Sunday morning on the Monocacy

The Gadfly invites your “local color” photos and reflections of this sort

On his morning walk through the historic Industrial Quarter this morning, Gadfly was reminded of Emerson: “I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.”

(Nerdy ol’ Gadfly — expecting everybody to have read Ralph Waldo Emerson, arguably the creator of the American mythology of self-reliance.)

Some of you will shudder no doubt. But Gadfly is not a Musikfest-goer. That’s almost a sin in some circles in this town.

I mean, he’s glad we have Musikfest. He’s glad lots of people enjoy it. It’s just not his “bag” as we used to say.

Gadfly’s a shy, quiet man, not a fan of crowds, spectacle.

He likes his beer and his music in more intimate settings.

For instance, Jazz nites at the Cafe with Patti, Pete Smyser, and Larry McKenna. Or Thursdays at the Hotel Bethlehem. Or Jazz Upstairs at Miller Symphony Hall.

Get the idea.

But he had a different feeling about Musikfest walking into the Industrial Quarter this early morning.


Like he had stumbled into a village without people.

A ghost town.

Post-apocalypse in the Twilight Zone.


All the signs of life without life.

But the new feeling he had this Sunday morning was of life about to burst forth, of the egg about ready to crack.

Of gigantic transformation about ready to transform.

Of dynamic energy poised to unleash.

And that’s exciting.

And he felt a new feeling of pride that his City was muscular enough to support this 10-11 day enterprise.

A feeling that if it set its mind to do this kind of thing many other kinds of thing are possible.

So like Emerson relishing the silent time before the service, Gadfly found himself relishing the silent time before the Fest.

The only relish the Fest will give him.

Gadfly’s not sure if he should say this. About what he also saw on his morning constitutional. A dog pooping into a plastic bag provided by its owner. There, on the banks of the Monocacy. He saw it. He really did.

One thought on “Sunday morning on the Monocacy

  1. One sad thing about Musikfest is the amount of waste, largely from throwaway plates, cups, & utensils for serving all that food. And, of course, quite a bit of food waste. Musikfest should require vendors to transition to reusable food-service items.

    Bethlehem should adopt a waste-minimization policy for events. And, of course, they should have recycling and composting receptacles in the downtown areas as was suggested over 10 years ago.

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