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.

June 2018 News

June 2018 Tavern Club Calendar

Monday, June 4, Library Clean-Up

Sweeping Bear

The Library Committee is looking for friends to help with the final clean-up and organization of our library books. It will be a work party, starting at 5:30 on Monday June 4 and going until dinner at 7:00.  Please bring dusters, rags, paintbrushes, and gloves. Contact Sam Dennis for more detail:

Thursday, June 7,  Summer Shorts

Summer Short Bear

Summer Shorts, our annual performance of short plays, will turn to matters of the heart and soul.  Four of Hearts comprises neighborhood scenes of love: tolerant, murderous, familial, and in loss.  East of the Sun sets out a fairy tale to mask (and then unmask) the heart’s damage and hope of repair.  Come for drinks at 6, the plays at 6:30, dinner and discussion around 7:30.  Guests welcome.

Arts Round Table

Wednesday, June 13, Arts Round Table

The Arts Round Table will visit the home of Ann and Graham Gund in Cambridge to view their collection of modern and contemporary art. Acquired over the course of several decades, the collection includes works by well-known artists, including Robert Rauschenberg and Dale Chihuly, as well as Boston artists such as Judy McKee and Michael Mazur. The Gund house, designed by Graham, provides the dynamic setting for their eclectic taste. Space is limited, so sign up early! Details to follow soon.

Monday, June 18, The Committee on Elections

The Committee on Elections  will meet in the Library at 5:30 on Monday, June 18.

Note: There is a new name in the Book in the Library.

Wednesday, June 20; 12:15, History Lunch with Betsy West

June History Lunch

Co-director of the recently-released, surprise box office hit RBG (“on stellar track” per Variety), Betsy West will discuss her experience bringing the notorious (and altogether remarkable) Ruth Bader Ginsberg to over 350 screens nationwide. As Fred Friendly Professor of Professional Practice at the Columbia School of Journalism and former head of Prime Time News (including 60 Minutes) at CBS, Betsy is uncommonly well-positioned to talk about ‘fake news’, the prospects for TV journalism, the Sundance experience, collaborating as director/producer with Gloria Steinem on the PBS series Makers, and a thirty year career in journalism and more, all with great humor.  Guests welcome.

Draft FourWednesday, June 27; Noon, Book Club Lunch

Brian Rosborough will lead the Tavern Book Club’s discussion of John McPhee’s Draft Four: On the Writing Process. This little book includes strategies to overcome writers’ block and to find captivating details. McPhee, a New Yorker writer since 1965, is the author of many other books with subjects ranging from: the depths of human interactions in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, the deep details of birch bark canoes, and the history and cultivation of oranges.

Guests welcome.

In case you missed it …

Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General and former professional basketball player, was our guest at the Tavern on May 3.  She talked, most engagingly, about finding her way into political life–before and after the presidential election of 2016.  She entertained every variety of question from the full house of members and guests.  Sure-footed and thoughtful, with graceful humor, she was a hit.

Our third Film Night, on May 24,  screened The Florida Project.  The Film Committee had the new technology working (hail Anson Wright),  and the food and tables decorated  (Martha Eddison Sieniewicz  did it).  P.K.  Simonds and John Finley led the discussion with the full value of their experience and intelligence. It was a true discussion.

Tavern Club Annual Meeting

The 134th Annual Meeting of the Tavern Club was held on May 14.  After a convening prayer by David Eckel and a toast to the absent members, new Taverners John Ames, Joseph Hammer, John Henderson, Tina Rathborne, and Deborah Warren were awarded medals and the Perry Address read.  After dinner, the formal meeting began in the theater.  The Nominating Committee put into nomination officers for the coming year.  These were approved by the membership:  President Robert Osteen, Vice President Edward Tarlov, Secretary Nancy Maull, Treasurer Deborah Bornheimer, and Keeper of the Rolls Carol Bundy.  New Directors John Gilmore, Anne Hawley, and Arthur Hodges were approved as were new members of the Elections Committee Mary Scott, John Williams, and Grant Winthrop. The reports of the officers and the chair of the Boylston Place Foundation were heard.

A fifty-year gold medal was awarded to John Bethell and twenty-five year medals to Gregory Nagy, Edward Tarlov, and James Walker.

Memorial papers were read for Taveners Thomas Halsted (by John Bethell), Richard McAdoo (by James Storey), and Hugh Shepley (by Edward Roberts).


Fete Champetre

The Tavern Club Fête Champêtre

The Fête Champêtre will held on July 12, at David and JB Greenway’s house, 634 Charles River Street, Needham, MA.  (Directions will be given later).  David writes:

There is a swimming pool, croquet, and a tennis court, the latter, like your host, somewhat worse for wear. Come anytime after 3 pm; Feast (clambake) begins at 5 pm.  Guests welcome.

Call for Halloween Plays Competition:

Taverners one and all!  Summer is upon us, and it’s a great time to be writing your Halloween Play!  So sharpen your quills, find a hammock, and beseech the muses.

Send them in by Labor Day, September 3.

There are only three rules for the Tavern play competition: 

  • Four actors.  (There can be more parts, but there are only four actors in each play.)
  • 10 minutes long.  (Usually a page per minute.)
  • Only one pseudonym per author.  (Submit as many plays as you would like, but use the same name for all.  The idea of the competition is not just to have three plays, but also to have three different authors.)

Call for Art

Triennial Show in November Triennial Art Show 2018

The Tavern Triennial Art Show 2018 to be held in honor of Joe Wheelwright opening in the fall. 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.

— Nancy Maull, Secretary

For a printable copy of the 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.

2015 November Calendar

Emerson College

The Tavern Club and Emerson have continued discussing an agreement about the dormitory that Emerson plans to build at # 1, 2 and 3 Boylston Place, preparation for which proceeds as Members can see. We are close to resolving remaining issues, and the completed agreement will be reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Club on Monday evening November 9, after which Members will be informed. Thanks to everyone for your patience.

Brett Donham reports:

ConstructionConstruction, or more accurately, destruction, of the Emerson Dormitory is proceeding on schedule and is nearly complete. The photo to the right from inside the construction site looking towards Boylston Place shows the state of affairs on October 22. In the background is Boylston Place. The plywood covers the portion of the façade at #3 that is being preserved. The brick wall on the right is us, naked as a jay-bird. The bottom of the photo is the basement floor at #3. The new basement for the dormitory will be about ten feet deeper than that. This is very similar to the construction for the State Transportation Building next to #6 Boylston Place.

Early November Special Event
Charades Night

Thursday, November 5

The Team Charades Evening on Thursday, November 5 has been opened to FIVE more members and their guests, (55 limit). Please sign up soon – and if you have signed up and now are not able to come, please call Tony to cancel. The evening depends on having a full quota, and there are still a few places for additional players. ALL will play!

Cocktails at 6.00pm, Charades at 7.00pm sharp, and Buffet dinner follows. All sexes should dress decently. Questions? Ask James Houghton, Impresario, at 617-416-9806.

Arts Round Table Lunch

Tuesday, November 10
Belinda Rathbone has arranged for 25 Taverners and guests to visit the Museum of Fine Arts for a guided tour of the new exhibit Class Distinctions: the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Roni Baer, Curator for the exhibit, will lead us. Meet at 11.45am at the MFA tour entrance, start at Noon. Entrance fee $20, seniors $18, followed by lunch if desired, at the Museum. This tour is more or less sold out, and if you need to change your plans call Tony Fay and tell him, as there are people who will take your place. Call and tell him if you wish to be on that list.

