Tavern Club Newsletter July 2021

Message from the President

Dear Taverners,

The July Notice is the last of our season.  These past long months, we were kept afloat by our energetic members and loyal staff.  It was an extraordinary and gratifying time to be a Tavern Club member.

Soon, in August, we’ll be able to meet for the Fête Champêtre at Ernst and Gail von Metzsch’s place in Manchester.  

You will see that we are hopeful humans, having concocted a full fall of traditional in-person events: a Literary Night (Ovid) planned for March 2020; the long-delayed Narrenabend of spring 2020, and new Halloween and Christmas plays.  Even then, something more is needed to mark this long hiatus in our usual lives.  We could not adequately memorialize fifteen Tavern members who died in those months when we were meeting online.  As fall approaches, you’ll be mailed the memorial minutes written for those men and for one woman.  In November, we’ll honor them and together mark the past long year with a members-only dinner and toasts.  There will be some music. 

All the glory of summer is upon us. I hope that you are able to enjoy it in full measure.

Nancy Maull

                                     

Wednesday, July 14 , 5.30pm

The Secretary’s Zoom Cocktail Party  by Zoom (Bastille Day)

Allons enfants! Although we will wait until the Fête to render the Marseillaise in full-throated togetherness, let’s use the convenience of Zoom to celebrate all things French actually on Bastille Day.  From the comfort of your summer surroundings, you can Zoom into cocktails à la française. Perhaps a Kir Royale? Or, for the stouthearted, a French 75? Wear something French and be prepared to tell us about what you love about the country. Or what drives you crazy. See you at 5:30 PM on the Quatorze Juillet!

Book Club

Monday, July 26, Noon by Zoom

Bessel van der Kolk will discuss his NY Times bestseller  The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Make a start on future Book Club selections:

Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music will be discussed on Zoom by Alex Ross, New Yorker writer, on September 22 at Noon.

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson – discussion to be led by Nancy Maull at Tavern Lunch in October

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome, in fact eagerly sought! Just contact George.r.heaton@gmail.com

MeistUrsingers, Play-Reading, History, Poetry, Writing Gym and Arts Round Table will all resume in September, some by Zoom, some at the Tavern. 

From the Plays Committee chair, John Tittmann:

A Call for Halloween Plays

Taverners:  lurking inside each one of us is a playwright.  Take up the challenge and write your script this summer, and submit it to the Halloween One Act Plays Competition by Labor Day. 

1.      Exactly Four actors.  Clever writers might introduce more roles, but there are only four actors in each play.

2.      Length of total document, including stage directions, etc., should no more than 1250 words long.  (There’s a 10% overage wiggle room)

3.      Only one pseudonym per author.  By all means, write more than one play, but use the same name on each submission.  The idea of the competition is not just to have three plays, but to also have three different authors.

            How to submit your play:

1.      Create a Word or PDF file named by the play name plus your Nom de Plume.

2.      Using your own email, send the file of your play to:  tchalloweenplays@gmail.com  This email is managed by a discreet plenipotentiary who will forward your file only to the Plays Committee, keeping the email source anonymous.

3.      Submit the file no later than Labor Day.

4.      Watch for confirmation from the TCHalloweenPlays email to confirm that you have successfully submitted the file.

+

Rudolph (Rudy) Kass

Brookline, June 4, 2021

+

Anthony (Tony) M. Zane

New Bedford, June 11, 2021

+

Randall (Robin) Thompson, Jr.

Lincoln, June 12, 2021

+

                                                                                              Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

May 2021 Tavern Club Newsletter

Guests welcome to all Zoom events. Monday Night Dinners and Friday Lunches served in the Club. Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

Oil on Panel : Brigid Williams

The Committee on Elections draws your attention to the new Name in the Book, also accessible under Members > Proposed Candidate for Membership.

Message from the President

It has been a pleasure to see real faces in the Club. Monday dinners and Friday lunches continue to draw members. Our numbers are small and the conversation lively. Among the real faces seen are the loyal staff: Tony, Flo, Michelle, Patrick, Salem, and Jacqueclin (Jack).  We are back, open, cheerful, and as ever, “at a low ebb.”

