In Memory of Martha Hayes

24 November 1953 - 2 November 2000

Martha Hayes was one of the earliest members of the Rock Creek Morris Women. She served twice as squire and a thousand times as ringleader, ale planner, and gung-ho dancer. Her propensity for rising before the chickens to bake muffins for everyone at the team's Quail Ale precipitated her marriage to morris man Jim Lewis (but you should ask him for that story). When, in the middle of practice, no one else could remember how a dance went, Martha always could. She was brainy (a hydrologist by profession) and unerringly practical, but she was also very funny, and she knew the value of being silly.

Martha died in November 2000 after a second battle with breast cancer. Rock Creek, in kit, danced a dance of her authorship at her funeral and served as her pallbearers. The team will not be the same without her. We dedicate this page to her memory.

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Members of Rock Creek's Northwest side proudly display the oft-won trophy for best "drill team" in the Takoma Park (Maryland) Fourth of July Parade. L to R: Charlotte Baylon, Terry Lunn, Aldona Joseph, Sally Lackman, Mary Chor, Louise Neu, Jenni Voorhees, Martha, and Joyce Harrell.

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Martha with Alice Taylor and Aldona Joseph on Rock Creek's 1992 trip to England, where the team was hosted by Kern Morris of Durham and Knighton Morris of Leicester.
Rock Creek show dance on Elliott Street at the Malboro Morris Ale in 1988. L to R: Alice Taylor, Martha, Sharon McKinley, Aldona Joseph.

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Morris sisters: Martha and Alice, on tour in New England-at Ha' Penny's Ph'ome, we think.

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Alice and Martha somewhere in England during RC's England Tour 2000. Martha had spent the previous winter planning this trip for the team and undergoing chemotherapy. A brilliant, methodical organizer, she arranged many fine details-including chances to dance in the villages from which both of RC's main traditions come: Ducklington and Leafield (Fieldtown).She was also a strong, determined woman who made up her mind that she would be well enough to take this trip she was planning-and she did it.

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Martha gets in touch with the mysteries of a stone in the great stone circle at Avebury. England, July 2000.
Martha met husband Jim Lewis, then a Greenwich Morris man, at RC's Quail Ale. They proceeded to allow morris fertility ritual to work its magic. Here, Martha takes care of the resulting Noah Eben Lewis. "Auntie Alice" awaits her turn to hold Noah. 1995.

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Martha belonged to many social circles. Two of them overlap here, where she is sandwiched between fellow Wellesley alumni Beth Hodgeson of Court Square Garland and Stave (Charlottesville, Va.) and [can anyone identify this woman?].

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To heck with the kit police, Martha always made the most of the chance to be debonair that is offered by the wearing of a costume.

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Martha introduces Rock Creek's Saturday morning show dance at a Marlboro Morris Ale. Musician: Terry Lunn. Dancers, l to r: Alice Taylor, Louise Neu, Sandra Howard, Martha Nolan, Mary Chor, and Martha.
Martha carries the Rock Creek banner. YES, we wore skirts. We got over it. You can too.

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One of the infamous Rock Creek clotheslines that decorate the lane to Quailhill Farm whenever Rock Creek's Quail Ale is under way there.

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Alice, Martha, and Jill Lawrenz at a Rock Creek crab feast.

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Martha, in yellow, helping us get that sticking right at one of Rock Creek's all-day dance retreats. L to R: Martha, Jenni, Aldona, Adare Durning, Terry.
Martha exposes her face (but little else) to the camera as she waves from a float full of naked morris dancers at the Quail Hill pond.

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There's that fashion flair again.

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Martha had a passion for the dance.

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Flick and float 'em, Mar.
Rock Creek poses with Ha' Penny Morris, circa 1985. Martha is in the big hat (of course).

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Martha with teammate Jill Lawrenz.

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Mar, with husband Jim Lewis and Mary Sing.

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Jim, Martha, and Noah during a Rock Creek gig at the Maryland Renaissance Fair. Circa 1996.
Martha, Jim, and Noah in England, July 2000.

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Jim and Martha flying Virgin Atlantic on the way home from Rock Creek's England Tour 2000.

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Louise and Martha.

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Behold the Queen (Mar in yellow wig) in the mummer's play at Quailhill Farm's annual Twelfth Night party. Martha's zest for theatrics was often key to Rock Creek skits.
Only her hairdresser knows for sure.

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Our Mar.

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Ever the shy retiring type: Martha flicks her hanks while piggyback on Bluemont Morris's fool, Michael Garcia.

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Our Mar again.
"ALL IN" in Poole, England, at the Dorset Buttons Weekend of Dance, July 2000. Martha has the patch on her vest. After a winter of wretched chemotherapy, she went to England AND DANCED.

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At Swannage while on tour with Great Western Morris during the Dorset Buttons Weekend of Dance, July 2000.

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A jaunty maid. On tour with Knighton Morris in Leicester in 1992.

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"Back in the day"-the only American morris team dancing in skirts, circa 1985. Martha is center, with ponytail. Others, l to r: Liz Knapp, Mary Chor, Jenni Voorhees.
Here's Martha (braided pigtails), being reserved again. Women, l to r: Mary Ellsworth, Mary Sing, Louise Neu, Carol Kelly, Jill Lawrenz, Alice Taylor, Joyce Harrell, Martha, Liz Knapp, Jenni Voorhees.

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Martha had ENTHUSIASM and a strong sense of loyalty and duty. She volunteered for everything-including "Work Day" at Quailhill Farm, when Rock Creekers give labor in thanks to farm owners Elizabeth and Peter for their hospitality to the Quail Ale. L to R: Terry's kids Jason and Elbereth, Mary Sing, Mary Chor, Terry Lunn, Wendy Bell, Martha, and Louise Neu.

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Rock Creek upstairs: Martha is in the lower righthand corner.

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Squire Martha giving directions at a Quail Ale.
Martha and Marte Clarke during a performance at the Washington Folk Festival, circa 1985.

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Higher! Higher!

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Martha "The Babe" Hayes leads a motley crew to the fields for a little ancient fertility ritual dancing.

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Again with the fancy head gear.
Martha, dancing.

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From the Nation's Capital: Dancing at the Washington Monument. Martha is far right.

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Near the White House, probably during Foggy Bottom Morris's May Day tour.

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"Is that a tree limb in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" Martha (left) and Cecily Pilzer do Rock Creek's special edition of a Border dance.

This page created on a Macintosh using PhotoPage by John A. Vink.

This page is maintained by Curt Harpold