Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grabbing Hold

Gondoliers do things a little differently in each location.
Each of the 30+ gondola operations in the U.S. have their own protocols.

Here in Newport I've noticed that nobody likes to touch a bridge.
Newport Harbor has four gondola operations currently, and we all tend to pass under bridges without making contact.

Sure, the occasional high-tide scenario finds me performing an impromptu bench-press in order to get the tail of the boat under a low bridge, but otherwise my hands remain on the remo.

Stefano began rowing with us a while back, and I noticed that he stopped under a bridge and grabbed hold of it - taking time to really concentrate on his song.

A few other gondoliers have done the same "bridge stop" thing when visiting from ports up the coast from Newport. And in both Alamitos Bay and Huntington Harbour I've observed gondoliers place a foot or hand on a bridge to stabilize while singing.

Stefano "gets a grip" on the bridge.

It makes perfect sense:
For years I've told my passengers that

"any good gondolier knows that the acoustics under a bridge are almost as good as those of a shower".


Tamás said...

As for singing, what can you do about the cars, which cross the bridge in the photos?

(Maybe lobby for a law to make hybrids mandatory by 2015 in California? Some say they roll dangerously quiet.)

Gondola Greg said...

We don't really hear the cars on the Newport Blvd. bridge. Now and then a big freight truck will rumble over, and we'll hear that, but it's never a problem for our singing.

Il Paradosso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Il Paradosso said...

tend to use anything I can to make my job easier. I'll grab the wall, the bridge, kick off a boat, dock or wall. Especially if there is wind. Maybe it means I need to work on my oar work, maybe I'm just lazy.