The Annual Meeting will take place on May 10, at noon, by Zoom. Thanks to the Nominating Committee (S. Righter, D. Eckel, and G. Perkins) there should be a vote on new officers, directors, and Election Committee members. Reports will be read. Proposed by the Executive Committee is a modest increase in the dues and initiation fees: materials describing these changes have been sent to you and will be sent again with the Zoom link the day before the meeting. Please call or write with any questions. Your dues have made it possible for the Club to support the staff through the pandemic. Because this was the membership’s priority, we qualified for a PPP loan/grant from the government. The amount covers two and a half months of our staff compensation expenses.

For your commitment to the staff and so many other reasons, do take credit for the Club’s collaborative way-finding in the pandemic. The weekly Zoom events, most recently the Prospective, have distributed joy. And we are not done. There’s May, June, and a bit of July. Further on, at the end of the summer, we are planning a real live Fête.

Thanks are never enough, but you have mine. ’Til soon, Nancy

Monday, May 3: 6:30 pm
Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Friday, May 7: 12:30 pm
Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Monday, May 10: Noon
ANNUAL MEETING BY ZOOM

Monday, May 10: 6:30 pm
Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Tuesday, May 11: 9 – 9:45 a.m.
Writing Gym by Zoom

All welcome. Impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Tuesday, May 11: Noon
Play Reading Lunch by Zoom.

La Putain Respectueuse, by Jean-Paul Sartre.  We will finish the season’s exploration of French “history” plays by modern masters with Sartre’s look at systemic racism in the US.  Though written in 1946, and taking place on a train in Alabama, the play resonates today, with “existential’ as well as societal dilemmas.  We will use the English version:  The Respectful Prostitute, Vintage, in paperback or Kindle, and available on amazon.  There is also a movie from 1952.  Respond to either Tony Fay or George Heaton (george.r.heaton@gmail.com).  Quel drame!

Photo : Brigid Williams

Thursday, May 13: 5:30 pm
SPECIAL EVENT: Discussion, led by Tavern architects, on how the pandemic is changing spaces

Abbie Trafford and a number of Club architects will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the built environment: what’s been revealed about spaces we inhabit; how those spaces have evolved under the pressure of home-schooling and home-officing; how design will continue to change to respond to new needs, fears, pleasures; how home can become the foreign land we can’t get to.

Guests welcome.

Sign up at manager@tavernclub.org.

Friday, May 14: 12:30 pm
Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Monday, May 17: 6:30 pm
Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern
Committee on Elections at 5.30

Tuesday, May 18: Noon
Book Club/Poetry Lunch by Zoom

Convening several Tavern psychiatrists including Peter Randolph, Watson Reid, and Hilary McGhee to discuss the psychiatric aspects of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland including the White Rabbit’s anxiety, the Red Queen’s narcissism, the drug addiction of the hookah-smoking caterpillar, Alice’s hallucinations, and more … In addition, we will touch on the nonsense Poetry in Through the Looking Glass including the Jabberwocky and The Walrus and the Carpenter.   Guests welcome – reserve with manager@tavernclub.org.

Wednesday, May 19: Noon
History  Lunch by Zoom

Join Elizabeth Becker, author of You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War, in conversation with David Greenway, discussing their time in Vietnam, the role of women journalists during that war, and Becker’s marvelous, spellbinding book about  Catherine Leroy, Frankie Fitzgerald, and Kate Webb. In this mix of memoir, biographical portraits, and history, Becker takes us behind the scenes of war and journalism to give us an intimate and deeply affecting picture of what it took for women to succeed as war correspondents, perhaps the end of journalism most imbued with machismo. As these women discovered, it was their capacity to see the war through women’s eyes that gave their journalism power and originality that changed the reportage. Very much worth reading this wonderful modest-sized book before the meeting. If you would like the audible version for free, Carol Bundy can share it with you so just ask. Becker, whose career began as a war correspondent for the Post in Cambodia, has had a distinguished career at the NYTimes and NPR and won many prizes. Guests welcome. And be sure to note this is a NOON meeting.

Friday, May 21: 12:30 pm
Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Monday, May 24″ 6:30 pm
Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Thursday, May 27: 5:30 pm
Zoom: NEW EVENT: Tavern Moth Radio

Taverners! Sharpen your quills!  Send us a piece, no more than five minutes when read aloud, for a new Tavern event. Fiction or non-fiction, haunting or humorous, a rant or a rave, stories of healing or hope –

Share YOURS on the Tavern Radio Moth by Zoom.  Email your piece to anneaitken4@gmail.com.

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George.r.heaton@gmail.com.