Committee on Elections

Monday, November 16
5.30 pm, Library

Taverners are reminded to check the Book in the Library for new names which are added.

History Lunch

Wednesday, Nov 18
12:00 — talk begins promptly at 12:15

Oceans, Tides, Shore: A conversation between two lay-friendly scientists, MIT-Atmospheric Meteorologist, Kerry Emmanuel and Northeastern Marine Biologist, Don Cheney, led by NOVA consultant and prolific author Bill Sargent, will discuss the effects of sea-level rise due to storm surges/hurricanes on greater Boston Harbor. Particular attention will be given to the salt marshes on the North Shore and the impact of acidification on shellfish. Many Taverners know these waters and marshes intimately, so we are counting on your questions and observations to enrich the program. Please bring guests.

This is the first of a four-part, history-oriented, environment series, which will run sporadically over the next nine months. Our aim is to explore local hazards and opportunities that the larger environmental crisis presents for New England. Upcoming sessions include agriculture, investment/divestment, and urban design.
Guests welcome. Call Tony Fay to reserve: 617-338-9682 or email.

Musical Event on a Special Day

Tuesday, November 24
YES, two days before Thanksgiving – we have Special Musical Visitors to the Tavern.

Paula Robison, legendary flute player and teacher is coming to the Tavern with her long time friend and often collaborator, the young Finnish Pianist Paavali Jumppanen.

They will play Bach and Debussy and Copland, and this is a unique evening of music, just for the Tavern.

Please sign up soon, and bring friends and family, at 6.00pm for drinks with which to listen to the Concert at 6.30, followed by Dinner and Conversation at 7.30 or so.

Both Paula and Paavali have visited us before, and we have always had a wonderful time with them. We are honored that they are willing to play for us again. Call Tony Fay to reserve: 617-338-9682 or email.

In case you missed it!

The Tavern Halloween Plays competition kicked off the Tavern’s Play season on October 29t. The cast, crews and directors worked tirelessly under a shortened schedule to perform this year’s trio. The plays in order of performance were:

Honor Bound, written by Brian Rosborough and directed by Sam Dennis. The cast included Belinda Rathbone, Peter Williamson, Stephen Score, Mary Scott and Anson Wright. Humpty Dumpty, also written by Brian Rosborough, and directed by Vivian Spiro with Elaine Woo, Elliot Davis, John Paul Britton, John Finley IV and Andrew Doherty as cast.

And finally the winner of this year’s competition, #roomies penned by Mary Rhinelander, directed by George Meszoly, supported by Bill Truslow, Staffan Ericsson, Tweed Roosevelt and Susan Ricci-Stebbens. Mary took home a coveted Bruin for her efforts.

Backstage was manned by Brian Rosborough, John Sullivan, Deb Bornheimer, Jane Shaw, Nancy Maull and David Chanler. Jane Manopoli made her debut on lights.

Long Run

A full December includes:

Tuesday, December 15 Poetry Lunch: discussing the poetry of the 13th Century Persian poet Rumi, with some special guests present.

Wednesday, December 16: History Lunch, guest Robert Pennoyer

The Tavern Book Club Bear is napping for the Season, but returns fresh and eager in the New Year – see Longer Term …

Wednesday, December 16 – Rehearsal Night for Christmas Play – Guests of Cast

Thursday, December 17 –The Night!

Christmas Feast and Barclay Tittmann’s The Curious Case of the Perfidious Valet, lyrics by John Bethell, music by Jim Terry, directed by Bob Osteen – an episode of Downton Abbey you all missed, in which Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson come to the aid of Lady Mary Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, and other familiar inmates of Downton Abbey.

Monday, December 21 – Tavern Carols (initiated by Tom Kelly and including the MeistUrsingers) for Members, Families and Guests, followed by Club closing for Christmas.

…and The Longer View

Monday, December 21

Christmas Carols Evening, with Tom Kelly and MeistUrsingers.

Tuesday, January 14, 2016,   MidWinter Feast – The Club plans to give a Dinner to Jim Terry, accompanied by Maudie, who has graciously lent him to the Club for well over forty years. The Dinner will attempt to remind us in our own fumbling way how much we owe to Jim for our life here at 4 Boylston.

We may tell stories as is our wont, and even sing a song or two, but mostly we are gathering to remind ourselves how lucky we are in so many of our members, and in no-one more than James L Terry.

Members Only: more to follow in good time.

January and February Book Clubs:  The Tavern Book Club returns, and devotees should read Louis de Bernieres’ Corelli’s Mandolin, set in World War Two Cephalonia, in which Ionian waters our hosts Ed Tarlov and Bob Osteen have just been sailing.
And for the February Book Club, please prepare by reading our own Clive Foss’s Tyrants,  a discussion of 2500 years of your favorite Tyrants.

Photo Directory:  Thanks to Keeper of the Rolls Jim Terry the new iteration of the Tavern Photo Directory is now available. If you need an updated copy of the Photo Directory, Tony Fay will hand one over if you destroy your old copy.

PPeterRandolpheter Randolph

Peter came home this past Tuesday, checked his mail, had a nap, and is now looking forward to continuing his physical rehabilitation. Still a little early to start dropping by.

Frank Igo is back home after some stays in hospital, and he too is having physical therapy, but will welcome a call.

Roger Warner (06/15)
Born raconteur, journalist and author, expert on culinary advantages of invasive green crabs, sea coast aficionado, and photographer

Martha Eddison Sieniewicz
Community organic gardener, leading voice in local politics, speechwriter, Shakespeare enthusiast, Costuming wizard, and pie maker

Christopher Smallhorn

To download a copy of the newsletter for printing, click here.

2015 April Calendar

From Ernst von Metzsch:

On April 1 our neighbor Emerson College will begin tearing down the buildings adjacent to 4 Boylston Place, numbers 1, 2 and 3, in order to construct a dormitory for students. It is likely that construction, following removal of the debris, will start in August and take up to two years to complete, to be open for occupation by Fall 2017.

Emerson was unable to proceed with its plan to purchase the Tavern Club air rights and build a larger dormitory around the Club, which proposal had been approved by the Club in 2013.

The present Emerson plan has many aspects that are not fully known to us. It will likely present difficulties to us in sustaining our normal activities. At this point, we have a number of oral statements from Emerson, indicating that they are aware of our needs and that they will make an effort to address our concerns.

High on our agenda is to obtain emergency egress from our upper floors through 3 Boylston Place. We hope to maintain some control over the access to our parking lot during construction and have raised the issue of substitute parking.

Most construction activity will be during weekdays between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, but we have been informed there will also be night activity at times. Emerson will receive the Tavern events schedule and have indicated they are sensitive to those. We would like to obtain a written Memo of Understanding so that we do not rely only on oral assurances and indications. We plan to continue to operate as before, and keep you informed. We realize we are not entirely without rights and will stand up for those if and when necessary.


Surely with Narrenabend the long Winter ends – and with Spring comes


Andy WarholBy Belinda Rathbone and Bob Linderman
Directed by John Tittmann

Many among the Club’s thespian elite have been persuaded to tread our boards in this new musical about one of Pop Art’s icons. If somehow you have missed this news and have not signed up, better do so NOW.

