This Old Boat? We Found It In A Ditch… Dan Goldring

I remember many of the sets I designed and built for the Northumberland Players, but Talley’s Folly was one of my favourites. 

The set was an old boathouse in rural Missouri in 1944.  We were doing the show for dinner theatre on the second floor of the Best Western. The set had lots of gingerbread and I knew I wanted to use an old boat on the set to make it look authentic.

The boat on set in "Tally's Folly"
The boat on set in Talley’s Folly.

Val and I decided to search the back roads to see what we could find to dress the set and eventually found a decrepit old rowboat about 14 feet long lying outside in a ditch. It was perfect and the owner agreed to let us use it.

The real fun came when we had to carry it up the winding staircase at the hotel to the set on the second floor. The old boat was fragile to say the least, and was covered in flaking green paint. With great difficulty and lots of help we carried the boat upstairs to the set, and it looked wonderful. Sadly we left a trail of green paint flakes all the way from the parking lot, through the lobby and up the stairs to the set.

Carrying the boat for "Talley's Folly" up the stairs at the Best Western.
Carrying the boat for Talley’s Folly up the stairs at the Best Western.

We all laughed but it was worth it. I loved the look of the old boat and it was the star of the show, after the actors of course. A great memory that still sticks with me today 35 years later.