MeistUrsingers
Sandy Righter
reports: A group of twelve MeistUrsingers met to sing with Tom Kelly in the Tavern on April 29 and another group is scheduled for May.  The regular Fall schedule for the MeistUrsingers will be coming out later in the Spring.  We have all very much missed the chance to sing together.

In Case You Missed It:

Prospective 2021: The second Tavern Prospective show showcased the diverse talents of 30 different Taverners in a wide range of musical vehicles: from Laurel Canyon rock to political diatribe in verse to tango about Ambivalence, a pair of duets about the physical chemistry of love and the pandemic induced glorification of the usual banes of normal existence,  5 vastly different haunting musical settings of a single poem, and so much more – and yet the Tavern theatre that night was empty of all but the ghosts and dust of productions past.  There were almost 100 Zoom viewers that night.  If you weren’t one of them but want to see what you missed, ask Anne Aitken for the link to the recording. Special thanks to George Perkins, Elaine Woo, and Albert LaFarge, and the poets, composers, performers, and filmmakers.

Narrenabend: April 1st, 2021

Bear With Me  – A pandemic fairy tale (based on a true story)

Head Writer: Gabrielle Wolohojian
Writers: Eleanor Andrews, Alice Cornwell, and John Rabinowitz
Director: Andrew Doherty
Assistant Director: Eleanor Andrews
Music: Jeff Peters
Props: Gabrielle Wolohojian
Producer: John Tittmann
Location Manager: Tony Fay
Poster: Chris Whitlock
Zoom Guru: John Tittmann

Cast of Characters:

Polly; Polly Drinkwater
Bear; Sam Thompson
Tavern Secretary, Reader of Henry V, Billiards Player; Bessel van der Kolk
Gourmand, Reader of Romeo & Juliet, Billiards Player; Elliot Davis
Professor, Reader of The Tempest, Billiards player; Phyllis Thompson
Artist, Reader of Richard III, Scorekeeper; Marshall Moriarty
Surgeon, Host of the book club, Billiards player; John Henderson
Jane; Jane Shaw
Sam; Sam Thompson
Edu; Eduardo Vivanco
Elizabeth; Elizabeth Hunnewell
Maisie; Maisie Houghton
Club Manager; Tony Fay

Upcoming: 

Future LIVE events:  Fête Champêtre is planned for the Summer, and in September,  Narrenabend 2020! in September 2021!  The glorious collaboration of David Scudder and George Steele in Don John in Hell.  Stay tuned!

Stephen B. McCurdy
                                                     Curious about many things, baritone, a retired financial services leader 

+

Rodney Armstrong
Boston, April 14, 2021

+

— Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Click the Calendar Download button for a PDF.

April 2021 Tavern Club Newsletter

April 2021 Tavern Club Calendar

Note:

Guests welcome to all Zoom events. Monday Night Dinners and Friday Lunches served in the Club. Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

The Committee on Elections draws your attention to the new Name in the Book, also accessible by logging in to www.tavernclub.org. (Gallimaufry, Candidate for Membership)


Wednesday, March 31 & Thursday, April 1 at 5:30 pm via Zoom: Narrenabend 2021, Pandemic Edition.
So you thought the Tavern has been closed during the pandemic? Tune in to this year’s Narrenabend production to find out what’s really been happening at 4 Boylston Place while we’ve all been stuck at home.

Monday, April 5:  6:30 pm Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Thursday, April 8 at 6:00 pm  A Tavern Talk: Mayhem in the Courts: How Covid disrupts Law & Order.

A discussion between Tavern lawyers Gene Dahmen, Mark Green, Gabrielle Wolohojian, Andy Doherty, Bill Strong. What are the legal issues raised by the pandemic? Courts closed. Offices shuttered. What has happened to the wheels of justice? Everything from changing how to notarize documents to deciding who gets out of jail because of the virus. Is it possible to have a socially distanced jury—or require a vaccinated one, or even a masked one? Cross-examine on Zoom? Take depositions remotely? Where has been the greatest harm? What are the lessons to prompt future reforms?  Come join the debate or just listen in.

Monday, April 12:  6:30 pm Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Tuesday, April 13: Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:30 – 10:15 am

Impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Wednesday, April 14 via Zoom, the Arts Round Table will take an armchair field trip to the Naga Gallery on Newbury Street, where Taverner Joe Barbieri will give us a tour of his new exhibition of paintings, “Lucky Ducks and Lambent Landscapes.” Joe will enlighten us with the meaning of his latest imaginary bird/man portraits and the painterly technique of his lush Maine summer landscapes.