Call Tony Fay at (617) 338-9682
Members only
Medals, Black Tie or equivalent.

Monday April 13, 5:30, Library

Thursday April 2 and 9 (No lunch April 2)

Wednesday April 8, Noon. Guests welcome

Taverner Bessel van der Kolk: Trauma and Art

Bessel will discuss how the use of Theatre can help in overcoming Traumatic Stress in Adults and Children, Veterans and Prisoners.

Bessel’s talk, illustrated with video, is derived from his recent New York Times Best Seller list book The Body Keeps the Score. This subject is for everyone, not just neuroscientists, and should not be missed.

Members and Guests welcome, gather at Noon.

Wednesday, April 15, Noon

Llewellyn “Louie” Howland, legendary and elusive Taverner of old, has written a biography of a great American polymath, W. Starling Burgess, Inventor, Naval Architect, Poet, Aviation Pioneer and Master of American Design. The book. “No Ordinary Being”, is published by David Godine, and Louie will tell us the story of Starling Burgess and how he came to know about him and to write about him. Drinks at Noon, Lunch at 12:30, Guests very welcome.

Thursday, April 16


Conducted by Tom Kelly.

Drinks 6:00   Concert at 6:30
Dinner follows with a Gershwin Singalong accompanied by Mike Scott at the piano. Taverners, families and friends, waifs and strays, all are welcome and expected not only to listen, eat and drink but to SINGALONG too.

Monday, April 27, Noon

Albert LaFarge’s alliterative talents have not deserted him and will return, inspired by the name of A.R. AMMONS, the American Poet chosen to be the subject of April’s Poetry Lunch. Members and of course guests will be very welcome. Albert will suggest some of ARA’s poems but plan to bring your own too.

Wednesday, April 29, Noon

Over Lunch Jack Cobb and Ed Tarlov will lead a discussion of the new Adam Nicolson book “Why Homer Matters”, a very personal and original view of the modern significance of the Odyssey and Homer or Homers. Guests welcome.

Drinks at Noon, Lunch at 12:30.

(See “Long Term” for May 6 Book Club)

Thursday, April 30, 6:30

The Tavern Club welcomes two distinguished musicians who have entertained audiences around the world.

Robert Mealy is Concertmaster of the Trinity Baroque Orchestra in New York City, and Avi Stein is Associate Organist and Choirmaster at Trinity Church, Wall Street. They will present a Concert of Baroque Music, Robert Mealy on Violin and Avi Stein on Harpsichord.

The New Yorker has called Robert Mealy “New York’s world-class early music violinist” and the New York Times called Avi Stein “a brilliant organ soloist “in his Carnegie Hall debut. In addition to playing the violin at many Music Festivals, Robert Mealy is an adjunct Professor of Music at Yale University and also teaches courses in rhetoric and performance, and was at one time Director of the Harvard Baroque Orchestra. Avi Stein plays regularly at the Boston Early Music Festival as well as with other Baroque and Early Music orchestras.

This is a unique opportunity for Taverners and their guests to hear Baroque Music performed by distinguished and gifted musicians, and we suggest signing up early.

Drinks 6:00, Concert 6:30 followed by dinner at 7:30 or so. Members and Guests.

In Case You Missed It …

The month of February was a trial to many at the Tavern Club, and to none more than Staff led by the imperturbable Tony Fay. Salem cooked upstairs in the Rats’ Kitchen, food was brought down to serve, drinks came up, and somehow everyone survived the various inconveniences with grace and apparent aplomb.

Thursday February 26

Tom Kelly, with a deft impersonation of Watson Reid who was mysteriously absent , introduced Professor Thomas F Kelly, the distinguished Harvard Professor of Music, who discussed his new book “Capturing Music: The Story of Notation”  which takes us back to when musical notes first came to be written three quarters of s millennium ago. A large and happy Tavern audience was led delightfully through an all too short history of Notation. Not to diverge, as Notation is a rather forbidding word, but Tom quickly dismissed such a fear by leading us through  the way  writing of music emerged in a series of entertaining slides as well as excerpts of the music recorded by the renowned local Blue Heron Renaissance Singing Group.

It was an all too short introduction to a subject to which few of us have given much thought and it is doubtful that many of us remember music being taught which such good humor and enthusiasm. No-one wanted the talk to end.

After dinner, Tom reintroduced himself and answered numerous questions with the same élan, and at least one Taverner would like to hear the whole thing over again. Not merely to satisfy that demand, Tom happens to be  giving a live and longer  reprise of the evening with the live Blue Heron Group at the New England Conservatory at 2:00 on Friday June 12.


The weather mercifully allowed the Triennial Art Show to take place, and Tavern artists Professional, Amateur and very Amateur showed their work in an exhibit that opened on Thursday March 12. The 2015 Show was dedicated to Rob Ward who had been much of the inspiration for these Club Exhibitions in the first place, as well as literally putting them together.

Rob’s niece had lent the Club some of Rob’s work, which was displayed on the Billiards table, and she as well as others spoke briefly about Rob to the good crowd of Members and their guests gathered for the opening. A buffet Dinner was served which met with general approval – it allowed visitors to move around, talking and viewing. Special thanks to Joe Barbieri, Peter Haines and Joe Wheelwright for the work put into gathering and displaying the work of Tavern artists. One comment might be added, editorially as it were, which is that we fell far short of 100% Club Member participation in the 2015 Show, and for 2018 we expect many more Taverners to show their work!

(Note: Triennial Art Show ends May 1).

It would be delinquent not to mention the Art Exhibit which preceded the Triennial Art Show, and that was by Carolyn Newberger, which was itself delayed by the same weather that postponed Eli’s Jazz Evening, but was eventually hung and viewed on the night of the Jazz Evening, at which Carolyn herself displayed not only her skills as an artist but also as a Washboard Player with the Band.

Thursday March 5

Various February events were cancelled or postponed, and of those none required greater patience and planning than the Annual Valentine’s Day Jazz Concert.  Eli Newberger managed to finesse the evening with the loss of only one musician, who was replaced with another stellar cornetist, Randy Reinhart.

So eventually on Thursday March 5 a full house heard Eli lead the Band and some of our local talent in a foot stomping evening of virtuoso playing and singing. Highlights undoubtedly included Tiger Rag to get things going, Watson Reid and Andy Doherty doing Your Feet’s Too Big, Ute Gferer La Vie en Rose, Bob Winter playing Ain’t Misbehavin’ – but the occasion was full of good music and singing, and was followed by dinner attended by most of the Band. After dinner Eli with Band members answered questions; the occasion also allowed the Club to give Eli his Tavern Buttons, somehow overlooked until now. This now Annual Event has become a Club fixture and the good news is that some of the Band have already committed to 2016.

HISTORY LUNCH Announcement

After years of dignified labor and graceful energy, Steve Clark and Frinde Maher are relinquishing their guidance of the monthly Tavern History Lunches. The Club welcomes our new History Custodians, Carol Bundy and Jock Herron. Carol and Jock step up willingly and enthusiastically and we are all delighted.


By the time Members read this, they will be able to see a new photograph of our longest serving President hanging on the walls. This is a copy of a photo lately discovered at the Essex County Club in Manchester, Massachusetts, where it transpires that Mr. Higginson was a Founder and first President in 1893-1894. He had a house in Manchester, and was an active sportsman, which led to his joining a small group who wished to enjoy golf and tennis, as well as good company far from the hordes.

