As I write this on Thursday morning, there is a bit of cool air, a harbinger of autumn, surely. Autumn has always been our favorite season with its crisp air, cool mornings and evenings, and often sunny, warm days, at least until sometime in October. We welcome the end of the humid season, even though this summer has not produced the 100+ degree heat that many parts of the USA have suffered. What’s left of my family lives in Oklahoma City. They have had some scorching weather.
You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up, but you don’t give up. [Test Pilot General Chuck Yeager]
Anyway, what do you want to know about for this week? I have now been writing this column, that began when I was president 4+ years ago and continued when many of you asked me to keep writing. Well, I have to admit that the writing has been fun. I have also been participating in the Writer’s Interest Group for most of this time. Today, there are the usual four of us quietly tapping away on our laptops or scribbling with our legal pads. It has interested me that some of us eagerly embraced the computer and some did not. My Dad, PapaJack refused to go beyond use of a Brother electronic typewriter that included a floppy-disc drive that allowed for some of the same cut and paste elements that we laptop users could hardly live without.
When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.[Physicist Edward Teller]
What I have learned during the writing sessions is that once I start tapping out a story—usually a personal memoir—the memories just come flooding back as fast as I can upload them to the computer’s memory. My Bonnie has been thrilled to have me read these musings to her, as I also share occasionally with the writers or Stories classes. I have always been a good letter-writer. I remember as a teen writing to my grandmother. She would always write back and give me her love and admonish me to live a good, Christian life. As other, older friends came into my life, I would write to them, and once email arrived, well, I saved lots of stamps! When I changed religions at 18 or 19, I hid this news from gran. She was a staunch Baptist and grandad was just as staunch a Methodist. Neither could fathom why I would change out of the faith of the family. It’s complicated.
CHQ Sadness: For those of you that have become lovers of Chautauqua, I have really sad news to report. Jerod Jacobsen, the organist and choir director for 25 years, was killed in an auto accident in Ohio on his way home to San Diego. There was a memorial service for him last Friday—you can view it on their YouTube or Facebook pages, and they promise there will be a larger, more formal service during next summer’s season. Jared’s family started coming to Chautauqua when he was 5. He took music lessons that led to the organ, so no one had a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Massey organ.
Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life. [Composer Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber]
Hmmmm…who the heck is Auber? He lived 1782-1871; French composer of many operas, none I have ever heard of but that influenced Verdi, Donizetti and Cherubini. Eventually made head of the Paris Conservatoire and member of the Legion of Honor.
If you have wondered where I get all these little quips I decorate my columns with, they all come from a fat little volume titled “Age Doesn’t Matter unless you’re a cheese,” edited by Kathryn and Ross Petras, and purchased at the Shaw Shop up in Canada 5 years ago.
Thanks to those of you that did come out for the Sunday matinee of “Lawrence of Arabia.” It was, indeed lovely to see it on the big screen, fully restored with digital surround sound.