Monday, April 19:  6:30 pm Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Meeting of Committee on Elections at 5:30 pm by Zoom.

Tuesday, April 20:  Play reading at noon via Zoom

George Heaton writes: Having been tantalized and traumatized by the wonders of Camus’ “Caligula,” Acts 1 and 2, at our last session, we will race toward the bloody end next time, doing Acts 3 and 4.  There are lots of wonderful roles, and lots of great ideas — although they are mostly, as Camus would have it — “absurd.”  The Vintage Paperback continues to be our edition, and it is also available on Kindle.  Please sign up with Mr. Fay, and with any questions, contact george.r.heaton@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 21, 5:30 History Cocktails — Making Art, Making History or How We Survived a Pandemic.

Elliot Davis will put our Getty Challenge efforts into a longer historical context of creating Tableaux Vivant in response to paintings, and bring the topic up to date with the international phenomenon during COVID that inspired the Getty Challenge.  Our guest presenter, Julia de Peyster will be presenting a range of her COVID creations.  She will share her collaborative process in lockdown — a serious, whimsical, and sometimes uproarious time with the whole family arranging the scenes, lighting, and editing the works. Ultimately, she became part of a global community and will give us a glimpse of thousands of fellow tableaux-ists, making up a worldwide online community. Tavern Club artists, ad hoc amateurs, and art connoisseur consumers please join us as we admire the ingenuity and creativity of survival while at the same time being very happy it is history!

Thursday, April 22: The 2nd annual Tavern Prospective at 5:30 on Zoom

Eight lyricists, seven composers, and twelve performers have created a  “Tavernway” Show with more than a dozen songs for our pandemic times: Love in the Time of Covid.  A tango of Ambivalence. Nostalgia for Little Human Miseries of the pre-Covid-19 era (boring vegan cousins, traffic jams).  What about the Robot who stole the election? Always some good rock: Love Storm. And more. The creative team, led by Elaine Woo and Al LaFarge involves a wide swath of Taverners, including David Scudder, Belinda Rathbone, Martha Eddison, Roger Warner, Leslie Dunton-Downer, George Steel, George Perkins, and many more. And there’s something new this year in Prospectives: a single poem by Anne Carter Aitken will be set to music by each Tavern composer. Don’t miss this!

Wednesday, April 28: Book Club at noon via Zoom

Ed Tarlov writes:  Dr. Harvey Molotch will discuss his book Beyond Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger. Starting with public restrooms and continuing to an analysis of airline safety, 911, Hurricane Katrina, and other examples, this beautifully written book delineates what many people have been wondering. It turns out that safety is provided by bystanders rather than by officials on duty.

So welcome to what will be a provocative and interesting account of the environments we all passed through in the days we could go out.

Harvey Molotch taught Sociology and Metropolitan Studies at both New York University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2019, the American Sociological Association gave him its highest award – for Career of Distinguished Scholarship. His book, Beyond Security, received the Prose Award from the Association of American Publishers

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George.r.heaton@gmail.com

In case you missed it in March:

March 4: Tavern Film Festival the Retrospective:  George Perkins and Jim Terry brought us a  selection of musical numbers from over a century of Tavern music with the innovative twist of individually (and imaginatively) produced Zoom performances done by an impressive list of Taverners. Singers were Margery Kennelly, Joel Ives, Staffan Ericsson, Mary Rhinelander, George Steel, David Godine, Abbie Trafford, Sam Dennis, Shaw McDermott, Jim Terry, while the unsung heroes were the film producers and Tavern musicians who accompanied.

March 11: Conversations with Tavern doctors, who answered the questions that you were too embarrassed to ask and the press has been too superficial to explore. The panel expertise including virology (Victor Peña-Cruz), immunology (Hal Churchill), patient care (Mary Scott), and psycho-social issues (Watson Reid).

March 18:  Ambassador Nicholas Burns, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, wowed us with a thoughtful and articulate discussion of the current state of U.S. politics, from President Biden’s agenda and priorities to the reshaping of our foreign policy

March 25:  What would a Tavern month be without a Tom Kelly performance?  This month, we were treated to a medieval mystery tour starting at Monte Cassin monastery in southern Italy and winding up at Harvard’s Houghton Library, in pursuit of missing pages from an ancient musical manuscript.

— Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Click the Calendar Download button for a PDF.

Tavern Club March 2021

March 2021 Calendar

Guests welcome to all Zoom events

(Except Monday Members’ Zoom Cocktails,
which will be announced via email and continue until in-club dining resumes.)

Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

Message from the President:

It is almost a full year since the Club’s first pandemic closing in March 2020. You may remember that Ovid Night, scheduled for March 12, 2020, had to be canceled.

The Club didn’t reopen until last fall, and then only for Monday dinners and Friday lunches. We had to close again in January 2021, while the number of deaths and cases rose again in Massachusetts and in the nation.

You filled these gaps brilliantly, with online-everything, including Halloween and Christmas plays, and even an outdoor Fête in August. All the while, we were able to pay the staff their full compensation. Now there are vaccinations alongside falling infection numbers. We hope that by mid-March we can open the Club for Monday dinners and Friday lunches, still carefully staging meals with COVID-time rules.

Thank you for enduring friendships, indomitable creativity, and inspiring steadiness. I hope to see you soon.

—  Nancy Maull

Monday, March 1; 5:30 pm

Monday Night Cocktails by Zoom

Has living in quarantine changed how you make or appreciate art?

Tuesday, March 2; 9 – 9:45 am

Writing Gym by Zoom

All welcome – An impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Thursday, March 4; 5:30 pm

Tavern Film Festival; The Retrospective

George Perkins and Jim Terry have assembled an outstanding team of experienced and totally novice filmmakers to bring you a tour of historic Tavern songs, ranging from 1892 to 2000, re-enacted by a cast of singers and musicians never before seen and heard quite this way.

Wednesday, March 10; 5:30 p.m.

Arts Round Table via Zoom

Belinda Rathbone writes: Taverner George Steel, Abrams Curator of Music at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will speak informally about his role at the museum, and his exciting plans for upcoming programs, including a sample video. “A deeply skilled trailblazer in the performing arts,” in the words of ISGM director Peggy Fogelman, George will also discuss a “business model” to meet the particular challenges of our times.

Thursday, March 11; 5:30 p.m.

Conversations with Taverners via Zoom

A panel of Tavern medical experts will discuss the COVID 19 epidemic and answer the questions that you were too embarrassed to ask and the press has been too superficial to explore. The panel covers a range of expertise including virology (Victor Peña-Cruz), immunology (Hal Churchill), patient care (Mary Scott), and psycho-social issues (Watson Reed).  Moderated by Bob Osteen.

Wednesday, March 17; 5:30 p.m.

History Cocktails via Zoom

Jock Herron writes: “Our own David Greenway will discuss his recently published Loaded with Dynamite: Unintended Consequences of Woodrow Wilson’s Idealism – a timely exploration of Wilson’s disingenuous call for national self-determination at Versailles. As Stephen Kinzer writes, “In Greenway’s hands…Italian pirates, Moroccan warlords and Chinese revolutionaries shape a grand narrative of rising nationalism and anti-colonial passion.” Having reported firsthand from ninety-six countries, David’s rare mix of political savvy, historical insight and global experience bring a more relevant than ever but potentially dry topic fully to life.”

Attendees are encouraged to read David’s book beforehand.  It is currently available at Tidepool Press (https://www.tidepoolpress.com) and soon on Amazon.

Thursday, March 18; 5:30 p.m.

Braving A New World: Role of Diplomacy in Global Competition

Ambassador Nicholas Burns will be our speaker at a special Zoom event on Thursday, March 18 at 5:30 pm. The professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School, Ambassador Burns has served in the U.S. government for almost three decades. He was the lead US negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program and he was the Director for Soviet Affairs in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. Early in his career, he served in the American Consulate in Jerusalem. What are the critical challenges facing the new world order of Great Powers?

Tuesday, March 23; Noon

Play reading at noon via Zoom

George Heaton writes: “Incest!  Regicide!!  Delusional demons!!!  All this and more come to the fore in Camus’ marvelous “Caligula” It’s another in our exploration of French history plays;  this time going deep into “existential” questions.  Not for the faint-of-heart, Caligula will bring out the best in all Tavern thespians.” We will read from the Vintage edition of “Caligula and Three Other Plays,” which is available both on the Kindle and in hardcopy.