It is a fine picture of a reflective Henry Lee Higginson, and the Club is pleased to have it.


ART OPENING: Mary Rhinelander
Monday May 4  Cocktails 5:00
Dinner 7:00, Members only

Wednesday May 6, 12:00

Barclay Tittmann will discuss the Sonnets of Shakespeare including Neil Rudenstine’s new book Ideas of Order about the story the Sonnets tell. Please bring your copies of the Sonnets so we can read together “the most beautiful love poems ever written”, according to Rudenstine (and Barclay).

Monday May 11 (and Dinner, Black Tie)

Thursday May 28

THE GREAT INFERNO ILLUSTRATION CHALLENGE – Attention all Taverner artists!  We solicit submissions for illustrations – large, small, paintings, drawings, sculpture, any appropriate media – for an exhibition that will be a central feature of Dante’s Inferno Night – this year’s annual Author event.

The deadline is May 21, a week before Inferno Night. For inspiration, check out the Robert Pinsky translation, The Inferno of Dante, which has stunning illustrations by Michael Mazur.

For further information consult any member of the Inferno Committee:  Jack Cobb, Frinde Maher, Peter Rand, Barclay Tittmann.

Wednesday June 3

Softball Game with the St Botolph, practice the day before on the Ebersold fields near the Hatch Shell, with dinner at the St Botolph afterwards.

Thursday June 4 – Summer Shorts

For their twelfth year, Summer Shorts presents three short plays.

Thursday, July 16 – Fête Champêtre

At the Newport home of Ron Fleming.


Paul Sullivan
Oil painter and rare book collector
Beacon Hill Seminars
Avid racing/cruising sailor

Steffan Ericsson
Expert in new technologies with music embedded in his soul
Collector of large and complex model trains
Wine connoisseur

May Kinnicutt (“Maisie”) Houghton
Author, poetess, intellectual, actress, public speaker

Bear Dandelion

Christopher Smallhorn

Tavern Club Calendar April 2015

June 2014 Calendar

Monday Night Dinner June 2
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00


Softball Game Tuesday June 3

The supremacy of the Tavern Terrors -Tavern vs. St. Botolph. Undeterred by their crushing defeat last June at the bats of the Tavern Bears, our friends at the St. Botolph have thrown down their gloves and challenged us to a rematch. The game will be played on the fields of the Park School at 3:00.  We will repay the generous hospitality we received last year at the St. Botolph Club with an informal dinner and drinks at the Tavern starting at 6:00pm. All Taverners and their spouses are welcome to play ball, and to attend the dinner even if they do not show up on the field of honor. Ed Tarlov and Watson Reid are organizing this year’s event – please email them if you and/or your spouse would like to join our team A practice for the softball game will be held on Sunday, June 1 at 3:00 pm on the public softball fields in Nahant, followed by refreshments, lineaments and bandages at the home of Ed and Suzanne Tarlov.

Monday Night Dinner June 9
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00



Summer Shorts Thursday, June 12

Now in their 10th season, the Tavern’s Summer Shorts thespians will perform four short plays. Peter Aitken, Anne Carter, Nancy Maull, Bob Osteen, Peter Randolph and Brigid Williams, with atmospheric piano interludes by Jeff Peters and mood lighting by Sam Dennis. Coaching by Chris Randolph. Guests welcome. Cocktails at 6:00 pm, Performance 6.30, followed by dinner.

Guests welcome!

Boylston Place Foundation Meeting
Monday June 16, 5:00

Committee on Elections
Monday June 16, 5:30

The Committee on Elections will have its final meeting of the Spring in the Library.  Taverners may continue to be in touch with Sandy Righter, Chair, about candidates over the summer months.

Monday Night Dinner June 16
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

History Lunch:

image Nigel Hamilton on “The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942,” Wednesday June 18, 12:15

Nigel Hamilton, the author of the newly published “The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942,” will speak to Roosevelt’s masterful—and unappreciated—command of strategy, psychology and military affairs during World War II. He will take us inside the White House where he battled Churchill and overrode his own generals and Secretary of War. Since Churchill’s post-war writings so consciously shaped our views of grand strategy, Nigel’s fresh look changes the conventional wisdom and offers both insight and surprise.

Guests welcome

Monday Night Dinner June 23
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

Book Club Wednesday June 25 at 12:00

The Tavern Book Club Without Borders will have a special treat discussing Professor Stephen Greenblatt’s WILL IN THE WORLD, winner of this year’s Boston Public Library’s Literary Lights Award. The book deals with the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays and settles this issue once and for all – it was Shakespeare – and Professor Greeenblatt tells us why in this fascinating carefully documented visit to Shakespeare’s times and fellow actors and poets. Shakespeare aficionado Abby Hansen will lead the discussion, which will prove a not-to-be-missed occasion. Guests welcome.

Monday Night Dinner June 30
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00


The Tavern kicked off the month of May with “Blues Night”. Watson Reid and JoAnne Dickinson joined Chris Whitlock¹s ensemble and provided an evening of Blues, Soul and a healthy dose of Funk. Salem added his talents to the evening and cooked up a delicious southern style brisket. Special guest performers included Gordon Beadle, John Morriconi and Brian Patton.

Poe Night

On Thursday, May 29th, the crew that gave us Joyce, Melville, Homer and Thurber did it again. This time, Taverners were spellbound by readings from Boston’s own Edgar Allen Poe, in an evening that began with a terrifying scream and proceeded upstairs where a cast including Eleanor Andrews, Joe Barbieri, Deb Bornheimer, Jack Cobb, John Finley, Frinde Maher , Peter Rand, Belinda Rathbone, Stephen Score, Jim Storey and Barclay Tittmann recited or read works over dinner that included some of this great American author’s best tales and poems. Intermittently, Peter Rand provided an account of Poe’s life that was not terribly long-winded, the life having been rather brief. The directors: Jack Cobb, Peter Rand, Peter Randolph, Belinda Rathbone, Jim Storey, Barclay Tittmann. As tradition seems to have it, Jack Cobb, Frinde Maher and Peter Rand produced the extravaganza.

"The Importance of Being Wagner" on May 8. Taverner and noted composer Tony Schemmer shared his (sometimes hilarious) insights into Wagner’s legacy, focusing on innovations and technical advances that are alive and kicking today. music of Broadway plays, Hollywood film

Beyond Wagner’s pervasive influence on every type of classical music, Tony demonstrated how Wagner’s "through-composed" symphonic techniques, leitmotifs, transitional interludes, and concept of "fusion of the arts," continue to influence the contemporary scores and even rock concerts. Tony’s illustrated presentation concluded with an audio recording revealing Wagner at his taut, concise and riveting best.

Halloween Plays

Why, here it is June! The long hot days of summer will soon be upon us and it is time for me to encourage the Tavern members to fill their idle time by writing a one act play. I am very confident that all of you have a story or two to tell. And what better way to tell it than on the stage?

For those of you who are so inclined, here are the simple guidelines:

  1. Run time: Submissions should be about 10 minutes in length. A good rule of thumb is a page of typed of dialogue equals about a minute. So if your submission is 3 pages or 30 it won’t qualify.
  2. Number of Actors: The plays committee has decided to relax this a little. Cast should be no more than five and no fewer than two. Ideally four. And it helps if the dialogue is distributed among them. The greater the burden of memorization you put on any individual, the less the likelihood all the lines being remembered!
  3. Production requirements: Please, no volcanoes. Excessive make-up and special effects require time and stage changes that are prohibitive due to the short production schedule.
  4. Submit your entry under an assumed name. Submissions can be emailed to The senders email address is stripped from the file and submission to maintain anonymity. Then in a classic envelope send a letter with the name of the play and the author’s real name to the Tavern Club attention Plays Committee.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this Tavern tradition.

