October 27th, 2008

Lytheria Trick-or-Treat

Trick-or-Treat for the City of Milwaukee was held on Sunday afternoon, October 26th, and so, then was the annual Lytheria Trick-or-Treat production. This year, the theme was "The Golden Compass," and Lee Schneider and the other denizens of Lytheria transformed the front porch into the flight deck and salon of the Airship "Albatross," soon to bear the Jordan College Polar Expedition into the Arctic regions.

On the sidewalk, representatives of the Magisterium (Todd Voros and Julie Ann Hunter) cast a suspicious eye over people queueing up to board the vessel, looking for contraband aleitheometers. Meanwhile, the uniformed crew (Henry Osier, Steve Hanchar, and Gary Cone) gave the safety lecture. ("In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, hold your breath until we fix the problem. Please keep sharp objects away from the gasbags!")

Once ushered aboard by the Jordan College Science Specialist (Georgie Schnobrich), prospective crew members got a welcoming harangue from "Captain Vanderdecken" (me): "Welcome aboard the "Albatross." On this expedition to the polar regions, we expect to earn great fame, find great fortune, and endure great likeihood of slow, painful death!"

Once signed on, the new crew drew their chocolate pay from the First Mate "Iorek Byrnisson." Mike Davis popped out from behind a curtain in his custom-made polar bear suit to many gasps--both of delight and dismay--. He was assisted in crowd control by "Ma Costa" (Jennifer Newmark), Therese Roden as another Gyptian woman, Lee Schneider as "Lee Scoresby," and Tim Haas as "John Faa." Debbie Schamber as another Gyptian kept Iorek supplied with candy bars from the ship's stores. Joleen Stiles appeared as Serafina Pekkala, and we had a brief cameo by Antonia Newmark as Lyra Bellaqua.

Weather was bright but blustery, and dire weather forecasts may have held down the number of Trick-or-Treaters, as we gave out something more than 800 candy bars, down almost 200 from last year. On the other hand, we did stop traffic! There was absolute gridlock at the corner of Park and Shepherd for several minutes during the afternoon.

Fun was had by all: I tend to get a bit silly(er) with my spiels sometimes, and after about the second time I had slipped up and referred to the "Albatross" as a "starship", I came up with this:

"These are the voyages of the Airship "Enterprise":
It's five-month mission: To seek out new ice, and new condensation;
To boldly go where no bear has gone before!"

--which prompted Lee Schneider/Scoresby to remark: "I'll have what he's drinking."

Hot chocolate, anyone?

Crew and Company of HMAS Albatross

Crew and Company of Her Magesties' Airship Albatross: First Row Kneeling: Second Mate Jack Flynn (Henry Osier), Chief Gasfitter's Mate (Gary Cone); Able Airman (Steve Hanchar). Center Row Standing: Sra Julie Ann (Julie Ann Hunter), Fra Pavel (Todd Voros), Captain Vanderdecken (Gregory Rihn), Gyptian Woman (Debbie Schamber); Jordan College Science Specialist (Georgie Schnobrich). Rear Row: Serafina Pekkala (Joleen Stiles), Lee Scoresby (Lee Schneider); Ma Costa (Jennifer Newmark), Iorek Brynisson (Mike Davis); John Faa (Tim Haas).

More pictures can be seen at: