October 2018 News

October Calendar

October News

Wednesday October 3: Poetry Lunch Coleridge at Midnight.

Peer into the black well of a few of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s most terrified verses, including “Frost at Midnight,” “Ne Plus Ultra,” “Limbo,” and “Work Without Hope,” to get us in the mood and spirit of Frankenstein@200, Halloween, and darker days ahead. Library at noon, lunch at 12:30, and downhill from there. Unexpected guests welcome. (BYO laudanum.) But do reserve with Mr. Fay.

Thursday October 4:  A Lunch for New Members.

Come to lunch and learn a password and special handshake.  Any member who still feels new is welcome, but do contact Secretary Maull at maullnancy65@gmail.com if you haven’t done so already.  And it is never a mistake to tell Mr. Fay of your meal plans, early and often.

Wednesday October 10:  Arts Roundtable Lunch

Our guest will be Colleene Fesko, frequently seen on the hit PBS television series Antiques Roadshow. She is a Boston-based fine art and antiques appraiser and broker and most recently a consultant with Christie’s American Painting Department. Her experience includes more than two decades at Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers. She is the person to tell us that the Corot is really a Corat.  Come to hear her adventures among old things. Guests welcome, but sign up early.

Come with your prints, photos, paintings at 11:45 (bring them to the second floor) so that Colleene can look them over before lunch and select the ones she will discuss. 

Fall Bear

Thursday October 11: MeistUrsingers Lunch

Welcome to all Taverners who like to sing! Downbeat at 12.20, lunch afterwards (Reserve with Tony Fay).

Thursday October 11:  Special Event – Madeline Miller on Circe.


Best-selling author Madeline Miller returns to the Club on Thursday evening, October 11 to discuss her new and widely-acclaimed novel, Circe.   Madeline spoke about her first book, The Song of Achilles, at a standing-room-only history lunch just after it was published in 2011, and shortly thereafter it won the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction.  Like The Song of Achilles, Circe weaves together the divine and the mortal, this time in an elegantly crafted tale of the insignificant nymph who becomes a formidable witch, as well as a symbol of female empowerment.  “An epic spanning thousands of years that’s also a keep-you-up all night page turner”, says Ann Patchett.   Sign up early.  You will NOT want to miss this. Sign up soon. Guests welcome.  Drinks at 6, dinner, presentation and discussion at 7.

Tuesday October 16: Play Reading Lunch

Encore!  The first Play-Reading Luncheon went off to acclaim in “Off-Off Boylston.”  So, we have decided to do it again:  not only the event, but also the playwright, Christopher Durang, who is gifted, zany and inexplicable enough to warrant a second excursion.

We’ll meet in the library around 12, get scripts and assignments, go up to lunch, and read afterwards.  Guests are welcome, but sign up early.

(And if this doesn’t meet your schedule or taste, we will do some of “The Importance of Being Earnest” on November 13).

Paaveli Jumppanen

Thursday October 18: Special Event – Pianist Paaveli Jumppanen plays Bach. 

World-renowned pianist Paaveli Jumppanen returns to the Tavern to play excerpts from J.S. Bach’s Art of Fugue (1749) What, after all, are the contrapuntal possibilities of a single musical subject?  Listen and explore.  Drinks at 6, concert at 6:30, with dinner and discussion after.  Guests are welcome.  Sign up with Mr. Fay.

Monday October 22   Committee on Elections
5.30 pm in the Library

Thursday October 25: Halloween Plays

The three Halloween plays are in rehearsal and bursting with energy.  Many new members will be making debuts.   Be sure to see fruits of their work on October 25th, Thursday, and to vote for which will win the Bruin.  You will see the Tavern Players put new plays on the boards, each written, directed and acted by members:   an essay on primary colors (imagine the costumes!), a send-up on the business of selling art (what is art anyway?), and a riff on Hamlet (the Bard is rolling in his grave!).   Be there when we identify the previously anonymous playwrights.   Reserve now. Members only: formal wear and medals. Drinks at 6, dinner at 7, and then the plays.

Bears Pumpkin

Wednesday October 31: Book Club Lunch

Captain Mark Lenci  USN  (ret) will speak: “A Day in the Life of a Nuclear Fast Attack Submarine.”  Highly decorated former Commander of USS Houston, Mark was a key leader in the US Navy’s efforts to insert commercial information technology to enable network-centric warfare. His work led him to a second career in IT, with Lotus/IBM, and Microsoft. His fascinating presentation will cover issues of management of personnel and innovative use of technology, at the cutting edge of espionage,  more captivating than science fiction.Guests welcome, sign up early.


November 8, Thursday evening Special Event, Melissa Franklin, an experimental particle physicist and Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard.

In Case You Missed It


Blues Night at the Tavern on September 20 was a smash hit. The third floor rocked to the likes of Otis Redding, the Rolling Stones and Sam & Dave (Soul Man). Chris Whitlock and his band—Mo Jo Slim—launched the fall season with dancing and singing to such classics as Honky Tonk Woman, Mustang Sally, Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Playing with Chris were Dave Pierce on vocals and harmonica, Paul Dever on drums, Wolf Ginandes on Bass, Scott Shetler on Sax, and John Moriconi on Trumpet. The evening began with drinks and billiards with some outstanding pool sharks. The special Blues Menu:  chicken and sausage jambalaya, rice, Tavern specialty coleslaw and the best cornbread south of the Canadian border–topped off with lemon and pecan bars.

And further In Case You Missed It

On the evening of September 29, Anthony M. Amore, security chief at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, revealed with humor and depth his own analyses of few of the  art world’s famous scams and thefts. Amore, author of The Art of the Con, recounted forgeries, fakes, stolen masterpieces and plundered works. He hasn’t found the missing masterpieces from the Gardner museum but he’s still on the case.   Ann Hawley, former director of the Gardner Museum led the thoroughly engaging discussion.

Triennial Art Show 2018

November 15 – December 31 2018

The Tavern Triennial Art Show 2018 to be held in honor of Joe Wheelwright will open Thursday November 15, 2018 at 6:00. Dinner for Members and their guests will follow at 7:15.

We hope every member will submit something of his or her own creation for the show – only ONE item from each exhibitor; the other stipulation is that the piece be visual art – painting, sculpture, print, drawing, photograph and so on. Please keep the dimensions of two-dimensional work under 25 x 25 inches. Please direct all questions to Nick ClarkNickc715@outlook.com and/or Peter Hainespeter.decamp.haines@gmail.com

Pack your piece as you see fit, label with your name, the title, medium, plus price (if any) and bring to the Club between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (preferably) any day from Monday October 22 to and including Thursday November 1, 2018 but no later. Until hanging, all pieces will be stored in the Billiards room and adjacent space.

John Tittmann and Elaine Woo would welcome knowing about the musical talents of Taverners. Musicians, instrumental and vocal, are always sought for Tavern plays and other entertainments.

Note that two new names have been entered into the Book in the Library.


Carol Monica

Cambridge, Ma., September 30 2018


 — Nancy Maull, Secretary

Click the download button to access a printable copy of the October 2018 Tavern Club calendar. 

September 2018 News


Tavern Club September 2018 Calendar

Monday, September 10
Gallery Opening: John Tittmann Paintings

Drinks and conversation in the Gallery at 5:30.

John Tittmann writes:

Oil, watercolor, pencil:  each medium is different, each the same.
The work is based in observation of the world.
And the attempt to depict it with simplicity and clarity.”

Tavern artists:  If you would like to show your work in the Gallery, have a chat with Nick Clark. (Nickc715@outlook.com)

Tuesday, September 18
NEW! Play Reading Lunch

Take part! Take a part in the new play-reading luncheon series. (Recognizing that such sport has been a Tavern hit in the past, we bring it back by popular demand.  Who knows where this will lead?) . Consistent with democracy and the Tavern Way, the play readings will unfold in a participatory, amusing, and relatively ungovernable manner.    If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact George Heaton, who is taking the role of “Impresario”. (george.r.heaton@gmail.com)

The first meeting will be Tuesday, September 18, at the usual luncheon time.  Make a reservation, convene in the library, and we’ll take it from there.  The first play will be short and funny, calculated to bring out your inner-ham.   Scripts will be available, and appropriate role assignments made at the event.  There will be time to consider the future, so bring your ideas!

The following fall Play-Reading Luncheon dates have already made it into the calendar: October 16, November 13, December 11 (all Tuesdays).

Wednesday, September 19
History Lunch with John Kaag

At the History lunch on Wednesday September 19, John Kaag, author of American Philosophy: A Love Story (with all sorts of Tavern connections) and the soon-to-be-released Hiking with Nietzsche will engage Emerson, James and Nietzsche to bring philosophy and the “big questions” back to life.

In his writing and his teaching – he chairs the philosophy department at UMass Lowell – John has been acclaimed for making philosophy a “life-elevating adventure”, an experience that might well resonate beyond the History lunch itself, which begins at 12.15.

Guests welcome.

Thursday, September 20
MeistUrsingers Lunch

Welcome to all Taverners who like to sing! Downbeat at 12.20, lunch afterwards (Reserve with Tony Fay).

Thursday, September 20

The fall season kicks off with Chris Whitlock and his band to get us into the swing of Thursday special events at the Tavern. Come for a Blues Night buffet and then sing and dance to your favorites with the Whitlock Beat. Who can forget Ride, Sally Ride at the Tavern? Drinks and billiards at 6, buffet at 7 and music to follow. 

Guests welcome.

Monday, September 24
Committee on Elections

The Committee will meet at 5.30pm in the Library.

Proposing a new member

First, let the Chair of the Elections Committee, Ed Tarlov, know of your intention. (edward.tarlov.md@gmail.com or 617-337-6440) You, the proposer, then mail or email a flavorful letter to the Chair, telling the Committee about the candidate. You solicit a seconder to write a supporting letter. You then request supporting letters from four additional Tavern members, sending those four names to the Committee.  Supporters’ letters are sent directly to the Elections Committee.  To acquaint the candidate and members, you may arrange a gathering, inside or outside the Tavern Club. Bringing the candidate to the Tavern Club to meet members and get the flavor of the Club is also an important part of the process. The Elections Committee will then carry out its due diligence and keep in touch with the proposer as the process unfolds.

