September 2019 Newsletter

September 2019 Calendar

September Tavern Club Calendar

Tuesday, September 3

Club Reopens

Thursday, September 5


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

Monday, September 9

Gallery Opening at 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Gallery Opening. “What I Made on My Summer Vacation” has been postponed until November.  On September 9, the Gallery will open with the paintings of George Nick. 

George Nick’s reputation is well-established and well-documented. No less a figure than John Updike has sung his praises, writing,

One thinks naturally of George Nick’s paintings in terms of good conscience and simple truthfulness, of saying instead of judging. . .. some of the loveliest of his paintings are homely ones, others more up-scale. . ..  Any subject will do, as long as the subject is not exploited for its anecdotal or picturesque qualities but is taken in good conscience as an occasion for pure painting.”

Through his teaching, most notably at the Mass. College of Art, George has, inter alia, touched many Taverners, so it is a pleasure and a privilege to mount an exhibition of his work in advance of his one-man show at the Gallery Naga in October. In addition to this “preview,” George will conduct an artist’s roundtable on October 9.

The opening reception will be Monday, September 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Guests welcome.

Tuesday September 10

Arts Round Table Field Trip at 11:30 a.m.

Homer at the Beach:
A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869-1880

Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter's Journey, 1869-1880
Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Children on the Beach (Watching the Tide Go Out), 1873, Oil on Canvas, 12 5/8” x 16 ½”, Private Collection.

Taverner Bill Cross is Curator of a major exhibition revealing the formation of Winslow Homer (1836-1910) as a marine painter.  Including more than 50 works by Homer and a wealth of contextualizing material, the show appears exclusively at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, MA, through December 1, 2019.

Bill has generously agreed to provide a special tour of the exhibition for Tavern members and their guests on September 10 at 11.30 am, and has arranged for a lunch afterwards at a nearby restaurant.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in downtown Gloucester, about an hour’s drive from Boston. Admission to the museum for non-members is $12, prix fixe lunch is $38, including food, wine, beer, service and tax. Space is limited. Please sign up for the tour with Mr. Fay and indicate if you plan to stay for lunch.

Wednesday, September 18

History Lunch at Noon

The Tavern welcomes back Leo Damrosch, Professor of Literature at Harvard. He has written wonderful biographies of Tocqueville, Rousseau, Swift (a Pulitzer Prize finalist choice), and Blake.  We look forward to hearing about his latest, The ClubJohnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age.

Joseph Epstein in a recent review in the Wall Street Journal wrote,

“Impeccable scholarship at the service of absolute lucidity, resulting in a work that can be enjoyed by thoughtful readers both inside and outside the academy–learned, penetrating, a pleasure to read…”

The Club, Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age

Then there are the illustrations: 31 elegant color plates and numerous black and white drawings of the book’s dramatis personae are scattered through this splendid book.

Guests are welcome. Please reserve with Mr. Fay.

Thursday, September 19


Monday, September 23

Committee on Elections at 5:30 p.m. in the Library

Tuesday, September 24

Play Reading Lunch at Noon

The Play-Reading Luncheon Series begins the new season on a “high note,” with a reading of Farinelli and the King by Claire van Kampen. Come armed with your inner counter-tenor (not to say castrato), to take on this marvelous historical play about the power of music to calm, restore us to sanity, and forge relationships.  The arias of Handel — many written for Farinelli — will add a dimension of delight.

The date is Tuesday, September 24, 12:15 in the Library.  Reserve with Mr. Fay as usual, and address any questions/comments to Impresario

Wednesday, September 25

Book Club Lunch at Noon

The Tavern Medical Department, including but not limited to Drs. Osteen, Brooks, Fischer, Tarlov, Scott, Scott, Churchill, and Reid will discuss Amy Gutmann and Jonathan D. Moreno’s new book Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die: Bioethics and the Transformation of Health Care in America – the inequities (and iniquities?) of our American health care delivery system.