Chris Whitlock – Chairman, Plays Committee.


The 2014 Annual Meeting of the Tavern Club was held in two parts on Monday, May 12. Before dinner officers presented their reports: Keeper of the Rolls Jim Terry, Secretary David Amory (including Vice-President and Chair, Committee on Elections Sandy Righter’s report) and Treasurer David Scudder. David Lawrence read his report on the status of the Emerson project and Chris Smallhorn reported on the Boylston Place Foundation.

Tavern members elected Club officers for 2014-2015 : President – Ernst H. von Metzsch, Vice-President and Chair, Committee on Elections – Anne R. Righter, Secretary – Christopher Smallhorn, Treasurer – David W. Scudder, Assistant Treasurer – Samuel V. Thompson, Keeper of the Rolls – James L. Terry, and Assistant Keeper of the Rolls – Anne C. Carter. John A. D. Gilmore and Nancy Maull were elected Directors. Albert R. LaFarge, John B. Tittmann and Geoffrey M. Peters were elected to the Committee on Elections.

At a most festive dinner new members were warmly welcomed, and Medals given to Rebekah Richardson, Tony Schemmer, Anson Wright, Buff Bohlen, Eleanor Andrews, and Nancy Wilson, followed by President Von Metzsch’s delightful reading of the Perry Address.

After dinner Taverners reconvened in the theater for part two of the meeting. Charlie Gardiner, a Taverner since 1964, received his 50-year Gold Medal. On the 25th anniversary of their memberships, Silver Medals were awarded to Taverners Dimitri Gerakaris, Art Hodges, Jim Hughes, John Karol, Bob Osteen, Peter Randolph and Elizabeth Schmid. William Murphy and Lee Campbell, not able to attend.

Memorial papers were moving, as read by Ed Tarlov for Richard Earle, Charlie Welch for Richard Chapin, Rudy Kass for George Hurd, and Ernst von Metzsch (written by Herb Pratt) for Augustus Hemenway.

The Meeting concluded after the President’s Report.



Fête Champêtre !

Please note in your plans for July the annual Fête Champêtre; this year at the home of Dick and Millie Perkins in Topsfield. While Topsfield is a good deal nearer (for some) than the Summer residence of the Randolphs who entertained us grandly last year, finding Dick and Millie’s house takes some effort, and we shall send out precise directions well in advance so that all who attend get there in time for the Lobster.The day of the Fete is Thursday July 17th,and the Club will close for the Summer recess the following day.

Anson Wright
(elected January 2014)
Harvard degrees in Art History, Applied Sciences, and Epidemiology
Field work in Malawi, Ethiopia, and Rwanda
Loves theater, writing workshops, and Joel Janowitz
Wears her perspicacity lightly

Christopher Smallhorn

For a complete, downloadable copy click here.

January 2014 Calendar

Monday Night Dinner January 6
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

Arts Roundtable
Wednesday, January 8, 12:15 to 2:00.

All the World’s a Stage: The Theater of the Appellate Court. We’ll hear from Hon. Rudolph Kass, a Taverner renowned for his mind and deft hand, about how the characters play their roles and the strutting and fretting in the appointed hour, before, during, and after the promulgation and dissemination of informing scripts, texts and exegeses, with examples from his own oeuvre.


Mid-Winter Feast
Thursday, January 9
The first Tavern 2014 Special Event:
Mid-Winter Feast with Guests
Harry and Elenita Lodge.
Members only, Black Tie, no Medals. Cocktails 6:00, followed by Dinner, Stories, Songs, Chatter.

Monday Night Dinner January 13
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

History Lunch
Thursday, January 16 at 12:15.


Author Stephen Kinzer, whose new book is The Brothers, returns to the Tavern to talk about John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today’s world.

Poetry Lunch
On Monday, January 27, Taverner
Carol Bundy will lead a discussion of the poems of George Herbert.

Elections Committee
Meeting on Monday, January 27, at 5:30 in the Library. If you have a candidate, do get in touch with Sandy Righter, Chair, about procedures. The Committee suggests that “subtlety and an air of mystery" be maintained with prospective nominees.

Monday Night Dinner January 27
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

The MeistUrsingers will resume rehearsals with Tom Kelly on Thursday, January 30, at the new time of 11:45. We will be preparing for our April concert. Please let Tony Fay know in advance if you plan to stay for lunch.

The Tavern Book Club, recumbent under heavy snow, has followed our ursine mascot into hibernation and will emerge, tousled and hungry, in March, its diet to be determined.


As has been reported, the Emerson Project was stopped by Emerson as of August 1, 2013 due to unanticipated difficulty Emerson encountered seeking approvals from the BRA for the new building they were planning to build utilizing Tavern owned real estate and air rights the Club had granted Emerson the option to purchase.  As Emerson did not exercise the option prior to October 31, 2013 as required in the option agreement, the Tavern retained the deposit of $50,000.  Emerson has been seeking approval for a smaller building to be located on 1-3 Boylston Place, already owned by Emerson.  Emerson has also continued to discuss with the Tavern the possibility of utilizing portions of the Tavern property to enable a larger building to be built on Boylston Place to more address their development objectives.


image Christmas Feast: Heralded by the MeistUrsingers led by Jim Crissman, enlivened by the Bear (Sam Dennis) and Santa (R. J. Lyman), graced by John Finley IV and poem’ed by Harry Lodge, gold buttons awarded to Rudy Kass and Sam Dennis, and New Members bemedalled Peter Erichsen, Andy Doherty, Mac Dewart and Charlie Storey – a delicious repast and a glorious time was had by all.

The Tavern Christmas Play: The Queen’s Revels written by Barclay Tittmann, with the delightful musical musings of Jim Terry, was performed on December 12. Andy Doherty made his directorial debut. The Tavern Players once again gave memorable performances: Jane Shaw as Queen Elizabeth; Nick Clark as Lord Burghley; his anxious-to-be-wed daughter played by Polly Drinkwater; Peter Randolph as the aged Lord Oxford was the love interest of Lady Anne Vavasour, played by Nancy Maull. Add to the mix of crossed lovers Bob Osteen as the too handsome Henry Wriothesley, and the collective servants – Sam Dennis, Rusty Tunnard, Elizabeth Hunnewell and Katharine Boden; Henry Becton as the helpful page and Jeff Peters as the multi-talented and mysterious Doctor Dee. The cast was supported by the backstage heroics of David Chanler, David Lawrence, Anne Carter and Deb Bornheimer. And last but not least the orchestra: Gene Dahmen, Garry Fischer, Brigid Williams, Christoph Wald, and Hal Churchill. Finally, this all happened on John Tittmann’s inspired sets, and was memorialized by Ernst von Metszch’s poster.

Christmas Caroling
On December 16 our traditional evening of Christmas carols singing was a very festive event.Tom Kelly and the MeistUrsingers inaugurated this special event several years ago, and it has become so popular that again this year it was completely sold out. Tom led the MeistUrsingers in performing some enchanting songs by Taverners Garry Fischer and Tony Hutchins, and then conducted the assembled members – with Jim Terry on piano – and their guests in lusty renditions of both favorite and more obscure carols.