Wednesday, September 26
Noon, Book Club Lunch

Laury Coolidge will lead our discussion of John Barry’s important historical biography: Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church State and the Birth of Liberty. Barry’s book  describes how Williams’s radical beliefs caused  him, like Pilgrims and Puritans before,  to flee to New England, where annoying of Pilgrim/Protestant  authorities necessitated his subsequent winter overland flight to establish Providence, named to honor the divine assistance given to him and other Christians in their persecution. His courage fueled his persistence and he returned to England to obtain a charter for his colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  As an early proponent of liberty of conscience, he boldly insisted that what is true for Christian Europeans was true for others, including Native Americans.

Guests welcome – Reserve with Tony Fay.

Thursday, September 27
SPECIAL EVENT: Anthony Amore

Who stole the Rembrandt? Anthony M. Amore, security chief at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will reveal the vast network of scams and thefts in the art world. In his book, The Art of the Con, Amore becomes the Sherlock Holmes of art crime: forgeries, fakes, stolen masterpieces and plundered works. Art lovers are easy targets—they want to believe what they see. Is that Rembrandt on the wall “real”? And whatever happened to the Vermeer? Ann Hawley, former director of the Gardner Museum will lead the discussion.  Guests welcome. Drinks at 6, dinner 7. 

Triennial Art Show 2018
November 8 – December 31, 2018

Thursday, November 8 Cocktails at 6:00. Dinner for Members and their guests will follow at 7:15.

We hope every member will submit something of his or her own creation for the show – only ONE item from each exhibitor; the other stipulation is that the piece be visual art – painting, sculpture, print, drawing, photograph and so on. Please keep the dimensions of two-dimensional work under 25 x 25 inches. Please direct all questions to Nick Clark (Nickc715@outlook.com) and/or Peter Haines (peter.decamp.haines@gmail.com).

Pack your piece as you see fit, label with your name, the title, medium, plus price (if any) and bring to the Club between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (preferably) any day from Monday October 22 to and including Thursday November 1, 2018 but no later. Until hanging, all pieces will be stored in the Billiards room and adjacent space.

Call for new Tavern Compositions
— a Songfest next Spring

WANTED: Taverners with words for music and music for words!

If you ever thought you had a way with words or a tune or two in your head but no place to put those little gems, we have an Opportunity for you! We invite you to join in the creation of the first Tavern Prospective Show.

The idea: This is the opportunity to create and/or perform an original composition for performance at the Tavern Club without the formidable burden of writing and mounting an entire Christmas or Narrenabend show.  Perhaps this effort will lead you to just such projects after you have dipped your toe in the waters of creation.  Perhaps you and other Club writers will find new partners and new performers of all types for future productions. And in any case it should be fun for all!

The plan: We invite all aspiring lyricists to create song lyrics over the summer. These poetic efforts can be rhymed and metered -or not!  Submit them to Elaine Woo or Al Lafarge and we will compile them centrally.   In the fall, interested Club composers will review the collected lyrics and select up to 30 to set to music.  In the spring – we tap the collective talents of the Club performers and voila! Our First Tavern Club Prospective Revue.

The invitation: to all!

Elaine Woo (elainewoo67@gmail.com) and Albert Lafarge (albert@thelafargeagency.com)

In Case You Missed It:

We gathered on a too-beautiful evening at a bend in the river where the Greenways, David and JB, perch, their tent set against the sunset with flowers and unneeded cans of OFF.  Magical moments occurred, with festively attired Taverners and guests and lovely music in the background. (George Perkins led a gang of musicians and singers.)  The seafood feast was consumed and the French song sung, perhaps even more skillfully than ever before thanks to the efforts of Sandy Righter and others.  The Tavern summer commenced thereupon.


Adelbert Ames
May 31,2018, Marlboro, VT


H. Peter Aitken
August 1, 2018, Sandwich, 

— Nancy Maull, Secretary

To download the September 2018 newsletter, click here.

April 2018 News

April 2018 Calendar

Peter Haines Sculpture

Gallery Opening Monday, April 2, 5:30-7:00
Peter Haines – Sculptures

“I’ll be showing small bronze sculptures, made for the hand as well as for the eye.  The work ranges from pure abstraction to stylized animals (some bears), and architecture.  My artistic ancestors include stone axes and ancient ethnographic objects; to name a few: Cycladic, Shang Dynasty, Olmec, African.  More recent influences are Henry Moore, Brancusi, and Noguchi.Peter Haines

Meredith Bergmann

Arts Round Table Lunch Wednesday, April 11, Noon

The Arts Roundtable will welcome the sculptor Meredith Bergmann. Meredith has made both private and public works, including the Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Ave. Mall (between Fairfield and Gloucester Streets). The bronze and marble memorial represents three remarkable women with Boston connections: Abigail Adams, the famous First Lady who was a strong advocate of women’s rights, Phillis Wheatley, a colonial slave and the first published African-American poet, and Lucy Stone, an abolitionist and suffragist who was one of the first American women to earn a college degree. Among Bergmann’s many other works are the September 11th Memorial at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, a large bronze bas-relief commemorating the labor movement for the Massachusetts State House, and a memorial sculpture in progress of Franklin D. Roosevelt for installation on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Come celebrate the 15th anniversary of the unveiling of the Boston Women’s Memorial with its creator. Guests welcome.

