As Busker-Boatsman Fiddles, the ‘Point Learns
Lampredi is also a boatsman. He is taking part in an effort to re-float the Lion, a one-quarter- scale model of a topsail schooner made famous here 200 years ago. This prototype of the Pride of Baltimore toured the state in the 1970s to solicit donations for building the Pride. Lampredi is to display the fully rigged Lion at the Visitor’s Center for Privateers’ Day on April 19 and the Preservation Society House Tour on May 11—again prepping on schooners and privateers for the War of 1812 bicentennial, and collecting funds to make her again watertight for dockage along Thames Street.
Ellen von Karajan, director of the Preservation Society, said: “Lampredi has . . . an avid interest in all things maritime. He brings that to his performances and demonstrations and the tours he conducts for us. Who else do you know who can teach rigging, eat fire, play a mean fiddle, make repairs on a schooner, and direct and play the lead in “Our American Cousin?”
Lampredi grew up in Chicago with an appreciation of theater, magic, and puppets fostered by his mother taking him to performances. In college he studied music, acting and directing. “When I started busking in Fell’s Point,” he recalled, “I was already freelancing as a musician and as a puppeteer at numerous locations around Maryland, and had busked in the nation’s capitol. On the Broadway Pier I played the accordion for tips.”
”Hearing Frank Manley sing sea chanteys inspired me to learn more of the huge repertoire of sea songs,” said Lampredi, “and I joined the Chanteymen,” sponsored by Ship’s Company, which is a living history organization and owner of the Lion.