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

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.

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


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

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