Carman Hinton

Special Event, Carma Hinton, Thursday, April 12 Dinner

We are pleased to welcome Carma Hinton, Robinson Professor of Visual Culture and Chinese Studies at George Mason University, who is both an art historian and a filmmaker. Born and raised in China, with Chinese as her first language and culture, Carma has devoted her life to documenting and teaching about China.  Together with her husband, Richard Gordon, Carma produced and directed 13 documentary films about China.  These films explore a wide range of topics, from traditional culture, the arts, medicine, and village life (Stilt Dancers, Small Happiness, All Under Heaven, and To Taste 100 Herbs) to major historical events, such as the protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989 (The Gate of Heavenly Peace) and the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution during the1960s (Morning Sun).

You may remember that Carma spoke to Taverners on the occasion of the opening of Yin Yu Tang, the Qing dynasty Chinese house she helped bring to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Others will recall her grandmother Carmalita, founder of the Putney School in Vermont, or her father William Hinton, agriculturalist and author of Fanshen and Shenfan.  Guests welcome. Reserve early.

Cocktails 6 pm, Dinner 7 pm.

History Lunch with Patricia O’Toole, Wednesday, April 18, 12:15 
Patricia O’Toole on her new biography, The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made.

The Moralist by Patricia O'Toole

“An elegantly and wittily written, deeply nuanced, and finely argued biography
. . . An essential contribution to presidential history.” —Booklist, starred review

A penetrating biography of one of the most high-minded, consequential, and controversial US presidents, Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). Patricia O’Toole, author of acclaimed biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House (2005) and Henry Adams, The Five of Hearts: An Intimate Portrait of Henry Adams and His Friends, writes a cautionary tale about the perils of moral vanity and American overreach in foreign affairs. Many of O’Toole’s revelations break fresh ground, including the unreliability of Wilson adviser Edward M. House as a source. A bonus derives from the obvious relevance of the Wilson presidency to 21st-century politics. The ways in which Wilson expanded presidential powers bring to mind presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Guests most welcome!

Poetry Lunch, Tuesday, April 24, 12:15

David Ferry

Tavern Poetry Lunch delights in a return visit from our esteemed friend David Ferry, whose much-heralded translation of Virgil’s Aeneid was published in the fall to rejoicing. David will read from and discuss the Aeneid, as he did two Februaries ago; and he’ll probably entertain us with a few of his own poems, and other translations, too. His Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations won the National Book Award in 2012, and a slew of other major honors have come his way for earlier poems and translations (Virgil’s Georgics and Eclogues, Horace’s odes, and even the Epic of Gilgamesh): in 2011, he was awarded the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Foundation. He is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor (emeritus) of English at Wellesley College and still teaches around town. Guests are welcome but the table will be bursting at the seams if previous lunches are an indication–both with David and also Sallie Spence’s Virgil lunch in October.

Thinking Bear

Book Club Lunch, Wednesday, April 25, Noon

We will discuss The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Both books deal with the work of two Israeli psychologists, one of whom (Kahneman) won the Nobel Prize–in Economics!  Their studies of our decision-making show how seemingly irrelevant factors shape choice.  For example, judges grant parole more often after morning coffee, lunch, or afternoon tea. The results of recent experience may unduly influence our decisions. Much of what we believe to be rational and logical may not be. Guests welcome – Reserve with Tony Fay.

MeistUrsingers  April 5, and MAYBE April 19 and 25 with Jim.
Afternoon rehearsal with Tom April 26, before Concert. MeistUrsingers are reminded to sign up with Tony Fay if they can stay for lunch.

The Committee on Elections will not be meeting in April. Next Meeting May 21.

Special Event, MeistUrsingers Concert, Thursday, April 26

Concert singers

The MeistUrsingers have the pleasure and the honor to present their inimitable stylings in a program, not too long, of works by Taverners and non-Taverners, including Randall Thompson, John Dowland, James Terry, and Tony Hutchins. At dinner, we will have the pleasure of hearing Taverner Mike Scott on the piano as we all seek to drown out his performance by singing Gershwin’s greatest tunes. Taverners and their guests are cordially invited.

Note: Concert Before dinner.  Cocktails 6 pm, Concert 6:30 pm, followed by Dinner and Singalong.

In case you missed it …

Musical Retrospective, March 8 
Numbers of Taverners moved, sang, and enacted songs by Hatches Senior and Junior and by Brad Trafford, all from 1939 to 1983.  If the lyrics were occasionally obscure and our figures less than neat, there was love in it and the great pleasure of discovering and rediscovering terrific music.  The audience was forgiving and appreciative.  All thanks to Jim Terry and Elaine Woo, the impresarios and accompanists.

