Tavern Club February 2021

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

Bear in the Snow

February 2021 Calendar

February 2021 Calendar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Into the Great Solitude

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

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

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

Links to the films:

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

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

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

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

We'll always have Paris

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

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

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

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

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

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

No vaccine required to attend – Guests welcome!

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

Meg Muckenhoupt

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

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

Thursday, February 18, 8:00 p.m.  

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 23, Play Reading Zoom at Noon

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

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

Wednesday, February 24, Book Club Zoom at Noon

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

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

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

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

Upcoming events:

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the link to the lyrics already received:

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

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

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

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

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


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


 — Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

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

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