The next set is small belongs to son Tom
Their dogs, Sierra and Akila
* Discussion *
Talk about it here.
WHAT I'M READING...
Looking for a new book
WHAT I'M WATCHING...
Samples of two of the
Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.
Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.
That's it for today!
REMEMBERING THE PAST
29 September 2001
Mike G has retired. We attended his retirement party and I found it very difficult to believe that he was retiring.
Mike was the manager of the theatre complex here and has been as long as we've lived in Davis. I guess the first shocking thing was to realize that he was that old. I've always thought he must be about 10 years younger than I, but to discover we were the same age was quite a surprise. He has worn a lot better than I have.
But the retirement itself was a trip down memory land, stepping back to the earliest days of our nearly 30 years here. The cast on the stage to celebrate his retirement was a cross section of people we've known, some well, some peripherally, throughout our time here. It made me realize exactly how long we have lived in this town--not quite twice as long as I lived in my "home" town of San Francisco.
First there were the newly installed seats in the theatre, soft seats to replace the hard plastic that have been in use since the building was first opened. We used to sit on those soft seats at the old movie house that has long since been torn down and replaced with a music store. The owner of the movie house was just going to toss them, and offered them free of charge to the city. It completely changes the look of the theatre we have known for so long.
When Bob got up to give his remarks on Mike's retirement, he asked how many people had been around for the first production in the theatre. We were. I can't remember if we were involved--it was the second Davis Comic Opera show in 1974. Walt has been the technical director for DCOC for so long, I can't remember when he started helping out, or if I had started doing publicity yet...perhaps we were only in the audience, but I remember thinking how nice it was to have a theatre in the neighborhood--never dreaming that it would become an integral part of our lives.
Mrs. D. was there, leaning on her cane. She taught the kids drama. Paul had her class first thing in the morning and he was never a morning person. But in high school, he usually had the lead in shows, and spent a lot of time working tech, so frequently on school nights he would be at the theatre long hours and just not make it to class. I remember when he showed up on time on a day when he was supposed to give a monologue, and when Mrs. D came to his name on the list she said "Well, I know Paul isn't here, so let's move on..." and was surprised when Paul announced he was there.
At one point she told him, "Paul, you've missed class 32 times, I just can't give you an A." He accepted the B with good graces.
Good old Mrs. D. I can't remember how long ago she retired, but it was fun to see her again.
JC was there. I remember when she and her husband used to choreograph DCOC shows, and they used to give ballroom dancing lessons to people who wanted to attend a big fancy ball that was given to support the Arts in Davis. We always wondered about her husband. They had a couple of kids, but he did set of a lot of people's gay-dars. He died several years ago. I hardly recognized her when I saw her on stage, only because I was able to look at her name tag. She was there, hand in hand, with a hunk almost young enough to be her son. Good going, JC. Time for a bit of happiness for you.
Dave was there. Dave the teacher who got kids motivated enough to give up their summers to perform Shakespeare in the park for free. Dave, who was one of Jeri's favorite teachers and who still asks about her fondly. Dave, father of more kids than we have. We used to go to church suppers (in the years when I "did" church) with his family, all our kids interacting together. His wife went through a lot of years of severe emotional problems but seems to be holding it together these days. Someone else we have known "a lifetime." He's a good guy. Was one of the nominees for Disney's Teacher of the Year several years ago. He didn't make it to the top, but he sure deserved whatever honors he got.
Linda had flown in and was there. She owns the funky theatre out in what used to be the outskirts of Davis. Our kids saw some of their first theatre there. I remember "I'm Sorry, the Bridge is Out, You'll Have to Spend the Night," and how the kids, especially David, who was the youngest, were a little nervous about seeing the monster-actors walking around in the theatre after the show.
Then she used to have the yearly Davis Gong Show. The kids decided to enter the second year and worked up a lip-synched dance number to the James Bond theme (if I remember correctly). The Jackson 5 they weren't, but they had lots of chutzpah and earned a score of "9" just on cute, I think. Boy does that seem like a lifetime ago.
Linda now lives in Florida and someone manages the theatre for her. It's where the kids' band did a lot of their concerts in Davis. It's where Paul performed his last monologue. Our history with that theatre, as with the big theatre where the retirement was held, goes back to the dawn of our time here in Davis.
There was Martha, now moving into her 70s, retired as DCOC's producer, but still as vibrant as ever. I remember when she gave Paul voice lessons a couple of times. And she has always taken an interest in Jeri's career. It was good to see her there to honor Mike.
And there was Katie, who was Jeri's ballet teacher for several years until Jeri had to choose between ballet and playing a musical instrument in high school, and opted for the musical instruments.
Then there were the usual suspects--the guys who all grew up together, learned theatre together, played together, drank together, traveled together, laughed together, cried together. Jon, the sound man for Lawsuit, now working for the city. Phil, one of Lawsuit's techies, now a professional techie in Sacramento. Greg, Ned's best friend all of his life since we moved here, a professional technician who traveled with Neil Diamond and Madonna, and who now runs both theatres in town so he can be home to help raise his two small sons.
And of course there we were--those of us in town. Ned, who grew up in that theatre and whose life and career have been shaped by having this huge "playhouse" at his disposal.
The ghosts were there too. Jeri, now in Boston, but there in spirit. And of course Dave and Paul who spent so much time at the theatre.
They all touched Mike G's life for these 30 years. In truth, I haven't had all that much to do with Mike--he's just always been "there." But as I looked around, I had to smile. Nice friends. Nice memories. Even the sad memories are good.
In these unsettling days, it's good to remember that there are nice memories, and people we love who have touched our lives in very definite, unforgettable ways, even if the past is now dead.
Mike's now off to work on helping the Hopi Indians. I suspect he will be far removed from war and the threat of terrorists.
One Year Ago:
Some pictures from this journal
Created 9/29/01 by Bev Sykes