Narrenabend, March 29
Thought You Was Dead, penned by Watson Reid, and brilliantly directed by Peter Rand, brought a 1920 west Texas saloon to the Tavern stage.  The four-man band, three guitars (George Perkins, Watson Reid, Chris Whitlock) and a cello (Andy Calkins) filled the hall with country western songs, all arranged and composed by Watson Reid, who also wrote the lyrics.  The tale of jilted lovers and outlaws kicked off when Bougie (JoAnne Dickinson) returned in grand burlesque fashion to the cowboy town Pas-de-Place after an absence—when she was thought to be dead.  Her desire, in a French accent, was to reclaim her lover, Hawker (Albert LaFarge), who by now was inconveniently married to Tris (Mary Scott). Jake Danuls (Peter Randolph) the saloon keeper served eggs in beer—real eggs—but couldn’t stop the inevitable gunfight in his establishment.  The telephone operator, Maude (Abbie Trafford), comically delayed the news from getting to Sheriff Tracer (Jane Manopoli).  To add drama to the drama, a spectacularly costumed Deus-Ex-Mexica (David Scudder) used his divine powers to transform three cows into cowgirls (Sandy Righter, Kate Dahmen, Sallie Spence McGregor) thereby providing polka dancing partners for the cowboys (Ben Cox, James Houghton, Brian Rosborough).  All was resolved in forgiveness and joy, as the bullets were found to be blanks, and no-one really was hurt.  The costumes (Martha Eddison) and the sets (Warren Ross, Peter Haines) lended visual form to the music.  Sounds of lighting and gunfire (David Chanler) were enhanced with excellent lighting effects (Gabrielle Wolohojian, David Lawrence).  Prompting was invisible (Jane Shaw) but effective (!) and the curtain (Polly Drinkwater) pulled without snags!  The final polka dance (choreography by Elaine Woo) ended the production with the audience joining the clapping and foot stomping.  And of course, the poster (Kate Dahmen) will memorialize the event.

Deborah Warren

Joseph Hammer
Ex-naval officer, Opera aficionado

–Nancy Maull, Secretary

For a complete, downloadable copy of the April 2018 Tavern Club Newsletter, click here.

March 2018 News

March 2018 Calendar

Gallery Opening Monday, March 5, 5:30-7:00
Paul Sullivan – “Learning to Look”

Paul Sullivan Painting

“I have been painting in retirement after a lifetime of admiring the works of masters and others in galleries and museums. I took a beginners’ oil painting class at MassArt in 2012. I have been drawn to plein air painting. Almost all my work is coastal subjects. From April to November I paint weekly with the Westport Art Group at beautiful locations ranging from the Cape to Little Compton RI. As often as I can, I take workshops with famous artists, culminating with an annual workshop week on Monhegan Island ME.”   Paul Sullivan.

A Quiet Lodging Illustration
Illustration from a G. W. Chadwick Score for Narrenabend 1892 “A Quiet Lodging”

Tavern Club Musical Retrospective 2018, Thursday, March 8

“I’ve picked around 30 songs from the 31 Christmas and Narrenabend musicals produced, separately or together, by Frank Hatch, Sr., Frank Hatch, Jr. and Brad Trafford from 1939 to 1983. It’s a delightful bunch of songs. Come and enjoy your fellow Taverners bringing this wonderful music back to life.” – Jim Terry

Cocktails 6 pm, Dinner 7 pm, followed by performance. Guests Welcome.

MeistUrsingers Lunches, Thursday, March 1 and 8

Downbeat 12:20, followed by lunch.  If you like to sing, you are welcome!  Remember to sign up if you can stay for lunch.

Arts Round Table Lunch, Colleene Fesko, Wednesday, March 14, 12:15

Do you suspect the watercolor of a cowboy hanging in your pantry could be a Remington?  Or that the photograph of Fidel from your grandmother’s attic could finance your next trip to Paris?  Time to put a real value on those possessions at the Tavern’s own Antiques Road Show on Wednesday, March 14th.  Colleene Fesko, an appraiser and fine arts consultant with more than 20 years of experience on PBS’s Antiques Road Show, will be our guest speaker at the Arts Roundtable March 14th lunch.  Bring your treasures to lunch (specifically American and European paintings, prints, photographs or works on paper) and, if you’re lucky, you may be selected for an appraisal.

appraisal photo

Book Club Lunch, Tuesday, March 20, Noon

The Tavern Book Club, heretofore focused on reading, will on March 20 shift its attention to writing. In the spirit of Lewis Perry “talking freely and foolishly because we like each other” Alice Cornwell, nom de plume Greenway, will share and discuss several of her short stories – all works in progress – and talk about writing, particularly the shorter forms. Those planning to attend should email Alice – alicelcornwell@gmail.com, – or Ed – edward.tarlov.md@gmail.com – so that we can email you copies of the stories. Reserve with Tony Fay.  Guests welcome.

History Lunch with Margo Miller, Wednesday, March 21, 12:15

Until Henry Lee Higginson (beloved president of the Tavern) built the Hotel Agassiz on Commonwealth Avenue, Americans did not live in apartment houses with each family on one whole floor.  All that was to change in the 1870’s.  An Agassiz owner, Margo Miller, will tell tales of bygone Boston from her new book, Château Higginson: Social Life in Boston’s Back Bay 1870-1920.  Boston’s newest neighborhood was still so vacant that kids skated on excavated housing lots.  Transportation was by horse (there were some 6000 in the city) or by shanks’ mare.  The bicycle craze brought democracy on wheels.  John Singer Sargent was a house guest at the Agassiz and Sir Henry Irving and Ellen Terry came to dine. Life was rosy, except when plumbing and heating malfunctioned.  Poor Higginson!  He was not only landlord but an occupant: the tenants were not shy about informing him of stinking toilets, ceiling leaks, and soot-belching fireplaces.  Guests welcome.

