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2 October 2006
I don't remember when the invitation came, nor do I know where it is now, but I hadn't responded one way or the other, so I received a call the other night from a very perky sounding woman whose name, on my Caller I.D. I didn't recognize.
"I know you," she bubbled. "I met you at so-and-so's house several years ago. You were there with your then-young grandson."
Uh. No. I don't think so!
She was calling to find out if I was coming to the reception. It is the 25th anniversary of the Davis School Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise money for Arts education (music, drama, and visual arts) in the Davis public schools, and there was going to be a celebration at a local art gallery to commemorate the event.
When the invitation first came, I wasn't really interested, so I never RSVP'd.
I was invited to join the School Arts Foundation in its early years, probably the late 1980s. Despite the fact that this is a small town and we have done a lot, I really have only rarely been involved in the political kinds of things, so I had been quite surprised at the invitation to join the board. But the president at the time was a friend and obviously knew we were interested in the arts, since our kids had all been involved in music and theatre, so I agreed to serve a 2 year term, though this is the sort of activity that is definitely not my thing. This is a group dedicated to fund raising, something I detest doing.
But I absolutely loved it. The president was just great. The people were so creative. The meetings were a real high point of the month and I looked forward to getting together with all these fun people. I took minutes that first year and had such a good time making them funny. (In fact, someone told me last night that in going back over 25 years of minutes, the ones I wrote were the most fun to read.)
I can't remember all the things we did, but we raised the money and I was involved in the fun part, which was deciding which school projects we were going to fund with mini grants. I found it wonderfully rewarding. And I remember we laughed a lot.
At the end of my first year, the term of office of the president who had invited me to join the board ended and a new president came on board. She showed up at the first meeting with a huge pile of papers of things we were supposed to read and I swear she had a copy of Roberts Rules of Order in order to keep our meetings from disintegrating into something that was...you know...kind of fun. I declined the invitation to continue as secretary.
In my first year on the board, I just kind of gravitated toward the head of our big meeting table, sitting near the president and enjoying the banter. By the third meeting of my second year, I found I was sitting as far from the head of the table as possible. One other member and I became the kids who whispered about the teacher during class. We wrote terrible notes to each other and then giggled about them. That part was fun; the meetings weren't any more.
The second year was torture for me. I absolutely hated it. I hated it so much that when they asked me to continue at the end of my term, I ran screaming and haven't had anything to do with the School Arts Foundation ever since.
So when the invitation for the reception came, I wanted nothing to do with it.
But my cheerful friend, who remembers me and my "young grandson" made it sound like so much fun, I agreed to attend.
I didn't realize, for example, that some 150 people have served on the board over the past 25 years, so really, when you think about it, it was kind of a big deal to have been a part of the early years.
The reception was going to honor Patricia Hershberger, the founder of the DSAF. I hadn't seen this lady in years, but she is a dear soul, always a little fey, but so sweet and sincere. and someone who made a humongous difference in the Arts programs for Davis children and set the ball rolling for an organization that is now 25 years old, and still very active. Knowing that the event would honor Patricia was the thing that made me decide that I did, after all, want to attend.
The reception was being held at a local art gallery, which I had never been inside before. We were directed to the third floor where there was a huge spread of amazing desserts from Konditorei bakery, which makes "authentic Austrian pastry."
It was a delightful event. We saw people we probably haven't seen in 20 years, some of whom are some of our favorite townspeople.
There was a wonderful powerpoint presentation shown, which traced the 25 year history of the Davis School Arts Foundation and which gave me a real pride in having been a part of something very special.
It also made me feel very old, to listen to them talk about events that I remember vividly as if they were ancient history, and to remember the Masked Ball, which Walt worked for days getting ready and say things like "I guess there were dance lessons or something beforehand." My word--nobody today remembers the marvelous Jere Curry and the lessons he gave in the waltz and how excited people were about it. The memories died when Jere did many years ago.
Members of the Davis Madrigal choir came to the reception and sang an Italian song and then their special rendition of "happy birthday" to the woman who was being honored. Dick Brunelle, the man who started Davis' award-winning madrigal chorus and directed it for so long that he taught the children of students who had been involved in the early years, had to be introduced to people who didn't recognize him or know what he had done. At one time everybody in town knew Dick Brunelle.
Just by a wonderful coincidence, I had brought along the video camera, wondering when I put it in my purse if I would have enough nerve to take it out. As it turned out, it was a great thing because I was the only one to record the event and Patricia's husband asked me afterwards if they could get a copy.
I came home, eager to start working on editing the video I had just taken and there was no camera in my bag. I sent Walt off back to the gallery, where he managed to find someone who had the camera, which I apparently went off an left on the table...a thing I'm so paranoid about not doing that I'm amazed I did it.
So I'm glad I got past my initial reluctance to attend the reception. I had a wonderful time, saw lots of old friends, had some great desserts, came home feeling proud of my small part in something very special, and I now have a movie to post.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I feel like I'm running a pet store! We had to cage
This is Journal entry #2377