Members and guests most welcome. Reserve with Mr. Fay.

Thursday, September 26

Special Event Concert and Dinner

Special Event Concert & Dinner

Musicians from the Boston Early Music Festival will return to the Tavern.  This fabulous trio is Robert Mealy (violin), Avi Stein (harpsichord), and Beiliang Zhu (cello).

Guests are welcome. Cocktails 6:00 p.m.; Concert 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. Please reserve with Mr. Fay.

Mark your calendars:

October 3

Special Event Harvest Dinner

Taverners will embrace the arrival of Fall with a joyful celebration of the harvest on October 3.  Our inspiration is the world-famous gathering each autumn near Beaune, in Burgundy, where winemakers bring their favorite bottles to share with their guests for a glorious BYOB extravaganza. Come and bring a bottle or two of your favorite.  Bring a friend.  Chef Salem will prepare a delicious dinner, followed by a sumptuous assortment of local cheeses and a  season-savvy dessert along with local chocolates.  What better way to reunite with your fellow Taverners after the summer hiatus? Guests welcome, reserve with Mr. Fay.

October 7

Gallery Opening with Fred Kellogg

Big Dates:

  • October 31; Halloween Plays
  • December 12; Carols
  • December 19; Christmas Feast
  • March 26, 2020; Narrenabend
  • May 11, 2020; Annual Meeting

To download a printable version of the newsletter, click here.

— Nancy Maull, Secretary

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. (

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”. (

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. ( 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 ( and/or Peter Haines (

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 ( and Albert Lafarge (

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.

2016 September Calendar

Tavern Club re-opens Tuesday September 6, for lunch


Brett Donham writes:

The House Committee is very pleased to report that the Tavern has a signed agreement with Emerson College, which among other things obligates the College to build the Tavern a new fire escape that ties together all floors in #4, #5, and #6 Boylston Place. This fire escape will not require anyone to climb over a window sill or shinny down a ladder. We can descend in regal fashion as in a Busby Berkley film.

There may be a few occasions in the coming year when access to our parking lot is blocked for a day or two. Emerson has promised to reimburse the members their garage parking costs if proper documentation is submitted to Mr. Fay.

Emerson’s dormitory, by dint of both daytime and evening construction 6 days per week, has now assumed near final form on the exterior. Most loud noises and shaking are behind us. Final completion and occupancy is on schedule for 11 months from now.



Blues Night at the Tavern

Thursday, September 15 – the Tavern will cut loose as Chris Whitlock returns with his All-Star Rhythm and Blues Review Blues Night to kick off the season with a special welcome to new and old members. Hugely successful last year, Chris’s musicians are back for an informal evening of music and café-style dining. And what’s more, the Tavern Billiards Committee will host billiards during the cocktail hour.  Play, practice, demonstrate, or learn how. A special buffet of appropriately themed food will complement the evening as Taverner¹s shake, sway, or swagger to an evening of Blues, Motown, and Funk. The event starts at 6:00PM with cocktails, buffet, and billiards. 7:00PM concert in the theater followed by coffee and dessert on the second floor. Guests welcome – Reserve now!

Halloween Plays

Make a  PDF of  your play, with pen name and title,  and send it to the Halloween Plays email:    The Halloween Plays secretary will acknowledge receipt of the play.

The Halloween Plays account is managed by a non-partisan (non-Tavern) secretary who will gather and occlude the original email source, and forward the plays to the Plays Committee email.  Anonymity preserved, yet the original source trackable.

