Today in My History2001: Car-ma
2002: Buff Bev
2004: The Two Fat Ladies
2005: Oh Horror!
2006: Cold Turkey, Warm Duck
2007: When I Screw Up, I do a GREAT job
2008: Not Screwing up--Honest!
2009: Just Lookin' at Stuff
2010: Haiti: The rest of the story is ours
2011: Foggy, Foggy Dew
2012: Sunday Stealing
2013: Czech Haggis
Books Read in 2014
"Day of the Locust"
Most Recent on My Ernest & Vanessa's Visit
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FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS
27 January 2014
We have done what we came to do and we are headed home...but my word was it a marvelous weekend!
I write this from Olympia, WA. We flew here on Friday and we have been staying with our friends Gabi and Alec Clayton and their other houseguest, Steve Schalchlin. The purpose of the trip was to attend Steve's concert, an evening which he shared with the Righteous Mothers (and if you don't know them, get yerself to YouTube and find out about them. They are GREAT!)
Gabi and Alec are wonderful, talented, giving, and loving people. I came to know them through PFLAG. At the time I met her, Gabi and I had each lost a son. Her son Bill committed suicide after a gay bashing incident. She has since gone on to do amazing things with PFLAG the Safe School Coalition, the Gay Straight Alliances, and so many things to prevent other gay youth from suffering what Bill went through. She's also a talented writer, photographer, web designer, organizer, life long activist, and I don't know what else. (Check her blog)
Husband Alec is a writer and an artist and also a theater critic (we also have discovered we were both born on the same day in the same year, though I am a few hours older) He has published seven novels and his web page is full of so many awards and accolades, I could easily make this entry about him and Gabi. But it's about our weekend.
This was supposed to be a big weekend long pajama party with our friend Michael, from LA joining us, but he made up some cockamamie story about association fees for the apartment where he lives. I think he just doesn't like us any more.
Anyway, Walt and I arrived in Seattle, rented a car, and headed off for an hour's drive into the setting sun to Olympia, the capitol of the state of Washington.
After we had settled in, guests began to arrive for the pot luck Gabi and Alec had planned to let everyone party with Steve. There were organizers of the concerts, and PFLAG people, both young people and parents. Lovely group of people.
I was able to spend a lot of the evening talking with Lynn Grotsky, wife of Lisa Brodoff, one of the Righteous Mothers, and also the manager for the group. Since what I really wanted to come up here for was to hear the women in concert, it was nice to chat with her and get some background on the group.
When all the guests left, we tried to keep Steve on Washington time, instead of New York time, so he wouldn't go sleep too early.
We obviously were not successful.
In the morning we did what a bunch of tech nerds do--we spent the morning sitting in the living room, each with some sort of device, all checking our e-mail, internet web sites, text messages, Facebook and other things. Someone said it would have been even funnier if we were all texting each other!
Steve went off to rehearsal with the Righteous Mothers and the rest of us met him at Traditions Café, where the concert(s) (there were two) would take place.
The Righteous Mothers started the concert(s) and were funny, relevant, with great harmonies. Just like I knew they would be. And they had Steve join them on two of their songs.
Steve had the second half of each concert and in the first concert, he had everyone crying at Gabi's Song, especially one woman sitting hear the front, who dabbed at her eyes through the whole song.
His song called "Rescue" (about rescue animals) always gets me and so I had big tears rolling down my face, even though I've heard the song many times. The guy does know how to sell a song (don't tell him I said so)
Between the two shows we had dinner.
Then came the second concerts, more or less identical to the first. They were all having such fun and for the final two numbers, Steve was joined by members of the newly forming Olympia Gay Men's Chorus and the Righteous mothers.
When it was all over, we thought it was...you know...like all over, but some of the Gay Men's Chorus invited Steve to join them at a gay bar so they could continue talking. We all went to the gay bar and it happened to be karaoke night. Karaoke is the thing that Steve hates worst of all. He and the choir sat in one corner, while Gabi, Alec, Walt and I sat at a table with a drink. The karaoke was horrible. A lot of wincing was done at our table. One guy did Elvis' "Now or Never" and I told Alec that my vote would be "never." Elvis deserved a lot better. I won't even mention how they murdered Jennifer Hudson!
But eventually we came home. I was determined to finish this before going to sleep. As I write it, it is 2 a.m. and the heat went out when the others went to bed, so I am FREEZING and think that I'm not going to try to polish it, but merely get it posted before my fingers freeze solid.
Capsule review: This was an absolutely wonderful weekend and worth every penny we paid to get here. It had been years since I'd seen Steve in concert and while I never really had any criticism of him, I can see that he has grown tremendously as a performer since he moved into the music and theater world in New York.
AND, I got to cross something off my bucket list. I have seen the Righteous Mothers in concert and even had a brief chat with Lisa, my favorite of the group.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I love this picture. Steve is singing
"Gabi's Song," which tells of their
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