XLIBRIS

The Ballad of Alice Dare

AMAZON

The Ballad of Alice Dare

I had the privilege of covering a newspaper story about the Los Angeles Maritime Institute's TopSail program in San Pedro, California, cofounded by retired teacher and coast guard licensed captain Jim Gladson and a handful of friends, including Captain Alice Robinson, who is the inspiration behind the ballad. I accompanied them on a weekend trip on the hundred-foot-tall ships to Catalina Island with dozens of preteens manning the two brigantines. Many of the junior-ed-foot-tall ships to Catalina Island with dozens of preteens manning the two brigantines. Many of the junior-high-age kids were considered at-risk youth. One of the girls had only house slippers to wear on deck while others were clearly neglected-looking and shy. Alice's first and only rule on board ship was ?Everyone is friends here, ? meaning everyone was to put any gang-like squabbles behind them and work as a team. By the end of the weekend, under Alice's funny, carefree tutelage, the bonny crew could rig and raise sails, lower dinghies into the water, cook their own meals, swap the decks, and more. The general transformation was wonderful and bittersweet to behold, and Alice set the mood. read more