Valentine’s Day Concert
Thursday, February 13

Valentine’s Day Eve Jazz Spectacular, Thursday, February 13, with Eli’s All-Stars — Bob Winter, Boston Pops pianist; Jimmy Mazzy, banjo; Jeff Guthery, drums; Eli Newberger, tuba; Bo Winiker, trumpet; and Ted Casher, clarinet and tenor sax — will play their astonishing, virtuosic jazz and accompany our own divas and gentlemen songsters. (Note to requesters: La Vie en Rose will be reprised!).

Please sign up early. This will be a sellout!

The Great Debate
Wednesday, March 19

The Tavern Debate: Two crackerjack four- person teams will face off, on the Oxford Union format against each other, the audience to vote on the outcome. A team of seasoned Taverners, well experienced in the Arts of Persuasion, has been assembled as a committee to select the subject to be debated Suggestions for the subject are solicited. Please forward these to Ed Tarlov at so that he can place these before the Debate Committee. The subject of the debate and the identities of the debaters will be revealed at a short interval before the debate. This Battle of Wits promises to be a high point of Tavern entertainment in the New Year.


A brief Report from the Boylston Place Foundation Committee: The Committee reports that 60 people have given to date $115,707.66. We are very grateful to all who have contributed. Outlays to date, largely in cleaning and restoring paintings, will also shortly begin to underwrite archival research and improvement, as well as mundane things like purchasing better files. Onwards, and good wishes to Taverners and supporters of the Club.

For a complete downloadable copy of the calendar click here.

June 2013 Calendar

Monday Night Dinner June 3
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

Monday Night Dinner June 10
6:15, Dinner 7:00

Arts Roundtable On Wednesday, June 12 at 12:15 two special guests will be joining us to talk informally about issues facing today’s art museums – Ashton Hawkins, formerly Secretary and legal council to the Metropolitan Museum, and Ted Stebbins, formerly curator of American Art at the Boston MFA and presently at the Harvard Art Museums. Bring your thoughts and questions to these two veterans of the field.
Guests welcome.

Thursday, June 13
This year’s three short plays illustrate a Taverner’s (almost) duty to say things we half believe to people who half understand. Each play, in completely different ways, presents opinions with which we might not agree, prejudices we might not share, conversations we cannot understand. In best Tavern
tradition as expressed in the President’s Address, we can fairly promise you this: you will be surprised, amazed, bewildered, distressed, delighted, often incredulous, but never bored!
The Players: Nancy Maull, Bob Osteen, Anne Carter, Peter Randolph, Peter Aitken, and Brigid Williams, with Jeff Peters on piano.
Cocktails 6:00, Performance 6:30, followed by dinner and discussion. Guests welcome.

The Elections Committee will be meeting on Monday, June 17 at 5:30 in the Library. Thinking about proposing a new member? Committee Chair Sandy Righter has prepared a one-page summary -Tavern Club Five-Step Elections Process – printed at the end of this Notice.

Monday Night Dinner June 17
Chris Smallhorn and Joe Barbieri shall deliver an evening of considerable pleasure: a discussion of the ever-changing state and condition of the Boylston Place Foundation, plus a guided “Tour of Treasures of the Club.” We’ll begin the tour at 6:30, and continue with discussion of the BPF and the collection after dinner.
Cocktails 6:15, Tour 6:30, Dinner 7:00

Monday Night Dinner June 24
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

imageBook Club Without Borders
The Tavern Book Club will meet at noon on Wednesday, June 26 to discuss Hanoi Adieu: A Bittersweet Memoir of a Frenchman in Indochina by Mandaley Perkins. This is an evocative and moving account of life in Viet Nam, between the late 1930s and 1975 – through the Japanese war, the first French war, the second French war, and the American war. Our moderator will be Suzanne Tarlov, and the participants will include several who have visited or fought in this area through much of the time frame of this book.

The Centennial Game – The Tavern Terrors vs. The St. Botolph Beauts
on Tuesday evening, June 25, 2013, from 5:00 sharp to 7:00, in the Esplanade.

One hundred years ago there was a baseball game between the St. Botolph and Tavern  Clubs, and in commemoration of this historic sporting event, the St. Botolph Club has challenged us to a game of softball on Ebersol Field #2 behind the Hatch Shell. After the game, Taverners and guests are invited to the St. Botolph Club at 199 Commonwealth Avenue for a Celebratory Festive Fourth of July All American Baseball Buffet. (Reserve with Tony Fay). Dress will be casual baseball summer wear. Appetizers: shell peanuts, pretzels and mustard. Dinner Buffet: "summer baseball fare" with clam chowder, franks, sausages, french fries, corn on the cob, salads, and possibly steamers. So, Bears, keep your eye on the ball for details, and sign-up now to Play Ball and celebrate the Centennial with the Beauts. MC: 

imageDress for the Game! You will all most certainly want these two commemorative collector’s items: custom-designed Tavern Club baseball shirts and caps, designed by Brigid Williams, in four sizes (small, medium, large, and extra-large) Orders must be placed with Brigid by June 2 at High Noon:

Poetry Lunch
On Tuesday, June 25 the topic will be the poetry of things, with poems of William Carlos Williams and Elizabeth Bishop. Halloween Plays Competition – A Reminder! The summer is almost here, and once again it’s time to encourage Tavern members to fill their idle time by writing a one-act play. All of you have a story or two to tell…and what better way to tell it than on the stage. Here are the simple guidelines:

1) Runtime: Submissions should be about 10 minutes. A good rule-of-thumb: a page of typed of dialogue equals about a minute – if your submission is 3 pages or 30, it won’t qualify.

2) Number of Actors: No more than five and no fewer than two. Ideally four. It helps to have lines distributed among them. The greater the burden of memorization you put on an individual, the less likely he or she is to remember all the lines!

3) Production requirements: Please, no volcanoes. Excessive special effects require time and stage changes that are prohibitive due to the short production schedule.

4) Submit your entry under an assumed name.

Mail submissions to To maintain anonymity the sender’s email address is stripped from the file and submission. In an envelope via US mail, send a letter with the name of the play and the author’s real name to the Tavern Club, attention Plays Committee. Thank you for your participation in this Tavern tradition.

Upon Maestro Tom Kelly’s return, the MeistUrsingers will start up again in September. Open to all Taverners who like to sing choral music.


On June 28 at 11:00 – before Friday Lunch – join members of the Emerson Working Committee for a progress report on the Emerson Project. The May 31, 2013 Progress Report to Members is printed on page 4 of the attached.


imageThe Annual Meeting of the Tavern Club was held on Monday, May 13, 2013 in two parts, before and after dinner. Before dinner, officers presented their reports, including President Ernst von Metzsch’s update on the status of the Emerson Project, and BPF Committee Chair Chris Smallhorn on the Boylston Place Foundation. Club officers will remain the same for 2013 – 2014. Jerrold Mitchell and Deborah Bornheimer were elected Directors. David Brooks, Vivian Spiro, and William Thorndike, Jr. were elected to the Committee on Elections. New members present to receive Medals were Nicholas B. Clark, Kent dur Russell, Sally W. Fisher, Howard Lapsley, Philip A. Mason, Jon Ording, Mary Rhinelander, Randal Rucker, Tahgd Sweeney and Christopher Tunnard. After dinner, John Constable received a Gold Medal. Memorial papers were given by Chris Smallhorn for George Peabody Gardner, Bob Osteen for Edmund B. Cabot, Dick Perkins for Robert J. Manning, Garry Fischer for Joseph E. Murray, Ron Fleming for John W. Stokes II, and Chris Smallhorn for Nicholas L. Tilney. Photo: B. Williams

The first Blues Night at the Tavern, with an all-star band of professional blues musicians led by Chris Whitlock on electric guitar and accompanied by Eli Newberger on piano, with a cameo vocal  by Watson Reid, was a roaring success. The concert was followed by a soul food dinner of pulled pork and black-eyed peas, and a discussion with the musicians. We hope Chris will make this an annual event.

