Tuesday, July 22, 2014

An Afternoon at Captain Jack's Wharf

An artist paints the scene at Captain Jack's Wharf as kayakers prepare
for the launch into Provincetown Harbor from this popular Town Landing. 
Town Landings are found all along PTown's Commercial Street, providing public access to the beach on the edge of Provincetown Harbor. This spot is among the most popular of them all, at Captain Jack's Wharf in the West End of town.
Folks are often found here sunbathing or swimming on a summer's day, or picnicking at the edge of the water, or launching a kayak or raft and paddling out to Long Point. The kayaks of all the nearby neighbors are piled against the hedge, and on this day I found a couple of men dragging their little craft out of the heap and loading their gear into the hull, getting ready for an afternoon getaway into the harbor.
Meanwhile, a woman is painting one of PTown's most famous waterfront scenes. For years artists and photographers have been capturing a bit of the history of our early fishing fleet as well as that of one of our most illustrious summer visitors, who turned out to be one of the nations most well-known writers.
This little string of old fishing shacks and trap sheds has been a popular accommodation for visitors for years, operating these days as small condominiums rented out over the summer. One of these shacks was also rented long ago to Tennesse Williams, who spent many of the summers of the 1940s in Provincetown.
Although many disagree on exactly which of Williams' plays might have been written at various spots he occupied over those summers, we know that several parts of The Glass Menagerie, one of his best-known plays, were written, rewritten, and re-rewritten over a few of those summers, and many say that the play was finally finished during the summer he spent at Captain Jack's Wharf.

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