Rocky Neck is a small island in Gloucester Harbor connected to East Gloucester via a causeway. Bayliss lived there from 1968 until 1991 and wrote much of his fiction during that time. In the novels, Rocky Neck is “Mother’s Neck.”■ ROCKY NECK MEMORIES Talks about Rocky Neck in the 1950s-1990s by Liz Sibley Fletcher, George Sibley, and Mern Sibley, who spent much of their childhood in this Gloucester presqu’isle. Their parents, Bill and Peggy Sibley, are fictionalized in GLOUCESTERMAN as the fisherman Wat Cibber and his wife, Teddi.
■ Guided walk, seeing Rocky Neck sites from the novels including the house where Bayliss lived.
■ Guided tour of the Gloucester Marine Railways (Bayliss’s “Simon’s Point Marine Railways”).
■ Bag lunch with glorious views of Gloucester Harbor from the former Tarr & Wonson Paint Manufactory, a historic building and key landmark on the Gloucester waterfront, now the headquarters of Ocean Alliance (the “Dogtown Net & Twine Manufactory” where Caleb and Lilian meet at night in the chapter “Stormcloud” in Gloucestertide).
Judy Walcott, who will provide a brief introduction touching on Bayliss and his writer friend Peter Anastas, who grew up on Rocky Neck.
■ FATHER F. HASTINGS SMYTH AND THE SOCIETY OF THE CATHOLIC COMMONWEALTH Talks on Father F. Hastings Smyth by retired Anglican Bishop Terry Brown (joining the conference by Zoom from England), with an introduction by writer and scholar David Rich. (Bayliss’s character Father Duncannon is modeled on Father Smyth, leader of a high-church Episcopalian group that held socialist economic views. It was headquartered in East Gloucester on Ledge Road during the late 1950s.) A slide show and audio recording will accompany the talk.
■ Buffet dinner (cash bar).
■ Readings from GLOUCESTERMAN about “The Laboratory of Melchizedec and the Mesocosm,” “Apostle’s Dock,” and other sites in the “East Harbor Ward” of “Dogtown.”
■ Guided walk related to the readings.