Wednesday, March 24; Noon

Book Club Zoom at Noon

Ed Tarlov writes: Alice Cornwell will lead a discussion of  Marguerite Duras’  The Lover, set in the French Indochina of the author’s youth and telling the story of an adolescent girl from an impoverished French colonial family and her affair with a richer Chinese lover.  This will be the simplest of book club events: a gathering over lunch to talk about a book that inspired one Taverner to become a writer. There will be no guest speaker or expert. Still, no participant has an excuse not to read The Lover as it is a short 100 pages and completely mesmerizing. What intrigues Alice most about Duras’ writing are voice, rhythm, and the book’s kaleidoscopic structure, which she is still trying to figure out after reading it many times over many years.

Thursday, March 25; 5:30 p.m.

An Evening with Tom Kelly – What Were Those Old Monks Singing?

In medieval times, music framed the Christian liturgy, perfected the chant, and dominated performances. Once again, Taverner and Harvard professor emeritus Thomas Forrest Kelly will conduct a special Zoom event to reveal his adventures sleuthing around amidst medieval manuscripts with pictures of singing.

Wednesday, March 31 & Thursday, April 1; 5:30 p.m.

Zoom: Narrenabend 2021, Pandemic Edition.

So you thought the Tavern has been closed during the pandemic?  Tune in to this year’s Narranabend production to find out what’s really been happening at 4 Boylston Place while we’ve all been stuck at home.   Don’t miss it!  Sign up for the virtual Narrenabend on April Fool’s Day, aka Thursday, April 1, 2021.  And come for the dress rehearsal night performance for friends and family on Wednesday, March 31.

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George.r.heaton@gmail.com.


In case you missed it in February:

On Thursday, February 4, David Scudder and Anthony Pangaro addressed and debated the future of capitalism.

On Wednesday, February 10, Rob Perkins showed the film and led a discussion of his solo journey down the Arctic Back River in 1987.

On Thursday, February 11, Abbie Trafford and Rusty Tunnard hosted a Valentine’s party featuring musical performances by Jim Terry (as Pete Rollins,) Elaine Woo, Watson Reid, Sandy Righter, and Peter Randolph.

Thursday, February 18, 8:00 pm:  The Third Tavern in the Sky

Andy Calkins and the Tavern Film Club team hosted and led a fascinating discussion of I Am Not Your Negro  a film that imagines what James Baldwin’s final, the unfinished manuscript might have looked like, brought to life on the screen.

Upcoming events:

It’s in the book:  The 2nd Annual Tavern Prospective, April 22

The organizers are still on the hunt for lyricists and composers:

Calling All Lyricists: here in the link below are the lyrics received so far to give you inspiration!  Don’t worry about finding a composer.  They are waiting for your words!  Send your lyrics to albert@thelafargeagency.com or drelainewoo@icloud.com   and we will add them to the folder.

Calling All Composers: we will keep updating the file as lyrics come in but you can start consulting your Muses now!  Let Al and Elaine know your choice so we can post your name next to the lyrics. Don’t worry if more than one of you wants to tackle the same lyrics – makes it all the more interesting!! And plan on finding your performer(s).   We stand ready to help you!

— Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Tavern Club February 2021

Guests are welcome to all Zoom events (except Monday Night Zoom Cocktails). Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

Bear in the Snow

February 2021 Calendar

February 2021 Calendar

Monday, Feb. 1,  Monday Night Cocktails by Zoom  5.30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 2, Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:00 – 9:45 a.m.

An impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Thursday, February 4, at 5:30 pm by Zoom

Whither Capitalism? —Tavern Conversation with David Scudder and Anthony Pangaro

With a brief history of the great advances wrought by capitalism over a couple of hundred years and the more recent inequities of the past 40-50 years, David Scudder and Tony Pangaro will address the future. Do we blame capitalism for the current turmoil in the economy? Or is the devil in how we define “capitalism?” Which form will prevail: “Crony Capitalism?” (Gilded Ages) Or “Autocratic Capitalism” (China)? Or “Democratic Capitalism” which is closer to Adam Smith’s original concept. Can we get back on track and how? David, a trailblazer in the investment management industry, spent years analyzing economic and financial trends to point towards investments for the future. Tony, a leader in private real estate development and corporate philanthropy has changed the city skyline with such landmarks as the Filene’s/Millennium Tower project. They will give us the insiders’ view.