Lee Pelton

Lee Pelton, Emerson College

Our near-neighbor Lee Pelton will join us for dinner.  Lee has been the President of Emerson College since 2011.  A veteran of US higher education, he has held posts at Harvard, Colgate, Dartmouth, and Willamette.  With that broad swath of experience, he is well attuned to the controversies and challenges of higher ed.  We look forward to hearing about Emerson’s place in that universe and its aspirations for the future.

NARRENABEND, March 28/29

As certain as the return of spring’s sweet showers, the Tavern Players will return on Thursday, March 29, with a new Narrenabend play, Thought You Was Dead.  Book, music, and lyrics are all by Watson Reid.  Taverners will be swept into a 1920’s west Texas bar, where all kinds of outlaws, cowboys, and jilted lovers will try to make amends.  Three guitars and a cello will fill our hall with an eclectic mix of country western music.  This tour de force is directed by Peter Rand.

western cow boys on horses

Valentine’s Day was celebrated by a full crowd, lured by a special meal and wines. By all accounts, the evening’s high-spirited course was set by the entering challenge posed to Taverners and guests: find your matching dinner companion in the crowd—Anthony/Cleopatra, Tristan/Isolde, Beyonce/Jay Z.  The dining room was transformed by flowers and candles. The splendid meal was followed by entertainment, culminating in John Rabinowitz’s sweet and haunting saxophone valentine to the audience. Huge thanks and lasting admiration to John, Bobo Devens, Staffan Ericsson, Bob Turner and Natalie Williams who pulled it all off.

The Committee on Elections will meet on Monday, March 19 at 5.30 in the Library.
Members are reminded to check the Book in the Library for new candidates.

New Members: 

Tina Rathborne deNormandie
Author, filmmaker

John Ames
Photographer, Art aficionado, antiquarian

John Henderson
Guitarist, museum


–Nancy Maull, Secretary


For a complete, downloadable copy of the March 2018 Tavern Club Newsletter, click here.

February 2018 News

February 2018 CalendarGallery Opening
Monday February 5, 5:30-7:00

Arbor, oil on paper
“Arbor”, oil on paper

Kate Dahmen’s exhibition is a study of lush landscapes, flowers, plants, and still lifes in light filled spaces.  She works in oils and watercolors.  Guests welcome at the Opening, Members only to Dinner.

Arts Round Table Lunch
Wednesday February 7, 12:15

Wither the Humanities?

The Arts Round Table will welcome Diana Sorensen to informally discuss the state of the humanities at Harvard and elsewhere. Diana is the James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literature and of Comparative Literature at Harvard. As Dean of Arts and Humanities at Harvard in 2009, she led a task force to study the decline of humanities majors among undergraduates, ways to re-invigorate the curriculum for a new generation, and the creation of “gateway” courses to forge a stronger relationship between the arts and the sciences. As a professor of the humanities at Harvard, Diana will share her views and experience of these initiatives as they have played out over subsequent years. Guests welcome.

Valentines Day Dinner
Wednesday February 14

bear sitting by tree

Roses are red, lilies are white
Come feast at the Tavern
On Valentine’s Night

Lobster bisque
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve

Beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce
Roasted carrots, pearl onions, beets, Brussels sprouts
Scalloped potatoes with fennel
Saint-Amour, Domaine des Pins les Pierres

Brownies with whipped cream and raspberries

Cocktails at 6:15; Dinner at 7:00
$75 per person tout compris
Guests very welcome

MeistUrsingers Lunch 
Thursday, February 15

Downbeat 12:20, followed by lunch.  If you like to sing, you are welcome!  Remember to sign up if you can stay for lunch.

History Lunch with Fletcher Hodges
Wednesday February 21, 12:15

“Around the World in Eighty Years”
The United Nations officially recognizes 196 countries around the globe.  However, Fletcher Hodges, a member of the Century and the Explorers Club and also the brother of Taverner Art Hodges, thinks that 215 is a better number.  He has visited 202 of these and hopes to knock off the other 13 if he can last long enough.  Some of his favorites so far: Bolivia, Ethiopia (the hottest spot on the planet), Pakistan, and Albania, among others.  He hated North Korea, but escaped unharmed. Come and enjoy the fantasy of being a modern day Phineas Fogg or would that be passe-partout-éventuellement ? Guests welcome.

Arts Round Table Lunch with Wanda CornWanda Corn
Thursday February 22, 12:15

The Arts Round Table will welcome Wanda Corn, curator of Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, now through April 1. As the first exhibition to explore the relationship between the artist’s work and her meticulously crafted self-image, it includes many of her personal articles of clothing (some handmade) along with selected paintings from New York and New Mexico and portraits of the artist by several noted photographers that helped to define her iconic public persona.

