We Are the Mariners

I had every intention of blogging while in Switzerland. Our ‘active schedule’, however, consumed any time I might have had for such an activity. Now that I am home, and reeling from the experience, I will begin plowing through my pictures, recordings and memories in an attempt try to convey, in some simple manner, the enormity of what happened during our ten days in Switzerland.
The Mariners

To be honest, I don’t really know where to begin. My feeling is that it would be easier to explain what the Alps are like to someone who has never before seen a mountain than to tell you our tale. Also, I am really not sure how much I want to tell you. No, I’ve got nothing to hide. Instead, I’ve so much to keep, and I fear that watering it down for you will dilute its richness in my own mind.

Part of the challenge, is that the seeds for this trip were sown not only in the weeks and months preceding it, but the decades. There is a very rich history between the Ancient Mariners of the United States and the Swiss Mariners that dates back to the early seventies. That history has been building and evolving, much the same way a healthy marriage unfolds. We learn from each other, we grow with each other, we argue with each other, we laugh with each other, we sing and play with each other, we cry with each other and we love each other. Consequently, our reunion culminated in a synergy that is really beyond my ability to verbally describe. Every story is enriched, in our minds and hearts, by the history and the duality that hangs on everything we do. We are not only travelers hoping to see some foreign attractions, we often are the attraction. We are not only old friends, we are also new friends. We are not only guests, we are at home. We are not only the Ancient or Swiss Mariners but, simply put, We are the Mariners.

The pictures and sound that I can offer you don’t really do any of it justice. But until you are on the mountain with me, they are all you can have.

6 thoughts on “We Are the Mariners

  1. Sean "Biscuits McGillicudy" Egan

    Greg, your words and the music bring back amazing memories and the feelings I had during our 2002 Tour to Basel.
    This recording is beautiful, and full of Mariner Spirit. It really touched me. Words, Pictures and Music really can’t give this Mariner experience justice. If you’ve never experienced it, you will never know this unique and special part of what being a Mariner truly is. No other Fife & Drum corps has this gift of friendship and brotherhood that we share.

  2. Danny

    Hey Greg
    As a Wild Bunch Bass and Fasnacht Snare drummer I know all the Swiss Mariners and most of the AM guys. Please say hello to my good friend Joe Mawn.
    As a citizen of Basel I just wanted to tell you, that there is a tiny mistake in your brilliant and touching comments. It’s about Wettstein-Marsch. This piece of music is not named after the bridge that is crossing the Rhine river but after a former Major of Basel – Johann Rudolf Wettstein who lived from 1594 to 1666. All that starts with “Wettstein”….the piece of music, the bridge, the square, the alley is named after tha guy.
    Pardon me for playing the teacher :-) and thanks for the music, spirit and friendship.
    See you in July 2009. Cheers, Danny

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