The return of Hollis the Mountain Man
Except for its art museum, Fitchburg is generally off the Phoenix radar (although that could change if new mayor Lisa Wong stirs the cultural pot as much as she’s promised). But since this is the week for promoting our contributors’ side projects, we’ll make an exception.
Back in the 1990s, when we published an edition of the Phoenix in Worcester County, long-time arts-section freelancer Sally Cragin contrived a column called “Tales from Tritown,” that north-county locus being defined as “Fitchburg, Leominster, and whatever town you’re from,” which examined Yankee life off the Boston–Worcester axis. The column’s frequent central figure, representing the towniest of Tri-townie values, was the possibly fictitious Hollis the Mountain Man, perfectly imagined for the paper by then-fledgling illustrator Michelle Barbera.
The Worcester Phoenix closed its doors, and Hollis went into retirement. But on Saturday, January 12, he’ll be making a resurrection appearance at Fitchburg’s historic Fay Club (658 Main Street), where guests will be served a typical Tritown feast — chowder, Yankee pot roast, root vegetables, and apple crisp, what else? — and Cragin will present her spoken-word performance Real Townies Are Always Home. Hollis will take center stage along with Cragin’s extended endearing cast of all-too-accurate locals for an exploration of everything from pink plastic flamingos (a Tritown invention — for real) to the annual String-Saving Cheap Yankee Contest (we have no proof it doesn't really happen).
Tickets for dinner and Real Townies are $29 and can be reserved by calling 978.345.4537. “Tales from Tritown” columns from 1997 through 2000 (about half the archive) are available online at worcesterphoenix.com.
: This Just In
, Visual Arts, Cultural Institutions and Parks, Museums