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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
14 September 2015
When we arrived at the party, we were directed to a basket filled with buttons, and told we had to each wear one. (It refers to a quote from The Mikado, where KoKo asks Katisha, "Do you think you are sufficiently decayed.")
This was a reunion of members of the Davis Comic Opera Company, which was a big part of our lives for most of its 33 year history. The company called it quits in 2006. It fell victim to the curse of many community theaters like it, formed by a group of people who wanted to do a specific kind of theater (in DCOC's case, Gilbert & Sullivan), and who enjoyed getting together, working together, partying together and putting on good shows. The audiences came to see their neighbor, their barber, their attorney, their doctor, etc. acting on stage.
In fact, the shows were good enough that they attracted actors from the surrounding area, who wanted to perform Gilbert & Sullivan, but who had a long drive to make after the show, so didn't stick around for the socialization part.
In time, the original members started to get older and, with few of the newcomers as dedicated as the original members had been, it was more difficult to find people to do the grunt work and audiences, who no longer had friends and neighbors to see perform, dropped off. Eventually it was decided to close the company down. I read once that 30 years is about par for community theater groups like DCOC. They made it three years past the norm.
But it's been nearly 10 years now and someone decided we should have a reunion. Many of us still see each other from time to time, but this would be a good old fashioned DCOC Party.
In 10 years, we have all aged. We are in our 60s, 70s, and 80s now. There were three in wheel chairs, at least two in walkers and I don't remember how many of us (me included) walked with canes or walking stick. One was in a full body brace from recent back surgery.
But aches and pains notwithstanding, it was a glorious celebration, with, as always, food as the central gathering point.
The famous DCOC quilt was on display.
Nobody that I talked to could remember who made it but we all knew there had been an auction and nobody remembered who won it. (Presumably the person who won it was at the party, but I didn't pursue the identity.)
There was lots of visiting and "do you remember...." conversation going on.
My friend Nancianne arrived, looking as if she had found another St. Baldrick shave-a-thon to participate in. She was wearing a shirt that proclaimed her principal role in DCOC (among many other things): Cheerleader!
I asked her about her hair and she told me she had been in a store wearing her "ask me why I'm bald" button and someone told her she shouldn't wear the button any more because she was no longer bald. She said the button gave her the chance to talk about St. Baldrick's and children's cancer and the guy said "if I make a donation to St. Baldrick, will you shave your head again?" She said sure. He did, and she did.
She asked me if I'm going to shave my head again next year and I have decided not to do it again while my mother is alive. It was too traumatic for her. Better to wait.
As the light began to fade, Gary, our host, set up a movie screen to start a slide show. It was difficult to see at first, and he tried to act as guide, but eventually he moved the screen under an overhang, where it was darker, and we could all sit around and watch the show, 33 years of DCOC history parading by.
Everyone had a good time trying to recognize those faces, from the earlier shows, who were now 30-40 years older. This picture below shows Natalie, sometime in the mid 70s, and today.
It was getting dark when we finally left, but we left with such good memories, both of the party and of the friends we made through DCOC, who are still some of our best friends in Davis.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #5648