Literary Evening: James Thurber, May 30 Produced by Jack Cobb, Frinde Maher, Peter Rand, and Ed Tarlov, Thurber Night offered a delightful rendition of James Thurber’s wry humor with readings around the table and cartoons sketched in situ! Following the introduction of Ed Tarlov, the talented cast included, in addition to the producers, Ned Roberts, Peter Randolph, Jerry Mitchell, Stephen Score, Carol Monica, Jane Shaw, Bill Shumate, Deb Bornheimer, Dimitri Gerakaris, Jim Storey, Flip Mason, Lisa Schmid, Sarah Jolliffe, Bob Osteen, Mary Scott, Mary Rhinelander, Kent dur Russell, and Henry Lee. Thurber cartoon artists made it look so easy: Jennie Summer– all, Dick Perkins , Chris Whitlock, Tadhg Sweeney, and Peter Haines. David Chanler accompanied the performance on piano with lightness and ease. A smashing success!


FÊTE CHAMPÊTRE Thursday, July 11.
This year our Fête Champêtre will be held on July 11 at the home of Peter and Helen Randolph in Wareham, 1 hour and 10 minutes south of downtown Boston by car. Their 1884 large, summer “Cape cottage” sits on a bluff looking down Buzzards Bay to Naushon. If the weather is kind, there will be walking, beaching, swimming, kayaking, Sunfish sailing, water skiing, tennis or simply basking on the lawn reading a good book for those who choose to come early. As an added treat, Eli Newburger and his band have been engaged to provide us with some of their joyous jazz, Dixieland and old show tunes music. An event not to be missed. Sign up early.

For a complete downloadable copy of the June, 2013 calendar including the May Progress Report to Members and the Five-Step Elections Process click here.

April 2013 Calendar

Monday Night Dinner April 1

Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00


Wednesday April 3

Narrenabend : Once a Knight …

Cast Guest Night – Others if space allows,

Consult Chris Whitlock. Cocktails 6.15, Dinner

7pm, followed by performance.


Thursday April 4

Narrenabend : Once a Knight …

Members only, Black Tie, Medals

Cocktails 6.15, Dinner 7pm, followed by performance



John Tittmann, Peter Haines, Peter Aitken, Katharine Boden at work on the set for “Once a Knight …”

A thrilling dramatization of Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, brought to you by some of the Tavern’s

finest theatrical talents, many making their debut on the Tavern stage. Do not miss the tense

denouement: “Who will win the faire Emelye’s hand?" Written by Anne Carter, music by Jim

Crissman, directed by Bob Osteen and Peter Randolph.


Friday April 5, Special Friday Lunch

Emerson Project Update


Art Gallery Opening Monday April 8, 5-7

Paintings and illustrations by Chris Whitlock. Chris is a graduate of Massachusetts College of

Art. Before turning to a career in art direction, he made a living as an illustrator and photographer. Nowadays he paints for his amusement in his occasional free time. A jack of all trades, master of none, he chooses his subject matter and media at whim.


Monday Night Dinner April 8

Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

Followed by Members Meeting at 8:00:

The Emerson Project


Wednesday, April 10, 12:15 – 2:00

Arts Round Table Lunch, Guests welcome

Music and Massachusetts’ Children:

The Promise of El Sistema, The Venezuelan Musical Miracle

Momentum is building toward a statewide initiative that will strengthen the cognitive and

emotional development of children and build opportunity for their families and their communities through their intensive, afterschool, orchestral music instruction.


We’ll listen to a brief profile of children and families in Massachusetts and enjoy first-hand reports from members of a delegation that visited Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu and his gleaming new Center ("Centro") for the Social Development Through Music and to El Sistema "nucleos" in and around Caracas, side-by-side with accounts of path breaking Massachusetts programs and pertinent arts funding initiatives. Since Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema’s most celebrated graduate, assumed the podium of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a new collaboration has been formalized between the Venezuelan Centro, Bard College, The Longy/Bard School of Music, and his orchestra. During our visit, Maestro Abreu, Longy/Bard President Karen Zorn, and Bard President Leon Botstein signed the agreement formalizing this marriage with El Sistema. It will expand the corpus of highly qualified and credentialed leaders and serve as a platform for continuing professional exchange. Maestro Botstein’s penetrating account of Shostakovich’s devastating 7th Symphony with the principal Youth Orchestra of Caracas followed the signing ceremony. It left no need for more words about the transformational powers of music.



Mark Churchill, El Sistema U.S.A.

Anita Walker, Executive Director, MA Cultural Council

Karen Zorn, President, Longy/Bard School of Music

Carolyn Mower Burns, President, Berkshire Children and Families

Carolyn and Eli Newberger, Board of Advisors, Kids 4 Harmony, Berkshire Children and Families.


History Lunch Wednesday April 17, 12.15

Peter Rand on his forthcoming book, Conspiracy of One: Tyler Kent’s Secret Plot against FDR, Churchill, and the Allied War Effort

A debonair young code clerk stationed at the American Embassy in London in 1939, Tyler Kent photographed two thousand classified documents, including top secret telegrams Winston Churchill sent President Franklin D. Roosevelt with inducements to help him fight the Nazis. Kent was planning, he said, to turn his archive over to FDR’s enemies in Congress. Instead, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy turned Kent over to the British. Was Kent a spy? How did MI5 track him down? What was the role of pro-German sentiment and anti-Semitism in the political turmoil around the run-up to World War II? Peter Rand magically recreates this long-buried true story, from beginning to end, in the course of which many other questions arise. Among them: what is the role of minor players like Kent in the kind of war that was waged, and in history in general?


Please join us for Peter’s presentation.

Discussion to follow. Guests welcome.


Elections Committee

The Elections Committee will meet on Monday, April 22 , at 5:30 in the Perry Room.

The names of two candidates for membership are in the book in the library for members’ review.

Monday Night Dinner April 22

Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00


Book Club Wednesday April 24 12.15

Get out your reading glasses! The Tavern Book Club has an excellent program in store for the Spring! On April 24, in response to a groundswell of feeling to have one of the literary classics, Joan Yogg will lead our discussion of Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, a chance for us all to visit the byways of Colonial India. Our May selection, to be presented Wednesday May 22 by Chris Smallhorn, is Amity Schlaes’s new book Coolidge. Those interested may also wish to peruse Robert Sobel’s Coolidge – an American Enigma, as well as The Grand Pursuit by Sylvia Nasr, an economic history from Malthus and Marx to modern times, very relevant to the Coolidge story, as he used his parsimonious principles, few words and good sense to preside over a period of unprecedented American growth, technological development and prosperity.


