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Will She Ever Return?

“But did he ever return? No, he never returned

And his fate is still unlearned

He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston

He’s the man who never returned”

                                 ~ “MTA Song” by Jacqueline Steiner & Bess Hawes

“The MTA Song” appeared in 1956 as a campaign song for the mayor of Boston Progressive Party Candidate, Walter O’Brien. Also known as “Charlie on the MTA,” it was written in protest of the proposed fare increase requiring riders to pay on entering and again on leaving the subway. The song inspired me to salute the W.S.F. (Washington State Ferries) as well as the Lopez Ferry Landing crew, the Bean Café, and friends on San Juan Island who kept me from being “the writer who never returned” last week when the Lopez dock malfunctioned.

 

“The WSF Song” (Iris on the WSF)

Now let me tell you of a story ‘bout a writer named Iris

Who boarded the Tillikum last week.

She opened her laptop and wrote ’til she docked at Friday Harbor

Then decided to disembark.

Will she ever return? Oh, will she ever return?

Who knows when they’ll fix the dock?

She may ride forever ‘round the San Juan Islands

The writer who never returned.

 Iris didn’t have to pay a fare, walking on is free,

And she usually rides and writes all day

But at Friday Harbor she was hungry and the galley was closed

So she trudged uphill to the Bean Café.

Will she ever return? Oh, will she ever return?

Who knows when they’ll fix the dock?

She may ride forever ‘round the San Juan Islands

The writer who never returned.

Now all afternoon she sat at the Bean, first for lunch, then for tea

Thinking “What will become of me?”

The Lopez ferry landing was shut down ‘cause of freezing cold

And the Tillikum wouldn’t be able to dock.

Will she ever return? Oh, will she ever return?

Who knows when they’ll fix the dock?

She may ride forever ‘round the San Juan Islands

The writer who never returned.

Iris called friends on San Juan Island in search of dinner and a bed

Knowing repairs might take all night

Some kind souls fed her and offered her a hide-a-bed

While the Tillikum sailed past Lopez.

Will she ever return? Oh, will she ever return?

Who knows when they’ll fix the dock?

She may ride forever ‘round the San Juan Islands

The writer who never returned.

Now you residents of the islands who travel by ferry

Know you always have to be prepared

But crews from Seattle fixed the dock before midnight

And the M/V Hyak shuttled Iris (and three other Lopezians) back home!

Will she ever return? Oh, will she ever return?

Who knows when they’ll fix the dock?

She may ride forever ‘round the San Juan Islands

The writer who never returned.

The next week snow carpeted the islands

But the W.S.F. sailed right through

Iris took another chance as writer-in-residence

And became the writer who always returns.

Will she ever return? Oh, will she ever return?

Who knows when they’ll fix the dock?

She may ride forever ‘round the San Juan Islands

The writer who never returned.

 

I was back today, this time, better prepared for delays—that never happened.

 

 

6 comments on “Will She Ever Return?

  1. Linda Ellsworth says:

    What a fun song! I’m looking forward to hearing it set to music. A creative way to turn lemons into lemonade!

    Like

  2. Glad to hear you got back home, and also that you’re back out adventuring! Sounds like it was quite the time up there last week…!

    Like

  3. Kathleen Grimbly says:

    Inter-island friendships: one of the twelve essentials!

    Like

    1. You’re SO right, Kathleen! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

  4. cynthiabeach says:

    Hilarious fun, Iris!

    Like

    1. Thanks, Cynthia. Glad this post made you smile.

      Like

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