This event follows the book club discussion on January 27 where David reviewed four books on capitalism. A recap of the talk and stimulus for the discussion will be emailed to all who sign up for this event.

Wednesday, February 10 Arts Round Table via Zoom at 5:30 p.m.

Into the Great Solitude

Yearning for a travel adventure? Taverner Rob Perkins will lead an informal discussion about his first PBS  film, “Into the Great Solitude,” an intimate chronicle of his solo journey by canoe along the Arctic Back River north of Yellowknife in 1987.

The film follows Rob through the tundra, along with his navigational challenges, soul searching, and solitude, as he strives to meet his plane at the end of the river 76 days later. “It’s truly a landscape where you’re in touch with bigger forces than yourself,” says Rob.

The film is also a story about his relationship with his stern Bostonian father.

Links to the films:

Into the Great Solitude available for  viewing from Feb. 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al2gkkmSWF4

As a bonus, you are also invited to view a sequel, eight years later, Talking to Angelshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5UpDCXMLX8

Guests welcome. Attendees are encouraged to view the film before the event.

Thursday, February 11 Valentine Party at the (Zoom) Tavern

We'll always have Paris

Bring on the champagne and candy kisses to celebrate the Saint of Love on Zoom with a special Tavern Cheer. Do you have a favorite love quote from the movies to share? We’ll always have Paris. Entertainment will feature Tavern love songs from the past and the future: From Retrospectives of earlier musical shows, watch the performance of “Wrap Yourself Up” (in crimson Valentine Paper) and the old favorite: “Spin the Bottle.” From Prospectives of songs yet to be, composed by current Taverners, listen to “Can’t do that no More” and “Love in the Time of Covid.” Your hosts, Abbie Trafford and Rusty Tunnard will debate the Valentine Conundrum—so please send in your favorite movie quotes to trafforda@rcn.com to help them figure it out. Here’s looking at you, kid.

Tuesday, Feb. 16, Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:00 – 9:45 am

An impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Tuesday, Feb. 16, Poetry Reading Brown-Bag Zoom at Noon: BYO Plague Poetry and Prose

Pestilence, plagues, and pandemics have provided fodder for all kinds of literature, from Lucretius’ vivid description of the Athenian plague in De rerum natura to later works by Pepys, Defoe, and others.  Albert LaFarge asks you to bring a short passage with moving descriptions of plague in any literary form and share it with others. Or perhaps you might be tempted to write your own verse about our current one?

To prime the pump, here’s a link to Lucretius: https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/bailey-on-the-nature-of-things#lf1496_label_279  Scroll down to The Athenian Plague.

No vaccine required to attend – Guests welcome!

Wednesday, February 17:  History Cocktails by Zoom at 5.30 p.m.

Meg Muckenhoupt

Jock Herron writes: In anticipation of spring, the history and prospects for New England foodways will be explored, celebrated, and possibly even re-imagined by acclaimed author Meg Muckenhoupt – most recently of The Truth about Baked Beans: An Edible History of New England – in conversation with Edith Murname, Executive Director of Mass Farmers Markets and former food ‘czar’ for Mayor Tom Menino.

An experienced writer on ecology and travel, Meg is also the author of Cabbage: A Global History and the local best-seller Boston Gardens and Green Spaces.  Edith was on the frontlines last year repositioning farmers’ markets across the state to accommodate COVID and is looking forward to supporting local farms and consumers anew this season.

Thursday, February 18, 8:00 p.m.  

The Third Tavern in the Sky Movie: I Am Not Your Negro

Bring your own nightcap and get ready to settle in for a Tavern discussion of this movie, the writer behind it, the historical icons it portrays, and its implications for our times.   I Am Not Your Negro  is the 2017 film that imagines what James Baldwin’s final, unfinished manuscript might have looked like, brought to life on the screen. Baldwin writes (and speaks, in the movie) about the murders of three iconic figures in America’s civil rights struggle – Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers. It is powerful, timely, and deeply evocative.

We will divide into breakout rooms over Zoom for discussion.  To read more about the film, go to the IMDB listing for it; the top comment on that site is particularly compelling.  New York Times critic A.O. Scott wrote in his review: “Whatever you think about the past and future of what used to be called “race relations” — white supremacy and the resistance to it, in plainer English — this movie will make you think again, and may even change your mind. Through its principal figure, the novelist, playwright, and essayist James Baldwin, is a man who has been dead for nearly 30 years, you would be hard-pressed to find a movie that speaks to the present moment with greater clarity and force, insisting on uncomfortable truths and drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history.”