And on Wednesday June 26 we will discuss Hanoi Adieu by Mandalay Perkins, an evocative memoir of a Frenchman in Indochina between 1940 and the 1970’s. Several of those planning to participate have either recently been to Hanoi, or were there during what the Vietnamese refer to as the American War, or both.


And stay tuned and send suggestions to Ed for the July Meeting and for the Annual Overseas

meeting of the Tavern Book Club in August, in Nahant.


Poetry Table

No Poetry Lunch scheduled for April.



The MeistUrsingers will meet but the dates are yet to be determined – notifications forthcoming.

Stay tuned!




Thursday April 25

The Jim Terry Musical Retrospective – Still in gestation, but the heartbeat is detectable, shaping up to about 30 songs from a dozen shows done by more than 25 singers – Audience, including guests, would be much appreciated.

Cocktails 6.15, Dinner 7.00, followed by performance.


Monday Night Dinner April 29

Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00



On March 7 Tod Randolph returned to the Tavern stage and gave a stunning one-person biographical portrayal of Dorothy Thompson, "the first lady of American journalism". Tod entirely captivated the audience in a performance lasting for 75 minutes, with a perfectly in-period set compiled by Peter Randolph who also ably operated the lights and most of the telephone rings.



Friday Lunch, April 5 – This will be an informal informational lunch (no guests) when members can put questions to the Emerson Working Group.


Monday Dinner, April 8 , 8.00pm – A meeting of the Members of the Tavern Club is called at

the premises of the Tavern Club, 4 Boylston Place, to hear and consider the following matters:


Report of the last Meeting


1.      The Emerson Working Group will review the adjustments made to the Draft Option Agreement by the Tavern Club and Emerson College after the Meeting of February 11, 2013.

2.      The President will call for a vote to ratify the Final Option to Purchase Agreement with Emerson College, dated February 15, 2013.

3.      The Emerson Working Group will review the progress of the Emerson Project, including the time frame for future developments and negotiations.

4.      Other Business – Adjournment.


Please Notify Tony Fay if you are attending Friday Lunch or Monday night dinner, 617-338. 9682.


Copies of the Final Option Agreement will be emailed before the meeting, and copies will also be available at the Tavern Club after April 1, 2013. The Emerson Working Group will also send a summary of progress in the week of April 1.



Gallery Opening

Jennie Summerall

Monday, May 6 5-7

Annual Meeting

Monday, May 13


Summer Shorts (Plays)

Thursday, June 13


Fete Champetre

Thursday, July 11?


New member:

Peter C. Erichsen

Sparkling sense of humor

Enthusiastic gardener

Fine singing voice

Interested in politics, world affairs, the arts

Finds fault only with himself!


For a complete, downloadable copy of the April, 2013 Tavern Club newsletter; click here.

March 2013 Calendar

Monday Night Dinner March 4
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

The MeistUrsingers will gather at 12:20 on March 7 and 21, with Mystery Maestros conducting. Please let Tony Fay know if you are staying for lunch.

Simagepecial Event Thursday, March 7
Tod Randolph on the Tavern Stage, daughter of Tavern thespian Peter and Helen Randolph, Tod will perform Cassandra Speaks, a play written by Norman Plotkin, as Dorothy Thompson on the day of her third marriage, bringing to life her extraordinary career as "First Lady of American Journalism". Ms. Thompson, married to Sinclair Lewis, was the first American journalist expelled from Nazi Germany, and was hailed by TIME magazine in 1939 as the second most influential woman in America next to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Excerpts from reviews:
From Berkshire on Stage:
“Actor Tod Randolph and writer Norman Plotkin have plucked Dorothy Thompson from the dustbin of history and brought her amazingly, even brilliantly, to life again.

In the 1930’s and ‘40’s, Thompson was known as the “First Lady of American Journalism”. Time Magazine named her the most influential woman in the country, second only to Eleanor Roosevelt.

“Randolph does more than just act out her part, she glides into it, virtually donning Dorothy Parker’s skin in one of the most complex performances I have seen in years. It is an astonishing tour de force”.

From the Berkshire Eagle:
“Plotkin delivers a fascinating, complex, fully formed and dimentioned human being who is all too aware of her own shortcomings and wrestles with them even as she wages more fierce battles against the background of world war.”

“Thompson has an articulate representative in Randolph. An absolute master of her craft, Randolph has a way of working herself beneath the skin of her characters. She burrows deep within Thompson here. The result is at once revealing and compelling”.

Guests welcome – Cocktails 6.00,
Performance 6.30, Dinner to follow.

Monday Night Dinner March 11
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00.

Monday Night Dinner March 18
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

Guest Will Englund, foreign correspondent for the Washington Post based in Moscow, recipient of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize, old friend of David Amory. Members only.

History Lunch
Wednesday, March 20 at 12:15. The Tavern is pleased to welcome back distinguished historian Eve LaPlante in a special Women’s History Month program. Eve is the author of Marmee & Louisa, The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother, and My Heart Is Boundless, Writings of
Abigail May Alcott. Eve will help us explore the lives of Abigail May Alcott and daughter Louisa May, two Boston women who coped daily with stultifying social strictures in the age of transcendentalism and who led hard lives until the success of Louisa’s Little Women in 1868. Guests welcome.

Elections Committee
The Elections Committee will be meeting on Monday, March 25, at 5:30 in the Perry Room. February 25: The name of a candidate for membership is in the book in the library for members’ review.

Monday Night Dinner March 25
Cocktails 6:15, Dinner 7:00

Poetry Table
Tuesday, March 26. We will take up the topic of recent U.S. Poet Laureates. Who are these people? How are they chosen? What is their role? Most important, what are they writing? Is it any good? And why are so many of them named Robert? Your poetry chair.

Bimageook Club
Wednesday, March 27 at 12:00. Bisi Starkey will lead a discussion of the classic travel books by Patrick Leigh Fermor: Between the Woods and the Water and A Time of Gifts, relating his 1933 walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul.

Himageistory Lunch & Arts Roundtable
Thursday, March 28 at 12:15. Leila Ahmed, the Victor S. Thomas Professor at Harvard Divinity School, will be our special guest. We will informally discuss her latest book, A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence from the Middle East to America, a study of the rise of political Islam and the ever-changing meaning of the veil, or hijab, for Muslim women. Having grown up in Cairo in the 1940’s, Leila brings personal insight to help Westerners understand this “quiet revolution,” which is  rooted in the colonial past and the excesses of
the Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak regimes. A timely sequel to Chris Lydon’s report from Egypt in January, and for all who want to better understand today’s Middle East. Guests welcome.


Anne Carter and Jim Crissman combine comedic talents to take Tavern theater to transcendent new levels for Narrenabend. In Once a Knight an all-star cast explores the many dramatic opportunities that Chaucer passed up in his much-neglected Knight’s Tale.
Medieval England meets capricious Greco- Roman gods in a one-sided contest in which the gods hold all the cards. Don’t miss this outstanding production, which is limited to a one night run on April 4!

Wednesday (dress) and Thursday, April 3 and 4

Jim Terry Musical Retrospective
Thursday, April 25

Annual Meeting
Monday, May 13

Summer Shorts (Plays)
Thursday, June 13

Fete Champetre
Thursday, July 11?

A downloadable PDF of the March 2013 calendar is available here.