A Tale of Two Harbors

A Pelican Perspective with no Inside Jokes


[Editor’s Note: This is part of the “Life Cycle of a Shoaler” series. This essay focuses on the transition as seasonal staff members, Pelicans.]

By Allegra Hyde, Pelican ’08, ‘010-12

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the conference season of Sunshine, it was the off-season of Pale Skin, it was the spring of job contracts, it was the winter of unemployment, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Pel Hall, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the summer was so far like the other summers, that some of its newest Pelicans insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

It was the year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twelve. Spiritual revelations were conceded to Congregationalists and Unitarians at that favoured period, as at this. Ms. Cho had recently attained her nine-and-twentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic dockie on the dock had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of Shack Deck and the pier. Even the Uncle Oscar ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the daily announcements had lately come to the Management Team and Staff, from a congress of Pelicans in OBR: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the fire drills.

The Front Desk, less favoured on the whole as to matters practical than her sister of the mop and broom, rolled with exceeding smoothness down hill, making registrations and sharing them. Under the guidance of her Supervisor, she entertained herself, besides, with such humane achievements as sentencing a bellhop to have his hands full, his body exhausted by with bags, and his new shirt sweaty, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a incoming procession of day guests which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty yards…