spent a lot of time in that junk-shop, asking Evelyn questions about life and listening to her answers. Her best words of advice: In life, if you don’t want to get to the top of the escalator, don’t get on the first step. It’s a lot harder to get back down.
This is a song I wrote for Evelyn.