Wanda Corn, a professor of art history at Stanford University, is a pioneering and influential historian of American art and culture, with a particular interest in issues of gender and the relationship between the fine arts and material culture. Wanda will take us on her journey from concept to realization of this groundbreaking exhibition. Guests welcome.

Poetry Lunch with Deborah Warren
Tuesday February 27, Noon

Deborah Warren of Nahant will lead our discussion of her own poetry. Her work has been published in the New Yorker, the Paris Review. Poetry, and the Yale Review as well as in her books Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit, Zero Meridian, The Size of Happiness, and a translation of the Latin poet Ausonius.  Her awards include the Robert Frost Award, the Richard Wilbur Award, and the Robert Penn Warren Prize. Copies of her poems will be provided at this gathering. Guests welcome. Reserve with Tony Fay.

Book Club Lunch with Peter Haines
Wednesday February 28, Noon

The Tavern Book Club will convene to discuss Ron Chernow’s  book Ulysses Grant. Peter Haines will lead us. This fascinating volume will likely change your view of this underappreciated hero whose military genius, courage, and commitment to the ideals of Abraham Lincoln won the Civil War, and as two-term President greatly helped the newly emancipated during Reconstruction and led our country through that turbulent period. Guests welcome. Reserve with Tony Fay.

Future Book Club lunches will feature Michel Lewis’s The Undoing Project, and Daniel Khaneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, led by David Scudder, and Alice Cornwell on her short stories.

The Committee on Elections will meet on Monday, February 26 at 5.30 in the Library.
Members are reminded to check the Book in the Library for new candidates.

Committee on Elections

  • Ed Tarlov, Chair
  • Katharine Boden
  • Mark Green
  • Rob Loomis
  • Polly Drinkwater
  • Jock Herron
  • James Houghton
  • Nick Clark
  • Rusty Tunnard
  • Elaine Woo

Membership proposal procedure:

  • Let Ed Tarlov, Chair of Elections Committee know of your intent.
  • Write a flavorful letter to Ed indicating how the individual would enhance the Tavern Club, and have another Taverner write a strong seconding letter.
  • Provide the names of four Taverners who know the candidate and whom the Elections Committee may contact for further support.
  • Bring the candidate–ideally several times–to Tavern functions.

Visit https://tavernclub.org/gallimaufry/proposing-a-candidate-for-membership if you have a candidate for membership.

The Committee will then begin its due diligence and keep the proposer informed.

In Case You Missed It:

Charades Night, January 6 – A record crowd gathered for drinks and billiards before assembling in six teams for the third Tavern Charades Night.  Organized and orchestrated by James Houghton and assisted by Tavern Clue-Givers and Tony Fay, members and guests were rarely stumped by four rounds of charades, two traditional, one musical, and one sculptural.  Creativity and good cheer prevailed.  A Moroccan buffet supper followed.

SAVE THE DATE March 8 Tavern Song Retrospective

Jim Terry writes:

I’ve picked around 30 songs from the 31 Christmas and Narrenabend musicals produced, separately or together, by Frank Hatch, Sr., Frank Hatch, Jr. and Brad Trafford from 1939 to 1983. It’s a delightful bunch of songs.


Richard Budd McAdoo
Lexington, on Jan. 6, 2018


— Nancy Maull, Secretary

For a complete, downloadable copy of the February 2018 Tavern Club Newsletter, click here.

January 2018 News

January 2018 Tavern Club Calendar

Tavern Club Oral History Project or The Low Ebb On File
January 17 12:15 for 12:30

For those interested in learning more about the Tavern Club Oral History Project, this will be the opportunity. Initiated a year ago, this effort attempts to provide a more granular layer of Tavern Club experience than the traditional TC Histories. Our goal is to let voices speak for themselves as we capture the Tavern Club in different eras and from different points of view. Having completed our first five projects, we’d like to share our experiences and grow the project — help us figure out how to do that! Interviewers [Belinda Rathbone, Jane Shaw, Frinde Maher, Carol Bundy] and interviewees [Peter Aitken, Peter Gunness, Tony Zane, Robin Thompson, Jim Terry, Jack Cobb, Jim Storey] will talk a bit about the experience. We want feedback from those who have already participated and new ideas from those who haven’t yet.  There is no protocol for the interviews, as might be predicted.  So far, each of our interviews is unique—perhaps reflecting the singularity of our interviewees and their interviewers.

Bear Charades Night

Charades Night
January 18

The Third Annual Tavern Team Charades Night, Thursday, January 18.

Drinks, dinner and fierce competition for members and guests beginning at 6 pm.  Please call James Houghton at (617) 488 9279 with questions and/or call or email Tony Fay at the Club to sign up, (617) 338 9682, manager@tavernclub.org.

MeistUrsingers Lunches
Thursday, January 11 and 25

Downbeat 12.20, followed by lunch.  If you like to sing, you are welcome!  Remember to sign up if you can stay for lunch.

The Committee on Elections will meet on Monday, January 22 at 5.30 in the Library.

Members are reminded to check the Book in the Library for new candidates.

