:: WQM, day one, fall 2009 ::
Day One is the only day I'll be making this year, as Portland is hosting an activist extravaganza this weekend and I'm on MVP duty.
My part this year was to organize a community night at the Stark street facility, complete with musicians, videos, amplification and potluck (always potluck) with the lasagnas catered through Costco.
Joe Snyder got the ball rolling with a high energy skit involving our youngest attenders (single digit?) followed by me fumbling with the projector and Starling-1. Good Bye Party (Laura Cooper and Rick Flosi) kicked off the more adult-oriented musical portion (taking the brunt of audience skepticism -- this was a new kind of program for our sect), followed by Mendel Rivers and Marian Rhys with one of their racy little spoofs (of Bill Shakespeare's Macbeth in this case).
Mendel and Marian are the two responsible for injecting some levity around our library "bonnet lady" (various escapades). They're also both over sixty so "dignified by definition" as Marian once put it i.e. able to overcome any frowning traditionalists who might wanna pull rank and play the heavy ("to elder" as we say in our Society, used as a verb). Mendel has a long history as a combative lawyer, isn't about to take guff from anyone.
Lindsey Walker then seized the baton and took Quakers through a whirligig tour of some of her punk bar hits, using both upright piano and Yamaha with R2D2 (the drum machine). Her Bose Tower served with my Youtubes as well (Dance Party and 4D Studios compilation).
Lindsey started with Freedom Train, followed by Fear of Flying, then Icarus (which she introduced around the theme of mental illness), then It All Comes Down to You (with R2), ending with her Cheer Up Emo Kid. We recorded this portion, plus some of the earlier portions, for her growing archive.
Following intermission in the social hall downstairs, and after poetry and more kid songs, we turned the balance of the evening over to Michael Hagmeir and Leaha, with Anna Zanolli more in my role as roadie. They had a variety of interesting instruments: three kinds of guitar, didgeridoo, viola, not to mention two melodious voices. Lindsey and Anna got to talk, plus lots of other mingling occurred.
I was outside the building on my cell with TC part of the time, then later messing with AAA, requesting a tow truck, this time for one of our Quaker families in distress, trapped in Mazama parking lot. This situation resolved.
Pam Melick was very supportive, as was Annis Bleeke, meaning Quarterly at the camp will have its breakfast food, and Quakers last night felt well taken care of, even if many of them got sleepy or had back problems so couldn't stay all the way through. I'd learned how to adjust chair counts to butts in est (Centers Network (we were cultish about chairs)) so was able to apply those logistical skills and keep the venue warm and intimate. Those who stayed had much to chew on. I was glad to visit with Pan Tangible and Zoe again, finally got to meet Boyd plus get news of Miranda.
LW got lots of compliments, especially from Lisa Knox and Sonya Pinney. I could see her entertaining Quakers again down the road, or even some Friends venturing forth to It's A Beautiful Pizza next October 17 for example.
John Calvi was present, didn't yodel or otherwise try to manage the proceedings. This was his night off in a busy schedule, with Day Two more his element. I'm glad to have provided this gateway event. As I wrote to the Bridge City mailing list earlier yesterday afternoon:
I'm hoping to show off the Multnomah facility as a possible gathering place for future Quarterlies, including those of the overnight variety (stay with host families in Portland for two nights).Last year I served as theme czar, pulling a panel together to discuss The Future of Friends. I felt I was still continuing along this same trajectory a year later, in cahoots with my co-conspirators, by featuring a lot of under-40 talents, mixed in with us graysters (boomers are senior citizens by this time).
To this end, I'll be using a little bit of wifi with projector (yes, the meetinghouse has it), showing off all the multi-purpose floorspace (except no food or drink upstairs!).
Our program was not ostensibly political even though I was organized in my weaving of themes. People who shared in the planning have a pretty good idea where I'm coming from, as an AFSC volunteer and even as a diversity expert (the PSF snake joined a tableau, with Fuller Projection and the Stuart Kaufman hat). PSF = Python Software Foundation.
"Starvation = Torture" is likewise a thread in our activist convergence today. I'm assisting WILPF but will perhaps make the Food Rebellion talk as well, thanks to Alice Perry for patching me in.