Questions?  email John Tittmann, Chair of the Plays Committee,

Committee on Elections Meeting
Monday, Sept. 19, 5:30pm, Library

History Lunch
Wednesday, September 21, 12 noon for lunch at 12.30

Nigel Hamilton will speak on volume two of his three-volume investigation of FDR as the Commander-in-Chief. Volume 1, The Mantle of Command, covered the years 1941-42. In Volume 2, Commander in Chief, Nigel writes about 1943 during which FDR’s struggle with Churchill over the timing and the location of America’s entry into the war was at its most intense. To give you a foretaste: “Winston Churchill’s insistence on abandoning the D-Day plan – even coming to Washington to persuade Senators and Congressmen to turn against their president (airbrushed out of his memoirs) – posed a terrible challenge to FDR. How to work effectively with our coalition partners and hold to a steady, common objective, inspired by a moral American vision enshrined in the Four Freedoms: this was the great challenge for President Roosevelt in leading the Allies in 1943. Without FDR’s steady hand, his reliable temperament and his ability not only to marshal the forces of democracy but keep them united and lead them to victory as Commander in Chief, many of us might not be here today.”

Guests welcome – Reserve soon!

Thursday, September 22, 12.20

The MeistUrsingers’ first fall gathering is on Thursday, 22 September, 12:20 in the theatre, under the baton of Maestro Tom Kelly.  ALL Taverners, old and new, are invited to come and give us a try.  We tend to meet on alternating Thursdays for an hour or so, followed by lunch (sign up with Tony Fay, please).

Poetry Lunch
Tuesday, September 27, Noon for 12.30pm

Albert LaFarge will lead us in discussing In Memoriam A.H.H, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s elegy for his great friend Arthur Henry Hallam. Originally named The Way of the Soul, Tennyson’s requiem is considered one of the great Victorian poems. Please join us, and please call Tony Fay in good time to reserve a place. Guest of course very welcome.

Art Gallery:  

See some of your favorite old posters of Tavern Shows, selected by Joe Barbieri, in the gallery in September.

Book Club:

The Tavern Book Club will next meet on Weds. Oct. 26

Early notice is here provided so readers have time to obtain the book which is generally not stocked.

Brett Donham will lead our discussion of Iris Origo’s classic WW 2 war diary War in Val D’Orcia. La Foce , the Origos’ 6000 acre estate in southern Tuscany, is sheltering escaped British and American POW’s when the invading Allied armies roll over them with the Germans resisting every inch of the way. The terror of war contrasted with one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world is the background for this riveting memoir.

Put this in your calendar for October. Guests welcome.

Arts Round Table

The Arts Round Table had a planned September Lunch with David Amory as guest, but David has contracted Lyme disease and has had to cancel. Our best wishes to David – and ART has many plans for the coming Tavern year!



MeistUrsingers will meet and rehearse October 6 and 20

Art Gallery: Monday, October 3, 5pm: Exhibition of paintings by J. B. Greenway (wife of David), and paintings by their daughter.

2nd Annual Charades Night: Thursday, October 6, 6pm
Drinks, dinner and fierce competition for members and guests. Please call James Houghton at 617-488-9279 with questions and/or call or email Tony Fay to reserve.

Halloween Plays
Dress Rehearsal: Wednesday, October 26
The Night: Thursday the 27

The Book Club will not convene until the New Year as Thanksgiving and Christmas intervene, but readers should prepare by finding copies of Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory which will be discussed in January, and Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene, another subject for 2017.


Christmas Feast and Play
Dress Rehearsal: Wednesday, December 14
Feast and Play: Thursday, December 15
Christmas Carols: Monday, December 19

Bob Turner and Bobo Devens are the new Co-Chairs of Food and Wine; we wish them well, and look forward to seeing them in their toques blanches and aprons as they begin this important Tavern responsibility. Many thanks to RJ Lyman for his prior service to the Club in this role.  Note:. It is now the Food and Wine, not Wine and Food Committee.

Please inform Tony Fay if you wish to park behind the Club, as he anticipates that in September Emerson activities may restrict use of our parking space. There is convenient alternative parking available, and Members will be reimbursed by Emerson whenever necessary on delivery of receipts from approved parking spaces. Thanks for your patience.

Christopher Smallhorn

For a complete, printable copy of the 2016 September Tavern Club calendar, click here.