Committee on Election Members include:

Committee on Elections

  • Ed Tarlov, Chair
  • Katharine Boden
  • Mark Green
  • Rob Loomis
  • Polly Drinkwater
  • Jock Herron
  • James Houghton
  • Nick Clark
  • Rusty Tunnard
  • Elaine Woo

Visit https://tavernclub.org/gallimaufry/proposing-a-candidate-for-membership if you have a candidate for membership.

Poetry Lunch
Tuesday, January 23, Noon

For the Poetry Lunch, we’re happy to announce a visit by Susan Barba. Born in New Jersey, Susan earned her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and now resides in Cambridge. Her writing has appeared in Poetry, Raritan, the Hudson Review, the Yale Review, Harvard Review, Boston Review, Words Without Borders, and elsewhere. She is a senior editor for New York Review Books. We’ll read a few poems from her new collection, Fair Sun,  published last year by our recent guest David R. Godine. Guests welcome.

Book Club Lunch
Wednesday, January 24, Noon

A Gentleman in MoscowTaverner Peter Rand will lead the Tavern Book Club’s discussion of Amor Towles’s beautifully written novel A Gentleman in Moscow. The book follows Count Rostov’s 30-year house arrest in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel for writing a subversive poem. Rostov weathers gripping adventures in the company of an Eloise-like little girl, and it becomes clear that the man makes the home, not the other way around.

Guests welcome – reserve with Tony Fay

Next month the Book Club will meet on February 28 when Tavern military expert Peter Haines will lead our discussion of Ron Chernow’s monumental biography of Ulysses Grant.

Future Book Club lunches will feature Michel Lewis’s The Undoing Project, and Daniel Khaneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, led by David Scudder.

In the spring Alice Cornwell will lead a discussion of her work in progress­­—a collection of short stories revolving around themes of home and family.

The Christmas Play, Dulcinea! brought down the house.

The play, conceived by Barclay Tittmann, (his 13th Tavern play), was set in 17th century Spain.  The story wove a glorious blend of Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  The delightful lyrics were penned by his longtime collaborator, John BethellElaine Woo’s original music was brought chromatically to life by all on stage.  All was pulled together by director Eleanor Andrews.  Sancho Panza (George Perkins) ran his Tavern with perfectly timed humor, aided by Aldonza (Anson Wright).  The chorus of villagers (Brigid Williams, Sandy Righter, Owen Andrews, John Finley, and Nic Greville with an ear trumpet) enlivened the scene.  The plot took a dramatic turn when Don Juan (Tom Kelly) sporting riding boots and sword, enters Sancho’s Tavern in pursuit of the mythical Dulcinea.  He was accompanied by his llong-suffering loquacious, servant, Leporello (George Heaton).  Further drama ensued when Dona Elvira (Joan Yogg), Don Juan’s wife, and her companion, Senora Isabel (Belinda Rathbone) arrived in pursuit of Don Juan.  Between acts, two enforcers  (Sam Dennis and Steven Score), sent by the Spanish Inquisition (who expects them?), sang one of the funniest songs ever performed on our stage, only to be pursued off the stage by a bear (John Rabinowitz).  And finally, the tables were turned on the dangerous Don Juan when he was slyly tricked by Sancho’s Taverners into reuniting with his wife.  The behind-the-curtain crew outdid themselves with Costumes by Deb Bornheimer, Sets by Warren Ross and David Lawrence, Set painting by Mary Rhinelander, Lights by Gabrielle Wolohojian and David Lawrence.  Prompting by Jane Shaw kept the whole show flowing without a missed beat.  Ernst von Metzsch painted the poster.

Christmas Feast
December 14

This year’s Feast was enlivened by a beautifully turned-out Mrs. Santa (Martha Eddison) and the Bear (Warren Ross).  Joel Ives intoned Grace, Albert Lafarge read his Christmas Poem, Gold Buttons were awarded to Warren Ross and Abbie Trafford, and New Members Mitch Adams, Alice Cornwell, George Heaton, Margery Kennelley, Leslie Marshall, Hilary McGhee, Sallie Spence McGregor, George Perkins, John Rabinowitz and Gil Rose were inducted. Tony Fay, Chef Salem and the Staff provided a seamless and sumptuous Feast.

Caroling Night
January 18

Tom Kelly and Jim Terry led a full house of Taverners, families, and guests in enthusiastic after-dinner singing of carol favorites, again featuring the spontaneous choreography of The Twelve Days of Christmas.  The evening began in the theater with drinks and the MeistUrsingers’ holiday songs, all composed by Taverners:  The Solstice Star, Cold on the Mountain, and Small the Wreath.


Save the date for an Extraordinary Valentine’s Day Dinner, February 14

Gallery Opening in February: Kate Dahmen

Narrenabend, March 28/29

MeistUrsingers Concert, April 26

Tavern Club Medallion

New Members:

Gil Rose
Head of Boston Modern Opera Project, Composer, Conductor, Performer, Producer, Professor of Music

Mitchell Adams
Model shipbuilder, Musicophile, Accomplished veteran of Massachusetts politics

Leslie Marshall
Author, Magazine editor, Newspaperwoman, Musician

Hilary McGhee
Actress, Traveler, Psychotherapist

— Nancy Maull, Secretary

For a complete, downloadable copy of the January 2018 Tavern Club Newsletter, click here.