The film is available on Amazon Prime and Netflix. Space is limited to 30.  Let Anson  (ansonwright@gmail.com) or Andy (acalkins@nextgenlearning.org) know if you need technical help.

Tuesday, February 23, Play Reading Zoom at Noon

Anouilh’s Becket—the finale.   850 years and two months later, Becket’s life will still resonate in this second session (Acts 3 and 4) of our reading of this wonderful play.  The stage has been set, and the plot will thicken as Becket and Henry collide.  Of course, we know the outcome; however, “the play’s the thing!”  There are many editions, but the Riverhead is available cheaply on Amazon.

Feel free to contact george.r.heaton@gmail.com or ansonwright@gmail.com with any questions.

Wednesday, February 24, Book Club Zoom at Noon

David Greenway will lead a discussion with Ian Buruma a Dutch teacher, author, and historian, living in America. His most recent book is The Churchill Complex, the Curse of Being Special, from Winston and FDR to Trump and Brexit.

David writes “Buruma’s book traces the so-called “Special Relationship” between the US and Britain that meant so much to Churchill in the second world war. But the power relationship shifted dramatically in America’s favor during the war and England’s decline as a great power has eroded ever since. For America, Britain could be a reliable ally upon occasion, but for the British, the special relationship was the hope of remaining relevant by sticking close to the Americans.  They were always hoping to play the clever Greeks to America’s more plodding, but more powerful Romans.”

Buruma has written 15 books, countless articles, and has won many literary awards. Foreign Policy Magazine named him as one of the 100 leading global thinkers.  He began with an interest in Japan and its culture and was an early contributor to the Far East Economic Review. He teaches at Bard College and was briefly the editor of the New York Review of Books.

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George Heaton at George.r.heaton@gmail.com.

Upcoming events:

On Wednesday, March 24 at noon on Zoom Alice Cornwell will lead a discussion of  Marguerite Duras’ The Lover, set in the French Indochina of the author’s youth and telling the story of a mixed-race love affair and the emotional turmoils of a near destitute French family. No participant has an excuse not to read a novel that Rachel Kushner in the New Yorker called “a wisp of a book you can read in a single afternoon” but also “a kind of artistic zenith.”  For its primal intensity, language and subject pared down to raw essentials, The Lover comes as close to crystalline perfection as Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, Alice says. Both books were written toward the end of the author’s careers.

It’s in the book:  The 2nd Annual Tavern Prospective, April 22

The organizers are still on the hunt for lyricists and composers:

Calling All Lyricists: here in the link below are the lyrics received so far to give you inspiration!  Don’t worry about finding a composer.  They are waiting for your words!  Send your lyrics to Al  albert@thelafargeagency.com or Elaine drelainewoo@icloud.com   and we will add them to the folder.

Calling All Composers: we will keep updating the file as lyrics come in but you can start consulting your Muses now!  Let Al and Elaine know your choice so we can post your name next to the lyrics. Don’t worry if more than one of you wants to tackle the same lyrics – makes it all the more interesting!! And plan on finding your performer(s).   We stand ready to help you!

Here’s the link to the lyrics already received:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OEouVV6HtF8EC_16cJcmT51bFD0uRv_Kk8E–fQq6tk/edit?usp=sharing.

Narrenabend coming on 4/1. Is this an April Fool? You’ll find out!

In case you missed it—January’s Special Events:

On January 7, Heather Cox Richardson shared her views on how we got to where we are, politically, at least.  Her insightful comments, laced with fascinating historical references, inspired a lot of questions and many new signups for her daily posts on “Letters from an American”

On January 14, Tom Kelly took us to Italy, this time to Milan, for the opening of Verdi’s Otello.   His well-attended talk pulled back the curtain on how the performance came to be, complete with backstage intrigue and romantic interludes. Want more Kelly?  Coming soon.

The 6th annual Charades evening took place on January 21. It not only survived the transition to Zoom, but many players called it the best one yet. The final results were close, but the team clued by Martha Eddison pulled ahead in the last furlong to win by a nose. There is demand for another session of this popular diversion—watch this space.

+

John Lowell “Jack” Gardner
January 3, 2021
Hamilton, MA

+

 — Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Do you want to print out the calendar? Here is a PDF. Here is a printable version of the Newsletter.